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Am I just expecting too much?(12 Posts)
I've started this thread countless times but never posted it. I've spent the last few months trawling this board for advice and tips but finally I'm at a point to where I think I need to just get this out.
Dh is brilliant. Brilliant with the dc, total 50/50 of household stuff, doesn't need asking to do stuff just does it, works hard but is supportive of my hobbies and has his own too. We rarely argue and it when it comes to day to day life feels like a team. He's kind and thoughtful and everyone generally looks at him as one of life's good guys.
But (and it's becoming a really big but) whilst that is all wonderful and marvellous we have virtually no physical side to our relationship at all. He never initiates any physical contact in terms of hugs or kisses or anything more. He never says I love you (it is always in response to me) and compliments just don't exist unless prompted. He just doesn't seem to want me in a physical way at all.
I've tried the superficial things - I've lost weight, toned up, taken a bit more pride in my appearance and nothing. We go out together without dc, go away for a weekend break and nothing unless I make the first move. I began to feel like I was pressuring him too much (and he had begun to reject me - he's too tired, doesn't feel like it etc) so I backed off and as a result we haven't had any sexual contact in 6 months. And now I'm at the point where I just don't want to make the first move because I don't want him to respond because he feels he has to. I want him to want to have a physical side to our relationship if that makes sense. I want to feel desired and loved in a way other than as dm.
Dont get me wrong - this is not an unhappy house - there is a lot of love and affection to the dc (they adore him) and there is warmth and friendship between us. But I can't help thinking that he just isn't interested in me beyond this anymore. The tipping point was i had a really radical change in appearance this week and he didn't even notice. Such a stupid, little, ultimately insignificant thing that really upset me because it just totally encompasses what we've become.
I can't suggest counselling because I know he will point blank refuse to go. (We can talk about anything but this) But that leaves me thinking is this it? Maybe I am expecting too much. The dc are little ish bit the sleepless nights are way behind us now . Is this just how marriages end up after 10 years? Maybe this is normal and what real life looks like.
This would not feel like a relationship to me, it would feel like two best friend co parenting together, not what I signed up for so no I would not be happy with that, some couples are but I would want a proper relationship and for me that involves intimacy and sex, it doesn't have to be every week but I want to be desired, wanted, admired, complimented, shown kindness and affection, that is what a marriage should be.
I'm afraid it's a big issue and unless he is willing to discuss and compromise and make an effort (because LTR need effort) then I'd honestly be wondering if separation is a better option.
I am in my fifties now and we have been together 14 years, without the physical side of it I'd feel very unwanted and unhappy.
No, it's not how marriages end up after 10 years. Have you read the 5 Love Languages? I think you both need to read it.
Just because he doesn't say I love you every 5 minutes, doesn't mean he doesn't etc. Well worth a read.
Thank you for your replies.
Don't get me wrong I'm not unrealistic - I know things change and life happens (and dc can be draining!) and I know actions often speak louder than words but just occasionally it would be nice to hear it.
I think I could manage without the words - the whole not feeling wanted/no sex is probably the thing I am most down about. I'd be lying if I hadn't wondered recently whether I could stay if nothing changes but then when everything is so good it seems a horribly selfish reason to split.
Part of me had hoped that this was perfectly normal but that really doesn't seem to be the case does it?
Horribly selfish? To want a normal intimate relationship with your partner is a basic need, you should never feel you have to settle for anything less.
Not being funny but how the hell do you both manage with no sex for six months?
It's normal if you are both happy with that and don't want regular sex and tbh unless there is a medical reason I don't understand why you are not both wanting it.
Have you been able to tell him what you've told us? Does he just shut down if you try to talk?
adora honestly I don't know! I guess 1 week becomes 2 becomes a month and then suddenly you realise it's been what seems a really long time.
I have tried to talk to him in a gentle roundabout way - are you okay? Is everything alright? And I get just tired/dc wear me out/we've been busy/under the weather etc. And I haven't really massively pushed it because I don't want to completely alienate him and pressure him.
I guess we've always been a bit mismatched in that department but it seems to have hit a brick wall now.
Maybe I need to sit down and have a really straightforward talk to him.
Or I guess work out whether this is something I can choose to accept
I think there's nothing else to be done except to talk to him about it. He's happy otherwise, so presumably he won't want to leave the family/share time with the children. It's in his interest to have a happy life with you, too. I think this is what was behind that couple who decided to have sex every day for a year - it transformed their relationship.
It seems like a great relationship, so therefore why the reluctance from him to go to therapy, maybe he hasn't t got a problem with it, maybe he's always had a low sex drive, but if not, something has to be done, unless he says he wants no more sex, and then you have your answer. No relationship is perfect, but if problems arise, both of you have to be willing to solve them together. You need to talk it through, him burying his head in the sand is no good. There may be a medical problem for his lack of interest.
Hi somthinglikethis - you are absolutely not expecting too much, to feel wanted, to enjoy intimacy and a sexual relationship in your marriage. I wonder how much physical affection exists also?
It sounds as if you have tried being proactive and then tried backing off, and the result has been no intimacy for six months. I think that at least that demonstrates that there is definitely an issue here. Less than around ten times per year (unless that is preferred by both partners) is essentially a sexless marriage and it is not conducive to health and happiness long term.
So yes - YOU NEED TO TALK WITH HIM. I'm not shouting, just emphasising that you have stuffed in silence long enough and there is no other option.
I'm surprised you say he would point blank refuse counselling. I think he will have to recognise there is a problem and that it is coming from him. There may be things he needs from you that I'm sure you would consider if it helped improve intimacy. But counselling would be needed only if you can't find a place to see things objectively and resolve differences, and you haven't found that out yet.
You also don't mention whether things have always been this way or whether things were really great in the past and have deteriorated?
So don't pressure him, but do say exactly how it makes you feel (unattractive, unloved, lonely, sad, rejected etc) and that you and your relationship deserve more. He will know this and will need to consider what's blocking him, and discuss it with you.
If you can't discover a path to improvement, then counselling is the next best option.
You sound so caring, thoughtful and considerate and willing to make changes. So your man should count himself so lucky to have you and realise that he needs to make changes too. Good luck!
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