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Is this ok?

(82 Posts)
gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 13:55:18

I have been struggling with a very low libido for quite a while now and have no interest in intimacy or sex at all.

I can't figure out exactly what's causing it - I have a stressful full time job and a ds so am totally knackered at the end of the day and I don't sleep well either so that doesn't help.

Dh and I have been through a rough patch and he has done some things that have shocked me and frightened me in terms of bad arguments. He has never hit me but can be verbally abusive and throws things around, shouting a lot and has threatened to kill himself etc.

However, he has settled down a lot and most of this is in the past and he has worked really hard on it. Every now and again when he gets frustrated he might call me names but apologises very quickly.

I think that what has happened in the past has affected my libido because I was scared of him tbh. I can't seem to move on or forget it and it's causing big problems.

The main point of posting is to get some opinions on what is acceptable in terms of touching and intimacy. For example, during the day he will come up to me and touch my breasts etc and I am uncomfortable with this. He likes a lot of cuddles and affection and quite often makes sexual remarks during the day. For example, he will call me "hot" and it's the last thing I feel as I am overweight and I think I am very unattractive. It actually irritates me when he starts saying nice things about me! I don't know why. I feel in no way like a sexual being and actually don't want to be. I know this is not right. I hate it all. When we wake up in the morning, he just touches my boobs and I hate it.

He says he wants a nice romantic evening and I actually don't know what that is. I sound really pathetic. I have felt quite depressed recently and withdrawing into myself. I crave time on my own a lot and I can't be bothered to talk or anything. I know I'm being really cold and I know it's driving him crazy.

He might send me some sexual texts out of the blue and I can't bear it because it means nothing to me.

What do you think?

Leverette Sat 20-Apr-13 14:09:41

What do I think?

That he has done a very good demolition job to your self esteem, comfort, self worth and safety.

His verbal and nonverbal behaviours toward you reveal a selfish, objectifying and entitled attitude which underpins all his abusive behaviours.

Listen to your feelings, you don't want intimacy with this person for a very good reason.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:34

Everything Leverette said, great post.
He sees you as a sex doll. Your body doesn't want him, because he objectifies you and doesn't respect you. That kind of atmosphere is really sexually oppressive, it's put off the horniest of women, yuck. I bet you anything that if you left him, your depression would 'magically' clear very quickly.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:49

It'd, not it's, sorry.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:16:38

Leverette I don't know. He really doesn't do the horrible stuff anymore and he is perfectly aware of what he has done and feels absolutely terrible about it. It is very rare now and when he does get upset it is normal type upset. Believe me if he was still doing it I would be gone.

I just can't seem to move on. I think I have affected his self esteem as I now he feels totally rejected and he tries so hard to do the right thing. He is brilliant around the house and so loving and helpful. He just wants us both to move on but I am the one who can't.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:18:35

Oxford, he doesn't do it in a sex doll way I don't think. I feel like I am the one who is a freak as I don't want the sexual attention. I know he genuinely loves and fancies me which is quite natural. What do other couples do about touching during the day etc, sexual comments made etc?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:55:47

Anyone out there? Please!

Lizzabadger Sat 20-Apr-13 14:57:16

No it's not OK.

Why are you with him?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:58:06

Lizza, which bit is not ok?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 15:35:17

I don't think your libido is the problem.. you're just incompatible. The aggressive stuff from the past would have been enough to put anyone one off being intimate with him. That's the starting point and now, even though you claim he's changed, unfortuately he's behaving like a lecherous old git. Loving and fancying someone is all well and good but there also has to be respect and sensitivity.

Your DH is confusing affection, romance and intimacy with 'sex'. Instead of boosting your confidence, helping you relax and making you feel good about yourself by being gentle, patient and considerate he's getting it totally wrong with the suggestive 'Sid James' chat up lines and pawing your boobs etc. Embarrassingly bad.

You desperately need to talk to each other because the current set-up is miserable all round. But emphatically DON'T blame yourself for this.

Lizzabadger Sat 20-Apr-13 15:39:29

1. Verbal/emotional abuse
2. Unwanted sexual attention/trying to harrass you into having sex with him.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 15:44:33

"Every now and again when he gets frustrated he might call me names but apologises very quickly."

You realise that's not acceptable even on an occasional basis? I think at some level you realise he hasn't actually changed that much, you're still very wary of him and you no longer find him attractive. Once you've seen through someone like that, it's very difficult to ever see them the same way again. Your reaction of being depressed and blaming yourself really does sound like the behaviour of someone who is still being bullied. As the PP points out ... emotional abuse and sexual abuse aren't that far apart.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 15:51:23

Blimey people, calm down. This does not sound like abuse to me, nor should you be packing your bags, gropey!

Firstly, it sounds like you might be a bit depressed yourself. You're working hard and don't have much time for yourself. You probably aren't getting enough physical exercise, which doesn't help with the flow of natural endorphins. And you feel unhappy about your body.

Do you spend much time together doing things you both enjoy? e.g. cinema, dinners, walks, etc? It sounds like you need to spend some time relaxing in each other's company. Tell your partner you're struggling with the idea of sex at the moment, but that it is NOT because you don't love him but because you just don't feel like it at the moment. Tell him you want to improve the situation and that you want to try to work it out together so that you can be intimate again.

Maybe you haven;t told him clearly enough you don't want to be touched sexually, so just let him know that you're not in the mood for it. Do you ever feel like just having hugs with him? or do you feel wary of this in case things get too sexual and then you have to reject him? If this is the case, just try and explain to him.

It sounds like you could benefit from some couples counselling to work through some of the things that have happened in the past. Do you think your partner might be open to this?

Also, maybe if you feel the need for some time to yourself, could you organise an exercise class or something which means you'll get out of the house and do something for yourself once in a while?

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 15:53:52

Whoah greywhites re read the third paragraph of the OP.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 15:57:16

Yes the OP says they've been through a bad patch, there was shouting, verbal abuse, etc and he has been suicidal. There are a LOT of issues to work through here. Which is why I asked if relationship counselling would be an option.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:02:37

This does not sound like abuse to me

....???? I'm not surprised you don't feel like having sex with someone who shouts, throws things, of whom you feel scared and who threatens suicide. Not surprised you feel depressed either...do you think there is a connection?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:24

Thanks cogito, I think at the bottom of it all is that I don't trust him. I am going to talk to him about it all. What I want to know is how other couples do the sexual thing, ie is there any sexual stuff during the day or comments made. I have lost sight of what is normal.

He is feeling really rejected and feels unattractive because of the sexual rejection. This is my fault as I avoid him. It's not that I don't find him attractive but just don't want to have sex.

This has happened to me in my previous marriage and in other relationships in the past. My libido is very fragile and it always has been. I have a history of sexual abuse as a child and I think this haunts me every day of my life. I feel so low and depressed about everything.

I am so tearful at the moment and am struggling with everything.

Greywhites, we don't do anything together as there is no time. I'm so exhausted all the time. I hate my body and have put on so much weight but I feel unable to do anything about anything.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:09:11

Loving, I have suffered from depression on and off for a long time so I think how I feel is not helped by what's going on at the moment but it's not the whole story.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 16:10:09

Surely plenty of relationships involve some shouting and anger and all kinds of things. If everyone who'd been shouted at or had a depressed or foolish partner packed their bags then there'd not be many couples left in this world.

I'm not here to make judgements and call this man an abuser, etc. I don't think that is helpful. I'm not surprised she's depressed either, but the OP still has to work through these issues with her partner. People who pipe up to say, oh I'd never let anyone shout at me and if they did I'd pack my bags are not helping with her self-esteem either.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:13:45

The other night he called me a frigid cow. It really hurt but I understand why he said it. He felt so awful afterwards and couldn't apologise enough. He knew it was wrong and regretted it.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:17:52

It was the OP who first used the term ' abusive' ... I interpreted that as more than a bit of shouting and disagreement, given that she also mentioned being scared.

We all have our standards and expectations of relationships. Personally, these days, feeling scared or abused would break the deal for me. Neither are normal or acceptable IMO.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 16:18:49

Sorry my last post was in response to the previous posters.

Are you on antidepressants, gropey? They can seriously affect your libido.

You have a lot to deal with in terms of your past. Don't give yourself a hard time about this and certainly do not blame yourself.

As for asking what is normal for others, you'll get a massive range of responses, but none will be helpful, as you need to just focus on what's normal for YOU. Can you remember a time when things between you were more active sexually as a couple? HOw did you feel about him touching you then?

Does he know that you have been abused in the past? Him touching you when you don't want to be touched must be triggering all kinds of terrible feelings for you. This is so much for you to deal with. Could you consider counselling for yourself as well? Maybe a visit to your GP would be a good first step.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:19:32

Counselling might help then you can work out what you want and can work on your self esteem.

AnyFucker Sat 20-Apr-13 16:20:49

What do I think ?

I think you don't love him nor respect him any more because of how he has treated/is still treating you but you don't want to admit it to yourself

Take your head out the sand

SirBoobAlot Sat 20-Apr-13 16:21:22

Don't punish yourself for the fact that his past behavior has turned you off.

He has NO right to touch your body in ANY way if you don't want him to. It's your body. Tell him to stop if you don't like it.

Do speak to your GP or nurse again about the depression, but this is in no way purely down to that.

How can you fancy someone who you don't trust, and has shown he doesn't respect you?

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