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How much of this is me and wtf do I do?

(98 Posts)
Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 09:20:23

DH and I have been married 10 years together 13. We also own and run a company with 50 employees together (this is relevant, honestly). We have 2 DC aged 6 and 4. He is a lovely man and a brilliant dad

Tbh our sex life has never been brilliant and I suspect that at least 50% of that is because although I love and care for him and we make a good team I'm not really attracted to him anymore, but that is partly because when we do have sex it's not really enjoyable so it's a bit of a vicious circle.

Obviously there's all the usual relationship stuff that you would expect after 13 years together, but he's a good man. A bit grumpy and inclined to sulk but not abusive in any way.

Anyway...

The last couple of times we've had sex I've gone from not particularly wanting to, which I could live with, to actively not wanting to, which I can't. The last time we did was last weekend and I felt a kind of internal horror the whole time but didn't really feel I was in a position to refuse because we've been arguing a bit recently and I felt I needed to show him everything was OK.

Then last night I was in bed when he came up. He put his hand on my hip and started stroking me and I kind of half laughed and said "that's a bit optimistic for this time of night". He said "yes but I can still have a play though" and carried on touching me. I was lying on my side facing away from him and didn't respond to either the comment or the touching at all. After a few minutes I got up and got a drink of water and that was pretty much it.

So...

Nothing happened, I didn't say no, he didn't do anything wrong, but I still feel horrible this morning. I know I'm probably not going to be able to avoid sex this weekend without upsetting him (no violence, just low level sulking) so I'm pretty much going to do it even though I don't want to just to keep the peace. But I don't want to go on feeling like this forever.

So what do I do? I can't leave - the investors we have for the business mean I actually literally can't - my contract only allows me to leave from death or critical illness for the next 5 years at least. Plus I think that once you have children assuming there's no abuse then you have a responsibility to put their happiness first rather than your own so I don't feel comfortable breaking up the family unit at the moment.

But I don't want to go on feeling like this either I don't know what I can do

Oh, have name changed for this obvs

Ikeameatballs Sat 12-Mar-16 09:26:15

You need to talk to your husband about how you feel. Express in as kind a way as possible what you would like from your sex life that you don't have right now and see what can be salvaged.

Essentially your other options are to split, which you feel that you can't do, although I would argue that where there's a will there's a way, refuse to have sex with him and expect him to be ok with that or have sex that you don't want for the next 5 years and I dread to think what that would do to your soul.

Joysmum Sat 12-Mar-16 09:31:28

Have you tried to educate him on what you do find enjoyable?

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 09:33:41

Thank you for replying smile

I'm not sure our sex life can be salvaged tbh. It is something we have talked about a bit before, but that just leads to more sex when what I really want is less sex. Tbh I feel a bit resentful this morning because I did try and gently put him off and feel that it should have been noticeable that I wasn't up for it.

I guess that's why I'm posting. The sex I don't want for 5 years seems like the only viable option and that makes me sad

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 09:39:52

Oh, yes, I have tried. I'm not inexperienced and used to be quite sexually confident. I think the problem is really that I just don't fancy him any more.

Over the years I think the pressure of living and working together and the minor resentments and frustrations that can go along with that have eroded that side of our relationship for me

Cinnamon2013 Sat 12-Mar-16 09:41:30

Putting your children first does not always mean staying together.

From your post it does sound like there is enough good in the relationship to make it worth working at, though. Would you consider relationship counselling?

ProfGrammaticus Sat 12-Mar-16 09:44:32

I don't know whether you can get it back, but based on what you have said I think you need to try to reconnect. Could you start to see him as more than a parenting and business partner if you worked on your relationship and spent time together doing it her activities? That's what staying together would mean.

wishiwasntme Sat 12-Mar-16 10:04:21

Sounds like you need to work on your relationship and try and get the spark back (it's worth a try if you don't want to leave).

Maybe suggesting date nights and doing more fun, relaxing things together would help you both grow closer to each other so that you want the physical side of the relationship back. Making more of an effort to be intimate in other ways, eg, cuddles, hand holding, massage that doesn't lead to sex, etc.

Would you both consider counselling to see if that would help and talking through things that have built up and are now causing resentments?

I live with a someone that sulks and I like to tackle things head on and clear the air, so I know how resentment can build up in your head; being able to talk things through with the support of a counsellor might just be the tonic you both need. Do you think he would be willing if he realised that you've got to the point that you are thinking about leaving.

Am I right in thinking that you find it hard being with him 24/7 ?
Maybe having regular time away alone would help you both appreciate what you have. I go away without my dh and dc about 4 times a year (usually just for 1 night) to stay with a friend and I always come back refreshed and having missed them.

Anyway, hope that helps and sorry if you've already tried this stuff. smile

PoundingTheStreets Sat 12-Mar-16 10:13:34

I know I'm probably not going to be able to avoid sex this weekend without upsetting him (no violence, just low level sulking)

You say he's not abusive, but TBH I just can't get past the above statement. There is no room for that sort of behaviour in a healthy relationship; there just isn't. If you can't deal with this soon, you are going to find yourself in an abusive relationship before you know it, because you're creating (or rather allowing) a dynamic to be established where unacceptable behaviour results in your acquiescence. Slippery slope.

You can leave him and continue the business. Plenty of people do; including two friends of mine (and no the break up wasn't amicable, but they both wanted the business to succeed and their children not to suffer more than they were interested in point scoring against each other).

It may be that this is really early days in terms of things crossing a line, in which case maybe you can salvage it, but you need to do something, otherwise this pattern of behaviour will extend into other areas of your relationship and that is most definitely not a lesson you want your children to be internalising growing up.

I'd start by talking to your H about it (write him a letter if you can't talk face to face) and maybe arranging counselling.

Good luck. flowers

summerainbow Sat 12-Mar-16 10:27:32

Sex therapy might be good . Now is something relate is ok in . So I would recommend it

nina99ballons Sat 12-Mar-16 11:19:32

For me once the sex has gone, I know it's the beginning of the end.

No amount of sex therapy can create chemistry that's not there naturally and tbh if it's always been a bit meh then you've not got the base to work work from. As difficult as it is, talking to him is the only option really.

ladylambkin Sat 12-Mar-16 11:28:21

I don't think sulking leads to an abusive relationship at all. We can all have down days where it's difficult to communicate how we are feeling. I agree with date nights and trying to reconnect. It's very difficult with family life and working together to get the right balance and I think you both have lost your way a bit. Hope all goes well and things improve for both of you

ImperialBlether Sat 12-Mar-16 11:35:37

You talk about the contract which means you can't leave, but surely you could live separately and continue working together?

BoyGirlBoy3 Sat 12-Mar-16 11:39:15

Do you like him?, as in approve of his behaviour/opinions. Do you love him? do you like how he smells? I am just trying to see what there is to work with?

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 11:40:02

I think that's the thing wish. We spend 24 hrs a day together. Every day. He is friendly and gets on with everybody but doesn't have friends that he socialises with - he is quite happy just to be with me.

He doesn't really like us to do anything separately, we drive in to work together, go for lunch together, work together during the day, drive home together and spend the evening on the sofa together. I do go away for work meetings without him sometimes during the day and occasionally overnight, which he doesn't really like and complains about. He doesn't even like to go to the super market on his own and much prefers us to go 'as a family'.

I feel as if I only exist in relation to the business (I am the most critical person to the company), the DC and him. I don't feel much sense of myself as an individual anymore and when I try to gently do things on my own a bit more he clearly sees it as a sort of betrayal.

nina99ballons Sat 12-Mar-16 11:40:38

Sulking because you don't get want you want is a form of control.

I think it's especially damaging around sex, which should always be mutually consensual otherwise it manipulates the other person into giving in or relenting to avoid the sulking/silent treatment. What's not abusive about that?

You should only have sex because you want to, big to keep someone happy. Op if you don't want sex with him, then you don't have to force yourself. That's a horrible way to live.

nina99ballons Sat 12-Mar-16 11:44:36

Are you happy with that arrangement of being together 24/7? Sounds very suffocating and controlling to me. Do you have your own friends?

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 11:49:04

Oh. Leaving the relationship but staying in the business had honestly never occurred to me. Perhaps because we've always worked together (since before we were a couple) and so much of our relationship is about work now

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 11:50:47

I do have a couple of friends from uni who have children about the same age. But I don't see them much and then only with the kids and/or with him. I probably go out on my own 4/5 times a year

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 12:06:45

I do like him BoyGirl. I care about him a lot, we enjoy doing the same things, generally have the same sense of humour etc, there are still good things and I know that he loves me.

But.... both our home and work relationships are set up around me doing at least 80% of the work (and pretty much all of the shit work) and I feel that over the years I have gradually come to resent this, and it has eroded my feelings and I'm not sure I can get them back

Ihopeyouhadthetimeofyourlife Sat 12-Mar-16 12:08:08

And no, I don't like the smell of him anymore. I think that's one of the things that's bothering me.

FinallyHere Sat 12-Mar-16 12:09:03

Whenever i read people expressing the view that its just that 'the spark' has gone, I wonder how much they enjoy their day to day, minute to minute life. I'd suggest that they find those 'minor' niggles that suck the joy out of life and work out together how to resolve them.

Then i read your follow up about being together every minute of every day or he complains. That's more than a minor niggle, I defy anyone not to go stark staring mad in those circumstances. It may be that he is insecure, especially if you are key to the business. I think you need to talk about what you each want out of your lives, including but not limited to home & work, but first you need to work out what you want.

For me, it would be a cease and desist order on moaning/sulking about anything and some private time to myself. The no moaning/sulking would need a forfeit agreed between you, so you have a neutral way to point out anytime he breaks that rule.

How can you ever crave the closeness that sex brings, if you are never apart?

FinallyHere Sat 12-Mar-16 12:11:41

Just seen your follow up: can that, partners in work from now on.

And reorganise the work so its not you doing all the s*it stuff. You have the power here, you can get the arrangements changed. Having the business crash if you are not there is power, not a burden to keep you in servitude.

ProfGrammaticus Sat 12-Mar-16 12:14:26

I don't think you can go on like this. So it's either try to change things or leave, really, isn't it.

DoreenLethal Sat 12-Mar-16 12:17:37

But.... both our home and work relationships are set up around me doing at least 80% of the work (and pretty much all of the shit work) and I feel that over the years I have gradually come to resent this, and it has eroded my feelings and I'm not sure I can get them back

Would the investors prefer you to take the business rather than leave it with him in charge? If so, take it and get yourself a decent life without him.

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