Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Tips for improving DW sex drive

(63 Posts)
guynotagirl Thu 07-Nov-13 15:14:58

Hi all, new here.
Just would like a woman's view on this please.
I'm not a typical guy that's believes I am entitled to sex whenever I want. we have 2 DC and my DW is also studying whilst holding down a full time job etc etc. so I fully understand that we are both tired most of the time but I clearly have a higher sex drive than she does yet she says she does fancy me and wants to have sex.
I try to help with the housework and with the kids but they want her a lot of the time so she feels she does most of it. I just would like any tips to help get her more relaxed and in the mood so to speak.
I don't want her to do it just because she thinks she has to.
thanks
guynotagirl

kickassangel Thu 07-Nov-13 16:36:56

It sounds like she is not just tired but stressed which there isn't a quick fix for. Can you send her and the dcs out on a Saturday morning while you get the housework done and get lunch? Then in the afternoon she could study(hopefully guilt free) while you keep the kids entertained.

If she is really stressed it could take months of putting changes into place before she will start to feel differently. A few romantic gestures will just backfire badly.

Think of her libido as having had a stress fracture. You need to remove all pressure and give it weeks of rest before it will recover.

Fairenuff Thu 07-Nov-13 17:23:37

She wants time with the children, not the housework. So why don't you do the housework in the evenings, whilst she plays with the children?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Nov-13 17:29:16

I don't actually think this is about how much housework the OP does. If someone is stressed and can't relax, even if there is an army of cleaners and nannies taking care of the place, they are still stressed thinking about the job, the essay, the diary or whatever. Someone said 'spread too thin' up-thread and I think that's more likely to be the problem.

Fairenuff Thu 07-Nov-13 17:35:27

But if OP takes care of the housework, his dw can concentrate on playing with the children and getting her studying done. Then she won't be spread too thin.

Matildathecat Thu 07-Nov-13 17:38:01

OP, I really feel for you. On here, men in particular have to watch every word they write or risk getting thoroughly slated. You sound brilliant if you do all you say and consistently.

You don't say, I think, how old the dc are but I'm guessing quite young. Well, hang in there. If she had it before, she will find it again. (Assuming she hasn't got horrible birth injuries or anything). The stage you are at is just all consuming. Sex just feels like giving yet another bit of yourself when there is nothing left.

May I suggest you tell her sincerely that you love her and desire her but for now a good old fashioned cuddle would be nice. Maybe when the kids are asleep run her a hot bath with oils and give her a no strings attached massage. If she knows intimacy can take place without sex she may start to actually want it again.

She's lost her mojo but with time and patience she can find it again.

Best of luck.

I agree with cogito, I find myself getting stressed sometimes because there is literally so much to do, my head feels like it's going to explode while I sit there thinking "right, I need to finish this report for work by the end of the week, this assignment needs to be handed in, ds2 needs his football kit for tomorrow, etc etc"

It is really really hard to relax when I am like that, I can't sit down and have a cup of tea because my mind is constantly whirring round.

It sounds a bit silly but when I get like that I stick my headphones on and either go for a run or walk the dog, but it's easier for me because my DCs are older and I can just leave them and go.

She needs a break, the trouble is, it's when you most need a break that you feel unable to take one!

Would having a schedule help? I have a study schedule, so everyone knows at x time mum is studying, no one interrupts me and I don't have to feel guilty about saying, look now not, I'm busy.

Also a list of who does what IYSWIM. So you have certain jobs so she doesn't have to worry about what is being done, it might help?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 07-Nov-13 17:43:39

Someone can still be stressed and feel unable to relax even if they don't have to lift a finger domestically. IME sex is a mental exercise as much as physical. I know that if there are too many things rattling round my head (projects usually) I find it hard to switch off enough to get aroused.

Matildathecat Thu 07-Nov-13 19:32:45

Would she enjoy yoga? Great head clearer.

Lweji Thu 07-Nov-13 19:56:32

From a personal point of view, it's the little things during the day that create the intimacy that leads to sex.
Don't do something so that you get sex. It feels fake and it creates pressure for sex. That's what's probably happening with the days (day?) out.
If you have regular evenings out, she may relax more and feel less pressured any particular time.
If you do nice things to each other and are fairly tactile and flirty most of the time, then she's probably less likely to feel pressured and be more available. Essentially, if she feels overly loved, she is more likely to feel like sex.

Lazyjaney Fri 08-Nov-13 07:30:14

I agree with what Tantrums wrote, especially re creating structure - schedules and allocated tasks etc. I think housework is a red herring, its about covering all tasks and making sure both of you have equal access to free time - and cleaners are a godsend.

I think Tantrums is also probably right re being overstressed and needing a break but feeling unable to take one.

But I do think there is a possible alternative explanation, and that it is reasonable trying to get to the bottom of all this. I think it is very reasonable to want to have sex in a marriage, and I don't think responsibility for it happening is a one way street.

QuintesKabooom Fri 08-Nov-13 07:37:42

Not sure how old your children are, but my husband and I love going for long walks or cycle rides together, and when the children were small they could be in the bike trailer. It brought us closer, got us fresh air and exercise, blew the cobwebs away, and we had time together with the kids, YET some time off from them as they were stuck in the trailer, either looking at the world going by or snoozing..... grin WIN Win! Great for romance and togetherness.

MovingOnUpduffed Fri 08-Nov-13 08:32:30

The trick for my relationship is to have fun. If you have a night to yourselves don't do something romantic, it's too much pressure and feels forced if you're both trying too hard. Especially if her head is full of other stuff- romance requires being totally in the moment, and that is so hard when you feel you are keeping so many balls in the air. Try having fun instead- play a silly board game, dance in the living room, laugh together. It's a different kind of intimacy with less pressure, but it will still help you to reconnect. Do things she loves, not because you want sex but because you love her. The intimacy will follow if she feels loved, but give it some time.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Fri 08-Nov-13 09:19:34

Just wanted to tell you that it will pick back up. She may have to much going on right now to even think about sex, but once she finishes her studies she may feel differently. The main thing is not to pressure her. Sex in a relationship has peaks and troughs, depending on how you both feel. The main thing is to ensure you're doing your fair share (yes, that means doing more housework/kid stuff, as she's studying on top of working) and letting her know that you love her. Liked the idea of little notes in the study book, but maybe try supportive and caring rather than sexy or romantic.

ninilegsintheair Fri 08-Nov-13 09:36:33

As a mum who is working full-time (day off today before anyone asks!) and studying as well as doing everything a house involves, I can honestly say sex would be the furthest thing from my mind. The studying thing in particular is an added burden - I imagine your wife doesn't get much down-time OP. Totally agree with the 'spread-too thin' theory, that's certainly how I feel, and it's impossible to relax.

It'd be helpful to know what she's studying and how far she is into the course. Date nights out etc might simply give her more pressure as at the back of the mind, the need to study is always there.

Have you asked her what would help the most? For example, does she need a day to herself to study while you take the kids out? You say she feels guilty, and I get that, but she's being a bit unrealistic if she thinks she can be career-woman, supermum and student of the year all at the same time - she'll burn out, and I speak from my own experience.

Little things, little shows of love to her, like cups of tea, a bar of chocolate, can do a world of good when she's feeling under pressure. There is nothing sexier than a supportive, caring partner. This current situation won't last forever, but if she's feeling under pressure to have sex I doubt she'll forget it.

Hope things pick up for you both, OP. smile

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 08-Nov-13 09:52:01

For me its about the gestures throughout the day, the unprompted kisses and cuddles, the bar of chocolate that show he was thinking of me while he was out, a text message saying he misses me. DP will often come up to me while I am cooking or tidying and tell me how sexy I am and that he can't keep his hands off me. Its not leading anywhere at that point (usually) but its a little reminder of what will happen later.

Also snuggling up together in the evenings, being physically close while watching TV means that we are already in that intimate place by bedtime. With XH we would sit on different sofas, him on his laptop, me watching TV, so neither of us would really talk as it would interrupt what the other was doing.

If your DW is working in the evenings rather than connecting with you then you won't have that closeness that leads to sex when you go up to bed.

Whatever you do, DO NOT be tempted to buy her sex toys or lingerie - my XH thought that gadgets were the answer to everything, he didn't realise (despite being told several times) that respect, thoughtfulness and general intimacy would improve our sex life. He thought that sex would improve intimacy etc. I didn't want sex with someone who was virtually a stranger to me, it most often happened after he'd had a weekday off work, we'd spent some time together, maybe I hadn't had to cook and we'd got a takeaway etc. Its not rocket science.

Granville72 Fri 08-Nov-13 11:41:17

Why do men think they need to 'help' with housework? You know what needs doing to run a house so get on and do it.

My OH doesn't help. He thinks I should have to tell him or ask him to get the hoover out or dust or something. Fecking annoys me.

We have a 15 month old. I do 95% child care, plus the nights. I work 45 hours a week (child minder so from home) all the house work, the garden, chickens and cooking, shopping and on and on. And he wonders why I'm too knackered to even contemplate sex confused

Keepithidden Fri 08-Nov-13 12:42:10

Granville - In a lot of cases it is more the FTWP (Full Time Work Parent) 'helping' the SAHP. Certainly in my case I know what needs doing, but I don't know what is planned in DW mind until I ask her. Hence finding out what meals I should or shouldn't cook, what particular washing load I should put on (towels, sheets, pale or coloured). Hoovering, tidying, bed/bathtime routines etc... are pretty much stand alone so there's no problem there, but for the stuff that requires planning there needs to be a bit of communication and essentially someone who leads and someone who follows, hence the helping.

It is probabaly semantics in some cases, rather than pure mysoginy, hopefully it is in my case anyway.

OP - Sorry, no advice I'm afraid. You'll pick up the posting style here sooner or later and it's an eye opener to the general low level gender stereotyping that happens all the time in our lives.

Keepithidden Fri 08-Nov-13 12:44:01

Sorry, should add. It wasn't an automatic distribution of tasks we did talk about who would do what. E.g. the meal planning/shopping side of things. Once upon a time I did the weekly shop, but with the advent of Internet shopping DW has taken over the reigns.

fromparistoberlin Fri 08-Nov-13 12:53:16

this is an odd thing to say

but reading this thread, I kind of have penis envy!

mens libidos are just so.....constant!

OP hope you did not get a battering

I am not going to share my advice as (a) sure you have loads and (b) feel a bit yukky giving sex advice to a man, call me a prude

nancerama Fri 08-Nov-13 13:24:25

How old are your DC, and is your DW breastfeeding? Mums who have recently had a baby and mums who are still breastfeeding toddlers have hormones all over the place.

I adore my DH and fancy him rotten, but I've only just started feeling normal and relaxed enough up start enjoying being intimate around him during the last few months, and DS is 2. Until very recently my altered oestrogen levels made things downright painful still.

Take it slowly and gently. Lots of cuddles and very gentle kisses to help her to start awakening those feelings again.

I've actually copied sections of this to show to my dh.
Oh mners you are so wise... Maybe he will listen to you

Granville72 Fri 08-Nov-13 13:53:08

OK here's a thought for the chaps who need to ask or not sure what needs doing and when.

How about drawing up a rota as to who hoovers, puts a wash on, cooks dinner, kids baths etc. every day? There's no question then as to who or what needs doing and when smile

I might even do this of my OH who needs to ask me as he can't seem to think for himself.

Oh, and do online grocery shopping. Why waste your time trawling round a supermarket fighting up the isles when someone else can do it for you and deliver it to your door. Takes me about 5 minutes to do my weekly shop.

And I'm not a stay at home mum in that sense. Yes I do stay home with my son, but I am a childminder and work 45 hours a week as well as running a house and caring for my own child.

guynotagirl Fri 08-Nov-13 15:38:58

kickassangel & Congnito
she is most definitely stressed and I have tried so hard to lift this stress from her but she seems to pile more stress upon yourself and has to have a million things to do even when they don't need doing.
miltilathecat she does love yoga but rarely gets to do it with the kids around a lot.
DD is 9 (she is my SD) sees her dad on Saturdays, DS is 5 and then we have my other DS from previous relationship on sundays, so 3 kids on the sunday isn't exactly relaxing lol
it doesn't help that I get frustrated and feel insecure and we argue and she is insecure, even though she is a size 8 and gorgeous.
I have actually put notes in her study books and ran her baths etc and we are always close and kiss cuddle etc but it never leads to being intimate

Loopyloulu Fri 08-Nov-13 16:33:04

Have you ever thought she just might not fancy you any more or be harbouring resentment over something other than housework? Or she may keep busy to avoid having a space in her head when she is forced to think about all of this-is the busyness a displacement activity for talking to and being close to you pre sex?

kickassangel Fri 08-Nov-13 16:35:26

You see, you're focusing on trying to get her in the loving mood, which is what you want. But you should focus on trying to help her relieve her stress, which is what she needs.

I'm not a doctor, so don't know any true remedies, but try to think of what could de-stress your lives. It sounds like she's in that crazy, 'i must get on, I must get on' mode where she can't switch off to relax, not even for a minute.
Does she sleep/eat well?
Does she get wind down time?

You need to look at the fundamental basics of how to make life less pressured before anything will change. Of course, it may not be something obvious that is causing the stress, so time management won't fix it if the cause is something different. (e.g. my daughter has special needs. no amount of free time will stop me stressing over that, only a magic cure will, so there will always be a certain amount of stress in my life)

Look at ways to relieve stress/pressure in your lives, but also try to talk to her about why she is stressed and what can be done about that, either to eradicate it or learn how to manage it.

Maybe it is something that talking to an outside person would help? This could be a chat with friends/family, or a professional. Be careful, though. Sometimes I start talking about my daughter and I just can't stop crying, so it can be pretty emotional.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now