We started dating a little over 4 years ago. Coming from an emotionally abusive relationship, I was initially reluctant to open up, but she was patient with me, and always very sweet. She didn't have the same tumultuous romantic background as I did, and certainly not the same sexual history, as I was her first. It took a year for us to say, "I love you," but I have a feeling she would have said it sooner had she felt I would have reciprocated sooner. We've lived together for a year now. She moved 3 hours across California to be with me while I advance my software career. Now I'm not certain that was the best idea, because now I feel stuck.
We both have mental health issues. While we're both plenty smart and capable, we both wrestle with depression and anxiety, on top of which she wrestles with obsessive-compulsive disorder-- the real kind, not the self-diagnosed kind. She suffers because of it. We both do.
I believe most of her issues stem from her family. While they're sweet to me, they're terribly unsupportive of her and she doesn't really see it. (There have also been many hints of mental abuse growing up.) They've never worked anything more than minimum wage jobs their entire lives; they have no ambition. While I suppose that lifestyle works for some people, I sometimes fear that growing up in that environment stifled her will to grow professionally. She's stuck in a never-ending chain of administrative assistant jobs when she has the talent, intelligence, and obvious desire to pursue something bigger. I would be totally fine with her career choices if it wasn't apparent that she's unhappy with her limitations in the job market. She wants to go back to school, but she always gives up when it comes time to crack open a preparatory book. It kills me that she has become so self-defeating. I suspect that her mental afflictions and self-imposed limitations were in no small part due to her upbringing. In a larger scope, I sometimes fear that she will end up just like her parents.
She's also terribly shy. This has made making friends a challenge. I'm far more social than she is. I've tried to suggest meetups and making friends at work, but most of her friends are people I've met here (also recently). I feel like a breakup here would destroy her. She would feel all alone in a strange city. Knowing what that's like, it has influenced my thought process considerably. It has made me feel stuck. I love her deeply, and I don't want her to hurt, ever; but I'm afraid she isn't remotely prepared to be on her own.
Our sex life dried up well over a year ago. It coincided with some considerable weight gain on my part. This has not impacted her desire, but I feel disgusted with myself. Compound that with the fact that in avoiding intimacy with her, I now feel less attracted to her. It's like I unconsciously forced myself to see her more as a roommate than a lover. It's becoming harder to hide this fact from her. She (and I, at first) believed that it was just me being disgusted with myself, but she's starting to realize it's more than that now.
Despite all that, this has still been my most relatively drama-free relationship I've ever had. We rarely fight-- I can count all the fights in 4 years on 2 hands-- and when we do, it's exceeding civilized and respectful. We love a lot of the same things, our senses of humor have blended almost perfectly, and there's a deep understanding of each other at play here. We love each other wholly, and the people we know would never suspect that there are issues between us. I just know that, deep down, neither of us are terribly happy, and I'm afraid it's not enough. It seems like we're just better friends than lovers. Everyone always tells me that's the one you marry, but it still doesn't feel right.
I don't want to break up, especially given the factors above about us living together and her having few connections, but sometimes I fear that it's the inevitable outcome. I wish there were some way to do it over. I'm not ready to disconnect from 4 years of my life.
I look forward to your advice. Thanks.