Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

massive aggument with wife...what to do?

(87 Posts)
lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:03:07

My wife an I had a massive argument earler in the week, over money and holidays. The argument got a bit heated and I ended up venting my frustration by saying a few true but spiteful things, which I apologised for and I do genuinely feel so bad for.-(even though their was a lot of truth.)

Since then, she wont generate any conversation with me. Just one word answers. We generally speak throughout the day through text or calls, but nothing. she wont reply to my texts. when we did speak, she told me she wanted to just run away!

I love my wife deeply, and it makes me feel sick to the stomach to live with bad feeling..

I'd like other peoples points of view, on the best way of getting this back on track. I feel whatever i do, it doesnt seem to help.

should i just leave her alone to get over it? or try some other approach?

gymboywalton Thu 04-Oct-12 15:03:50

what did you say?

jkklpu Thu 04-Oct-12 15:06:17

Depends how awful the things you said were. Does she really believe you are sorry? You don't particularly sound it in the OP, though you're sorry for the consequence of what you said.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 15:06:24

You've apologised and she's sulking. So say nothing, stop texting and generally act normally. She knows the sulking makes you feel bad, which is why she's doing it. If you stop responding to the sulking and stop being so needy, it'll fizzle out.

TittyWhistles Thu 04-Oct-12 15:11:20

Buy her something nice.

lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:14:05

just argued about getting into debt, and im not prepared to do that. Also, I dont want to take kids out of school for hols more than we have to...

told her she's never happy with what she has......always wants that bit more...

then it got onto the normal marital things........like she only has a libido when drunk..... ooppss!!

DameFanny Thu 04-Oct-12 15:14:14

Seriously titty? hmm

spiteful but true? so you told her things you think/feel about her that are spiteful but you stand by as true?

sounds like you will have to talk about these things. it really depends what you said about/to her. they may have really changed things.

lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:14:35

bought her flowers...... she turned her nose up!

Helltotheno Thu 04-Oct-12 15:14:55

No it depends on what you said, it's not just a matter her not speaking to you for no reason. So you'd better revisit the things you said and clarify them in a better way.

Labootin Thu 04-Oct-12 15:15:57

Leave her

bamboobutton Thu 04-Oct-12 15:17:06

so you basically called her frigid and grabby.

i honestly can't see why she is pissed offhmm

Helltotheno Thu 04-Oct-12 15:17:13

So what's both of your work situations?

It's not that she only has a 'libido' when drunk, she can only shag you when she's drunk, which is a completely different thing. So you definitely need to have a proper chat about that. If it's true, it's true. She can't just ignore it.

Offred Thu 04-Oct-12 15:20:24

Going from what you say I don't see how what you said was spiteful actually. Why is telling her how you feel spiteful? Maybe it was the way it was said?

Anyway, what you have said is a perfectly reasonable point of view that you should be able to articulate to your wife without being spiteful or angry.

Floralnomad Thu 04-Oct-12 15:22:10

It's a pity you had what was probably a long overdue conversation as an argument. In your position I would simply tell her that you need to discuss these issues in a rational way .

Offred Thu 04-Oct-12 15:23:26

You clearly have a big problem with communication as her saying she wants to run away and her blanking you shows she is not communicating with you either. If you don't do something about a communication problem then it rots the relationship from the inside. I'd say the problem is bigger than just this argument.

Whocansay Thu 04-Oct-12 15:24:33

Did you apologise, or give one of those irritating "I'm sorry, but it was your fault I said that because" lectures?

I agree with bamboobutton. Frankly, I wouldn't want to speak to you either if that's what happened.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 15:25:42

Could that have been a 'last straw' argument? Do you feel sick because you think she might have spent the last few days talking through her options with a lawyer?

Helmondo Thu 04-Oct-12 15:27:01

I think you need to have an honest talk with her tbh. You say you feel there's some truth in what you said to her so you're obviously feeling a little resentment towards it, which won't go away unless you both talk openly together. Telling her these things in the heat of an argument wasn't the right way to go about it, but it's out there now and needs dealing with, wait till she's ready to talk though, otherwise it might end up in another row not that I'd know anything about that!

Not sure if this works for you/your wife, but I would consider write things down in a letter. That way you can take your time, read it through and be sure you are using the right words.
Explain why you are upset/worried about money/debt, why you are concerned about taking children out of school. Make sure you write factually about money etc, not about HER doing this, that and the other. Acknowledge that you said some things you really shouldn't have said, you know you were out of order and feel really bad about.
Tell her how much you love her, how much you've missed talking to her this week, you know you've messed up, but you are a partnership and there are some things you need to sit down and talk about, rationally and together.

Also work out what your absolute priorities are in all of this, and where you might be prepared to compromise, and which things you might let drop, for now. She might well feel that she just can't do anything right at the moment,

presents/flowers are a gesture but don't fix the issue.

lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:36:19

I think it was the way I spoke to her/ the way it came across that didnt help. I'd had a really bad day at work which didnt help.

We prob do have communication problems when it comes to finances. If it was left to her, we'd have been bakrupt years ago...she knows money and debt is a big worry for me...

If I say no, we cant afford that, she will wander off and sulk. When I go to try and explain she usually says she doesnt want to talk about it.

I do need to sit down and just talk to her about it....

Lueji Thu 04-Oct-12 15:41:27

Interesting.

Normally, we'd say that a sulking husband was manipulative.

I wouldn't contemplate going into debt either.

It depends on how you apologised, but if you did it properly she should be able to talk to you, and so she's being unreasonable.

However, it seems that you may have deep issues in your marriage. You do need to talk with your wife, in a way that does not put blame.
Maybe you should propose counselling.

PinkleWickers Thu 04-Oct-12 15:42:10

Ignore the sulking, shes being petulanT because she didnt want to hear what you said and thinks if she makes the consequences for that uncomfortable enough itll stop you saying it again.

Shame it came out in an argument but needed to be said imo.

PinkleWickers Thu 04-Oct-12 15:42:55

Manipulative...exactly

'i said no we can't afford it' - see that doesn't sound like a discussion to me, it sounds like a parent responding to a child about some toy they're demanding.

is the yes or no down to you then?

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Oct-12 16:00:18

I agree with those who think this would be different the other way round.

Sounds to me like she is burying her head in the sand wrt to money and getting huffy/silent to keep it that way.

I do think you were a bit mean re the libido comment (although I guess I can see it coming out in the heat of the moment). I would also have swiped you round the head with the flowers grin

Communication in a calm, neutral, sober environment would be my suggestion, with no 'blame' attached to actions but a candid discussion about money & how to keep the relationship on an even keel.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Oct-12 16:00:22

"is the yes or no down to you then? "

Having been married to a horrendous spendthrift myself once, I'm afraid 'no we can't afford it' is something you have to say quite often because, left to their own devices, they have no ability to self-regulate

Charbon Thu 04-Oct-12 16:13:08

You said you need to talk to her, when actually you might do better by listening more than talking. Communication is more than words isn't it? We cannot know the tone of voice you used, your body language or whether you actually listened to what she was saying - and not saying.

What we can presume is that she might be very hurt and angry at this exchange. She might therefore need some time to reflect on what you said. Reflecting and retreating from a situation because the anger and hurt is going to get in the way of proper communication isn't necessarily sulking, although at some point you will both need to come back to the discussion and it is potentially quite a controlling thing to do, to refuse to engage with a partner for an extended period.

An apology is generally worthless if you don't retract what you said. So I'd query whether you are apologising for the way you said it or the words used, rather than the allegations themselves.

If you genuinely believe that your partner needs alcohol in order to have sex with you, that must be quite hurtful but if true, you'll need to find out why. That can be very difficult to compromise on, whereas attitudes to finance and education are more capable of meeting half-way.

lightning02 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:34:43

I generally do keep a tab / manage our cash flow,mainly because when she's been in charge it has all been spent in the first two weeks of the month. Its nothing controlling, its just because I can manage it better.

I've mentioned the sex/ alcohol thing before and she says alcohol makes her relaxed and puts her in the mood. -it was something which just came out in anger.

Queenofsiburbia Thu 04-Oct-12 16:41:17

Marital arguments are tricky because, speaking from my own pov, when angry / upset you suddenly feel abit claustrophobic and trapped whereas when things are good you feel secure and part of something important.

I think that can make it more likely to say even more hurtful things (because that feeling of being trapped adds to the frustration) and of course everyone has flaws and no-one is perfect so there are times when anger makes you point out someone's flaws quite nastily, whereas in other situs u might make a subtle suggestion - or just ignore if it's just a small de Beers acceptable flaw!!

It may be worth trying to say that to your wife, I.e that lots if people say nasty things when angry and really regret saying them and the way they were said. But that you will try to make sure never to be spiteful when angry in future - it isn't a nice trait after all & isn't exactly helpful.

Its something I have to work on too.I have said some shocking things to my DH and he has never yet held them against me. OTOH, he behaves generally much more selfishly and inconsiderately which I can find very hurtful. I think people in most marriages have room for improvement.

I do think that another poster has a point about your libido comment. It's not necessarily that she doesn't want sex it might just be that she wants better sex. Or she may just feel really unsexy for whatever reason, low body confidence etc.
Sorry if that's a little harsh on you but I guess I'm saying that's not necessarily just her, it could be something you're responsible for too.
Perhaps saying/ asking that may make her feel better understood rather than having a heap of unfair blame dumped on her shoulders.

Good luck! I think genuine contrition for the fact that someone is upset and for being nasty to them will eventually go a long way (you cant nit talk forever!!!) Just don't underestimate your own lack of perfection when remembering hers next time u get in a row.!

Helltotheno Thu 04-Oct-12 16:42:08

Its nothing controlling, its just because I can manage it better.

You're absolutely right... there's no way I'd let a partner blow all the household money, someone has to be the responsible one. Does she work? All the moreso if she doesn't.

On the other issue, sorry to say this, but if she needs to be drunk before sex, she doesn't want sex or doesn't want it with you anyway.

MouMouCow Thu 04-Oct-12 16:44:13

If the DW is behaving like a child then why shouldn't OP respond to her in that way. Not very mature behaviour from her...
On top of the communication issue, being desired only when the other one is wasted is a punch to the ego...
I'm sorry but the wife doens't get much sympathy from me.

Timetoask Thu 04-Oct-12 16:53:02

Your wife sounds childish, sorry. If you cannot afford something then don't buy it. I agree with you about children not being taken out of school for holidays.
You have apologised for what yousaid, you bought her flowers, you probably need to talk things a little more.

Charbon Thu 04-Oct-12 17:13:13

No the only behaviour that works in an adult exchange is to communicate like an adult, regardless of whether the other person is operating from, in your opinion, a childlish state. Having two adults interact like children will never resolve a grown-up problem.

It might be that your wife is sparing your feelings by saying that drink is used as a relaxant and mood enhancer. It's important for you both that she is honest, without being unkind. Your communication needs to be much the same; honest but not unkind.

Sassybeast Thu 04-Oct-12 17:35:15

My Ex used to use the 'I'm much better with money than you little woman who fritters it all away' crap. He was an abusive arse though and I'm not sure if you are or not - am reserving judgement.

However, a couple of years down the line, I am still not in debt, bankrupt or frittering anything away, have a brand new car and have just paid for a holiday. so perhaps you need to look a little more closely at WHY you feel the need to control her financially ?

maleview70 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:50:10

You are making the classic mistake of pandering to her bad behaviour. Stop doing it and stop apologising as it sounds like you have done nothing wrong. She will come round when she realises her childish behaviour is not having any effect.

mcmooncup Thu 04-Oct-12 17:58:22

What does she want to buy?

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 19:48:43

'Red flag' I'd say if need alcohol to have sex with someone because you know that sober you would not want to. You are right to bring the issue up, but wrong to do it in an argument situation.
Does she work or are you sole provider?

Offred Thu 04-Oct-12 19:55:00

Yes I agree not to treat your wife like a child if you think she is behaving like one. I wonder if her not talking and sulking is a retaliatory reaction to feeling as though you are treating her like an inferior rather than an equal. I think you need to find a better way of co-operating as well as communicating. Ultimately if she is unable to prioritise her family over herself with money I think that'd be a deal breaker for me. Taking control forcibly is an imperfect fix.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 04-Oct-12 20:13:43

I cannot abide sulking, I find it very manipulative

I would wait for her to start speaking to you, just be civil and ignore the sulking. Then when she's decides to deal with things properly have a good chat to try and clear up some of the issues

Doshusallie Thu 04-Oct-12 20:19:44

queenofsiberia the first sentence of your post is unbelieveably accurate. Extremely observant and resonated massively with me.

Sulking is really childish behaviour.

How many holidays do you have per year?

Megmog2005 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:50:07

Never posted on MN before, but sulking is childish and she is not a child. Let her get on with it and stand your ground. Would you sulk if you wanted something you couldn't afford?

AllPastYears Thu 04-Oct-12 21:12:08

"Sulk"... hmmm

DH says I or the kids are sulking when he has said or done something to upset one of us and we don't really want to engage with him for a while. Of course, when he tells us we're "sulking" that really makes us want to be his best friend. hmm

So I'm not necessarily convinced by the description of OP's wife as "sulking". I think it's a patronising word.

olgaga Thu 04-Oct-12 21:25:24

I'm interested in how you budget. Do you both sit down together and discuss what you have coming in, look at receipts, look at what the money is being spent on and what expenditure you have coming up?

Do you understand what she spends money on? Is she extravagant, spending a lot of money on herself? On what you feel is unnecessary stuff? If so what, and how do you discuss it?

I doubt there is any justification for raising your dissatisfaction with you sex life during an argument about money - but you probably know that which is why you apologised.

Unfortunately, an apology can't "unsay" stuff like that. People are referring to her behaviour as "sulking" but maybe she's just had enough of constantly having to watch her expenditure even if she's not extravagant and just getting the bare minimum in. If there isn't enough money to meet normal expenditure, that's a lot of pressure when you have children.

mertin Thu 04-Oct-12 21:28:36

When I've had an argument with someone, where spiteful things had been said, I need a bit of space to think for a few days. I wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally or resolve it immediately.

Secondly, I identify with her a bit. I feel exhausted and miserable at times - working, kids, daily drudge. I dream of a holiday abroad. She might just have been dreaming out loud so to speak - holiday, time off, relax type of thing. I know deep down it's not going to happen, but my dh will at least discuss it with me - yes it would be nice, don't know how we could pay etc. But he'd entertain the idea (just to humour me) before allowing me to work out between us that no, it's not going to happen. If he said straight out - no are you ridiculous, we'd be bankrupt - i'd be upset. Call me childish - but I'd at least like it to be discussed.

Sex only when drunk - yes I can identify with that. It's called exhaustion and being depressed.

How to get back on track - give her some space. Apologise for spiteful things said. Text no more than once a day (otherwise she might feel hounded). Then maybe entertain the idea of how you could both save up for a nice holiday - even if it's a tenner a week and it takes two years.

Just my view. What do i know.

Opentooffers Thu 04-Oct-12 22:43:01

Was there a bit where he tried flowers but it didn't work ? It can come across as very condescending to a woman when it is thought that a bunch of roses will smooth things over, never works as an apology. Better out of the blue during good times for no other reason than romance and appreciation

avenueone Thu 04-Oct-12 22:58:23

It sounds like there is a lot to talk about money and sex being two of them.

If money is an ongoing issue, it sounds boring but why not sit down together do a spread sheet and see if a holiday is affordable and some point ever in the future.... that may be more sensitive than `no we can't afford it' flat out.

Sex wise...I can get the same and it is usually just because I am that exhausted with life when the alcohol lifts the fatigue I can manage it - you have taken that personally and quite rightly so has she when you have remarked on it -

If you want to make it better which it is great that you do....you will have to address the fact you have said these things - maybe when you go back over that you can say you were insensitive but had been thinking she had gone off you but now think you have been unfair and not considering her feelings..

I think that it is for me - you have your ideas of how things are and stated them without giving her chance to say how she was feeling - if she needs a holiday and the sex is a bit off - she sounds exhausted....and needs some love and care not being told off like a child, like someone else said.

Feckbox Thu 04-Oct-12 23:06:38

Your wife sounds unreasonable and childish

AllPastYears Fri 05-Oct-12 08:38:55

"When I've had an argument with someone, where spiteful things had been said, I need a bit of space to think for a few days. I wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally or resolve it immediately."

This. I find it really hard to forget unpleasant arguments, and especially nasty comments. Maybe OP's wife is the same.

DeckSwabber Fri 05-Oct-12 08:51:49

A - she probably needs time to process what you have said so give her some space while reassuring her that you love her and want to make it work

B - think about what SHE said in the argument and show her that you have listened/are prepared to go on listening.

OneMoreChap Fri 05-Oct-12 09:00:24

mertin Thu 04-Oct-12 21:28:36
When I've had an argument with someone, where spiteful things had been said, I need a bit of space to think for a few days. I wouldn't be able to discuss it rationally or resolve it immediately.

I'm a bit like that, too.
I hate raised voices and shouting, so will engage less and less.

Of course, XW said that was sulking... and said I wouldn't talk to her.

If she is so unhappy with you, maybe the best thing is for her to draw a line under it, run away and manage her own finances?

janelikesjam Fri 05-Oct-12 15:31:19

I think there is lots of material and ideas here for you to think about OP, so perhaps wait a while and then review things with your wife. What are the real issues under this. Deep down are you really upset that your wife has little interest in sex? Do you feel over-responsible e.g. for money issues etc. What is going on for her (I guess she would have to look at that herself)?

Good luck.

lightning02 Sat 06-Oct-12 20:59:16

yes, i think deep down I do feel over responsible for looking after the finances.

I also do feel upset and hurt that she can rule our sex life. -Always on her terms. I get turned down often, but never turn her down.I suppose this frustrates me a lot.
Now, because we fell out, im on a sex ban!! so that sorts that problem out :-)

LadyLapsang Sat 06-Oct-12 23:31:09

Maybe she doesn't feel like being intimate with you if you lose your temper and say hurtful things. I don't think she is 'ruling your sex life', you surely wouldn't want her to have sex with you if she didn't want to?

Sounds like to two of you could do with attending couples counselling - you sound rather controlling on the face of it.Glad I have my own earning, bank account etc. would hate to have to run my spending, savings, investment past my DH for permission. Yes, we discuss things, but he or I don't have the power of veto unless it really involves the other one e.g. house purchase.

avenueone Sat 06-Oct-12 23:34:08

After all that great advice (not necessarily mine) I am surprised that this is your response - you seem very selfish, it seems to be all about how how you feel. That is not going to repair the situation. I feel a bit uncomfortable about how much focus you are putting on the sex side of things.

FastLoris Sat 06-Oct-12 23:48:50

Well they do say that disagreements about money are the most common cause of marital breakdown.

I think if you can handle the detail of management involved, it's a really good idea to have three clearly separate pots of money: "ours", "mine", and "hers".

"Ours" comes first, and covers everything essential: mortgage/rent, household bills, grocery shopping, funds necessary for kids, plus a certain allowance each months for things like house and car upkeep, depending on your situation.

When you've worked out how much that comes to, the rest of what you both earn each month is divided into yours and hers. The point here is that whatever amount that is, you are each completely free to spend HOWEVER you want to, with no consultation of the other even required. If you want to save all yours that's fine. If she wants to spend all hers on frivolity, that's also fine.

A lot of people don't like this idea because they think it takes away from the sense of union in the relationship. But I prefer to just accept that people are different, have different needs and priorities, no matter how close their relationship is.

How you manage it, and the size of the personal pots, depends of course on your circumstances. Like a lot of people we are struggling in these difficult times, so our personal pots are only enough for a little bit of personal luxury each month. But the point is that everything in the joint pot should be things that you have agreed together are obvious necessities of your life together. If she's not prepared to restrict her spending to half of what's left after that, then she is being both unrealistic and unreasonable, and has no right to impose that on you. If you are not prepared to let her spend half of what's left after that, then you are being unfairly controlling.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 09:30:45

Another one who is concerned about your attitude to sex. "Rule our sex life" and "sex ban" could be construed as you feeling entitled to sex and angry with her when she fails to provide it when you want. It could also be that she is using sex as a weapon and calculatedly withdrawing it although I'd consider this less likely.

Sex is part of the relationship and I think if you have disconnected it from the relationship to the degree that you expect it to carry on as normal even when you are fighting this isn't very healthy. I don't buy the "men are different" bollocks, a man or woman who has a healthy emotional attitude towards their relationship suffers a suppression of sexual desire during serious relationship difficulties.

You'll never have a great sex life or a great relationship if you don't see how the two are intertwined. To be angry at someone for not wanting sex is a. Abusive and b. The best thing to do if you want to ensure they never want to have sex with you again.

SarahBumBarer Sun 07-Oct-12 10:43:16

Unfortunately OP when women post on here about crap sex lives they get sympathy but men are told that they are deviants and abusive putting intolerable pressure on their wives who would willingly have sex with any normal man. If your wife is imposing a "sex ban" then she is using sex as a weapon and a punishment and this is disgraceful behaviour. Sex DOES become an issue in a marriage when there is an imbalance and it is not unpleasant for a man to come on here and state that "hey, this is an issue for me".

OP, I have NEVER heard of an argument where there is not fault on both sides. IME the kind of arguments where the vilest things get said or things get said in a vile way tend to occur in marriages where communication is poor and it is only the bravado of the heat of the moment that allows such things to be said and then never in a constructive way.

Your marriage sounds pretty doomed to me (certainly in terms of it being happy) unless you both find better ways to communicate and work on your issues together.

But then I am a terrible financial abuser because I often tell DH that we can't afford some ridiculous expensive piece of camera equipment things becuase I have this bizarre urge to ensure that we don't have to eat corned beef pasta in salad cream for the last 4 days of the month.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 12:01:05

Sarahbumbauer - that simply isn't true. No-one's called him an abuser hmm

Also a woman came on recently with a similar sex problem and was told the same that pressure and expectation of sex are not going to help her husband feel like having sex.

We only have his assertion that this is a "sex ban" he has said in his op she is mad with him and feels like running away and that is why I think it is more likely that she feels angry and upset and therefore doesn't want sex than is arbitrarily imposing a sex ban I don't see how it can be an arbitrary punishment if it is already stated that they are falling out and she is angry and in my post I said using sex as a weapon is not acceptable behaviour if that was what she was doing but that I didn't think it could be. Since he has stated they are arguing and the marriage is not right I think it is not particularly healthy for either partner to expect the sex carries on as usual.

Op what you have to understand is some posters go by rumour and MN legend without assessing the reality because they have some bee in their bonnet.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 12:01:22

Bum barer sorry!

SarahBumBarer Sun 07-Oct-12 15:37:31

Ok just controlling, selfish and (a suggestion that he may be) "abusive" then (and that's just the last 3 posts).

I've been on MN for about 5 years now so a veritable newbie compared to some admittedly but certainly long enough to call it as I see it and recognise the posters who are more guilty of it than others!

avenueone Sun 07-Oct-12 18:09:19

Thanks Sarah really kind of you.
If me and a partner are struggling financially then I would expect to sit down together to discuss the problem and plan things moving forward not just be `told' by my partner we are not doing something. But I would never put myself in a position where my partner held the purse strings and decided what we spend the money on anyway.
In this instance she may be spending too much and I am sure there are genuine financial problems that need to be chatted through in a more mature way.

As someone else has said, sex is only part of a relationship and IMO as great as sex is, the love and care, companionship and team work are also part of a relationship should me more of a focus esp. at this time.

I can't remember the last time I wanted to jump into bed and `make love' with someone who I wasn't really on speaking terms with.... to claim she is banning sex and this is wrong suggests he has a right to it at all times, which no one does.

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 18:37:15

Offred
It could also be that she is using sex as a weapon and calculatedly withdrawing it although I'd consider this less likely.

Thanks for sharing that.

To be angry at someone for not wanting sex is a. Abusive and b. The best thing to do if you want to ensure they never want to have sex with you again.

make sure you share that with the next woman who posts here complaining about a quiet sex life.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 21:29:14

No Sarah that that behaviour would be abusive.

Don't get your point one more chap. This person is not complaining that his sex life is quiet in this post but accusing his wife of manipulatively withholding sex. I don't think that is the most likely scenario because they are arguing, why does he think sex would carry on as normal in that context? It wouldn't make a difference if he was she it is not healthy to feel angry that your spouse isn't having sex with you during a period where you aren't speaking to each other.

I have sympathy for him other than that. I think it is a valid point to make. Just why would she want to have sex with him when she doesn't want to speak to him and why is this making him angry instead of upset which is a more healthy reaction to feeling sexually rejected?

Lizzabadger Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:43

Does your wife use Mumsnet?

OneMoreChap Sun 07-Oct-12 23:05:14

Offred

You said being angry for someone not wanting sex is abusive. Plenty of posters her complain their DH/DP doesn't want sex. They seem pretty cross about it. By your lights, they are abusive. Goose/gander?

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 23:38:01

No I said being angry at someone because they don't want to have sex with you when you are arguing is abusive behaviour. There is nothing sexist in that statement. Healthy people who feel sexually rejected feel upset, healthy people don't expect sex from someone who is not speaking to them and who has said they want to run away, no matter whether what the person is upset about it is not ok to expect sex from someone who isn't even speaking to you or to be angry at them because they aren't providing it.

We've only got one post about the supposed sex ban/dictation of sex life so there may be unfortunate wording I don't know. All I said was that worried me and I've explained three times why it did. I'm not sure why you still are not understanding? This is nothing to do with the op being a man who has a quiet sex life it is to do with that post appearing to say that he was angry that the wife he wasn't speaking to in the marriage that had communication problems wasn't having sex with him and that he interpreted that as manipulative.

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 23:38:59

*Whether what that person is upset about is reasonable or not,

Offred Sun 07-Oct-12 23:53:45

I don't even get why you think it is even ok to be angry at someone for not wanting sex. Ok, fine for deliberately withholding in order to get something or to win an argument or teach a lesson, that isnt very nice but to be angry because someone doesn't want it, I don't see how that is in any way healthy. If you can find examples of where I've written to women "yeah, you are totally justified for being really pissed off how dare your husband not want to have sex he's got no right to not want sex" then maybe you could justify that accusation you are levelling at me. I've only known one woman be actually angry at a lack of sex on here and I had a low opinion of that too because fundamentally everyone is entitled to refuse sex if they want to, it doesn't have to be justified and no-one is entitled to have sex ever.

Abitwobblynow Mon 08-Oct-12 08:22:16

Lightning, your wife is being unreasonable.

NOW is the time for you to put your foot down and say you and she are going to counselling. She needs to hear a few truths. Truth said with love is still love, and when she is reassured that you DO love her despite her not being perfect, she might feel safe enough to start looking at that stuff.

You bending over backwards and letting her have her hurt feelings way will really sour your relationship.

Abitwobblynow Mon 08-Oct-12 08:25:17

Offred, come on.

Sex is a REALLY important bonding thing in relationships. It isn't just bastard men stratching their itch. It is a really important way to express reassurance love and closeness without words. Just because women prefer talking, doesn't mean that we should dismiss how important sex is, and how important it is to men who aren't great with words.

I am currently being punished with no sex, and it IS abuse. No two ways about it.

Abitwobblynow Mon 08-Oct-12 08:29:41

(and I acknowledge his right not to be intimate with a person he doesn't want to be intimate with).

What I am taking issue with you, is that love is not a feeling. Sometimes love means doing something for someone else that you don't feel like doing, because you know it's important to them, because you can put yourself in their shoes and know they need that closeness and reassurance.

We do it with our children a thousand times a day, after all.

Offred Mon 08-Oct-12 08:41:29

Love does not ever mean having sex when you don't want to a bit wobbly. That is anti-love. You have some very weird ideas and I happen to know your relationship is a very long way from healthy.

I have not ever written anywhere that spitefully withholding sex is ok. Do not misquote me.

I am not writing that on this thread.

I am saying that I don't think that is what the wife here is doing. I am not saying that people do not ever spitefully withhold sex or that if they do it is ok.

He has said she is not speaking to him and wants to run away - in that situation why would someone want to have sex with the person they don't want to speak to and want to run away from? and if they didn't want to then why would that actually be spiteful withholding of sex?

I don't think it is in anyway acceptable to feel angry at your wife for not wanting to have sex with you when you are fighting, IF that is what is going on here then that isn't right.

Offred Mon 08-Oct-12 08:45:55

"Women prefer talking" crap, crap, crap, misogynistic crap.

Communication is an essential part of a relationship between equals. A lack of communication means the relationship hurts the people involved. Sometimes society will teach men not to talk because it also teaches them concurrent beliefs about male superiority which mean communication in a couple is not necessary as it is a hierarchy not a relationship. Both men and women find real communication quite difficult on the whole because it is quite difficult to have open and honest communication and joint decision-making.

Offred Mon 08-Oct-12 08:48:45

And which part of my posts said sex is bastard men scratching their itch or sex is unimportant? Stop putting words in my mouth.

I said sex is part of the relationship I.e. not independent of it and therefore you can't expect sex to be unaffected by the quality of the relationship. I did not say sex was unimportant or just about men.

Abitwobblynow Mon 08-Oct-12 09:01:42

Love does not ever mean having sex when you don't want to a bit wobbly. That is anti-love. You have some very weird ideas and I happen to know your relationship is a very long way from healthy.

Telling me I am wierd and pathologising my views, does not invalidate the worth of what I am saying Offred.
I acknowledge with great pain that I am in an unhealthy relationship that is ended, but it was not always unloving and we once had a wonderful marriage [crying].

You talk about sex as though it is a violation. Maybe you need to rethink your ideas?
Sex is NOT a violation, when in a loving context like an ordinary, everyday relationship . Haven't you ever not really been into it, maybe a bit distracted about something else, and then it ended up being one of your best????? How is 'not being too into it' (wanting) become FORCE in your mind?

If I love someone and I trust that they love me, if I have entered into a vow (OK, contract if you don't like the thought of vows) to love and cherish someone, then sometimes if I want to, it is an act of LOVE to respond to that person's upspoken wish for - connection, reassurance, soothing - who knows?

ESPECIALLY as I know that I am going to end up enjoying it smile! Why do you assume that sex is ALWAYS a power issue? That is rather sad. I believe it to be a connection/communication issue. Why is that strange?

Abitwobblynow Mon 08-Oct-12 09:05:21

sorry, 'then sometimes if I don't want to' ...

Offred Mon 08-Oct-12 09:10:46

I don't think sex is a violation. I think imposing sex on others is a violation.

Offred Mon 08-Oct-12 09:42:06

I don't think a healthy sex life within a marriage is one where the sex is completely disconnected to the state of the rest of the relationship and therefore unaffected by what is occurring within it either.

I also think that sometimes consenting to sex even though you don't really feel like it and then enjoying it is something entirely different from having a spouse (male or female) who feels angry at you when you don't want to have sex i.e. it isn't that you don't happen to really feel like it but that you are arguing, not speaking and don't want it.

If you, instead of consenting when you didn't really feel like it, said no it wouldn't be ok for your partner to be angry at you then either. Those scenarios are not sex, they are violation.

As far as things go for the op I think it is worrying that his wife doesn't seem to be able to manage sex when she is not drunk. I can see why that's really hurtful for him. However I wonder what is behind this. Why does she not appear to want sex with him at all? How long has that been going on? Why does he think it is manipulative behaviour rather than her just not wanting sex? Why is he angry about it? Why does she want to run away?

I still think it all comes back to the idea of communication and that neither of them seem to be able to communicate properly with each other. There will be ways they are each being unreasonable but they don't seem to be pulling together as much as pulling apart.

Abitwobblynow Tue 09-Oct-12 15:51:07

OK Offred so we are not that much in disagreement.

I think the wife in this case is using the silent treatment in order to not hear uncomfortable stuff that she doesn't want to own; in other words she is controlling him.

I dont' think he should be trying to appease her with flowers or backing down. I think he should be assuring her that he loves her, whilst repeating what he thinks/wants, in a way that is not sneering or judgemental. And his need to feel closer to her is a perfectly good and wonderful desire. She can CHOOSE to disagree, and she can CHOOSE not to comply. But she does need to hear him/he has every right to say what he wants to say, and he mustn't back down from Mrs Spoilt and Huffy!

spookytoo Tue 09-Oct-12 16:31:56

Love does not ever mean having sex when you don't want to

Hmmm, guilty guilty!

We are looking at buying a new house (yippee) so last night in bed I was pondering the dark kitchen units with the light granite tops or the reddish units with the black granite, but DH was feeling amorous.

So I managed my well honed gasps and grunts. Then when DH rolled over to go to sleep returned to my pondering.

Sorry, but some things are just better than sex (occasionally).

spookytoo Tue 09-Oct-12 16:36:22

But DW is being pretty unpleasant, that's not to say OP's comments to her during the argument don't deserve that, but I would suggest they sit down and discuss whether divorce is the way to go.

It's hard to see that she is trying to resolve their marriage with this behaviour, more likely the opposite.

But counselling might solve the problems, but as is stated elsewhere, they must both want it.

DuelingFanjo Tue 09-Oct-12 16:44:03

"then it got onto the normal marital things........like she only has a libido when drunk"

why does this have anything to do with holiays and debt.

You really need to apologise for making it about sex.
Tell her you know you have been an arse to even bring that up in the middle of another argument.
If you are getting turned down often then perhaps she is too tired, upset, turned-off... maybe there are some home truths she could discuss with you about your behaviour which may need sorting out before she feels like having sex with you? Any ideas what they might be?

Offred Tue 09-Oct-12 17:12:44

Yes, I think they are both being unhelpful in a variety of ways but one partner behaving unreasonably isn't a license for the other to tit-for-tat and this I think is in danger of that.

Ok someone might consent to sex to get a new kitchen, bit different (and i think horribly manipulative and really damaging) from your spouse expecting sex in return for the new kitchen. I'm not entirely sure your husband would know you were "giving in" in order to "pay" him for buying you stuff... Maybe he'll get the sex and you won't get your kitchen, what a lovely relationship! I think that kind of idiocy thing absolutely destroys intimacy.

Offred Tue 09-Oct-12 17:14:25

Or is that not what you were saying? Were you just not into it? If so why would you fake it? Again quite intimacy destroying.

avenueone Tue 09-Oct-12 20:55:19

Abitwobblynow really concerned by some of your views, if you are not even speaking to someone and need things (other than sex) resolving why would you have sex with them? - to me that would be very strange.
So I don't see it as a ban but as not appropriate. Your posts make me think you feel she should have sex as and when he says because she loves him - she might just not love him.
My first post talks about how his wife seems to be unhappy with things that may not be all down to the OP and that they need to talk about a whole range of issues.
The first set of posts gave really good supportive advice to the OP and all he could come back with was the sex issue which is why the tone of the posts changed and then you came in.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now