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DW, marriage, communication, sex and stuff.

(329 Posts)
Keepithidden Tue 09-Jul-13 10:11:19

Hello, I’ve posted in Dadsnet and Feminism already for advice regarding specific parts of my slightly dysfunctional marriage, so it’s time to bite the bullet and whack a post in relationships!

Bit of background, I’m male, DW and I have been married five years, together ten. Both mid 30’s, two DCs (2 and 4) and no sex life. I’ve considered and tried various anaphrodisiacs and been reading a lot about PIV/Feminism womens views of sex and got myself thoroughly paranoid about the number of women with disappointing sex lives and I think DW may be one of them.

I’ve tried to broach the subject a few times, but she says it’s tiredness/stress (understandable considering the young kids I suppose), I’ve asked whether she enjoys it when we do have sex, she says yes. I’ve even asked if she fakes it! She says no. Not sure whether I believe any of it because I know she wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings, and there does seem to be a big proportion of women out there who aren’t happy.

I help around the house as much as I can (still got to buy a copy of Wifework to make sure I’m covering all bases) and I think we split things pretty equally despite me being fulltime working and DW a SAHM. She has the option of lie-ins at weekends (but rarely takes them), I try to do all the kiddy stuff at weekends to give her a break and cooking/cleaning in evenings is my responsibility most of the time too (she tends to do most of the laundry and cooking for the kids).
So I suppose the question is, how long should I wait before putting an ultimatum/suggesting counselling/ending the Marriage? (rhetorical: I know only I can answer that) I love DW and would do anything for her (have considered chemical castration at times), but this is getting me down and I’ve started having slightly suicidal thoughts which I know isn’t healthy. The constant rejection I could cope with if I knew what the reason was. Could be a case that counselling for me is required.

I think it all started about 5 years ago when we were TTC, after 1 year DW became pregnant and morning sickness put a kibosh on any intimacy, a year later we DTD once and number two came along, again Morning Sickness meant a nine month break, BFing extended this and it all fell into a rut so we’ve only DTD six times in the past five years! Putting that down in writing is quite shocking.

Anyway, DW has issues with her body post pregnancy. I find her sexy and attractive, but my constant reassurances fall on deaf ears (haven’t seen her naked for five years either). I think she may need some help to improve her confidence as nothing I can say changes it a jot. Not sure on the best way to approach this one, so any words would of advice would be good. I think once she’s happy with herself then we can talk more about what she wants out of life and whether she even wants me in it.

Sorry, this post is all a bit disjointed and I’ve probably missed stuff out but it’s cathartic to get it down even if this gets no responses!

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Wed 10-Jul-13 18:04:41

(Hi Feels,

Basically my point was that the OP's wife is working, she's looking after the kids. You said "I wouldn't expect my other half to come home and do all the housework and cook meals": no, I wouldn't either, so why would someone expect someone to do all the childcare and all the house work and all the cooking. Do you see what I mean? Kids are knackering, trust me! smile)

Anyway, back to the OP and his wife...

OnIlkelyMoorBahtat Wed 10-Jul-13 18:08:38

Oops, pressed post before finished! OP, I don't really have much to add to what everyone has said above - it seems you are doing all the right things, but not knowing your wife we can only conjecture why this is happening this way for her... I do think the idea of trying to get some more time together just 1-on-1 and just being together is part of the process and will help to re-establish your intimacy together - as you say, it's been along time hasn't it, you probably both didn't know you didn't remember that feeling! Hope it works out x

CityTiliDie Wed 10-Jul-13 22:04:34

WHile I dont want to hijack the thread I would just like to add.....

I have a good relationship with my DW. She is my best friend etc etc. I fancy the everything off her, she is gorgeous and we get on well, have a good life, little stress, just enough money to manage and enjoy life, we share everything. But she wont do anything about our sexlife. SHe acknowledges that there is a problem but she is ok with things so its my problem.

I know that I will never find any one who matches up to my DW in any way shape or form and I could never leave my DD so I will have to put up with the situation for the rest of my life, cry myself to sleep most nights and 'please myself' Learning not to take my frustration out on anyone is hard and I fail miserably sometimes. Its our 13th wedding anniverary this week and we might have a cuddle for two minutes btu that will be it as we DTD last week so couldnt possibly dtd twice in one month. Its got so predictable that I can name the day we DTD weeks in advance. I've decided that next time i will be the one to refuse jst to see what happens though I guess it will only make her happy yo have got away wiht it for four weeks and can blame me for refusing if I mention the lack of intimacy.

I hope things get better for you OP and do try to talk with your DW.... whats the worst that can happen?

Good luck

Keepithidden Wed 10-Jul-13 22:27:10

Well, certainly some conflicting views presented.

City, you have my utmost sympathy. I'm sure I couldn't live like that. I doubt it'll get to that stage here, but I'm sure you are one of many in the same situation.

The whole Man-up thing I can try, it's not a natural response for me, I'm a persuader rather than enforcer by nature, but then life is one long lesson.

DW is not BFing, hasn't for 18 months now.

Buffy - Thanks for your advice, I think the cautious approach is the way to go for now. I have avoided being explicit with DW, but now is the time for the more direct approach, with tact of course. We'll see what happens...

No need for persuasion or enforcement really. Just a more assertive statement of what you would like to change, that's perfectly reasonable, especially as you sound as though you are very willing to listen and try and understand as well. Good luck! Keep posting for support if you want to.

himoutdoors Wed 10-Jul-13 22:57:43

I think this is fairly common after years of marriage and children....even for conscientious, hardworking partners. Trouble is that it bothers one party and then becomes a focus point. And if you have a wonderful DW and DC and dont want to leave then you can only try to work on relationship but can lead to years of frustration!

MysteriousHamster Wed 10-Jul-13 23:05:06

Does she ever talk honestly and openly about your relationship?

Is there a chance she could be getting emotional and/or physical intimacy elsewhere? I haven't read anything particularly red flaggy, just wondering.

Numberlock Wed 10-Jul-13 23:53:33

I'm confused by your comments*City*. You say you have a good relationship with your wife, best friend etc yet you cry yourself to sleep most nights? Presumably she knows this?

himoutdoors Thu 11-Jul-13 00:17:11

I understand what he means ....good equitable relationship, no nookey, no real explanation. Sex is the only sore point, otherwise everybody happy.

Sorry no time to read thread, but my STBExH and I only communicated even before DC at task level, rather than deeper. After DC the cracks really showed as there was no intimacy and emotional bond, let alone sex. His solution was an affair and goodbye marriage. Do please look at how you communicate with each other - it is so fundamental to a good relationship. Then intimacy and sex follows - at least I think that is how it should work! Best of luck sorting it out!

Dad1975 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:19:44

I feel your emotions keepithidden ,
I am in a similar situation where there has been no more than a dozen "intimate" moments in the last 3 years ( none in the last 18 months ) . I have tried talking with her to understand why but it gets shrugged off . I have tried explaining how I feel rejected and unwanted and it gets shrugged off . We now sleep apart as I cannot stand lying next to her in bed knowing that she does not want me to cuddle her or be near her .
Looking back over our relationship I have always initiated any emotion , whether it was saying " I love you " before we went to sleep or reaching for her hand to hold in a cinema etc ..

peteypiranha Thu 11-Jul-13 17:26:20

Im sorry op I doubt your wife will ever want it. Really even if you had 20 children and a full time job having sex only a handful of times in 5 years doesnt look promising. It would still not look promising if it was only a handful of times in one year. I know it must be hard for you, you have my sympathies.

Wellwobbly Thu 11-Jul-13 17:41:45

Take her to counselling Dad. INSIST you go together. The counsellor will not allow her to shrug it off.

(Counselling is a very supportive place, hard to explain).

arsenaltilidie Thu 11-Jul-13 18:23:03

The quicker these guys realise their wives are only staying with them for the wrong reasons, the better it is for everyone the kids, them or even the wife.
Most of the men complaining know what's the right thing to do but are just being weak about it.
Forget couples counselling, you need counselling for yourself and see why you put up with it and why you are not assertive/low confidence.

PS: the 'persuasive' way never works because its seen as being manipulative. It's often interpreted as 'you are only doing it because you want...' Which means you can never do anything right.

himoutdoors Thu 11-Jul-13 19:26:43

Arsenal- leaving one's family isn't always the best outcome for the children!! I don't think that you can say that for sure. Some families thrive with discreet affairs. Not recommending it but I now see why that often works.

EverybodysGoneSurfing Thu 11-Jul-13 20:01:35

I hardly ever post in relationships but this resonates so much with me... This could be my DH talking (it isn't we only have one child!)what can I say? Our DD is nearly three. Mostly, I am just not interested in sex. I work full time, I am tired. Physically I feel taken up and exhausted by my DD's demands. She is constantly in my space and I feel like I have little left for my DH. I don't want to be touched anymore, I am tired, I want more space.

People on this thread have talked about suggesting your DW goes out, have spa days etc. What I really want and need is my own home back. I would love my DH to take my DD out and let me just be, at home. I empathise with the poster who talks about noise, and not being able to truly relax.

in short, it makes me sad when I read people's posts who say it will never change and you should leave. I truly hope it will change for us, I want it to. But the truth is, at the moment, I don't feel like having sex very often. Nothing else. I adore my DH, I love spending time with him, we are a family. I think this will improve as DD gets older and I think my DH understands. I hope he does, because when we said our vows we both knew we were in it for the long haul.

Wellwobbly Thu 11-Jul-13 20:04:34

Just have sex. The more you have it, the more you are fine with it.

I think women must get some sort of testosterone 'injection' from their H's.

Please think of their needs and just be kind to them. After a while you will find you don't mind...

After a while you will find you don't mind...


Read that back to yourself a few times and see if you're still happy with it.

Keepithidden Thu 11-Jul-13 21:37:40

Not sure how seriously to take some of the suggestions made, but in amongst those who recommend LTB there are far too many lonely souls. This is all quite depressing. Speaking of which (and having reread this thread) I think the suicide thing I mentioned shouldn't be linked too much with this particular situation, it's not something new for me, just hadn't been around for a while, that's all. So feel free to ignore that aspect in as much as the relationship advice is concerned.

Anyway, I've been thinking a bit about the frequency we DTD and it has picked up (ha) in that it's been thrice in 2013, twice in 2010 and years between, so by my reckoning the cause is probably pregnancy related. That doesn't address things now, but does give me some hope in that now I'm firing blanks that ain't a road open to us now.

An affair? - It's a possibility, not sure when she'd be doing it. I have daydreamed about coming home to find her in the throws of passion with another thus demonstrating she does have the want and need for sex. Subsequently finding out he's a financially secure proposition, a good father etc... and leaving me to head off into the sunset. Before anyone suggestes it, this is not a sexual fantasy - not a turn-on to me. I'm pretty sure that's just some twisted martydom disorder/complex (pop-psychologists - give me your diagnoses!) so I've rejected that on the grounds of irrational and unreasonable (I have frequent fights with my subconscious, most of the time my conscious wins). Anyway, this is getting away from the fact that I'm as sure as I can be that she isn't having an affair. But never willing to discount anything no matter how improbable.

Arsenal - Some good points, but somewhat generalistic and I'm unwilling to give up the investment I've made without a certain degree of negotiation. The shareholders would string me up... Persuasive and manipulative are two sides of the same coin to an extent, but the intent behind it is the part that differentiates the two IMO.

Everybody's - Thanks for your opinion, it's the ray of sunshine to Arsenal's dark clouds! Well not really, but compared to some of the advice offered at least it suggests there is a way to a happy ending even if the road is long.

Wellwobbly - Um... Are you talking to me or DW? I think it could be a bit more comlicated than your last post implied.

Right, that's a plenty long enough post for now. Stop back sometime if you'd like to hear the continuation of this particular soap opera. It's not that interesting and is echoed in hundreds of homes and lives accross the world, but you never know you may learn something that will benefit you...

Dilidali Thu 11-Jul-13 22:05:08

OP, watch this

Dilidali Thu 11-Jul-13 22:07:53

I bought her book, Mating in captivity, I think it makes sense.

Shlurpbop Thu 11-Jul-13 22:26:39

surfing you have just written, far better, exactly what I was wanting to write but couldn't quite word correctly.
Even your username is completely relevant to me smile
Spooky, eh?!

arsenaltilidie Fri 12-Jul-13 06:12:01

Whilst you may have good intentions its often INTERPRATED as trying to score brown points.

Anyway it's funny how people in your situation who are years down the line are also advising you to leave.

If you ask this question in a male forum most of the answers would be to leave it will never get better etc.

It may be blunt but at the end of the day it is the truth.
If it was health related she'd have been looking to make a change see a GP etc.
You have tried the 'persuasive' way and it doesn't seem to be working.
I can almost guarantee that without even knowing your full story it was never 'I'm going to rip your clothes off' right from the begining.

CityTiliDie Fri 12-Jul-13 07:48:08

Dilidali. I was reccommended to read the book 'Mating in Captivity' and reluctantly did so (not a great lover of self help books) but I have to admit that it was the one thing that stopped me walking away from the best thing to happen to me.

Sadly my DW refused to read any of it or try any of the suggestions in it to help improve the situation but it helped me to deal with my own thoughts on the subject and to have a clearer mind. I know its not all DW's fault. I know she loves me and there are many issues from her past that are causing todays problems for both of us,

SHe cant/wont work through these and they are only going to get worse in the near future when her DM moves in with us but I married her 13 years ago for better or for worse and for the most part it is better but its a curates egg and I am willing to live with that.

My DD makes up in part for the pain of the rest of my relationship and I am not willing to give up on my DD for anything.

Numberlock Fri 12-Jul-13 08:09:30

And once your daughter's left home? Then what?

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