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Don't know where to go from here... My marriage is shit.

(26 Posts)
AlmondMagnum Thu 02-Jul-15 22:05:19

From the outside we're the perfect, young, happy family: married, beautiful smiley 1 year old baby boy, great jobs, lovely house, we even got a nice new car recently. But at least 80% of the time, we're miserable with eachother. Been married nearly 3 years and been a couple for nearly 6.

Our relationship has never been perfect but things have definitely got steadily worse over the past year. We have snidey horrible bitter little arguments about the stupidest things. We have sex maybe once a week or so, because being a mum is tiring and I don't feel in the mood when I just want to sit/lie down and do nothing at the end of a hard day, and not be groped (if I 'force myself' to have sex for his sake, it kind of feels like I'm just being groped rather than enjoyable intimacy).

We haven't had sex for a week or two and it's nothing personal, I just keep saying no when he asks purely because I'm tired. I don't see why it should be a big deal but clearly his sex drive far exceeds mine. Today he brought the subject up again, as he does every month or so: "why do we never have sex?". The question itself insults me, once every week or so does not equal "never". And this time he even suggested that maybe he should be "allowed" to have sex with other people as we "never" seem to do it. Tried to talk himself out of it when I became angry at this but essentially I now feel threatened that if I don't put out, he's going to get his rocks off elsewhere.

To be honest I feel physically sick about that last bit. I tried explaining that if he wants more sex, maybe rather than putting in another one of these stupid formal complaints he could think of some ways to make me feel more special and put me in the mood, maybe try a little romance instead of making me feel like what I do is not enough. It seems it's all about the sex for him.

For the past year I probably think of divorce most days. But I can't throw away our lifestyle that we've worked so hard for. I don't want to be a single mum living in a little flat. I like our home, our family life, I just feel hatred for my husband way too often to be healthy. What am I supposed to do? If someone says "leave him" - how? How do people get by throwing so much away when they leave their long term partners? Is it even worth the struggle? Or should we keep working at this somehow?

I just feel so miserable, I can have an amazing day and still feel miserable at the end of the day and have to deal with him.

Sorry it's such a long post. Just needed to vent I guess. I hope someone can offer some MN wisdom or even hear from someone who has been in a similar situation as I feel so lonely and can't share these thoughts with family or friends as I don't like the idea of them knowing our relationship is shit. sad

rumred Thu 02-Jul-15 22:18:29

You sound sad and defeated. There's a few things jump out. Being pestered for sex is wrong on every level and he needs to grow the fuck up and accept he's a very big part of the problem. Sex once a week is good going. Your h needs to address what's really wrong because I'd wager it's not sex. Also are you depressed? You sound flat.
Talking to a friend will usually help a lot. Living a lie is not good for you.
Hope someone comes along with good advice soon

ShebaShimmyShake Thu 02-Jul-15 22:20:54

I'm sorry you're going through this. I imagine it's not uncommon for couples to have arguments about sex when they have a new baby. You say your troubles really got worse over the past year, and your son is one year old. There must be a correlation.

I think women tend to want sex as an affirmation of the feelings and relationship dynamic they have already established, while for men the sex is part of the process of building said feelings and dynamic. So you may want him to demonstrate his feelings before you agree enthusiastically to sex, but he may want sex as a means to redevelop those feelings after having a baby.

You say you'd like him to make you feel special and put you in the mood...do you know what you'd like him to do to this end? Could you tell him? I appreciate how exhausted and unsexy you might be feeling with a young child but I have to confess I'd really struggle in a relationship where I never got sex, or never got satisfying sex.

worserevived Thu 02-Jul-15 22:22:53

You sound exhausted. Is he pulling his weight at home? I'd hazard a guess not or he'd be just as tired as you in the evening. Having someone else cook dinner, wash up and put the baby to bed can be a great aphrodisiac...

In your shoes I'd start with a long talk about shared responsibilities, and go from there.

AlmondMagnum Thu 02-Jul-15 22:24:45

So you may want him to demonstrate his feelings before you agree enthusiastically to sex, but he may want sex as a means to redevelop those feelings after having a baby.

This is so true, for both sides. He seems to behave more loving towards me and is just generally a brighter, happier person when we've been having more sex. When we have less sex - he seems more detached and dejected.

Rebecca2014 Thu 02-Jul-15 22:43:52

Once a week sounds pretty normal to me. If he wants to fall on that sword, let him as eventually he end up in same situation with another woman and she may not even want have sex once a week!!

rumred Thu 02-Jul-15 22:44:02

You said your marriage is shit. What else is wrong? It's rarely sex in isolation that causes problems but I suppose shagging more will help hmm

Howsithanging Thu 02-Jul-15 22:54:07

I'm not sure this relationship is salvageable if you say you feel 'hatred' towards your husband. That's pretty extreme. I had a nasty divorce and was very angry with exh but still didn't hate him.

ouryve Thu 02-Jul-15 22:57:36

Living in a small flat is infinitely better than living with an arsehole. Sod "lifestyle".

Zzzsnatcher Thu 02-Jul-15 23:01:46

I wonder if you are hating him because you are being pestered. He really needs to back off and realise he's got it good. Id feel very gutted if he suggested other people. Does he make you feel loved and respected?

ouryve Thu 02-Jul-15 23:03:24

And to reiterate points already made, a good relationship can often survive periods of drought on the sex front without and feelings of coercion or threats of infidelity. Yours doesn't sound like a good relationship, though. It almost comes across as if you're both going through the motions and play acting with someone you don't even like that much.

In what ways has your relationships "never been perfect"?

GinAndSonic Thu 02-Jul-15 23:09:48

He sounds like an arse.
Fwiw, i took my 2 kids and walked out, leaving all our things behind. We have new things now, and a little flat that feels like a palace, because im not crowded by the presence of a man who sees me as nanny, cook, cleaner and cock-recepticle. Its so good to not have that anger, resentment etc there all the time. I dont regret it, my life is much happier now.

CluckingBelle Thu 02-Jul-15 23:16:11

Sexual coercion is a horrible thing to live with. Do you find yourself agreeing to sex just to keep him in a good mood? I did. It was awful and degrading, and made me feel worthless. And it was never enough. Him wanting sex more than once a week became every other day, then every day, then that wasn't enough as he wanted me to initiate it and I wasn't enjoying it enough, until it got to a point where he would wake me up in the night and if I protested he would threaten to kick off and wake the kids.

Making you feel that he may look elsewhere if you don't put out is a classic 'sexual controller' tactic from the freedom programme. This man is not respecting you, he is behaving as though you are there to serve his needs.

GinAndSonic Thu 02-Jul-15 23:18:31

clucking yes, the sexual coercion was probably the worst bit of my abusive marriage. I felt pressured constantly. Ive been having counselling with rape crisis. It has helped a lot.

Fearless91 Thu 02-Jul-15 23:18:58

OP you have to tell him what you need from him.

Tell him you want him to make an effort. Make you feel special. Tell him to help around the house more (if he doesn't already?).

But to be quite frank, I could not be in a relationship with no to little sex. It's a horrible situation. You don't want sex because you don't feel special (understandable) He isn't making the effort because he isn't getting sex.

I don't think he's an arse for wanting more of a sex life. But he's going about it the wrong way.
If you want this marriage to survive you're gunna have to go back to basics.

Hire a babysitter a few times a week. Have 1 night out a week together just you and him. Have fun together! Have a childminder so you can have an afternoon to yourself.

But carrying on this way, no sex and resenting each other is never going to solve the issues.

GinAndSonic Thu 02-Jul-15 23:22:37

Whoops, hit send too soon!

You dont have to live like this OP, you can choose to leave. You could be so happy, dont choose misery out of fear of the unknown.

CluckingBelle Thu 02-Jul-15 23:24:28

Gin, how did you go about getting counselling if you don't mind me asking? I feel like I will always carry that with me and wonder if counselling would help.

Lweji Thu 02-Jul-15 23:29:09

I was going to post something encouraging to find that spark again, blah, blah,
But then the comment about sex really convinced me that you will be better off on your own than with someone who is capable of wanting you to just put out, or seek it elsewhere and tell it to your face.

If you want to give it a chance he should be fully on board. He should listen to you, and respect your boundaries.

Only you can choose between your material life style and your emotional life style. Is a house really worth living with someone you hate?

PurpleWithRed Thu 02-Jul-15 23:29:50

When I was wrestling with my marriage I bought a book called something like 'should I stay or should I go'. Point 1 was 'how good was it at its best, because if it wasn't good then it's unlikely to ever be better'.

Personally I think you know your marriage is over and you're starting to work up the courage to leave. I wish I'd had the guts to leave my husband 15 years before I did - I wasted 15 years of my life that could have been filled with freedom and happiness. Don't make my mistake.

Incidentally XDH is now much happier (and nicer) than he ever was when he was married to me.

GinAndSonic Thu 02-Jul-15 23:37:09

I was referred by a DV advocate / support worker. I knew about the local womens centre, found they had a DV support service based there, self referred to them for support and their version of the freedom programme. Disclosed the sexual stuff and was referred by them.
If you google, you can find your local branch of rape crisis, and self refer. You can pm me for more info about what its been like for me, so i dont hijack the thread.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 02-Jul-15 23:49:50

What is there to like about your family life if you "just feel hatred for my husband way too often to be healthy"?

Mutually enjoyable sex is a very important part of marriage and when that goes out of the window, love and respect tend to follow.

If he's pulling his weight child and chore wise, I suggest you get yourself checked out at your GP's surgery to rule out a thryroid problem, iron or vitamin d deficiency, or similar, which could be making you feel tired.

It can be all too easy to become absorbed in the work/mum stuff and have little time or inclination for anything else, but that's not a healthy life balance.

If you don't have family nearby, hire a babysitter and set up regular 'date nights' (I loathe the term!) so that you can have opportunity to reconnect as a couple.

As he's clearly not a mindreader, if you want romance in your marriage it seems to me that you're going to have lead the way and hope that he'll learn by osmosis.

When was the last time either of you gave the other an affectionate hug and said 'I love you' apropos of nothing at all?

If none of the above results in any improvement, life is far too short to squander it in a miserable marriage no matter how nice the home/car/holidays etc.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 03-Jul-15 00:13:01

He seems to behave more loving towards me and is just generally a brighter, happier person when we've been having more sex. When we have less sex - he seems more detached and dejected.

Loving sex with the person you adore isn't just life-enhancing - it's life affirming and snuggling up in bed together is something to look foward to at the end of a long day, or week/month for some.

I invariably sleep better when I'm sexually sated/satisfied and wake like the cat who's got the cream refreshed ready to crack on with the new day and it obviously puts a spring in the step of your dh too.

There must have been a time when you couldn't keep your hands off him and the honeymoon doesn't have to end just because you're no longer newly married.

Lweji Fri 03-Jul-15 00:21:38

Mutually enjoyable sex is a very important part of marriage and when that goes out of the window, love and respect tend to follow.

I'd say the reverse.
When love and respect go out the window, mutually enjoyable sex tends to follow.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 03-Jul-15 00:58:04

That too, Lweji. It can be an either/or, and I would begin to feel pissed off with resent a signifcant other who continually rebuffed my advances, so to speak, on the grounds that they were too tired.

If that were to happen I might feel a tad dejected, but not rejected as I'd bin 'em smile

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 03-Jul-15 01:29:09

I really can't get past the fact that he asked for permission to sleep with other people because you're only having sex once a week on average. I know a lot of PPs are acting like that means he's sex deprived and constantly rejected but you are not in the middle of a year-long drought and even if you were there's no excuse for him saying that. It was a blatant attempt to pressure you into sex.

You sound tired. He may be happier if you have sex with him but it doesn't sound like having sex will fix all the issues for you. You deserve to have your problems recognised too.

If you feel your marriage is shit and only financial considerations are keeping you in it then check all your figures, find out about any benefits you would be entitled to, plan a budget for a life without your DH and leave. tbh your DC deserves a better relationship template and both you and your DH deserve the opportunity to have a relationship bound by love and respect and sex rather than money and a house.

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