I have been in a relationship for a few years now and things were going good for a while. He hasn’t done anything bad but for the past few months I have been feeling distant from him. I am not interested for him to touch me and I don’t have the urge to communicate during the day like I used to. We used to text each other from work. Is this normal for women in their 40s? I don’t know if to try to rekindle something or if it’s time for a change and I don’t really have many female friends to have this discussion with and Antigua is too small for me to go to a counsellor as I am well known.
Dear wondering girlfriend,
It’s completely normal for relationships to go through phases, and what you’re experiencing can happen to individuals of any age. However, women in their 40s often tend to develop more confidence and less tolerance for just any old thing, so there would be an increased sense of awareness if something is not going well. In long-term relationships, it’s also common for the initial excitement to be reduced and couples may find themselves feeling disconnected.
First and foremost, it’s important to validate your feelings and concerns; it’s okay to feel this way, and it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with you or your relationship.
Here are some other things for you to consider:
Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on your own feelings and what might be causing this distance. Are there external stressors, changes in your life, or personal issues that could be impacting your emotional connection?
Communication: Open and honest communication with your partner is crucial. Share your feelings with him, but do so in a non-accusatory and non-confrontational way. Let him know that you’ve been feeling distant and that you’re concerned about the state of your relationship. His feedback on how he has been feeling is important as, in relationships, sometimes individuals mirror each other. Ask him also for his opinion on the way forward.
Counselling: I understand you might feel some hesitance about being recognised but there is no shame in seeking counselling and sessions are confidential. A professional can help you and your partner navigate your feelings and provide tools to improve your communication and intimacy.
Rekindling the flame: You might also explore ways to rekindle the spark in your relationship. This could involve trying new activities together, going on dates, or finding shared interests. Sometimes, making an effort to reconnect can make a significant difference.
Support system: While you mentioned you don’t have many female friends to discuss this with, it’s essential to have a support network. Consider joining social groups, online forums, or seeking counselling for yourself to help you process your emotions.
Remember that relationships have their ups and downs. Sometimes, the initial passion evolves into a deeper, more stable connection and without the bells and whistles and giddy “butterflies in your stomach feeling”, it might seem like the relationship has plateaued or become boring. Instead of only looking at emotional feelings, consider if there is love, mutual respect, good communication and other factors that make a relationship good.
Also understand that even with work, it will take time to find your way back to each other emotionally. Ultimately, whether you decide to rekindle your relationship or explore the possibility of a change, it’s a decision that should be made with careful consideration and open communication with your partner. Your happiness and well-being are important, so prioritise what feels right for you and your future.