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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 1
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
So, this may be a bit long, but I am hoping someone can give me some guidance. I am in a 9+ year relationship. I am 27 years old. That means I have been with the same person since I was 18. There's a spark and excitement missing from my relationship, and I guess I'm doing a little soul searching and trying to figure out what it is that I want that I don't have.
We met when we were teenagers, and have never looked back. The relationship is there, the love is there, the family strength and stability is there, and the friendship is there. But there's no spark, no lust, no excitment or desire.
We have a 19 month old son, who is the greatest thing in the world, and I couldn't imagine life without him. The pregnancy was a bit unexpected, and we were in the middle of trying to figure out what was missing in our relationship. She tried going back to her ex for the excitement and spark, and tried chatting with some other guys to see what was missing as well. At first I was hurt, beacause I was trying to look for a way to improve our relationship, and she was looking for something else from someone else. I know she is still searching for that spark, and with every bit of excitement we seem to find, whether it is with eachother or someone else, it does, somehow seem to bring us closer together. What she did actually helped us become a better couple, and then she got pregnant.
Now, after going through a huge rough patch, not knowing if we would stay together, her getting pregnant, our relationship building back up to something great, and then a move across the country, the stress of a new job, new city, and leaving all of our friends, and then adding the stress of a baby to the mix, whatever we had rebuilt, soon kind of diminished, and now I find that I am the one wanting to look to someone else to find something that I feel is missing.
I am not looking to cheat. I am not looking to leave my relationship. I am not looking for sex. I really don't know what it is that I am looking for, other than new friendship, companionship, and relationship with another female who knows where I am coming from.
I have a lot of love to offer, and I am a good person who likes to share life with people. I feel that if I can find a friendship or relationship to fill the gaps and find what's missing, it will help me feel fulfilled and move forward, and maybe not focus so much on what is missing from my current relationship, but instead focus on what I have.
I am looking for someone in a similar situation. Just some easy going fun and maybe some flirty chat. Some understanding and someone who has some needs to be met as well. If it goes further, it goes further. I am not ruling out anything, but I am not in search of anything in particular either. I understand this may not be the best way to go about things, but something is missing, and I feel I need to look for it, and find it somewhere if I am going to be happy in the long run.
 StraylightRunn
Joined: 11/1/2011
Msg: 2
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:24:53 AM
How about a new marriage counselor? That's my advice. Stop seeking nearly terrible advice (meaning ranging from not coherent to not quite as good as terrible). I realize some smart ass can point out a logical paradox here..but we all know what I mean. If you care about your relationship why are you bothering asking us instead of seeking serious qualified help?
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 3
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:35:50 AM
Not sure. I guess it's an option for sure. But we have discussed counseling, and been together a long time, and I'm just not sure what a professional counseler can really change. I guess I see them as a professional who was taught these things, not people who have lived them. The way I see it, that feeling of excitement and desire comes from natural feelings of newness and the unkown. After almost 10 years, there is not much that is new or unkown, and maybe I'm feeling like because we were so young, and it has been so long, that maybe I missed out on something else. So I don't really know what we could do for eachother to give eachother those types of feelings. For some reason, I can only see myself getting what is missing from a new friendship or relationship with someone else. Someone new and unkown. I guess I am just looking for some feedback from anyone who has been in this situation, knows how I feel, and is either dealing with it themselves or has overcome it. It's just a starting point for me. Counselling is still highly considered, but I guess I don't want to see that as the only choice. I would like to hear from people who have been there.
 StraylightRunn
Joined: 11/1/2011
Msg: 4
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:41:15 AM
So seek a marriage counselor that has had a long term marriage? A marriage counselor can help you find that spark without looking for something outside of the relationship. They can show you how to be comfortable expressing what it is you're missing.

The whole idea that you feel you need something new is something EVERYONE deals with. Not just people in a long term committed relationship. The other choice you're "allowing" is the chance that you do connect with someone else and it goes where you aren't looking for. Or you're looking for a sympathetic ear long enough to get them in a room by yourself so you can enact a "PLAN". Counseling should always be a first resort not a last one.
 carelesswhisper00
Joined: 1/11/2007
Msg: 5
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:47:44 AM
I agree with the above poster. If you can't seem to find out what is missing in your relationship perhaps a counselor can. It is worth a try. Life's stresses can easily cause 2 people to lose some luster but she shouldn't have went to an ex to find out an answer for the problem. This was a selfish act. If she really cared about this relationship she DID NOT have to go in that direction to get an answer. I propose that you and her learn to take your relationship one day at a time, learn what it is that you truly enjoy about each others personality. And by all mean, see a counselor
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 6
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:52:00 AM
Alright, thanks. I appreciate your advice. We have talked many times, and I have done my best to explain what is missing, and what I want and need to stay happy in this relationship. She doesn't seem to feel like she wants to or can give me that. But maybe a counsellor can help her with that, and help her tell me what it is she needs from me. We seem to pull back and forth a lot. Like, I understand sometimes what she is asking for, and what she wants, but I am unable to give it because I am not feeling what I need coming from her. And I know she feels the same sometimes, and can't give me what I want or need because I haven't been able to fulfill her needs as a partner. I guess the hardest part for me is that I have tried many times, and have given it great effort, but did not feel like I was getting the same effort from her, or that she wants to, or even can give me what I need to be completely happy, but I am very happy with most all other aspects of the relationship, and what I am unhappy about is not enough for me to want to lose what I am happy about, but what I am happy about is not enough for me to be completely happy.

(I hope that made sense)
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 7
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:54:26 AM
I agree with PD. Counseling can only help.

Shoot, very, very few couples can maintain anything resembling a Honeymoon Phase "spark," Calgary. It's not exactly a unique problem. Almost all of us face sexual desire imbalances or even a lack of "heat" in the course of a long-term relationship.

I'll give you one piece of practical advice (courtesy of therapist/writer Richard Driscoll): Try fantasizing about your girl. Seriously. Driscoll discovered that couples who sexually fantasize about each other can make long-term improvements in their sexual relationship.

There are lots of books that at least touch on the subject. Couldn't hurt to check some of them out, either.

And perhaps you can console yourself with the knowledge that you'll almost certainly run into the same problem with a new love. Unless you're planning on falling in love every year or two for the rest of your life, you're going to have to take a relationship stand somewhere.

Also, you're a dad, and you have been in an exclusive, loving relationship for years. Perhaps you could give yourself a good pat on the back and recognize that you've achieved something that many, many couples have not. Also, what you're feeling right now can change.

What I would be looking at more than your current sexual malaise is your overall compatibility. Is this someone you deeply love and can see yourself spending the rest of your life with? If so, it's worth serious effort salvaging, eh?

Screwing around with other partners will at best solve your dilemma temporarily, and at worst will destroy what you have built together.
 tjl503
Joined: 9/29/2011
Msg: 8
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:54:58 AM
After 9 years it sounds like you guys are an old married couple. I'm sure a lot of people go through this, you have to spice up the relationship. Counseling is a great idea, it will allow both of you to put everything on the table and have someone else looking in put things into perspective. You should have a date night, roleplay in the bedroom, surprise her. Switch things up. I wouldn't be able to be with her and couldn't trust her if she was my SO. She cheated on you by going back to her ex and chatting with other guys and now you're looking to do the same? I couldn't trust her and would even question if the child was indeed mine. I don't think you guys will make it long if you continue to look for something more with someone else, you should be looking for something more with each other. I suggest you find get counseling if you want to save the relationship. You shouldn't be on a dating site looking for that spark if you want to save your current relationship and your girl shouldn't be trying to fill any void either.
 Cdn_Iceman
Joined: 12/1/2010
Msg: 9
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:59:12 AM
If you're both not willing to work at your relationship why bother? there is no magical solution, or pill that can bring the spark back, its either there or its not, you cant be half assed about it.

Both of you are searching, and you don't realize that maybe your relationship has hit a wall and its too big to climb over it, you can go the counselors all you want, but what is that going to accomplish if you both are not willing to work together.

Happiness comes from within, not from someone else, the old cliche of two people complementing each other instead of complicating things, you are staying together for the wrong reason, your son.

The only thing that will happen is in time assuming you stay together with her is that you will end up resenting each other, because you both feel trapped.

Sometimes it better to walk away with some dignity, you can still be in the child's life, and who knows maybe you both need time apart, plus you've been together since your late teens, and guess what? you grew up she grew up and you're growing apart, It happens a lot to young couples that started dating in their teens and has dated much before.

Its sounds like a round peg in a square hole or what ever the saying is
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 10
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 11:59:51 AM
I know she is still searching for that spark, and with every bit of excitement we seem to find, whether it is with eachother or someone else, it does, somehow seem to bring us closer together. What she did actually helped us become a better couple, and then she got pregnant.

Do you feel that you are the only couple who has ever gone through that blah phase after 10 years and with a new toddler?

There have been books written about it and I forget what some of them call it..


understand sometimes what she is asking for, and what she wants, but I am unable to give it because I am not feeling what I need coming from her. And I know she feels the same sometimes, and can't give me what I want or need because I haven't been able to fulfill her needs as a partner. I guess the hardest part for me is that I have tried many times, and have given it great effort, but did not feel like I was getting the same effort from her

Advice? Both get that counseling to resolve the above communication issues as best you can..

Then both of you make your son your highest priority now that he is growing more capable of learning and doing so much more than you will ever expect..
Enjoy the familiarity/stability of your current relationship and do your best to keep it alive with good communication.

If you need some outside friendship/stimulation, as you apparently did 5 years ago, then be upfront with those new people about your current relationship/family, so nobody is misled...
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 11
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 12:15:30 PM
Just to make it clear. It's not just about sex. I mean, sex definitely isn't what is used to be. lol. When we were 18 it was wild. We're not so wild anymore. But it's a lot more loving. And we do love eachother. A lot. We wouldn't have gone through 10 years of ups and downs, gotten through her cheating, been able to build a family, and still remained best friends if we didn't truly love eachother. I don't think sex will ever go back to what it was, and I can live with that. My only need for sex is for it to be 50/50 and not one sided and I'm happy. I trust her because I saw what it did to her, and how hard it was for her, and how much she regretted it. I know 100% that my son is mine, because of timing, and because he looks and acts exactly like me. Also, I don't worry so much about her ex anymore because he died last year. And if she does poke around online a bit here and there, I don't really care. I mean, I look at porn sometimes, and may flirt with a waitress or a random girl. But then I go home to the one I love. I didn't come to this site looking for advice, but after reading through some forums and seeing how many people go through them, and how many people do give some good advice, I figured, where else could I ask something like this?
We do need a date night, and we need more time for us. I work non-stop to support us, I spend all my free time with my son, and with a 19 month old, in a new city, with no friends and no babysitter or any help, it's tough for us to really enjoy eachother's time.
Also, as for fantasizing about my partner. I do that all the time. I guess though, a counseller is really the only option. Put it all on the table, do our best to give eachother what we need, take some time, and see if it can change. If it does, great, if not, well, at least we can say we did everything we could.
I do love her, I love our friendship, I love my family, and I love our life together. I guess I was getting to the point of believing that no one could be truly 100% happy, and that things like lust, and desire, and flirtiness, and fun, and excitement, and all the things we used to have don't really matter that much, and have been replaced by love and other bigger better things. I went like 9 months without even caring about having sex, or giving any real affection, because I wasn't recieving it. She did the same. We ended up being two stuborn people just waiting for the other to make the first move. After 9 months, sex didn't even interest me anymore. And we had just made things worse.

I agree I won't get much more from this thread besides the straightforward basic advice I have been given, and that the only way to fix it is to keep working, get some professional help, and take time. If we have spent the last 2-3 years going backwards, it's going to take some time going forwards to make it up.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
I think maybe what I was looking for out of this was just some people to talk to about it, a way to lay it all out, and explain it, even if just to explain it to myself, and to see what unbiased people would suggest.
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 12
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 12:19:18 PM
To ICEMAN
I feel that way sometimes. But I think I am at the point that I need to give it one last big shot. If it fails, it fails, and I move on. If not, then we can be happy and move on together.

To TALL
I know I am not the first, which is why I asked, and why I am looking for people who have gone through it to maybe help me out. And as for the rest of what you said, I totally agree.

|Thanks
 TimeFlies24
Joined: 10/9/2011
Msg: 13
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 12:31:55 PM
I think you need go seek counseling as well. Becoming friends with other women will just complicate things. It's going to bring alot of drama to your relationship. I think you may be missing the excitement of being young and free. You got married at a very young age and you are still young.
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 14
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 12:39:20 PM
I think TimeFlies is completely right. I miss the excitement of being young and free.

Also, I guess when I was younger I had a lot of female friends, who I could talk to and who were better with relationship stuff than my male friends. I no longer have those types of friends. And I moved across the country, to a new city where I know no one, and between work and my son, and things at home, I don't really have any other friends or activities to fill the gaps left from what I left behind.

Thanks again
 smokincigars
Joined: 3/25/2010
Msg: 15
view profile
History
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:02:16 PM
Calgaryboredom, all the previous posters have valid points, but I think PD and Tall said it best: You two aren't the first "old married couple" to lose the spark after years together, and a good marriage counselor may well be able to help you. With a child to consider, you absolutely owe it to him, and each other, to do all you can to keep the family together and in good shape -- and marriage counseling is a very good place to begin.

What can a counselor do for you? That depends on your particular situation and on the particular counselor. All I can tell you is that for best results both you and your wife need to attend sessions with the same counselor, either together or separately as the counselor recommends (possibly a combination of both); and you both have to actually be serious about applying the exercises and guidance you receive. If either of you doesn't take counseling seriously, the chances of getting good results from counseling are not as good -- still better than not trying at all, but not nearly as good as if you both show a commitment to using this valuable tool. It's easy to say that counseling is too expensive, too much trouble, it doesn't fit into your schedule, or the "homework" looks more like "make-work" than anything useful, but those are just excuses for giving up; take it as seriously as you would take going to work every day, or feeding your son healthy meals on-time.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 16
view profile
History
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:02:43 PM

I miss the excitement of being young and free.


It's ok to miss it but you have to really really also understand that you can't have it back. You cannot bring back the past. Even if you lose your mind for a few weeks and ran out and did all kinds of wild and stupid things that will not bring it back.

You were never young and free it was all an illusion.

Counselor can help if you are both still willing to try.
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 17
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:09:23 PM
OK, I think I got a better idea of where we are really at, and what we really need. Councelling is ovbiously the only option.
I think all I can do now is work towards making that happen and talk to her about it.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.
 christyis4real
Joined: 7/6/2011
Msg: 18
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:11:46 PM
Maybe go seperate ways for a while (this means no living together..no sex) and see where it leads you. Date other people for a while. That or go the total opposite and seek counseling. Just my opinion.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 19
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History
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:28:07 PM

Maybe go seperate ways for a while


I wouldn't recommend this. It will lead to one or both of you quitting on each other . Bumps in the road should not automatically lead to destroying the entire package. You, your wife, your children are not disposable.
 CalgaryBoredom
Joined: 12/12/2006
Msg: 20
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 1:46:17 PM
I don't think that's the answer either.
I think we should try counselling. And even just talking about this today has given me a different outlook on things and how to approach it.
We have a lot going for us, and we cope well when we do have problems, so to give up is out of the question, and I think that time apart would only make that easier to do.
I think we need to work on bringing some more excitement into our lives, and enjoying our time together a bit more. For the last 2 years our time together has been more work than anything, and the time we spend together now, is mostly spent just taking care of our son. A little over a year ago we went to a concert together, and my son got to stay with his grandparents for the night. It was the first time in a long time that we actually went out together, had fun, and got to spend the night alone. It really helped us. Since then however the grandparents have moved away, we have moved, and we have no friends or help, so we don't go for dinner, or to movies, or to concerts, or ever just have some time alone. I think that's something we need to look for a solution to. If maybe we can start doing things together again, and going out and having some fun once in a while, we won't feel so old and trapped, and we can feel a little more young and free again.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 21
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 7:01:08 PM

She tried going back to her ex for the excitement and spark, and tried chatting with some other guys to see what was missing as well.


Whoah. Back up a bit cowboy. I'm pretty sure that almost everyone here would immediately end a marriage/relationship if our spouse was cheating. Cheating is one of those things that's unforgivable for almost everyone. And then she was chatting with other guys as well? Yet, the way you wrote it, it was a minor incident. You didn't mention how you handled that and was able to overcome that. You made it sound like you were partly to blame because you became boring. What's going on here? There's a lot left out that might be a clue to what's really going on.

Another possible problem is that the girlfriend might have postpartum depression. Has she been checked for that?
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 22
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History
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 7:16:30 PM

Whoah. Back up a bit cowboy. I'm pretty sure that almost everyone here would immediately end a marriage/relationship if our spouse was cheating.


You sure about that? So in all of history it’s more normal for marriage to end and break up families on infidelity?

It’s a rough spot in the marriage. They started young and miss the fantasy life they think they 'could' have had. I personally think what is happening with them is totally normal and can be overcome if / when they realize / remember that they are both in it for the long haul.

A baby sitter they can trust a few hotel rooms and a concert over the next few months could be cool. Yeah, divorce is almost as easy as a drive thru cheeseburger now but that doesn't make it the right first option.
 ZachariahTicer
Joined: 9/22/2010
Msg: 23
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Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 7:44:57 PM
Relationship Counselor. Sex counselor. Exhibitionism. Crashing HS parties. Live in India for 6 months.

Do what you can just make sure you are doing something. Put in some real effort and be creative.

Try that. If it doesn't work don't hesitate a moment longer and divorce.


I went like 9 months without even caring about having sex, or giving any real affection, because I wasn't recieving it. She did the same. We ended up being two stuborn people just waiting for the other to make the first move.

I think that there shows you are both equal contributors to the overall issue. I really think you two should give counseling a shot.


and I'm just not sure what a professional counseler can really change.

Nothing. You two have to make the changes. The counselor gives insight.


I guess I see them as a professional who was taught these things, not people who have lived them.

How did you figure that? They are people too. Chances are they have gone through similar things. Such as cheating...
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 24
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Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 7:59:48 PM
Sounds as though this is being steered in the right direction, but I want to put in one thing I didn't see. If I missed it, pardon the repetition:

What EVER you do, do NOT look OUTSIDE the relationship for that "spark," in any way shape or form. As soon as you cross that line, of thinking "I can get THIS little part of the satisfaction I need in my life OUTSIDE the marriage, and that will make me a better mate INSIDE the marriage, because I feel so much better..." , then you have taken the road that leads almost directly to cheating, and/or to the end of the marriage.

You might as well start the divorce proceedings now, if you allow yourself to start thinking that way.
 Puppydog54
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 25
Missing that spark - what to do where to look??? Advice??/
Posted: 11/7/2011 8:38:44 PM
Igor hit it right on the head! You NEVER solve a problem in a marriage by going OUTSIDE of said marriage! Never!!
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