I feel the need to explain a few things that are changing in my own life...things that I just glossed over without explanation. It will not be spiteful or attacking, but I will instead explain why it is something that is settled and from which my wife and I are moving toward more functional outcomes.
I shouldn't have to explain this. However, we live in an age (and I live in an area) where the presumption is that if a relationship is ending, it is the man's fault for it happening. I dealt with it with my first ex, who was and is selfish and vindictive. I am facing it, again, as I part ways with someone that is more indifferent than anything. However, the same presumption remains, so I must explain, if I intend to maintain friendships or make new friends and interests in the future. I plan to leave this explanation to use for reference for others that have questions.
Over the last year, I learned that helping does not always help and giving is not always willingly received. For someone whose nature is to do those things as a way of showing care, it cuts me off at the knees...and other private parts. There are a couple reasons that I have determined are the cause, and I see these reasons continuing to be a problem not only for me in the future but for all people in relationships.
1. Women want to feel able. This reason is especially true if there is some physical limitation that is affecting them. So, when my wife had a major flare up of her herniated disc, sending her to the ER and limiting her abilities, I stepped up and increased the amount of things that I was doing around the house and in work income. However, every action I did FOR her was seen by her as implication she was not able, and she could not receive it without it affecting her self esteem. The end result of this was that I was doing much out of care for her, but it was being seen as a bad thing...leaving me feeling trapped to be unappreciated for a needed and willingly given service. To this day, I can't move a piece of her equipment for her or get her an ice pack, without it being a negative.
2. Women are very set in their "attraction" to be one sort of partner. That is the one that earns money and buys them gifts...NOT the one that is caring for them and cooking and cleaning and etc. This feeds back into the last point to a part, and these actions made her feel inadequate, even if done willingly. Further, as doing these tasks took up time that limited my ability to make money, my income dropped, which only added to the lack of attraction, as I could provide NOTHING for her for gifts or trips or etc. Further, I wanted to be noticed and cared for as well, as I am and have always been sensitive and caring.
The end result, therefore, was me passionately doing for her things that made me unattractive TO her. I think this is a problem that many couples face, as women will continue to want a man that is busy working and not doing things for her, even as they condemn men for being too focused on themselves and not doing things for them. It is really an unwinnable situation for men...and even moreso for those that do not choose that label. All we are doing is being the sensitive and kind person that brought the attention of women, and the end result of that is being rejected for the SAME THING...the same lack of being what we never were.
As the Fall progressed, I went to radical extremes and said that I was going to work hard and give her gifts and was not going to "give up" on the situation, after she had concluded and said to me that it was never going to work. This was seen as me not accepting her conclusion and choosing for her to make it work. It was at that point that it hit me solidly and conclusively....there would not be anything that I could do one way or the other to make this work, and that is when we have begun to live as separate individuals and make long term plans for being friends and not a couple. For economic, healthcare, and family reasons; we are not going to be getting a divorce, yet...but it will happen at a stable point where we both can do so.
I am not bitter at her, and I am not angry. I have moments, like today, where I feel that I never was given the chance to succeed, but the reality is that even given the chance it would have led to the eventual same course. We did not work and do not work, because we are both so similar and both so caring and sensitive. That has led us to peacefully separate from each other and maintain our friendship. I wish her well in her future endeavors with other men, though I am doubtful that any relationship can work for anyone. I just felt, as I said at the start, that I needed to explain this so as to make our decision clear and remove blame from the formula. We did not work, because relationships do not work...at least not for me. My kindness leading to lack of interest has killed more than one relationship, and I expect it would, again.
I hope this clears things up.