Losing Yourself In A Long Term Relationship
How to recover from losing yourself in a long term relationship to regain attraction and intimacy.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who says he lost himself in his long term relationship. His father died a year ago and he lost his center, started acting needy and treating his girlfriend like his mommy and therapist. She eventually got turned off and told him to get his act together. He mostly has, but his relationship still has not recovered.
He is acting needy and smothering her, now that her attraction has dropped. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
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Things were going pretty well until about a year ago when his father passed away suddenly. He said it really put him into a tailspin, and he suffered because of it. He let it overwhelm him and he got off track, he became uncentered. And what I love about this email — which is a great one, especially for guys in long term relationships — is that you can see, at the end of the day, women will put up with you going through a difficult time, but if you stay there and you don’t pull yourself out of it, they no longer feel safe trusting your masculine core.
On top of that, he became needy, a little smothering, and he kind of made his girlfriend his mommy and his therapist. And so, he went from being the source of masculine strength or the mountain, if you will, to use the analogy that I have in 3% Man, to basically not having his act together. His girlfriend actually came out and told him that he needed to get his act together.
He got into therapy, he says that’s helped a lot, and he’s gotten refocused on himself, but he says the relationship has not gotten back to where it was before his father passed away. Things kind of seem to be getting worse. They got together this past weekend, and they didn’t have any sex or anything. And, obviously, he wasn’t happy about it, he got perturbed, which only made matters worse.
He says he just started reading 3% Man again. Those of you who have been watching me for a while will recognize, if the guy read the book six years ago and then just now started reading it again after he’s been having problems for a year, there’s no evidence of reading it 10–15 times. So, he’s gotten away from being the guy that she fell in love with. At the end of the day, if you act masculine, and centered, and calm, and playful, women are going to feel safe and comfortable trusting your masculine core and submitting to you, remaining in their feminine, always being excited to see you, and make love, and have good times together.
When you lose that, especially like in this case, for an extended period of time, because he lost his father — which is traumatic if you were pretty close to your father, or mother for that matter — it’s not easy. And as you get older and you lose your parents, your grandparents, your close friends, they die unexpectedly, those things happen, but you just can’t stay there. You have to pull yourself out of the funk. Because women want a guy that’s got his act together. And when you don’t get it back together for an extended period of time, she doesn’t want to become the man in the relationship. And that’s basically what’s happening here.
I see a lot of the red pill guys, especially, get pissed off and they talk about how fickle women are. It’s like they want to go through a depression or a rough time and basically turn their girlfriend into their mommy and therapist, and they get upset that the women eventually leave or don’t want to be around them anymore. I’m just here to tell you what women emotionally respond to and what they’re attracted to, and you can either do the right things or not. It’s up to you. But don’t be pissed off at me. I didn’t make women the way they are. If you don’t like it, talk to the big man upstairs.
I read How To Be A 3% Man 6 years ago when I was single and started reading it again a few months ago. Also, I watch your YouTube Channel to refresh my knowledge.
My girlfriend of 2.5 years is a middle school teacher and has 2 children, (11 and 13). Her life is busy and hectic with class planning, grading, kids’ sports, school activities, etc. She has her kids 85% of the time and will often have them for 10 days straight or more. We don’t live together because I have a daughter in college who is with me a lot and neither of our houses are big enough, but I am there a lot and she includes me in her family activities on those weekends she has the kids. It nice, but it doesn’t mean we get any alone time.
My dad died a year ago, and I went through a very hard time and lost myself. I know I leaned on her too much for a long time, but just couldn’t get past the grief.
And that is where the problem comes in. Women are going to be loving and supportive, but you can’t make that a permanent state of where you live emotionally. Eventually, they get tired of it and they want you to get your shit together.
In January, there was a gun incident on my girlfriend’s campus, a big covid outbreak, and she, her kids, and I all got covid. The combo of the gun scare and being a single mom with covid taking care of two kids with covid was too much.
Yeah, women don’t want to be the man in the relationship. They want to be able to lean on you. You’re supposed to be the strong one. You’re the one that’s supposed to bring the masculinity to the table. The femininity, you want to be soft, playful, joyful, and she will be, as long as you’re in your masculine. But once you get out of that and you start losing your shit and not getting it together for extended periods of time like he did, she’s going to lose attraction and respect for you.
She became overwhelmed and shut down.
Because she didn’t see things getting any better, so it looked hopeless. And you’re supposed to be the one that gives her hope. You’re supposed to be the leader. The word ‘lead’ means to go first, and you stopped being the leader in your relationship. Therefore, her attraction for you dropped. It’s just the way it works. Again, I didn’t make women this way. Speak to the big man upstairs.
As a result, she really pushed me away and told me to get my shit together.
Exactly. She told you what you needed to hear.
With everything she was experiencing, she couldn’t hold me up too. I needed that push and promised to get my act together. Since then, I have been in therapy, working out, reading, praying, keeping a journal and goal setting. Things have improved some, but not back to where they were a year ago.
Yeah, you’ve got to be consistent, and any time you fall down on her, she’s going to think, “I can’t trust this guy. I can’t rely on him. He doesn’t have his shit together,” as she said.
In February, I was a few weeks into my therapy and my girlfriend asks me for help with dinner one night a week and picking up her kids once in a while from school or sports. She also asks if I could work with her on projects around the house, such as putting in new patio lighting. Typically, I am happy to help her because it reduces the stress and improves our time together. However, often she will become stressed with everything on her plate and stops communicating with me. She tells me she appreciates the help but is still distant at times and rarely tells me she loves me unless I say it first.
Well, that’s an indication that she’s not feeling it. Remember, as I talk about in “3% Man,” when a woman feels heard and understood, the legs open, and when she doesn’t, the legs close. And she is obviously shutting down, because you were continually not opening her up, because you were dealing with your own problems. Therefore, at some point, women just resign themselves like, “He’s not going to change. I can’t pull this guy out of this, and I can’t be the man in the relationship. I keep can’t be man enough for both of us.” I mean, she’s a woman after all.
Our sex life used to be fun and frequent.
Well, remember the formula: hang out, have fun, hook up. If you’re taking care of things around the house or fixing things, just do it with a happy face. Be glad to do it and glad to take care of it. Remember, love is about giving. You’re not fixing the lights or the other things because you want her to pat you on the head like a good little boy and get an approval from Mommy, like Will Smith does with Jada. You just handle it, because that’s what men do, we handle shit. And you’re not handling things in your relationship.
If you’re doing things for her and then upset that she’s not responding a certain way, then it’s not coming from a place of love and giving. It’s coming from a place of horsetrading. “I’ll fix your lights if you fuck me. I’ll fix your lights if you give me a blow job.” It’s like, that’s not how it works.
Now, it is rare and pretty standard. We used to flirt a lot, sext and Facetime, but that doesn’t happen anymore. I’ve tried to get that rolling again, but she doesn’t respond or only sends me a kiss emoji.
Well, the quickest way to get somebody else’s attention is to remove yours. And what it sounds like is that you’re still acting needy. You’re still trying to get her attention. You’re still seeking Mommy’s approval that you’re a good boyfriend, instead of just living your life. If she’s unwilling to communicate with you in a loving way and you’re trying to open her up, but she just refuses to or says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and hangs up on you… like I had a girlfriend in the past that did that and we never could work anything out because she just refused to talk. And her way of resolving things was to get angry and pissed off and not speak to me for three or four days, not ever explain why she was upset or what she was upset about. But then she would reach out and just act like nothing ever happened, as if it was just swept under the rug.
But if you’ve got a woman that’s willing to communicate and you open her up, because remember, as I talked about in “3% Man,” a lot of times women will say, “I don’t want to talk about it,” — because deep down, they know if you really care, you’re going to want to get to the bottom of it — you’ll just say, “Are you alright? You’re kind of quiet. What’s going on? You’ve got to talk to me. Babe, what’s going on? I’m not a mind reader.”
The past two weeks have been very busy for her. She had the kids for 2 weeks straight. During that time, her son had soccer practice, a playoff/championship game, and her daughter had musical rehearsal every day plus three performances. I arrived this past Saturday evening to pick her up for our date. She and the kids had just arrived home from the last musical performance. The kids left quickly for one night with their dad, so I thought it was game on.
Notice what he’s focused on. Remember the hang out, have fun, hook up? And what’s he thinking about? He’s thinking about the dessert. He just wants the hook up part. The hanging out, the having fun and then the hooking up, it’s step one, step two, step three. You’ve got to go through it. It’s always the same process, and you’re trying to put the cart before the horse. You’re doing the opposite of what the book teaches.
It was clear my girlfriend was tired from a long day, so I ran a few errands for an hour to give her time to rest and regroup.
Because, again, he wants the pussy. He wants access to the box.
When I returned, she told me she was emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted and needed time to decompress.
See, this is a great instance where you say, “Babe, come with me. You need an all-over oriental naked body massage.” Put some towels on the bed. And if she says, “No, I don’t feel like having sex,” it’s like, “I’m not going to have sex with you. You’re not in the mood for it, and you’re obviously stressed. This is the best. Just lay down on the towels.” Undress her or put her down on the towels, put some oil together and give her a nice, long massage. Both of you get naked and then you lather it up, slide around, things pop up.
I mean, at the end of the day, if she’s feeling good, this has always worked for me. It really works well. Start with the shoulder rub. That’s a great time to do that, because then you’re making her feel good and then she kind of forgets about her problems and starts enjoying the sensations. She starts to get a little aroused, a little tingly. Again, it’s a process, and you don’t have sex for 30, 45 minutes. It’s all about her. It’s all about the massage, getting her to relax, getting her to feel comfortable and feel amazing, and she’ll slowly get turned on. I’ve never had a problem with that. It works phenomenonally. But if you’re just focused on getting to it and bumping uglies, that’s not going to work here. She’s not in the mood for a quickie.
This caused a little argument.
So, he got butt-hurt and perturbed because he didn’t get the chocha! He was mad he didn’t get his dessert first.
It was our only night to do something together, and we were both annoyed at each other for “not understanding.”
You were impatient because you wanted sex.
After an hour of hanging out, I picked up dinner and made a few cocktails. I spent the night, but she didn’t want to have sex or even kiss.
Hang out, have fun, hook up. So, this tells me you’re trying to kiss her and trying to escalate things physically, and you’re ignoring the fact that she’s not in the mood, because all you want to do is blow the barrels out. You’re not following the process. The process of seduction is the process of seduction. If you do things out of sequence, you’re going to get rejected.
The next day was awkward, but we went to lunch and hung out until her kids came home at 3 pm. I left shortly after that. Communication has been very limited the past few days. It is clear she wants space, so I have been pulling back to match her level. I’m not sure what to do next. How do I get this relationship back on track? She is wonderful and I think is the love of my life. Unfortunately, things seem very fucked up right now.
Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.
Well, if she wants space and she’s like, ‘get away from me,’ think about it, every time you get around her, is it fun? Is it playful? Is it easygoing? Are you easy to be with, or are you pissed off and butt-hurt because you ain’t been getting any? All that’s going to do is cause her to want to be away from you even more.
So, what I would do is just wait to hear from her. The quickest way to get somebody else’s attention is to remove yours. And if she’s not appreciating your attention, then give her the gift of missing you and then wait to hear from her. And then when you do hear from her, you’re like, “Hey, babe. How are you? It’s so good to hear your voice again.” Be sweet, be playful. “I haven’t heard from you all week.” It’s like, “You obviously miss me. We’ve got to do something about that. When are you available? I want to see you,” and figure something out.
You’ve got an adult daughter in college, so maybe you go over there during the week. Maybe you go over there and make dinner together, grill out something, then the kids go to bed. You’ve got to get her to talk. And I don’t see any of that there. Like that night you were expecting, as soon as the kids left, that it was game on, it was sexy time. Hang out, have fun, hook up — you’ve got to follow the process, dude.
And you’ve got to get her to talk. It definitely sounds like, by reading this, that you’re not getting her to open up and talk. Because, remember, when you experience pain in a relationship, it’s because you’re focusing on yourself. Love is about giving, and it’s in the giving unconditionally that the receiving comes back. Because, as a man, what should bring you joy is to see her smile, to see her happy, to make her feel heard and understood. Because when that happens, that’s when she becomes girly and playful and aroused.
And she’s not in a good mood, because you’re obviously not taking the time to do that. You were doing that before, but you haven’t been doing that since, because you’re focused on what you’re not getting in the relationship. Love is about giving. It doesn’t mean you should be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t give or reciprocate at all, but things were good until you stopped being the guy that she fell in love with, and you haven’t really completely gotten back to being that dude yet.
So, again, you’ve got to follow the process, and you should be reading “3% Man” as often as you can to get through it, 10 to 15 times. But the process is the process, and you can’t short circuit the process. You’re going right for the sex, instead of hanging out. I mean, you guys were hanging out, and so you should have recognized, obviously, that’s why she was upset. Remember, “not understanding”? You should have recognized that if she’s grumpy and unhappy, you should have gotten her to talk, “Babe, what’s going on? You sound kind of down. You sound kind of worn out. Oh, really? Tell me about your week. What’s it been like? How does that make you feel?” And get her to talk, “What else?” Give her a glass of wine and let her do 90–95% of the talking, “What else?” And then, maybe you just lay there and cuddle at night.
But like I said, the massage thing, I’ve had zero rejections from that. I’ve even had my girlfriends go, “I know what you’re doing. I’m not in the mood for sex.” It’s like, “I’m not going to fuck you. I’m just going to give you a massage. Why can’t you just shut your mouth, shut that big hole in your face, and enjoy the sensations of my magical hands and my magical body as I give you this all-over naked Oriental massage, just as a gift because I love you?” And you could say it like that, because love is playful and fun. It’s goofy, it’s silly, it’s ridiculous.
And at the end of the day, after 30–45 minutes of giving her a nice massage, all-over, front and back, you’re going to notice she’s a little moist down there. Then you can have sex, and then afterwards she could say, “I knew what you were up to.” It’s like, “Yeah, but you enjoyed it. You were screaming my name a few minutes ago. You loved it.” You’ve got to do the basics, man. Hang out, have fun, hook up.
So, if you’ve got a challenge or a question and you’d like to get my help, personal or professional, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
“Masculinity is calm, relaxed, playful and unperturbable. Men in their masculine who appear to be able to handle anything life throws at them, make their women feel safe and comfortable enough to be extremely feminine and submissive. Men who are quick to anger and easy to perturb make women feel unsafe and cause them to become more masculine and less romantically attracted to them. Never make your woman your mommy or your therapist unless you want her to lose respect and attraction for you.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne