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.
am I being assertive or unreasonable(295 Posts)
After a tough couple of years have decided to make ago of my relationship (of 12 years) but realised for my sanity I needed to be more assertive with what I want from the relationship.
There have been positive changes with house work (he can do some without being asked!) And a few other things too.
The sticking point is now sex. The has been a bit of a drout whist things were settling down but the last few times we have started we always stop as I want him to spend some time caressing me and turning me on, without just grabbing my breasts or putting his hand between my legs... Not saying he can't do these or I don't like them, just don't want him to start there. I have spoken to him, explained this, but he doesn't seem to get it, the other night I tried moving his hand on to my stomach (which I have said I like been stroked), another time I asked him to kiss my neck.... These are met with a blunt end to proceedings... He says I'm been unreasonable, those things don't turn him on so he shouldn't have to do them. I should just be turned on or be happy with where/how he wants to touch me. If I say please can you do x, the reply will be "well what are you going to do to turn me on? " but he is obviously already more turned on then me...He says I can only ask for things that are mutually enjoyable (I pointed out sex with both of us turned on would be mutually enjoyable)
I think he is obviously turned on enough for PIV sex from much less then I am. Is it unreasonable for me to expect him to spend some time getting me turned on too?)
I don't think you are being unreasonable to talk to your partner about turning you on, and suggest things you would like in the bedroom.
It sounds very childish and actually quite arrogant and aggressive for your DH to respond like that . He is effectively saying to you "I want to have sex and I want to do it to you this way. I don't care if you are turned on, and if you say anything I'm going to strop off and not have sex".
Also - the "only do things that are mutually enjoyable is just tosh. How can it be mutually enjoyable if you're not enjoying it?!?!?
I mean, wow! Really? Do you really think you are the unreasonable one?
Having said that though, sex can be a sore subject between a couple and can be tricky to reach a compromise/ happy medium/ good place at times.
Perhaps your DH does have some things he would like to change/ talk to you about but hasn't yet been able to?
The way you have written your text suggests that he is the one instigating things - do you too? Maybe this is a problem. Have you asked whether there are things he would like/ would like to do?
Also - do you do things to turn him on??? You say he is obviously already more turned on than you, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want some attention and foreplay too, so perhaps he is feeling it's a little one sided.
Whatever you do, don't let him force you into things, or do it because you feel you should.
He should learn to grow up and not strop about and try to emotionally blackmail to get what he wants, or that you suggesting things you like isn't an attack on him. I think the only way you are going to solve this would be to talk to him, and continue to be forthright in bed - don't let him push you around!
You are not being unreasonable, he is.
The "what are you going to do for me in return" speech would have killed any passion for me right there, stone dead. He sounds entitled and inexperienced actually-incapable of going off his pre arranged course of "seduction".
Just to put it in perspective for you, my dp and I have been undergoing a drought for about 3 yrs for various reasons. On the rare occasions we have sex, I will if necessary steer him this way or that, and he never ever gets in a huff as I think he is so happy to having sex at all!
How are other parts of your relationship? Is he this demanding/ overbearing/ stroppy/ childish about other things too??
Do you want to work on the sex side of things with him?
I wouldn't blame you if you didn't!!
You're not being unreasonable. If no-one communicates what they want when it comes to sex, how is it ever going to get better? Then again, no-one wants to sleep with someone who is barking orders at them like a drill sergeant...
I don't think your 'tough couple of years' are over, I'm afraid. You can't make a go of a relationship single-handed and, if the sex is typical of the way your relationship plays out more generally, he's clearly got some real resentment going on.
YANBU, he is. It is such a turn off too, he sounds incredibly selfish.
I will instigate although not as much as him, recently he hasn't insisted as much either.
I feel I do spend time turning him on when we have sex and even outside the bedroom making sure there is affection, I'll sit and stroke his arm, leg, etc whilst we watch tv.
If it were up to him I would kiss and caress him whilst he lay back and enjoyed it for as long as suits him, then he would do what he wants to me, then we would have sex. But if I try to vary what he does to me by guiding his hand for example he will throw a strop.
I am aware 'barking orders' would kill the mood so have raised the conversation outside the bedroom and just tried gentle guidance in the bedroom. His reactions make me feel upset and I question if I am been controlling and selfish. But I deep down think I'm right and what I'm asking for is not as unusual as he would have me believe.... But I could be wrong.
After one of these strops he will apologise and be overly affectionate the next day. But also tell me how I have upset him and that he can't concentrate at work etc.
There are other areas in the relationship he tells me I'm unreasonable... is recently occurred to me that actually I'm not. He's having to get used to me standing up for myself, not apologising and ignoring him comments. I've stopped going along with things for an easy life. He doesn't like this and keeps telling me I've changed. I have.
I just want to be sure I've not gone to far and am actually now being a Bitch...
In the bedroom
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.
However his responses are very manipulative.
I don't think you will have an enjoyable sex life till he feels able to (a) talk to you about it and (b) compromise and realise it's not all about him.
The whole thing strikes me as very controlling, and not very sensitive to you or your needs.
Are you sure you want to be with this man?
He sounds insensitive and arrogant and doesn't seem to realise that a good sex life is a two way street. He seems to want to be top dog and have sex only on his terms.
After 12 yrs can you really see things improving?
The best sex I ever had was with a guy who took great care to make sure I was happy and comfortable and took his time re. foreplay. He said he couldn't enjoy himself unless he knew I was too.
Agree with giantpurple that he is being manipulative. All this 'can't concentrate at work' poor me stuff is a pile of crap. Already his response to you being assertive is to have you doubting yourself and wondering if you're a bitch.... That's not something that happens without outside interference.
What you are dealing is his ego!
Cos when you say do this, what he hears you are doing it wrong..
Its like you are both fighting to gain 'power', do this, no do this, no do this if i do this.
YANBU at all maybe be a bit more tactful.
Eg."when you just want to PIV, i feel you are just doing it, i could be anyone and wont make a difference, I dont feel special.."
I think you are fighting a losing battle. There is no way this is just about sex. You say there's been an improvement in housework which is that he now does things without being asked - with an exclamation mark to imply that this is something surprising. Thing is - although it's clearly a big change for him, it's really nothing special or unusual for a man to do housework. Most decent, adult men do their fair share without ever being nagged or asked, because they know it is their responsibility too. Doing some (I'd hazard a guess nowhere near half) is really the barest minimum that you should expect.
Sure, you can stay and spend another 12 years trying to change him, eventually learning to live with the parts you can't change, but will you be happy? Wouldn't you rather live the life you want without this huge weight and burden dragging you down?
Yes arsnal, I think you are right, he does hear 'you are doing it wrong' but I have rid to be sensitive, it's like he doesn't want things to change and by stopping sex every time I try I will eventually give in. I have done a lot of things he wanted to try over the last couple of years but now realise that just pleasing him isn't enough and I need him to want me to be happy to, I want to make a stand so we can do things we both enjoy, but he thinks what I want is noting so he shouldn't have to do it. I just want compromise. He probably had control over our sex life forthe last couple of years and I can understand that he doesn't like it now I want a say and want to change it.
He has recently tried to control other areas, tellIing me I speak to friends to frequently, or that accepting a friend request on Facebook from another man is disrespecting to our relationship, or if he sends me a text during the day and I don't reply quick enough he will quiz me about what I was doing and why I was busy, he'll day things like "I bet you all had time to look on facebook". He had never been like this before so is like he feels he is losing control over our sex life so he wants to try and take it in a different area.
I don't want this to be a power struggle but I don't want to be a door mat either. I just want things to be equal.
I know I can't change him but I'm hoping he will choose to change.
Why on earth would he choose to change? You can't base a marriage on a vain hope like that. Controlling men, bullies, emotional abusers, manipulative types or whatever you want to call them behave that way because it gives them the life they want i.e. top dog in their little environment, making themselves feel good by making others feel small. They have zero incentive to change this behaviour.
So when you say you know you can't change him... stop there. Change yourself, be assertive, stop trying to be 'sensitive', stop hoping for him to suddenly become someone he isn't and if he still carries on with this petty jealousy and other rubbish then you have to call time.
There is far more to this than the sex life.
Telling you you speak to friends too frequently and berating you for not responding to texts quickly enough are BIG red flags.
just by reading your op i thought "i could not be with a man like that"
reading your other posts... i thought "i really really couldnt be with a man like that"
red flags all over imo
he sounds incredibly selfish and manipulative!
sex isnt all about him and his enjoyment... sex is about 2 people enjoying themselves
Hmmm, sounds to me like he has self confidence issues. I think sex is closely linked to 'manliness' for men, which leads to confidence. eg, if a woman shows sexual desire to a man, he feels like a real 'man'. He wants to be 'wanted'! If he feels he is not wanted sexually (or he's doing it wrong), the relationship can suffer, IMHO. Anyone else have thoughts about this?
Not saying that men should feel like this but I think they do (and probably won't admit it!). I would try to get the message across to him that you do desire him and even take initiative with sex. It's great for his ego and he might see things more positively!
" I want him to spend some time caressing me and turning me on, without just grabbing my breasts or putting his hand between my legs."
Self-confidence issues my arse.... He's just a lazy lover that thinks all has to do is 'Push Button B' to get the little woman in the mood.
Self-confidence issues? Pffffffft.
Lazy fucker issues.
i dont agree either, sorry!
Forget my post,.
He sounds like an abuser who is still trying to control you.
I don't see how kissing your neck or stroking your stomach are being unreasonable. Basically he can't be bothered to make sure you are enjoying things too. I don't understand why men think that just groping a woman is enough to get you in the mood
I'm sorry OP, but I don't think you will never have an equal relationship with this man. He just doesn't have any respect for you at all, does he?
So, he wants you to do what he wants to get him aroused, then to do what he wants to you to further get him aroused, and then intercourse?
Plus he does sound very controlling.
Work on your assertiveness and stand up for yourself. At some point you'll be able to tell him take it (rather, respect you) or leave it.
Or send him packing yourself.
Woah! WowowoWOW this sounds awful. You do realise how he is coming across in your threads? Can you not see the red flags?
He gets the hump if you want him to kiss your fucking NECK???? And then he's totally passive-aggressive the next day by apologising WHILST TELLING YOU HOW MUCH YOU UPSET HIM.
I'm really sorry - but there it is. For the love of all things PLEASE read back on the other threads on here. There is so much you need to think about. Is he really the best you are ever going to get? Ever???
My God. I'm going to do it.... LBT.
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.