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No affection, no sex, six mths pregnant - lost and upset

(56 Posts)
EggsandBacon Mon 26-Nov-12 14:10:23

I don't know where else to go as I'm too embarrassed to discuss this with anyone in real life. I'm six mths pregnant with my second DC, been with my DH for eight years, and he is no longer showing me any affection or having sex. I feel completely rejected and humiliated in my attempts to get close to him.

Background is - he is quite an emotionally closed off person, but very kind underneath, just struggles to express himself. Before DC1 we would regularly have sex, his libido is greater than mine so often initiated by him, but I would always make an effort also. Since DC1 it has not been as regular as it is hard to get time together (we both work full time, and DC1 is a bad sleeper, so only time is really at bedtime). Now I am pregnant and have put on a lot of weight, I'm not sure if this is the problem or something else...

It has been a month since we last had sex, and that wasn't that successful. Since then I have kept trying to initiate it when we go to bed - cuddling up to him, etc. He just lies there, doesn't respond to me at all when I do it. Sometimes he has just mentioned being tired, and I've taken that as him saying 'not interested tonight'. This weekend I was desperate to initiate some sort of physical contact, as he doesn't even cuddle me or touch me. So each night I was trying to cuddle up to him. He gets into bed and immediately wraps the duvet round himself so it is hard for me to get close. Friday = 'tired'. Saturday I managed to get him a bit aroused I think but then he turned over and said he was tired and wanted to sleep. I cried quietly so he wouldn't know I was upset. Last night I gave him a hand job, he just lay there the whole time - yawning sometimes I think to tell me he wasn't interested, or maybe he was just lying back and enjoying it? He didn't say anything afterwards, just went to the bathroom and then got back into bed and turn onto his side away from me. I felt so humiliated, like it was really seedy or something.

I've asked him indirectly if anything is wrong, he just says no, it is hard to get him to even say that one word. He is fine talking if it is just about DC1, but I can't even get him to chat about anything else. I don't know what has happened for it to get like this, and now I'm scared I don't know how to turn it around (and I'm only going to get bigger and fatter and have less time and be more tired). I realise the only way to work it out is to have a conversation with him, but I can't seem to get him talking (although I've only been very indirect). Don't know if I should just leave it and hope for the best, but it feels like the longer this goes on the worse it will get.

So embarrassed. Please say nice things as I can't check this at home and I don't want to cry at work!! Pretending I've got something in my eye at the moment.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 26-Nov-12 14:14:35

So sorry you're feeling so sad. I'm bit sure what to say to help but wanted to h

mammadiggingdeep Mon 26-Nov-12 14:16:57

Sorry- bloody phone.

Wanted to hold your hand. Please know that it isn't anything you've done, or is wrong with you- it's his issues. How you get him to talk about them I don't know. Hopefully wiser mumsnetters will come along soon.....hang in there xx

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 26-Nov-12 14:40:13

I think you have to challenge him about this head on. Not 'what's wrong?' because that gets you nowhere. Instead give him both barrels about how you're feeling.... taken for granted, unloved, unwanted... and how his behaviour.... distant, contemptuous, monosyllabic, offensive (duvet wrapped around so you can't touch him - wtf???) ... is completely unacceptable. If he doesn't want to talk... ask him to leave for a time.

This is not yours to 'turn around' because the problem is not with you, it's him. He's acting like a twat.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 26-Nov-12 14:41:29

BTW... yawning during a hand-job? How demeaning!

lookingfoxy Mon 26-Nov-12 14:51:13

Yes you definetly need to challenge this head on.
No more beating about the bush with 'are you alright', ask why he doesn't show you any affection anymore, why doesn't he want sex.
Be specific so he can't fob you off.
Sorry if sounds hard but you really need to ask.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 26-Nov-12 14:52:58

Been use the words 'embarrassed' and 'humiliated'. You really shouldn't feel like that. His behavior is totally twatish! So you've put a bit of weight on, you're knackered, you can't perhaps be as energetic as you usually would- if that's the radon behind his change of attitude he should be the one who is embarrassed. Wrapping a duvet round himself?!?! He should defo be embarrassed. I agree- don't try to approach it in discussion terms- tell him what you've told us. Good luck x

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 26-Nov-12 14:55:47

Does he watch a lot of internet porn? That's horribly addictive, and men start thinking that real women should behave like the ones on the porn websites sad

lookingfoxy Mon 26-Nov-12 14:56:03

My EX used to wrap the duvet around himself as well and avoid sex, it is very embarrassing and humiliating.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 26-Nov-12 14:57:47

Also, I totally understand where your coming from with the "yawning" whilst giving him a handjob.

I once had a boyfriend who turned to take a sip of his cup of tea on the bedside table when I was giving him a blowjob - i dumped him shortly after, couldn't really explain to myself why i didn't like what he did, but i knew it wasn't right.

EggsandBacon Mon 26-Nov-12 15:00:15

Demeaning was certainly the word. Ashamed, humiliated, embarrassed. I seem to be cultivating a talent for crying silently in bed.

I don't know how to time bringing up what's going on. I don't know if he even has noticed (he has had a bug on and off the last couple of weeks so I wondered if that was it - scraping the barrel a bit!!). He travels with work and will be away on and off for the next couple of weeks, so wondering whether to wait until he gets back. Or say something before he goes - or is that worse as then we're not together to work through it? We've never had to explicitly solve a problem before, normally problems just come to a head with him being angry/defensive/on the attack, and me just trying to fix it because I hate arguments or confrontation.

Or do I just leave it a bit longer - has only been 'bad' for three - four weeks (not that it has even been perfect as such, but I haven't been this worried/scared before), maybe things will improve with a bit more time.

I'm scared that confronting it will make it worse when perhaps it would've got better on its own, also scared that not confronting it will allow the situation to deteriorate to the point it can't be saved. Just feel like time is running out, only three months til DC2 arrives and then what?

I feel like he is behaving like I've done something wrong and I don't know what it is. Like maybe he is upset with me and is therefore not showing any affection. But when we text each other during the day, he is always saying positive things, e.g. 'let's have an evening out before Christmas', and ends them with kisses, so I think that means he's not upset with me?

Also embarrassed that after eight years I appear to still not know how to talk to my own husband, you'd have thought he'd be the one person I can be straight with, but I guess I'm afraid of upsetting him or making it worse. I considered writing to him on email about it, but it would be have to be at work, and it seems childish.

Thanks, not cried yet but have told work I have a cold hence the watery eyes.

EggsandBacon Mon 26-Nov-12 15:04:20

Sorry, took so long to write that I x posted with everyone. Yes to the internet porn I think, that is an issue we have as he wants to do stuff that I'm either uncomfortable with or just don't have the energy for!! I guess I just need to confront this. Not sure when to do it as on weekdays I have to go to work the next day, and weekends are difficult with his work.

sad to hear that this has happened to people with exes - don't want him to be an ex - can't do the baby thing on my own. And can't believe it would come to that?

maras2 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:42:12

What an arragant pig,ignoring your attempts to make love.I feel so angry for you.I hate to say this,especially as you are pregnant,but do you think that there may be another woman?I so hope not but he does sound a bit suss.Hope to God that I'm wrong.

Charbon Mon 26-Nov-12 15:54:12


He's a porn user who travels away a lot for work.

Could an affair be a possibility, OP?

EggsandBacon Mon 26-Nov-12 16:37:59

I did think about if it was another woman, but to be honest, the work travel is now few and far between (used to be more often) and I don't see how he'd have time to see anyone else at other times, as he rarely goes out apart from the very occasional work do, and even then he doesn't stay out late. So unless he was seeing someone on his lunchbreak, it doesn't seem logistically possible!! And besides, I don't think he'd actually do it.

I just keep coming back to the fact that this seems to be a recent development - I'm sure that even as recent as October I wasn't noticing it (certainly everything was normal in September). It is really just the last 3 weeks it has been noticeable. And then I wonder if perhaps it is my hormones and I am being over sensitive - perhaps he is stressed at work, he has had a bit of a bug, perhaps he is not sure how to react to my pregnant body. I'm trying to find temporary reasons you see, so I can say that this is temporary and we'll be ok. I don't want this to be a big deal, I want it to be not as bad as I feel right now. He can be very insensitive and often doesn't realise the way he behaves can be upsetting.

I think I will see how things are this week and then discuss at the weekend. I can't face coming into work if it turns out to be an awful conversation.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 26-Nov-12 17:40:58

"He can be very insensitive and often doesn't realise the way he behaves can be upsetting."

So tell him. "I'm upset and you're being insensitive". No more creeping about trying to initiate sex. No more yawny hand-jobs etc. No more insecure wondering if he doesn't like you because you've put on a few pounds.... of his baby!!! You're upset because you're being cold-shouldered. Stop looking for temporary excuses or ways to avoid the conversation. Demand some attention from Mr Insensitive

Charbon Mon 26-Nov-12 17:55:45

It's precisely because you think this is a recent development - and he's got some away trips coming up - together with all the other behaviour, that I'd be suspicious about an affair. You'd be amazed how many people in affairs see eachother while they are meant to be at work - especially if both are in relationships. They take leave, invent fake business trips, schedule early departures from work or late starts. The changed behaviour you are describing is synonymous with a new affair. Please don't rule it out.

And while I would encourage you to raise grievances about what is in the public domain e.g. his recent behaviour and the lack of sex, affection and interest - I'd advise against asking him if there is anyone else. If he was going to admit that, he would do so in this conversation but there's very little chance of that.

Instead, I'd listen very carefully to what he says are his reasons - and then having asked for changes, see if he puts these into action. Meanwhile, be vigilant about any signs of an affair e.g. attachment to his phone, vagueness about his movements (especially in relation to the upcoming trips) and any sense that he is being secretive about what's really going on.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 26-Nov-12 18:25:24

I was going to say affair - the lack of affection, the porn, the work trips away (and probably lunchtimes/secret afternoons off work) are all red flags.

Is he possessive with his phone/laptop?

Nomorepain Mon 26-Nov-12 18:38:56

Hate to say it but this sounds so much like my situation it is unbelievable. My stbexh cheated on me when I was pregnant - their behaviour is identical. Believe me they find a way to make time for the ow!! I think you need to have an honest discussion with your husband. And be prepared to not like what you might find out.

Make sure you have got some support somewhere in the shape of family or friends. Look after yourself, dd and your baby. You will get through this xx

Before jumping to the he's having an affair stage try talking to him, don't let people put ideas in up your head OP, chances are you're already hormonal and emotional at your stage so please please don't read these posts and go oh crap, he's shagging someone else!

My dh didn't enjoy sex while I was more heavily pg, i didn't agree with him but he had his reasons!

Please talk to him, youve had 8 years of marriage surely you could bring this up. If not directly, use the I've got this friend technique!

GetAllTheThings Mon 26-Nov-12 21:23:01

OP, having young babies can be unsettling for some men ( I speak as one ) when it comes to sex. And despite what a lot of Mother and Baby magazines say not all men are comfortable having sex with a pregnant dp / dw. I wasn't and there wasn't anyone I could talk to about it. So I internalized it and worried that if I showed affection my then dp would think I was leading her on.

I know that sounds terrible, and I was affectionate but just at times when it couldn't lead to sex.

I'd also say, and I appologise in advance, but a lot of weight gain can be a turn off. 

He may be struggling with his feelings about all of this and feel guilty knowing you want sex when he's lost his libedo and finds it hard to express his feelings.

You're right in that the longer you leave it the worse it'll get.

But the only way you're going to fix this is, as said, tell him how you are feeling and hopefully find out what's going on with him.

See listen to this guy ^ well done for talking some sense!

Dh said he found it creepy that baby was there and was scared he/she would know what we were up to grin he said he would do it with dd1 or 2 I the same room so it wasn't okay with dc3

It really hurt at first but I have no worries that all will return to normal

OpheliaPayneAgain Mon 26-Nov-12 21:53:11

Do you think he's fightened of pressuring you or hurting the baby?

EdithWeston Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:35

Some men do get a bit weird about penetrative ex if they think the baby is watching, or dream up misplaced ideas of what is 'suitable' during pregnancy.

But I'd have expected that to be ruefully admitted, turned into a joke even. And it doesn't even begin to cover the (far more worrying) withdrawal of affection.

You do need to tackle this. Yes, an affair is a possibility (possibly a recently ended one), but it's not the only one. Something is bothering him, and I do think it would be wrong to let this slide.

Can you explore what's up without being confrontational?

Charbon Mon 26-Nov-12 22:36:00

I really don't think that an irrational fear of damaging an unborn baby, lack of desire for a pregnant woman - or indeed anything at all - excuses yawning during sexual activity and then retreating in silence while your frustrated wife goes without even a hug or a kiss, let alone a reciprocal orgasm. The OP also says that he has stopped engaging about anything other than their child and is giving the impression that she has done something wrong.

It's depressing that some posters like to find all sorts of excuses for men's lousy behaviour towards their partners. I hope the OP won't join them in accepting this sort of treatment.

So you're perfectly willing to accuse this man of an affair knowing only the information you have above! Please! hmm

I'm not saying what he is doing is right but there's a big step between that and him cheating, projecting your own possible maltreatment onto someone else's situation isn't helpful. This may be an absolute shock but not all men are lousy.

No one suggested she should accept it, but we did suggest she talk to him without going in all guns blazing, I'm sorry but unless you have absolute proof you have no right to accuse this man of an affair, and it's wrong to out those ideas In a fragile woman's mind!

Im not looking to start an argument, so we shall have to agree to disagree

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 27-Nov-12 07:50:44

Madame - he is not just withdrawing sex, he is also being emotionally distant and pretty cruel too (the yawning and lack of affection).

GetAllTheThings Tue 27-Nov-12 08:12:44

You know, people find excuses for women virtually every minute of every day on MN right up to their hitting their partners. Why ?  Because there's an understanding that situations often have a context and a back story. That people are human and make mistakes.

Both OneSword and I have direct experience of the situation the OP finds herself in, and speaking for myself, understand that there can be issues beyond the shallow politically motivated interpretation some have here. None of you are men yet you seem to feel perfectly qualified to comment on his state of mind and motivations. 

I believe OneSword and I share our experience with the OP in the hope it will help the her and her DP in some way. Offer an alternate view based on direct experience. That's how these threads work. 

To simply assume her DP is having an affair, against her opinion, and express that speculation to her is helpful how ?

If a pregnant woman posted that her dp was pestering her for sex every night against her wishes, that she found it hard to show any affection towards him as he thinks it'll lead to sex, that she curls up in a protective duvet every night, the response would be somewhat more sympathetic I'm certain.

And the heinious crime of yawning during a sex act. Jesus yes, leave the bastard ! How f*cking dare he.

Nobody here, including the OP, knows what's going on in his head but we're agreed they need to talk about this , everything else is speculation.  

None of this is helpful to the OP so like OneSword I'm out.

OP talk to him, don't make accusation but be v clear about how you feel and how upset you are. Hopefully you can both work it out and move on to a happier future. Good luck. 

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 27-Nov-12 08:25:05

"And the heinious crime of yawning during a sex act. Jesus yes, leave the bastard ! How f*cking dare he."

It absolutely is a heinous crime in the middle of an intimate act... especially when stacked up against the very extreme cold-shouldering that is being described. I'm not going to speculate on his motives for behaving this way but it goes way beyond the usual 'not tonight darling' brush-offs. There's something not being said...

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 27-Nov-12 08:30:11

Sadly many of us have been where OP has been sad and we know too well the signs of someone who has checked out of a relationship sexually, emotionally and mentally.

No one has suggested that Op should leave the bastard at all hmm

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 08:45:45

I sympathise with the op's situation and wonder if this is a form of sexual abuse where you are first put under huge pressure to perform sex acts or have lots of sex and then sex and affection is completely withdrawn, but I am also quite uncomfortable (understatement) at the thought of any sex act being performed on someone who doesn't consent to it. I don't think it is acceptable to try and force someone to get aroused or carry on touching them when they don't want it and I think it is awful to think of him wrapping himself up in a duvet to avoid unwanted touching. The only way around this is to talk.

OneMoreChap Tue 27-Nov-12 14:25:43

maras2 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:42:12
What an arragant pig,ignoring your attempts to make love.

Nonsense, she doesn't know why. If it was a woman ignoring attempts to make love, it would be called pressure, and she's be told the man had no right to expect it.

Sounds like there's other things to worry about, but I love the rush to affair etc...

OneMoreChap Tue 27-Nov-12 14:27:39

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 08:45:45
I sympathise with the op's situation and wonder if this is a form of sexual abuse where you are first put under huge pressure to perform sex acts or have lots of sex and then sex and affection is completely withdrawn,

I'm flabbergasted at that when I agree completely with ^ I am also quite uncomfortable (understatement) at the thought of any sex act being performed on someone who doesn't consent to it. I don't think it is acceptable to try and force someone to get aroused or carry on touching them when they don't want it^

NotANaturalGeordie Tue 27-Nov-12 14:33:59

Hi OP hope you are ok.

For what its worth, my DH went completely off sex during my pregnancy with our first DD. I felt humilitated, rejected, wondered whether he still loved me, if he was going to leave - I thought about leaving him and I was very miserable. He didn't admit it was the pregnancy (for fear of my reaction) until after she was born.

After she was born, our sex life returned to normal until I fell pregnant again, but this time I was prepared for his feelings and coped much much better.

I hope this helps and that things get better soon.

I'm really surprised to read that many people seem to think this guys behaviour is acceptable or just nerves about the baby.

He has completely closed down on her and more importantly, he won't tell her why. Unless he's always been a pig, then it looks like something has happened recently. It's quite natural to wonder if an OW is involved.

Please try to get him to talk to you, OP, but if he won't, then prepare yourself for the worst.

My DH also wasn't keen on sex after I was 6 months pregnant or so. Fair enough. We talked about it, laughed about it, carried on hugging etc. This guy really is something else. Yawning during a hand job with no affection, no conversation etc, is a deliberate way of saying: F* you.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 14:53:11

Why flabbergasted OMC? Sometimes there can be abuse from both sides in a relationship, I actually think it is very common for it to be like that. There's not always a clear cut "baddy" and "goody". I did some abusive things to my xp when he was abusing me (cheated, told some lies) and I think most victims of a primary abuser do behave secondarily abusively at points.

Not saying it is that way here because the only actual suggestion made on this thread of anything which is obvious abuse is the handjob. The handjob is undoubtedly abusive towards him to me and i'm pretty shocked other people don't see that. I don't want to call out the op for being abusive before getting more information because it may be secondarily abusive as a result of him setting sexual boundaries where consent is not required for sexual activities that one partner wants.

It was the mentioning of both the man's hugely higher sex drive at the start and the complete withdrawal of any affection now combined with a stated lack of communication and inability/reluctance to communicate did make me wonder if the origin of abuse in this relationship is actually him rather than her. I know that may seem a bit left field but it is one possible explanation of all the things not just the incident where she behaved abusively.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 14:54:11

And to be fair I think someone who is being touched without their consent is pretty damn entitled to say fuck you.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 14:57:40

This is the first time on MN I have really agreed with the sentiment of "if the genders were reversed you would get a totally different answer" and no-one's even said it...

GetAllTheThings Tue 27-Nov-12 15:00:30

I've said it Offred.

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 15:09:10

Ah yes you did sorry! I agree.

Charbon Tue 27-Nov-12 15:10:11

I don't get the sense that this is about consent at all. Nor do I think that if a man posted that he had brought his partner to orgasm while she laid there, yawned, left the room and then silently turned over, would be berated about abusing her consent, especially if his posts contained all the other contextual details about the sudden change in a happy relationship, the cold shouldering, the lack of engagement, the porn use and the pressure his partner had previously exerted to get him to engage in pornified sex that he wasn't comfortable with.

Some posters though would notice instantly that the interaction described resulted in no orgasm for the man and in my view, this would have attracted more comment than it has on this (woman's) thread because men having sexual interactions without orgasm is regarded as more unusual. But the fact that the OP didn't receive any reciprocal sexual attention has slipped by almost unnoticed on this thread.

As for the 'rush to affairs' jibe, as far as I can see posters are suggesting this as a possibility rather than a definite. It is just as plausible as suggestions that the OP's partner finds pregnancy and weight gain off-putting, has something on his mind etc. If someone posts about a problem that in many posters' experience, is often attributable to one cause in particular, it would be of no help to an OP if no-one voiced it as a possibility.

As far as I can tell, the resounding message on this thread has been that the OP should talk to her partner about her feelings, rather than crying herself to sleep and worrying.

EggsandBacon Tue 27-Nov-12 16:24:50

Thanks all, it really does help to have all perspectives as I think I've got myself so wound up I can't think straight. I am going to try and talk to him, it seems the only way forward. I tried a little last night, just about the lack of cuddles, and we did then have a cuddle.

I hadnt even considered that it might be abusive for me to keep touching him when he didn't want it - I guess I just assumed that if we could just be intimate again it would fix everything. I'm going to try to get him to talk about how he's feeling, and then take it from there.


GetAllTheThings Tue 27-Nov-12 16:32:24

Good for you Eggs, I really hope things work out for you all.

For what it's worth I don't think you're abusive at all, I can fully understand your need to have some affection. smile

Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 16:45:51

Can I be very clear in saying I am not saying eggs "is abusive". Touching sexually without someone's consent is not ok. I do think it is important to mention that and important to say they should be no subjectivity about the fact that it is up to the one seeking consent to ascertain consent.

However I stand by what I was originally saying. If a woman who had gone off sex and was wrapping herself in the duvet to try and avoid it then orgasm or no orgasm a partner who badgered for several nights and then just went ahead and touched her, continued to touch her when she showed signs of not being into it would be (quite rightly) slated.

That however is a separate issue.

It is absolutely horrible and abusive of him to be leaving eggs crying in bed all night and completely failing to actually communicate with her.

Eggs if it helps qualify the above thing I think the yawning was nasty as well. I find it hard not to see these things aren't all connected and I suspected it would be because you didn't realise about the consent thing which makes me wonder why that is and if, at the beginning of the relationship when you describe him as having a high sex drive he wasn't interested at all in your consent so it had set the boundaries and dynamic for your sexual relationship from then on.

He owes you an explanation for the complete withdrawal and also for the yawning. I'm also quite concerned about you feeling you can't speak to him. You should be able to, do you know why you feel you can't?

EggsandBacon Tue 27-Nov-12 17:09:47

I wondered if the yawning was him trying to say "I'm tired and not interested in sex" - or if it was just accidental (we are both tired a lot). He did orgasm so I assume he was into it though.

I think I find it hard to talk about these things because it is such a sensitive subject. He tends to close off when we discuss anything intimate - and I think over the years I've started avoiding those sorts of conversations as a result as I can see it makes him uncomfortable. I guess we always got by in the past by just avoiding it - on particularly tricky subjects, we've resorted to emailing rather than speaking in the past, which I realise sounds totally ridiculous. But this isn't something I can email him about, obviously, so now we're stuck. I really wish everything was just normal again without having to take any action.

GetAllTheThings Tue 27-Nov-12 17:56:46

Eggs I found it so difficult to discuss those kind of issues. I guess a lot of people do.

I found it difficult to the point where I just couldn't get words out, it sounds idiotic I know, but it was very upsetting for me, and XP, it was like a vicious circle and I can't really explain why. I'd just clam up after a few words.

I knew I wanted to say stuff, I knew I wanted to make things better, but it would come out wrong. It had nothing to do with my feelings towards my then partner.

But it certainly contributed to the demise of the relationship. The next thing that happened was that I slept in another room on the excuse that I snored. That was basically the beginning of the end.

You have to find a way to work through this, and talking , as hard as it might be is the only way I think. Don't let what happened to me happen to you.

And I'm sure somewhere in my life I must have yawned once during sex due to tiredness, and been on the receiving end, I don't get why it's such a 'heinous crime' to some posters here.

Of course yawning during sex alone is not a heinous crime. However, on top of not showing any affection, wrapping the duvet around himself, refusing to admit anything is wrong and rejecting her so that she cries silently next to him - yes, that IS pretty horrible.

Op, why not send him an email letting him know how you feel?

Charbon Tue 27-Nov-12 23:33:29

Eggs you say you're going to have a discussion about how he is feeling, but it's just as important that you tell him how you've been feeling and what changes you'd like to see in your relationship.

Talking about intimate and personal issues promotes intimacy as a couple, whereas having subjects which are off-limits causes all sorts of problems in a relationship. You are in an intimate relationship and you are soon going to be parents to two children. If you are only able to interact on a superficial level with eachother, the bond you have will grow weaker. This habit you've both got into of not being able to speak about issues face-to-face needs tackling along with everything else.

It's much easier for someone to detach from a relationship if face-to-face communication about conflicts or personal turmoil is absent.

I might add that people who find it hard or impossible to risk a difficult conversation are especially vulnerable to infidelity. They find it impossible to discuss unhappiness with a partner, to risk offending someone who is trying to breach their boundaries, to nip a potential affair in the bud and to extricate themselves from situations that are getting out of control. It's a significant personal risk factor.

GetAllTheThings Wed 28-Nov-12 09:48:34

Thisisaeuphemism I agree, but someone up thread posted it was a heinous crime in it's self. Which is an insane opinion imo.

Charbon I've got do disagree with your last point if I'm reading it right. I had problems discussing things with my XP and she eventually went off and had an affair.

Dispute the pain involved and ramifications, I could understand why she did it.

Its not a great thing in itself, but how difficult is it to say; "Blimey I'm knackered, but keep going" or a "let's leave it tonight darling, I'm not into it,"?

The fact he does nothing to reassure her suggests he doesn't care. Getall, what do you suggest it means?

Op, I hope you have managed to tell him how he is making you feel and have seen some change. Xx

Charbon Wed 28-Nov-12 13:53:09

I'm sorry that happened to you Getall. WRT your own situation, if it's become an established relationship habit that difficult conversations are off-limits, it's not unusual for either party to cast outside the relationship but the permissions given will be different, depending on whether it is the 'talker' or the 'avoider'. Part of the 'talker's' self-justification at keeping a secret about being attracted to someone else is that their partner wouldn't want to talk about it, so there's no point - and there is sometimes a punitive angle when the 'talker' has an affair. In a general sense though, it's not unusual for people who have given up on trying to change their relationship and their partner, to have an affair. However, there are evidently avoidant personality traits in someone who chooses this route to exit a relationship, rather than a dignified ending.

The motives for 'avoiders' are often different. People who find talking to anyone about their feelings (even to close friends) are sometimes knocked sideways when they meet someone who either brings this out in them, or the infatuation gives the illusion of depth of feeling and being able to share it. In a new relationship, people are on their best behaviour and they tend to listen actively to one another and ask questions. At this point there is often an unfair contrast made with a partner who has given up trying to get blood from a stone and restricts conversations to the superficial. Because this person doesn't talk to friends about feelings (let alone a partner) they have no external 'reality check' from friends or family about any damage that is being caused by their affair. Some 'avoiders' drift into unwise affairs because they find it impossible to say 'no' and even if they want out of the affair, they can't extricate themselves cleanly and so the stress they feel about being out of control, gets acted out at home.

It's especially problematic in relationships if there are two 'avoiders' although often one of them didn't start out that way and it became a learned behaviour. The OP for example, bravely acknowledges that not being able to talk to her husband is ridiculous. I'd be interested Eggs if you were always this reticent or whether you've adapted your behaviour because of your husband's personality.

ItsRainingOutside Wed 28-Nov-12 14:29:31

Really feel for you. My ex-P was like this as soon as he found out I was pregnant with DD. It went on for 2 years with no reasonable explanation other than at the time he didn't want to hurt the baby. I know that the lack of emotional connection is a worse feeling than lack of sex itself. Speak to him on the basis he can't hurt your feelings by telling you the truth any more than he is at the minute by telling you nothing.

butterfingerz Wed 28-Nov-12 15:19:23

I'm torn on this one. I do accept that some men find pregnancy difficult, sex-wise. He may be embarassed of how he feels and doesn't want to say anything to hurt op.

Men do have lower testosterone whilst their partner is expecting and the newborn period, I think as a protective mechanism (lower aggression), so maybe lack of male hormones has dampened his arousal. He may not be aware of this sciencey fact so maybe he feels it's something wrong with him and has gone into defensive mode?

In an ideal world, it would be great for him to explain exactly how he feels. Maybe just give him his space and see if things improve after the birth?

Agentleman Mon 10-Dec-12 17:00:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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