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I feel trapped in a very tricky and confusing situation.

I've been with my boyfriend for 6 years now and our relationship feels like it's emotionally dead. I feel like we have very little in common even though technically we do. We both have the same values essentially and our chosen career paths compliment each other. But when it comes to conversation it's dead these days and has been like this for a long time. He mostly does all the talking and I used to be extremely interested in him and what he has to say but now it seems like he only talks about one subject - environmentalism and his work in that area. As honourable as that is, it's still only one subject and I've become numb to the topic and am bored with him and will end up tuning out when he starts going on a tirade about whatever. He's a very loud person and will always end up dominating conversations in a group, and although most people will find him fascinating because they've just met him or they don't spend as much time with him as I do, I usually end up really frustrated because I can no longer really hear the views of the other people in the group. People just end up talking less when he's around cause he's such a talker and very passionate about what he's talking about and he's also very articulate. But for me after 6 years of it, I've heard it all.

Anyhow 3 years ago we both moved from Seattle to Senegal to peruse a life here. I came because of him and hated it the first year but after 3 years of living here I'm starting to really enjoy this country and now have a small community of friends. However all my friends are his friends as well. So the idea of us breaking up is super complicated because if I remained here I would still be in his world all the time. The scene is very small so wherever I would go he would definitely be there as well, meeting the same group of friends. I came here because of him and met everyone through him.

So if we were to separate and I remained here I would still be closely connected to the same scene, see him everywhere and would immediately know who he was now starting to date. It would be virtually impossible to remain here. What makes this so difficult a situation is that I don't want to go back to north america, there's nothing for me there anymore. I like living in this new part of the world. The catch is that I'm very dependent on him in this country. He negotiates all my work related gigs, chases clients for payment for me and he pays the rent and most of our costs of living here. If I had to do that all on my own it would be extremely hard since I'm not making enough money here to even pay rent.

It's really hard, cause I don't even know if I love him anymore. There is such a lack of emotional intimacy that I feel entirely shut down to him. I don't even look forward to seeing him come home anymore. He's away for two months now and I don't miss him at all. Even though only two weeks have passed I'm already feeling a sense of dread that it won't be very long before he's back. Isn't that awful??!

I believe it's because even when he's here it's like he's not here because we have no emotional intimacy. He rarely tells me nice things or compliments me, he never cuddles me in bed (says he gets too hot), he doesn't do nice things for me nearly ever. Yet he wants to have sex all the time. Says he's extremely attracted to me sexually and needs to have sex at least everyday. But because I have no emotional intimacy with him I rarely ever want to have sex with him. I'm almost never into it.

I don't know what to do. When I've talked to him about this he says it's just because he's really busy and focused on work right now in life and he's just trying to build his business so we can have a good life together down the road. He says he loves me so much and that he just needs to focus on his work and that he realizes our relationship is suffering but that we have to tough it out for now.

But I have this sinking feeling that it's always going to be this way.

I really admire his intelligence, charisma, innovativeness, integrity, honesty and strength. He's a wonderful person. I just don't FEEL the love in our relationship, even though I KNOW he loves me very much, I don't FEEL it. I feel like I'm just living with a roommate that sleeps in my bed.

The conversational rapour I have with all my other friends I don't have with him. It's almost like the things I want to talk about bore him. I nearly always have to repeat myself several times before he even hears me.

I feel numb and confused and trapped because I have nowhere to go if I broke up with him and left Senegal. And if I broke up with him and stayed, it would be extremely difficult since we have the exact same network and I'm not making enough money to support myself. And it's not a place where you just go out and make new friends cause there are always people trying to scam you as a foreigner.

Sometimes I feel like my love for him is dieing inside and I look at him with cold, blank eyes. But I'm paralyzed by uncertainty. He doesn't seem capable of changing at all cause I've been brining this up for years now and he'll try for a day or two then it's back to him being entirely consumed by his work and career. I always feel on the back burner except until he wants sex.

WHAT DO I DO?????!!!!!?!
 

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There must be some professional help available in the area. People can change, but it often needs the help of a therapist. Can you check to see if there are any therapists you can go to in order to straighten out your own feelings? Then you can also check into couples therapy.
 
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