Relationships and models

Hi, Brooke! I am struggling to find the exit in a relationship I’m pretty sure I no longer want to be in but (as always) am afraid to leave. This is an old pattern for me: I get into relationships with people, decide I will “make” myself be satisfied and happy, and then ultimately fail. Then I spend far too long trying to figure out whether to go or stay, and if the former, how to get out.

I feel like I am missing something here. I have done MANY models on changing my thinking, but right how all I can see is that changing myself into someone who can just be satisfied with anything has never worked for me. Currently, I’m with someone who is incapable of having sex (there are other issues as well), and everything I’ve tried to change my thinking about this has not led to me just giving up my own desire for that kind of relationship. I’m fine taking care of myself, but that’s not what I really want. My marriage ended after years of me telling myself I could make it work, trying to MAKE myself be the woman who could be happy with my husband, and ending up feeling like I was erasing myself. Right now I feel like I’m just repeating the same old ineffective pattern of trying to change me instead of my circumstances.

I KNOW this is wrong, but right now I can’t see what to do differently.

If I knew what to do, I would do this: end this relationship as gently and kindly as I could, and move on. I feel like doing models on how I feel is just leading me to the same old strategy of ignoring how I really feel, what I really want, what I consider “my truth” about what I have always longed for in a relationship and never found. I’m also pretty stuck in regret and wondering whether I should have tried harder to make my marriage work. (I wish I’d found you while I was still married.)

Doing models on this right now feels like “making do,” trying to change myself, ignoring my own needs. I know that’s not right either, but I cannot see at the moment where my thinking is going wrong. I’m sure I’m missing something here. Help?!