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.
is sex necessary for a happy marriage?(53 Posts)
Just that really.. Battling depression again but a particularly rough patch.. Do not want sex at all, in fact the idea makes me cringe.. Husband feeling deprived and continues to go on at me about his needs.. Feeling quite low currently xx
Oh dear, depression is bad enough without your partner pestering you for sex
Yes most people do want sex to be part of their relationships but some are happy with no sex or with very little. And in the course of a marriage there may be period of no/little sex for all sorts of reasons (stress, illness, etc). Your husband may feel frustrated, which is fair enough, but he is very wrong to pester you for sex.
Are you getting professional help for your depression? Have you seen a GP, are you on meds and/or getting counselling?
Is your husband supportive about your depression? The pestering for sex would suggest not...
Are you getting help with your depression? Your husband should be supportive as you are ill. However, most marriages include sex at whatever level both partners are comfortable with. If one partner does not want sex at all and the other does then you need to seek help to resolve the situation perhaps through counselling. Nobody should be forced to engage in sex to please someone else but likewise it's unfair to expect your partner to live without sex in his life.
As for the pressurising, if the op cannot bear the thought then even her DH mentioning it may be viewed by her as pressurising so it's difficult to say if he actually is. If he brings it up once a month say but she sees that as pressure or even once every few months then that's her perception of the situation. If however, he's asking her every night then yes, that's pressure.
It's never ok for him to pressurise you.
No wonder you're depressed living with such an unpleasant dp.
No, a man can cope very well without when his partner is ill, incapacitated, or recovering from childbirth (for example).
Most would recognise it is temporary, but even if permanent (and it happens to both sexes), they can do the right thing and not whine or pester and allow time to move on honorably and with respect. If it comes to that of course. Mostly it does not.
Sex is a massively important part of our marriage but if one of us just isn't up for it (and lately that has been me, for mh reasons) there is no pressure from the other one. I would hate to be shagged as a chore. What a repulsive idea. I do not get people who can enjoy sex thry know the other person doesn't want and is just going along with to stop their whining.
I don't think sex is neccesary if both partners are genuinely OK with that - in your case though one partner is unhappy, and this is an issue
Of course you cope if it's temporary. But most people would struggle to cope with permanent abstention whilst still young (under 70)
Yes, allowing for short-term dry spells as long as you fix the underlying problem.
Sex is 50% of a relationship. The more you have sex then the more you want it.
I think its very important to try and maintain a good sexual relationship.
I think you are thinking long-term because of what you're feeling right now, which is a mistake. Why torture yourself? You are going to get better, you are going to want sex again. Your DH needs to be understanding and you need to focus on getting better. If he can't stand beside you, then that is the measure of the man.
I have been there, and you will be okay. Get some help if you haven't already and don't put any pressure on yourself re: sex.
No, not if both of you are on the same page. But you two are not.
What's this about a happy marriage though....yours sounds fucking miserable
Oh gosh where do I start.. I think it stems from losing my nan to cancer in 2008, I was her carer for the full 3 years she was poorly, I was 15 when she fell ill. It's was the longest most painful 3 years of my life. I can still remember every single detail like it was yesterday.. It's like a poison I can't flush out and my god do I miss her incredibly. Prior to that I alway had behavioural issues as a young teen and severe anger problems after losing my nan I became an alcoholic and was very unwell.. I met a man and fell madly in love with him, he was the best thing that ever happened to me at the time..
A year after recovery (T total for 8 years now).. I met a man and had my first beautiful child, little boy who's almost 6 now.. But when my son was 2.5 years old I discovered my son had been abused on weekend contact with his biological father and fathers partner. It was a long painful process after I contacted the authorities and I had a nervous breakdown. That kills me every day and I have nightmares about it even now.
Iv had therapy, a million meds and bed rest. I have periods where I'm settled and other periods when I'm very very ill. I can't currently have meds as I'm breast feeding my now 2 month old baby. I have two children with my now husband. My 3 kids are my world and the best joy I feel. Iv always stopped medication when Iv fallen pregnant and to breast feed.
My husband is a good man although tends to create obstacles for me. He's become quite selfish recently and makes me feel like rubbish at times but I'm sure I'm not perfect either. We do have problems. 1 main one is his sexual needs. Don't get me wrong the first year of our relationship was wonderful and we were both equally sexually compatible. We had the same needs and desire for one another. That's since changed for me. I love him very much but I cannot bear the thought of him touching me or even sometimes sitting next to me if he's to close. Although I do have problems coping with loud sounds, movement and most surroundings, like work, the supermarket or even walking down the street, I can't bare someone to close to me or brushing past me, I panic and claw at the part of my body that's touched.
I struggle with it so bad that i claw my skin to bits until I bleed. My husband knows this and tries to be supportive and tries to understand how I feel. But he doesn't understand why I can't have him touch me or why I don't want to be intimate with him. I don't even understand why, he's my husband, why do I feel the same cringy feeling at the idea of him touching me or a perfect stranger accidentally brushing past me in the supermarket. Iv often vomited at the feeling.. I think it's anxiety. I literally wish I could live in a bubble so I can be in touched all the time.
With my children it's different you know.. They are my babies, my life, my air.. Occasionally when they are to much and I'm my face and jumping on me do I have to just step away for a breath (unnoticed) I don't let them see my struggles. I'm very good with fronts. We often play and jump about together it's only at times I feel a bit claustrophobic. But that's normal for me, I hate small spaces or to many people around me where I can't see a gap of space to get out of.
Anyway sorry to ramble.. I'm struggling when he tries it on and I reject him how moody he gets and arrogant. I know rejection from the one you love must be hard. He's almost desperate for sex and doesn't really stop pestering me for long, if I say no he respects it's a no of course but winges and gets on a mood with me. Occasionally he will send me a "naughty" message or makes suggestive comments and I just want to dissolve them and run away. I tried explaining this to him once but he was mortified and felt like he had come across as pushy or Pervy type thing and he felt disgusted with himself and couldn't speak to me for a while. I suppose I made him feel awful but it was difficult to explain my true feelings without some truthful statements. I'm not good at explaining, I get nervous and babble on much like I am now. I don't feel perved on or uncomfortable with him, I love him, I just feel uncomfortable with sex or any form of sexual contact. I could cuddle him til my hearts content and talk all hours of the night. That's enough for me but not him.. What am I going to do.. My mental health will ever heal and I'm afraid that my marriage may break too.. xx
Is sex necessary for a happy marriage? Well if you BOTH agree not to have it, then no, but if its a unilateral decision to not have sex then that can be a big problem and many a marriage has foundered on a lack of sex.
How long has this been going on? Are you getting treatment? Because if I was your DH and I could see that you were trying to get better I'd be a lot more understanding than if you weren't. He doesn't sound like he's being very understanding, so is that because he's an arse, or is it because he's not only sexually frustrated, but also frustrated with your lack of desire to get help?
No. It is 20 years since dh and I had sex and we have a close loving extremely happy marriage. However this is mutual we do chat about it occasionally and ask one another if we miss it. Tbh I think I would sometimes but I don't think he can now because of age and medication and we have lots of cuddles etc.
It's very soon after your baby but I would discuss what you've put here with your GP as there may be a way to help you overcome your feelings.
I see you had a baby two months ago - on top of your depression - so I'm going to go with 'he's being a selfish arse'. You don't mention if you're getting any help or treatment though. Please talk to your MW or GP as your first port of call. You need help.
It's not necessary, but you need to both feel the same about it, or else your marriage can't be happy.
DH & I didn't have sex for 7 months after we had dc2 because we were exhausted, the baby did not sleep well and tbh breastfeeding was all consuming. Your DH needs to back RIGHT off and you need to see the GP about your feelings. On the whole I'd say a completely sexless marriage seems unlikely to make most people happy forever but your DH pressurizing you is completely counter productive. I'd hate my DH if he'd been pestering me from the time my baby was 2 months or before, he's not helping at all. I don't think it's that abnormal to not want to go near him sexually under the circumstances.
I'm so sorry if Iv gone on and on.. I don't have people in my life to talk to.. Occasionally when I have a melt down il try and talk to my husband but he gets so frustrated he says, "I get it George, you don't want me, fine i won't bother again, let's just have fuck all for ourselves" then ignores me. He calms down and apologises and says he's selfish to say that when he knows I'm ill.. He says I just love you and want to share every aspect of my love with you.. Sometimes a cuddle isn't enough xx
And you have a 2 month old! I was sick and tired of being touched all the time when I had a 2 month old and a 2.5 year old. Even a hand on my shoulder, never mind arse or boob, would make me stiffen and cringe.
if your marriage is worth it, then your H needs to learn to show some respect and give you the time and space to get back to that point where being touched is no longer so stressful for you.
You've had a lot to deal with, and there's a lot that needs working on (do you have anyone doing this with you?) and that is all on top of the natural touched-out-ness of being a mum to a new baby.
You also mentioned behavioural problems as a teen. I wonder if there's any underlying neurological condition leading to your extreme reactions to stressful events.
Christ OP. I feel very sorry for both of you.
You've spent 8 years with this man and for 7 of those you've been cringing away from him as if he's a threat I know you don't do this on purpose and I'm sure you'd give anything to change it, but you must be aware of how rejecting this is for him and how it'll be affecting his self-esteem.
I do think you either need to invest in some extensive therapy which will allow you to live your life more fully - and at some point that might involve your DH as well, because it would need to become sex therapy for you as a couple. If you can't face doing that - then I think you need to consider splitting up now, before you begin to hate and resent each other, and you can still have a working coparenting relationship.
Lots of people answering the question in the thread title without actually reading/answering the OP's posts
"I can't currently have meds as I'm breast feeding my now 2 month old baby. I have two children with my now husband. My 3 kids are my world and the best joy I feel. Iv always stopped medication when Iv fallen pregnant and to breast feed."
There is medication that is safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In fact it's safer to take medication than leave severe anxiety or depression untreated. Please go and see your GP. If necessary they can prescribe medication and/or refer you for further counselling (it sounds like you need it).
You said that your husband can "create obstacles" and "make you feel like rubbish". Is he controlling? Is he critical? If so he could well be emotionally abusive. Please read these signs of emotional abuse and see if anything sounds familiar.
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.