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 it possible to repair a, currently sexless, relationship where all the respect has gone?(46 Posts)
I have been thinking about leaving my DH for a while. Since before the wedding I am sad to say. I shouldn’t have gone through with it but had this idea that ‘everything will be alright’. We’ve been together 8 years and married 5.
We argue all the time. I feel he doesn’t pull his weight, mainly in the sense of ‘life admin’. Housework we share more or less equally these days but it took a long time of ‘nagging’, arguing, begging and pleading. When something needs to be done, e.g. pay a bill, make an appointment etc. either I do it, or I ask him to do it. If I decide to do it, it gets done. If I ask him to do it, it either doesn’t or eventually it does, after many reminders. He often lies when I ask him if he’s done something, or denies that I asked him to do it. He also never sees things that need doing. He will open post and it will stay on the table for days. It doesn’t take long to file things away and/or to put stuff in the recycling surely? But he won’t do it unless I ask. Every. Single. Time.
Over the years he has gotten (much) better but I feel like I’ve gradually lost respect for him. I feel resentful that I have had to teach him to do stuff that he should know how to do. I mean how hard is it to put washing in the laundry basket. He can’t even fold a towel, or wipe a surface properly. How can I respect a man who behaves like a child? We haven’t had sex for 2 years. The thought of even kissing him makes my stomach turn. I also stopped finding him attractive years ago. It wasn’t helped by the fact I like to keep fit and for years, he didn’t. He is fit(ter) now, years later but the attraction just isn’t there anymore. He’s just very lazy and laid back and I guess I’m anxious and neurotic. He feels that he can’t do anything right. He hates the way I speak to him, and so do I. I am becoming a person I hate. I say horrible things, call him horrible names. I fear I am chipping away at his confidence but I can’t stop getting angry with him because he’s just so useless a lot of the time And even if he does loads, these days I will find the one thing he hasn’t done and go mental. Everything is coloured by past experiences. We have huge problems. We tried counselling and it didn’t help.
Context: we are both in our mid-thirties, both have busy jobs, a mortgage and no kids. He is actually a really decent guy and probably does loads compared to other DHs. But I don’t know how we can come back from all the hate, resentment and awful things that have been said (on both sides). DH doesn’t want to separate, and neither do I really as I do love him and we have the same outlook on life, the same sense of humour, agree on most things, and want to do lots of travelling together. Together we have enough money to do these things, if we got divorced we’d have to sell the house and it would be a lot harder for me to do all the travelling I want to do. But I am too young to live in a sexless, hateful marriage. Both of us are. I just wish I could relax and accept him for who he is, and start having sex with him again. I feel so angry and upset at myself that I have become this horrible person who can’t stop criticising her DH. Are we doomed?
You know you're not being fair to him. You're not attracted to him and I think you've just grown fond of him. You need to split for both your sakes.
It sounds like a horrible marriage. Your contempt for him is palpable.
Set the man free.
I'm amazed you married when you're so different from one another. We're you together very long beforehand? Did you know one another well?
You love him OP? What do you love about him? It sounds like you absolutely can't stand him. I feel sorry for both of you, it sounds really miserable. Do you think you're depressed? Is life a struggle in general, or is it just your relationship that brings you down?
The lack of sex, that may well be something that can be repaired, but the lack of respect is much tougher. You say you have been feeling like this since before you got married. What were your concerns before the wedding and why did you decide to go through with it?
I really don't see how you could pull this back, or for that matter why you'd want to. You're both young enough to start again with someone you can be happier with, so why no split and go do that? Life's too short!
You sound like you don't even like him. You say you love him but It really doesn't sound like you do.
Read back your post. You call him a child, say you have no respect for him and say that he makes your stomach turn. You also say you regret marrying him. Just think for a moment how you would feel if he said these things about you?
You are basically saying this mans annoys, disgusts and frustrates me. He makes me sick but I am staying with him so I can afford to travel.
Sorry but if my DH said those things about me he would be on the fucking kerb. Do the right thing and walk away.
We never lived together before we married - not out of religious reasons, just practical ones. Things might have been different if we had. We thought we knew each other well. But we had a long distance relationship. If you only meet up at weekends then you only get to see the best side of each other I guess.
I don't think you are doomed.
Would it help if you took some time away from each other, time to let the past resentments ebb away, would that be possible?
Do you fancy anyone else or has your libido just gone through the floor?
I separated from my ex-husband over two years ago (sexless marriage for similar reasons.....just didn't fancy him at all due to the dynamic between us, I did crave other people though).
I have rediscovered a fun sex life and flirtation, but it is not easy to meet long term partners who are genuinely compatible. When one of these new flirty blokes turns out to be crazy/an asshole I get a shock and realize how decent my ex-husband was, even though I still do not fancy him.
You are absolutely correct about the finances issue. I am broke and am sick of being broke. People expect me not to be because I have a decent job, but running a home (and in my case caring for kids costs a lot of money). If travel and luxuries are important to you, then yes, you will have less disposable income as a single person (unless you downsize dramatically).
What are your priorities?
Do you have sex when you are on holidays?
Do you ever feel enthusiastic about it?
I hated sex with my ex-husband and it was soul destroying and so liberating to be free from that expectation. Both he and I are happier with our new sex lives, even though mine is a little erratic. He has since met someone new and is a relationship with her.
Jesus woman. Leave him. He'll never ever win with you now. You can't stand him and you show it. He must be fucking miserable.
I see what you're all saying I've brought up the subject of divorce, for the sake of both of us, several times. But he always manages to talk me out of it. Says things are getting better. And sometimes it seems they are. Divorce is so scary, so final. I fear we'd regret it. But we can't carry on like this either. Maybe posting this was my last ditch effort to try to see it from outside our marriage. It sounds dreadful doesn't it? I really do hate the person I'm becoming. The reason I almost didn't go through with the wedding is that everything was left to me. He said he would research/book/phone etc. something or someone but he never did. I did it all. I was in tears on the phone to him many times and he would promise to pull his finger out. But he never did. I thought things would be different after the wedding, and well, I did/do love him :/
"...it would be a lot harder for me to do all the travelling I want to do..."
That's not a reason to stay with someone! It sounds like you really don't like him but feel that you should. You can't help your feelings and if you're feeling bitter and resentful towards him now, think how bad that's going to be in 10 years time.
I was married before and, for different reasons to you, ended up feeling very resentful towards my ex and had to decide - I either leave now whilst I'm young enough to start again or put up with it and have a reasonably nice life but not feel fully satisfied or happy.
I left, met someone I fancy rotten and love the bones of (plus I don't care if he doesn't know how to do house admin, he contributes to the relationship in other ways) and I'm a much nicer person for it.
You know the answer to this one...
I don't believe that you can renew respect for someone once it's gone. So regardless of all the other issues you mention, you need to walk away. Why on earth would you even want to stay in this marriage? You don't love him, like him or respect him.
I do fancy other people yes, but am fully aware that I might not want to live with them either.. I am sorry to hear that you went through a divorce, but it does sound like you are both happier now so that's good.
My priorities are seeing the world, security, a happy relationship... All these things I could have, with my current husband. But we'd need to change the way we treat each other now. We used to have sex, good sex, when we first met. Up until we started the wedding preparations (and I'm not a Bridezilla, I never cared for a colour scheme even, I just didn't want to have to do it all) really... Time apart could be an option, I will broach it. I feel if I stopped feeling the resentment I could find him attractive again.
I also did not fancy my husband when I married him. Why do we go ahead with it?: I don't know, we don't know our own minds/societal expectation/the pill dulled my libido anyway so I didn't fancy anyone/my mum always gave the impression sex was a joyless chore. I went ahead with it, thinking he would be happy with sex 1 or 2 per month, but it was soul destroying and sad really.
Yes we are both happier. Honestly I think if you crave other people your relationship as a couple may be doomed. My ex-husband still provides security and comfort to me, but now as a friend rather than a lover.
I don't feel resentment towards him now and I used to detest the way he walked. I'm a nicer, happier, more fun person now, but it comes at a cost.
I'm astonished. I've just got one question for you, do you want to be happy or do you want to right.?.
I do love him. I love how kind he is, how he doesn't bear grudges, how he makes me laugh, etc. But yes, at the same time there are times I hate him. I'm not depressed though I have been in the past, and I do suffer from generalised anxiety disorder. Life isn't a struggle otherwise. It's just my relationship really.
It sounds like you hate him OP. Let him go
I want us both to be happy. I don't want to be right. But I also don't see how it's fair for him to leave all the house admin to me when I don't exactly have more time than he does.
Why would you try to rescue that!?
You haven't had sex for two years and neither of you really cares? Had counselling but it didn't work?
Sorry but I don't think there's a future for this marriage. You don't love him and he quite possibly doesn't love you. He won't end it because it will be a hassle.
Go travelling on your own for 3/6 months and see how you feel when you get back.
In short if you both want to be happily married then yes you can be, a lot of changes will need to be made.
What can you do together? Can you run, join a gym? Swim?
How about you take a cooking class or go to the cinema once a week? There must be something that you can do on a regular basis that you both enjoy.
I would also suggest going to see a GP. I have been horrid to my OH recently, chipping a way at his confidence and being down right nasty, I was struggling to cope with the loss of my dad and my moms illness and rather than confronting the issue I was taking it out on him. Could you be doing the same?
You seem to be finding it hard to let things go, you mention your wedding but that was 5years ago. Why does that bother you still? Dont most grooms take a back seat? Maybe he thought you wanted to do it your way?
I'd love to go travelling on my own for a bit and see how I feel when I get back. But I know he'd be angry at me for doing that as it's something we're supposed to be doing together. It might fan the flames if anything. Also, I am unable to get a career break for another 2.5 years. We do care that we haven't had sex in 2 years, we bring it up all the time. But I seem to be unable to force myself to have sex with him (the resentment) atm. I don't think it's because of the hassle he doesn't want to end it. He doesn't want to lose me as he can see what could be, what we once had. As can I. It's hard to let go of that. I didn't used to be so horrible to him. It's all the years of him promising he'd do something and never doing it. A gradual thing. I used to break down in front of him when he would lie to my face and tell me I was crazy for telling him I had asked him to do this particular thing many times before. All those things have chipped away at our love for each other. And yet, it's still there, underneath it all :/
Maybe I am doing the same yes. My mother was a horrible, abusive, person and we have been NC for 10 years. My life is much better for it and I don't like to bring it up as I feel most people have had to deal with things in their life and it shouldn't define your life. I do find it hard to let things go. I bear grudges, a horrible trait but there it is. I brood on things. All part of the anxiety I guess. I made it pretty clear to him that I needed his help and was specific ('please research venues' etc.) - he just always forgot. He's a bit selfish in some ways - his mother thinks the sun shines out of his arse and she did everything for him. I promise I'm not trying to drip feed btw! I tried to keep my OP concise and to the point, and as you can see it's pretty long as it is.
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.