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.
No sex, no idea what to do(54 Posts)
I don't know what to do. DH's work is one where we have to move country every 3-5years. He is not British. We have two DC under three.
DH doesn't touch me. He doesn't want to have sex with me. Last time we had sex was October 2013. Before that was Jan 2013 and before that was end of 2011. He loves me though and I him. He has started seeing a medically trained sexologist (ie I think he's also a gynaecologist, not a only a "counsellor") who says he has a naturally very low libido.
Him agreeing that he has a problem has taken years to arrive at and has gone through many, many iterations of me thinking it's all my fault (I'm now clear that it's not, but my self-esteem has been damaged). It's also a big deal because he finds it virtually impossible to discuss sex, including with me.
The sex was never frequent or earth shattering, but because I was secure in the fact that he loved me I thought it would come with time, so was patient - and I had NO idea that men wouldn't want sex (I know, I know).
So, DH had one appointment and the dr gave him his personal phone number (so no going through hospital secretary) because he wanted to see him before he went on a month's holiday. DH didn't call.
I know it's only a month, but it took two months from the time he was given the referral to actually call, and only then because I had a meltdown.
I've been looking into divorce, but it's extraordinarily complicated because neither of us are nationals of our current country and we didn't get married here either. I've not worked properly due to moving with his job for the past 7 years. I've got no family to speak of and no friends here. He has both. The house comes with his job. I can't see a way where it works out ok for me. I literally have nowhere to go. Additionally, I cannot leave this country with the kids, without his written agreement. Because of our lifestyle, I don't really have anywhere to "return" to anyway - my friends are literally all over the world.
I'm finding it harder and harder to continue. Today I've just been trying not to cry the whole day. I have started to think that there's no point in even living anymore. I've felt down about it for a long, long time (and he knows this) but never this down. I've told my GP and she essentially thinks that the level of stress this has put on me is at least a contributing factor to my health problems at the moment.
I don't want to go on antidepressants, because taking a pill everyday should not be the solution to my marriage and it would be a daily reminder too. I do love him too so I don't really want to divorce, in addition to the massive difficulties that would cause.
And I HATE how people (especially visiting in-laws) see me down or irritated and think I'm unreasonable, I have a beautiful life, a husband who does lots with the kids etc, when behind the scenes I'm struggling with the fact that my DH hasn't so much as touched my arm for over a year.
I don't even know why I'm writing this, I just need to tell someone I guess.
Taking an AD would not be a "solution to your marriage", but a means to help you get into a better state to find such a solution. Please consider just a short course.
ADs helped me to finally go for the divorce I needed. (Not saying divorce is necessarily your solution, though)
clay it sounds like a very stressful lifestyle, picking up and moving country every few years. Some people like it and some people don't. No wonder you are down with no real support network where you are.
Secondly the sex thing. You and your dh need to talk about it as he has taken the first step and found out what the cause was.
Can I ask how long a short course is? I thought ADs were all long term things that took months to get right.
Oh God you poor thing. I was in a very similar situation.
Expats. Haven't had sex since 1995. Yes you read that right! One DS conceived through IVF as I knew the pressures of trying to get pregnant weren't helping the whole sex thing. Once we looked into getting help to conceive it turned out we would have needed help anyway as his speem count was v low.
At one point after we had DS we were living in Europe, my family are in Ireland and like you we had friends all over.
We had counselling for a while but the counselled left and there wasn't anyone else really. And one sentence stuck out from our first session. It wouldn't bother DH if he never had sex again. He is just not interested.
I almost left. But I decided I was as much t blame for the fact that we were married with a child as I had pushed for that knowing that sex was non existent. I should have left him years ago. But I didn't. And then we brought a child into it. So leaving with DS would have meant going to Ireland or UK and taking DS (who loves his dad) away. DH is also adopted so DS is is only blood relative. I decided I couldn't do it. So I stayed.
We are now ten years down the line. DS is 13 and we are back in the UK.
Still no sex. We have separate bedrooms.
But. It's fine. We get on really well now. They say use it or lose it. I lost it! I'm not bothered now. I've been through the menopause so that might have something to do with not being interested too.
It really depends on if yu think you can continue to live the way you are.
It depends on the type of ADs, the individual person.
How about some sort of therapy if you prefer not to take ADs? Somewhere you can go and talk because it sounds like you don't have anyone to talk to.
Still - he can't talk about it. I've tried a million different ways, direct and indirect. He's just can't. After his first session, he was in the worst mood I've ever seen him in. He kept saying it was HARD.
Cider - I need to be physically loved. I wish I didn't.
It can take a few weeks for ADs to kick in properly - though I have found that they work pretty quickly for me. So I'm guessing about 3 months for a short course. (Have been on and off them over the years, and seem to need maintenance dose myself, so can't be more specific, sorry)
I don't know what to say except I am sorry you are feeling so awful.
Have you told him you are thinking about a divorce because you just can't live like this any longer? What was his response?
You say he has not touched you at all. That suggests it is more than a low libido. Was he ever affectionate and loving in a normal day to day way? It is very hard tolive without affection for most people.
It sounds as if that is his default position in life and as such that is where he is comfortable and will stay. I don't think this will change.
How do you know he loves you? He sounds cold and distant. How can he share anything emotionally if there is not even a hug or a cuddle. What is his reaction if you hug him?
Is he affectionate with the children- does he hug them or does he do activities and go places with them so they spend time with him but not hug them?
You say he has family where you live, and friends. Might they do some childminding so you could start work part-time? That would at least give you some earnings and something to put on a CV - you would be starting to build a future for yourself slowly.
Sorry I am not much help. I can't think that I could continue with what you are living with but there needs to be a route through it for you.
My DH is very loving and that physical contact is so important to us both- just a hug, a kiss, holding hands, his arm around me on the sofa when the tv is on. It is warm and reassuring and close. I would hate to be without that. You must feel so lonely and angry with him.
Clay - I know. We all do. I cried myself to sleep many many nights.
Have you thought about going to joint counciling?
Also, I am not trying to upset you but do you think your DH might be gay? It might explain why he is so great in so many ways apart from the bedroom.
Are there any women's groups you can join to build a support network.
Just to talk it through night be good. The Samaritans are there 24/7 for you.
I hope you did a positive solution for a difficult situation.
On a more radical note, if it is just the sex which is missing, how would your DH react to the option of an open marriage. I saw a program where there are online groups where married people in sexless marriages come together for sex as they love their partners but the sex has gone.
Got to go to kids so can't reply properly. Will be back later.
I don't think you need ADs, you're not mentally ill, your just dealing with difficult life circumstances. They can have unpleasant side effects. What you really need is support - someone to talk through your problems with, and work out what to do.
He's not gay, is he? But wants the trappings of "normal" wife & family (perhaps needed for his job/profession?) There's more of that about than you'd think.
you would have to look into the law of the country you are living in to see what is said about divorcing
each country deals with it differently
also if lack of sex would be reason for divorce
you need to have all facts before you make your next step
as for how you feel - sadness is natural reaction to loss of affection, so you are sad, disappointed and unhappy - AD's won't help IMHO
how is your sleep?
I also thought that he may be gay, but it is possible that he lost interest in you as a sexual partner and is to scared to face consequences of it
saying that - just remembered one of my friends divorced her DH as he never had any libido and hid it from her for years
Thanks everyone. I'm on phone so can't reply with names, but hopefully I'll get all the questions.
I've asked him if he was gay, after "realising" that that must be it. He insisted that's not it. That of course made me wonder if he was insisting too much. It was a few years ago and I'm pretty certain he's not, after watching him like a hawk.
I also "realised" one weekend that he must have been sexually abused as a child. So, very, very gently I brought the subject up. Apparently that's not it either.
Then I asked him if he was asexual, and he says no. He says he wants to have sex with me, he just has a low libido. I don't get it.
Also, because it's a common problem these days, he's not into porn - at all. He's very much against it and strippers. He's walked out of a strip bar before, after telling the woman who was paid to give him a lap dance that she was degrading herself and him by doing it. I'd say that could sounds gay, however, he really is a very fair person (out with our intimate relationship) and is not interested in men or women being exploited, so it's not out of character.
I've also spoken about divorce and although his response was annoying (more blaming me and self-pitying than anything else), I found out later that he told the GP that he needs help, or we'll get a divorce.
I've also told him (after reading masses on mumsnet - thanks mumsnet) that when we married we promised to meet each other's needs and he's not even trying to meet mine. If he doesn't want to, then he should let me get them met elsewhere. It didn't go down too well, but I think it contributed to him realising that it's not just his needs that are important..or lack of them.
In reality, I'd feel that if broken something if I slept with someone else, even if I had good reason too, and I'd feel awful, so I know I don't really want an open marriage.
This evening he spontaneously brought the subject up! He obviously realised what my sadness today was. It ended in a big argument, because I told him how I'd been feeling. Apparently it's too much for him to handle [insert any number of expletives here!]. The sexologist wants me to come to a meeting and I suggested I go to one alone first (basically because I've a lot to get off my chest and I know he won't want to hear it in it's raw form!). I'm totally onboard with the whole therapy thing for him. We'll see how it goes though.
As for me, whoever said I need someone to talk to is right! The thing is, that his therapy is expensive and I'm not sure we can afford more fees on top of that - and I don't want money to be a reason for him not to go.
And to one of the first posters who was/is in a similar situation, I don't pity you, but I am sorry that you've had to go through this pain. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy (although I would wish a week of it on DH, so he cold really "get it"!).
LuluJakey - not physically affectionate ever really. His parents aren't either, but brother and sister are in their respective relationships.
His family don't do hugs though, except with young children. They're lively warm, welcoming people, but hugs don't happen. When we got together, I find it bemusing and had to actually teach him how to hug! He'd just let his arms flop around me. Now he occasionally hugs me - a few times a month (haven't counted, but on average not more than once per week) and it's like he's holding me, but almost mechanically. No extra squeeze at the end, for example.
I'm - hmm, I was - a very affectionate person with everybody. Certainly very tactile. I'd always give people big hugs and I'd love to hold hands with my boyfriend,touch his back, have his hand on my back, have and give massages (both sexual and not) etc. it's just not there with him and it seems his previous relationship wasn't tactile either.
He's affectionate with the children, which to begin with was a great shock and relief. Now I'm just happy that he's more "normal" with them.
Do you do many things as a couple? Do you like spending time together?
As time goes on it becomes harder, because, for example, if I just wake up from a dream in which I'm lying in bed in post-sex sweaty wonderfulness with my DH, and the reality is far from that, I find it hard to be around him for a while.
But yes, in general.
Oh and forgot - his family doesn't live near, but visit every few months.
does he never kiss you or hug you in be at all?
being in bed skin to skin (no clothes) helps with intimacy
does he wear his pyjamas?
We aren't in the same bed at moment due to kids, but when we were, he'd give me a peck on the cheek and then just turn over. He doesn't wear PJs.
In the beginning, we used to sleep holding hands, because I only like spooning when I'm in front and would always end up with him in front. It worked better to hold hands and we'd wake up still holding hands too. It was quite nice!
He gives me a peck on the lips - the way my grandfather kissed me (very "properly") goodnight as a kid - before going to bed and arriving home in the evening. It's literally a peck on the lips, not giving me a hug and kiss. He does the same with the kids, but with a hug, in part because he needs to pick them up to do it though. It's as in romantic a kiss as you can imagine.
He's never been up for passionate long kisses.
I feel a TOTAL idiot for being in this situation. Which doesn't help my self-esteem. He told me he was really shy about sex early in the relationship, and I believed him. In fact, he believed himself too. It was only later when he realised it was more than shyness, or so he says. I do believe him though. He's not very self-aware, so I've found out.
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.