by Pat
(St. Augustine)

I've been in a relationship with a woman now for about four years. I'm 44 and she is 47. When it first started out it was like fireworks, the love of a lifetime, we were very much in love.

Over time, as stressful situations started to appear, we began to fight a lot. I began to drink more which also hurt our relationship. Bad fights caused us to talk about breaking up often. Being stressed and fighting didn't help any desire for a physical relationship either, but all during this we still loved and cared deeply for each other.

Finally in August of 2011 I broke up with her. I just couldn't take any more fighting. She basically begged me to keep our relationship alive but I said no. We decided we would still live together until she found a place which I knew would be a long time, maybe even a year. But I couldn't throw her out, she had no where to go.

In September I started seeing my ex-wife again. This lasted for about 7 months before we decided to not move forward. My ex-girlfriend was still living with me and she eventually found out, wasn't happy about it but we still got along.
During this I realized I was still in love with her, still on the rebound. Of course she was over it.

When I told her about breaking up with the ex-wife, we decided to
have a platonic relationship and try to rekindle what we had. I made a lot of changes for myself and her to try and make this work, I've been six months sober in AA. We get along better than we ever have and never fight anymore. We go out to eat, to festivals, do everything that a couples would do except have a intimate physical relationship. She said she wants to be with me but the combination of pre-menopause, my ex-wife, and old scars... she is still not ready.

It's only been six months but it is getting harder and harder to not be able to hold and kiss her again. She said she has no desire to be intimate with me or anybody. She said she still wants my companionship, but I feel like I'm going nuts in this situation, don't know how much longer I can last, can you help?.?.?

Dear Pat... First of all, congratulations on ending the drinking. It sounds like you made a number of poor decisions while it was going on.

One of the things that happens when one member of a couple stops drinking is that that person begins to act in ways that are new. Your partner may not really know who you are now. And, given the on-again-off-again nature of your relationship, may be being a little cautious. Give her as much time as you can to get used to the "new you."


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