Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
this is wrong, isn't it?(88 Posts)
History is that since having ds nearly 10 years ago, dh and I have had relationship problems. While pregnant, sex was uncomfortable and I completely lost all desire.
To be honest, I never got it back completely and it's been the cause of many rows, sulking, being told that I humiliate him and reject him. I am told that we never have sex (even though we probably average once every 10 days)
The other night, I was apparantly lying in bed like a piece of wood and not responding to his advances. He rolled over and was cold to me for 2 days. This happens every few months.
Then he says to me that to make it all ok, I have to promise to respond to his advances every time, even if I don't feel like it. An alarm bell has been ringing in my head ever since and I feel like that's all he wants me for.
His argument is that he wants lots of sex with me because he loves me and desires me. He says he is so affectionate, where lots of men he knows aren't with their wives, so I should be grateful. He says I show him no affection (I don't agree with this) and I humiliate him by not being interested in sex with him every time he wants to.
We've been having the same arguement for 10 years and we never resolve anything. We should call it a day shouldn't we? I can't make my libido return and he won't accept a relationship without constant sex.
I'm losing all respect for him and feel that he needs to be with someone who can fulfil all his desires. I'm so tired of the same arguments, but feel sad for my children if this may be the reason why they can't live with their father.
If anyone can help clear my head that would be great.
He said that you have to respond every time? yuck that would be a turn off in itself - is he controlling in other parts of the relationship?
No, just in this area, which is why I don't know if he is a controller/abuser. Maybe it's insecurity? It is a turn off and that's exactly how I feel... yuk.
Thanks for replying.
Just musing to myself really, as it helps to write it down, but he also says I pretend to have various ailments to get out of sleeping with him. I sometimes have pms headaches, or really sore neck/shoulders. Very genuine.
Also, that he's been in a marriage before where he no longer felt attraction, but repulsion even at the thought of being touched by his ex. Could he be projecting?
Thanks if you have some advice for me!
Not sure about the loving you bit. If he loves you and feels affection for you, surely he'd be looking for ways to overcome your reluctance in a more 'loving' way rather than putting demands on you and telling you what you must promise.
If you feel absolutely sure this is the only controlling aspect of his personality, then perhaps you need to look into some sort of counselling and communication between you in order to save your relationship.
Looking at it from his point of view, it probably is hurtful that you never want to have sex with him, but with his attitude that isn't surprising really.
Have you tried talking to him about why you feel this way when you're both fully dressed and away from the bedroom?
Have you considered that perhaps you just don't feel a spark with him any more, in which case perhaps it is time to call it a day.
Well it's no wonder you don't want to have sex with him is it?
Does he not understand that by pressuring into agreeing to sex whenever and wherever he wants it is only likely to put you off altogether?
How is the rest of the relationship?
Have you thought about counseling, to try and work through this? Do you want to work through it?
Try couples therapy? This must be very hard for both of you, of course he was really wrong to suggest you should do it whether you want to or not. I would think that the relationship can't go on with this lack of communication.
Thank you for replying. Dh won't go to counselling because he sees it as my problem only.
Tantrums, I do want to work through it. I'm just not sure it's possible. PigsDofly, I've tried talking to him, but he sees my lack of desire as something personal. I know it's just me and I have just lost it.
I have a lot of difficulty communicating with him, because he refuses to see my point of view. It's all about him and his rejection which equals me not loving him.
He knows I have little desire, he just wants me and I'm not sure that he cares if I'm not enjoying it. (that sounds so bad now I've "said" it out loud). It just feels like he doesn't care anyway.
I should try counselling by myself perhaps?
Thank you for all replies. It helps to get someone else's thoughts, as I don't feel able to talk about this in RL. I'm so confused and at a loss right now.
So, basically he wants to rape you? And not only that, he's putting pressure on you to accept that rape is inevitable in advance, and even to pretend to be into it. What a charmer. Run.
'Lie back and think of England'?.... of course it's wrong on every possible level. IME (and I'm a big fan of sex) when I've gone off it in any substantial way, it is almost always that I'm with the wrong bloke. After 10 years I think you might have to reach the same conclusion.
That sounds like something I didn't want to admit to hellsbells, is it really that bad, or is he just desperate to have me like I was when I met him (normal libido)?
Deep deep deep down I think I do want to run, but I'd want to run to my family who live a long way away. It means running with a suitcase only and it means the children couldn't have regular contact with him.
I've thought about running, but feel so sad for the dc. I'm so conflicted and confused.
I think I have reached that conclusion Cogito which is why I'm so sad. I suppose dh has reached this conclusion too and didn't know what else to do.
I just don't know what on earth I could say to the children? How can they not blame me for taking them away from their father? I feel so selfish.
Well, in your own words "I have to promise to respond to his advances every time, even if I don't feel like it". Sounds very much like rape to me. And what sort of inadequate shit wants sex with a woman who doesn't want it with him? A rapist, that's who. Sorry, but I think it's that bad.
Have you ever examined why your libido has vanished?
At the moment, you have two opposite ends of a problem - he expects you to have sex when he wants it, you expect him to have sex when you want it. Neither are right.
If you want to stay in the relationship, there needs to be a middle ground.
I wouldn't say he wants to rape you - that would depend on whether he pushed on regardless of you saying no.
"I just don't know what on earth I could say to the children? How can they not blame me for taking them away from their father? I feel so selfish. "
There's no 'taking away'. Couples grow apart all the time and it's no sin. So you have the world's crappiest marriage.... you can still be the world's best divorcees and the world's best parents. Approach this positively and your DCs will thrive. Stay trapped together and your DCs will know it's a big fat lie.
Do you want to have sex with anyone or is it just him?
if one person in the relationship is having problems with their sex drive, it's pretty common knowledge (and common sense) that coercing them into sex using demands/guilt trips is the best way to turn them off.
Thanks soupdragon, no he wouldn't continue if I said stop, I'm sure of that. When it seems smooth, we have an average of once a week to 10 days, which I thought was a good compromise.
In arguments it comes out that it's not enough and he often says "there's no sex in our marriage". Of course this makes me mad, because there absolutely is.
I've often wondered if my libido vanished because of his attitude, but I think it's physical, as it come back (not to the same extent as pre dc) when I ovulate.
About a month after giving birth to dc1, he made me speak to the gp about it and she gave me some eostrogen cream, which didn't really work. I've never been so embarrassed! He conveniently forgets this when he accuses me of not doing anything about it. Is there another way I could examine why it vanished, do you mean counselling?
I don't want to have sex with anyone right now, just feel tired all the time and couldn't be bothered. Sad but true.
Jesus Christ - who the hell thinks not wanting sex a month postpartum is a GP-worthy problem? And why didn't your GP tell him to fuck off and accept that you'd JUST GIVEN BIRTH instead of giving you some bloody cream? I don't think your lack of libido is the real problem here, but the vile attitude of your partner certainly is. Ignoring you for 2 days because you turned him down? Calling you a 'piece of wood'? He's revolting. Why the hell would you want to shag someone who treats you like that? Your children will be fine if you leave him - they'll be a lot happier growing up in a house where their father doesn't believe he has a right to his wife's body whenever he feels like it, and treats her like crap (in a way that will be affecting the whole family) if he doesn't get it.
Thanks Cogito, but I know the kids would only be able to see him a couple of times a year. I'd want to go where my family is if I'm not with him. The only reason I'm here is because of dh's work.
Thanks hellsbells, when you put it like that...... it's just that the kids don't know he treats me like that..... but I know we can't go on like this. How can I speak to dh so he doesn't get all defensive and angry? Or make him change his attitude towards sex in a relationship?
He says the sole problem is that I'm just not attracted to him and I should show him that I am attracted to him, otherwise he thinks he's proved his point. I just feel resentful, and feel that this is all he thinks or cares about.
Although it's partly my fault, he won't take any responsibility himself. If I talk about how it started when I was pregnant, he'll say that's history and it's now that matters. We've had this conversation a million times.
I just can't forget the past, but I know I need to move on from it. But how?
"How can I speak to dh so he doesn't get all defensive and angry?"
Say exactly what you want to say. If he gets aggressive because he can't deal with the information that is entirely his choice to do so. NEVER couch what you need to say in order to keep the peace. That just means the bully carries on getting their own way ...
Also, don't even entertain the idea that this is partly your fault because he'll sniff weakness, sense doubt and clobber you over the head with it.... the way he's done 'a million times' by the sound of it.
Stand up for yourself. You cannot change his attitude. You can only change your response to it.
It's not really clear if you love and want to stay with your DH and this is your only issue, but I will assume you do as I give my opinion.
I come from the perspective of being the one with the greater sex drive. My husband would probably be happy with once a month if it was left to him, whereas I would ideally like it twice a week. I've told him I'm willing to compromise to somewhere in between. I have tried everything to encourage him to want more sex. I find it incredibly frustrating and hurtful when he refuses. You say your DH thinks you fake illness to get out of sex, and I have accused my husband of doing the same.
If you love your husband and want to make your marriage work, I think you should be prepared to compromise or at least show some effort in trying to regain your sex drive. I bought a Tracy Cox book, which has some great advice about how to tackle a partner having a lower sex drive. Perhaps if you bought a book like this, your husband might feel you want to try to change things and you may find some helpful tips? This will no doubt go down like a lead balloon here but one of the things it says (and I'm praphrasing) is that if you don't really feel like sex, try and do it anyway! Having sex increases the sex drive as the more you have the more you want. Orgasm from masturbation has the same effect of making you want more sex.
The thing that I find most hurtful is when my husband won't make any effort to tackle his low libido, by seeing the doctor, reading the ruddy Tracy Cox book etc. If he at least tried to change things I might feel there is hope of improvement and be a bit less stressed about not having sex so frequently - perhaps your husband might be more understanding and back off a bit if he knew you were trying to improve things?
Your husband's ultimatums etc are not helpful, but I understand why he does it. I've done the same, even though I know it is futile and has the opposite of desired effect! It is a very frustrating position to be in. It's horrible to be the one doing all the initiating, and makes one feel very unattractive.
You say when you spoke to the doctor you had never been so embarrassed - I don't think it's usual for someone to feel like that, particularly when speaking to a female doctor. I can't help wondering if you have some past issues, upbringing etc which have left you a little repressed and uncomfortable discussing sex? Maybe some counselling might be helpful for you to confront this.
I hope you work things out.
Thank you cogito, I will try to follow your advice tonight. I just wish we could resolve this once and for all. I want to be with dh, but only if he doesn't have this attitude if that makes sense. It seems selfish and uncaring. I just want him to act like he cares about me. I do understand though that I'm sure he feels the same.....
Interesting Forever. The thing is, I feel that I do compromise. So many times I'm having sex and it doesn't feel good to me and i just want it over. I do try to do it even when I don't feel like it, but that makes me feel like a robot and used and he must know I'm not enjoying it. That's what makes me feel so sad, that he doesn't care that I do compromise, this is not enough.
I'm confused and think it would be better if we weren't together, we can't resolve this. If it weren't for the dc, I would just leave, but I don't want to ruin their world, so I want to try to work this out.
Hope I'm making sense. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to think about this for me.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.