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Wedding Woes

No matter how much you love him, it won't change that he makes you lonely.

Dear Prudence,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half now. In general, we have a very healthy relationship. He is often my voice of reason and pretty supportive of me. The one thing that really bothers me about us is our lack of intimacy. He works very hard, and he keeps very long hours. We video chat, text, and talk to each other often throughout the day. There is no indication that he’s cheating on me—he just doesn’t value intimacy. We have sex maybe once a month and rarely lay next to each other at night. Even without the sex, I have explained to him that things like cuddling are important to me. Sometimes I just desperately want to be held. He is 12 years older than me, and I sometimes feel as though it contributes to the way we interpret the circumstances of our relationship.

His main reason for not coming over after work is that he lives close to his job. He’ll typically get home, eat, shower, and then doze off (which I absolutely understand). I’ve asked him to move in with me. I figured that if he could come home to me after work, maybe we could both get what we need out of this relationship. He told me he needed another year. Every time I bring up my concerns about intimacy, he tells me that he’s tired from work and I just need to be patient until he gets a better work schedule. I feel like it has to be more than that. We both have some very stressful circumstances taking place in our lives right now. He went through a bad divorce a few years ago and is still fighting with his ex-wife in court, and the entire situation has left him emotionally drained. I want to see him happy, but I don’t feel like I bring him any peace. If I did, I think he would be more inclined to be more intimate with me. I’m very lonely, and I’m not sure how much longer I can go on living in this void. I love him very much, and he and my daughter are bonded. I’m unhappy now, but I know I’ll be unhappy if I walk away, too.
—Intimacy on Zero

Re: No matter how much you love him, it won't change that he makes you lonely.

  • While the b/f's long hours certainly don't help things, it seems like the crux of the issue is that they both have different levels of intimacy that they are comfortable with.

    Sadly, even his work schedule changed for the better and/or they moved in together, that's not going to fix the problem.  If he isn't a cuddler, he isn't a cuddler.  Some people aren't and that's fine.  But then they aren't typically good matches for people who need regular doses of snuggles and other physical contact.

    I'm also seeing some unwarranted "self blame" going on in that letter.  I always hate to see people doing that to themselves.  Argh!  He isn't more intimate with her because that's just who he is.  It isn't that she "doesn't bring him peace".

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