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.

It feels like he's obsessed with sex!

(52 Posts)
AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 08:54:38

My husband and i have been together for ten years and married for four. We have 2 dd 3 months and 2.7. We seem to have this ongoing problem with differing sex drives which ends up making us both unhappy. I am really trying to ensure our sex life remains interesting but I feel as though he is constantly dissatisfied. This makes me feel as though i can't win and that any effort i make leads to him hoping for more. He seems to 'sulk' for want of a better word when i don't want to have sex or want to go to bed early. He is an otherwise attentive and lovely husband but we just keep going round in circles trying to solve this problem. I know we can't be alone in this. How do others cope?

SorryMyCandyCaneLollipop Thu 13-Dec-12 09:53:54

Him sulking when you don't want sex is a horrible thing that permeates all aspects of your relationship IME. You feel guilty for not satisfying him , he banks on this hoping that you will let him do more sex on you to avoid his sulks. It is selfish and manipulative behaviour and is not simply down to mismatched sex drives. He feels entitled to use your body for sex regardless of your feelings.

I don't know how to change this situation, so not much help. The only thing that worked for me was getting rid of my STBXH, becoming a single of parent of 2 in the process, and finding a new man that puts my pleasure and emotional well being on an equal footing with his own. There are some lovely men out there that want women to enjoy sex too and would be horrified at the idea of putting pressure on a woman to put up with sex that she is not actually wanting or enjoying. My BF does not sulk at all if I don't feel like sex. I am amazed how much difference this can make in a realtionship.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 10:15:47

Wow sorry. I now think i may have made my husband sound much worse than he is. I am in no way thinking of leaving him, nor do i think he is being abusive. I appreciate your response and am pleased you have found yourself in a much happier relationship smile . Ours really is a problem which involves dealing with the unhappiness which can occur for both people with differing sex drives.

WinklyVersusTheZombies Thu 13-Dec-12 10:20:37

How often do you have sex, how often would each of you like it? How long do these sulks last, what is the balance of your relationship like otherwise?

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 10:30:47

It varies. Usually at least once a week. My husband on the whole is lovely. He always thanks me for jobs i do around the house (i am on mat leave) and helps equally, sometimes more, when he gets home. We are still very much in love but are just syruggling with this problem at the moment

drownangels Thu 13-Dec-12 10:36:41

I knew it wouldn't take long before it was implied you were in an abusive relationship!!
The only suprise was it wasn't followed up with a LTB!!

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 11:10:16

"He seems to 'sulk' for want of a better word when i don't want to have sex or want to go to bed early. "

You really have to talk about feelings, expectations and responses together. Everyone needs to feel loved and everyone likes affection but the expectations have to be realistic because a good marital sex-life is a two-way street. Sulking is a really childish response and does nothing to make the other partner feel sexually attracted. Any feeling of pressure or obligation also creates an 'edge' that can kill passion.

Those are the kinds of things to talk about... in the cold light of day, not when you're already in bed together!!! A considerate 'lovely' person should be able to compromise

arequipa Thu 13-Dec-12 11:19:34

It goes through different phases over the years.When DCs are v small, mums use loads of emotionall and physical energy on them, not much left for DP....Later in life when kids older, women can find a new enthusiasm for sex and find it's the man who's too tired (esp if men get unfit/work long hours in middleage). It's no-one's fault, just try and be kind to eachother. Sexual frustration can make men and women moody!

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 13-Dec-12 11:24:46

Mm. I find that whoever does the night shifts / round the clock childcare is naturally (me!) more tired, and possibly a bit envious of the other's seemingly carefree life. Add sulking or nagging for sex/ house hold chores / money (tick as appropriate) onto this and the partner with the baby is completely put off.

An honest talk is needed. Maybe just as you said in your OP. it is clear and still very loving. Your sex life does not sound unhealthy, esp with little ones all day. It is more the lack of communication.

It may seem like a crazy question though, but is your DP working hard enough. I am not sure this is the right phrase. it is just that most evenings both DH and I feel too tired for sex and in a way I take this as a sign we are both doing our share, as opposed with one partner full of beans / demands and the other prtner exhausted and resentful/depressed.

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 13:46:59

He's getting it at least once a week, which isn't bad for a man with two small kids, so I don't see his problem. He sounds incredibly immature. It may not be an LTB situation for you but it would be for me because I don't think I was put on this earth to own someone's rampant sex drive and put up with their ridiculous sulking when things don't go their way.... and the thoughts of having that in my life longterm is repugnant to me but everyone has different tolerance levels.

I think you should point out to him OP that he doesn't have a bad sex life and maybe to take care of it himself the odd time if he's that desperate?

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 14:34:19

LTB??? Thanks for the different advice. It is nice to get the perspectives of others. I agree that our problem is probably communication. Perhaps a long talk about how we are each feeling is in order. I am really surprised that others view this as a potentially abusive situation as it most definitely isn't. Perhaps just one of the challenges a relationship can face when children enter the mix

ClippedPhoenix Thu 13-Dec-12 14:41:39

It would also turn me off a person if they sulked when I didn't want sex.

scaevola Thu 13-Dec-12 14:47:14

Does he sulk when he doesn't get his way on issues other than sex? If so, then it's definitely a communication problem. It's easier to sulk than voice disappointment openly.

freeandhappy Thu 13-Dec-12 14:48:37

Your baby is 3 months old? Vaginal delivery? He sounds really loving pestering you for sex confused

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 14:48:56

Please don't dismiss the 'potentially abusive situation' too lightly. Sulking is a very common emotional bullying technique. Using good and bad moods as a way to manipulate and control behaviour i.e. 'If I don't get my own way, I am going to create a miserable atmosphere'.

So just make sure that this 'attentive and lovely' man is not simply attentive and lovely because you never challenge or say no to him. Anyone can be pleasant when they are always indulged.

BelaLugosisShed Thu 13-Dec-12 14:50:03

Sulking for sex when youe wife has not long had a baby is selfish and immature, a lot of people would call it abusive too.
Sex even once a week is something a lot of men with new babies would be ecstatic with, how does he think men who work away from home for weeks/months on end go on, does he think they explode?

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 14:54:36

Well if he is a decent partner in every other sense maybe you could compromise a bit.

Let him know how loved and appreciated he is and that things will get back on a more even keel as the children get older but the sulking is putting you off. He needs to deal with that.

Perhaps you can meet his sexual needs in other ways if you don't want intercourse once you have tackled the sulking- that is so you don't reward this behaviour in your relationship but are accommodating of the fact you have different drives.

freeandhappy Thu 13-Dec-12 14:59:55

O that's a good idea. She could give him nightly blow jobs after getting the toddler to bed and breast feeding the baby. Jesus wept.

GoldenMama Thu 13-Dec-12 15:04:07

Could someone clear up what LTB means please?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 15:04:26

Leave The Bastard.... smile

GoldenMama Thu 13-Dec-12 15:05:06


QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 15:09:05

Did I say nightly? No. I said compromise. There are two people in this relationship who both matter.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 13-Dec-12 15:10:30

Just to clarify... that was in answer to the question rather than an instruction to the OP.

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 15:15:46

Compromise to what? twice a week to four times? Jack him off when baby diddums gets horny?

I would say OP, expect this to get worse, not better, especially when it sounds as though you've already tried to discuss it with him.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 15:39:29

hell the issue of compromise is for the O.P and her DH to decide.

You seem to have sexual issues of your own as your post reeks of disdain.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 13-Dec-12 15:43:15

But Hell is right, there wouldn't be a compromise would there, the outcome would be more sex for him.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 16:05:00

There may be more for him but less than he would like still so they are meeting on middle ground. In that sense it would be a compromise.

As I made clear earlier the sulking behaviour has to be dealt with first.

Op what has your DH indicated would be a reasonable way to deal with this to his mind?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 13-Dec-12 16:08:56

How is him having more sex a compromise? We aren't talking months here, we're talking a week.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 16:12:15

How is the O.P keeping things as they are a compromise? It's all very one-sided on her part if the other person's needs aren't recognised.

Quite illogical.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 16:35:00

I think i agree with queenie. It is clear that the sulky behaviour needs to be dealt with but i am amazed at the ease with which others would end an otherwise happy relationship. This is not a constant problem rather a recurring one which raises its ugly head now and again. I am sure if you asked my husband he would also have some issues with the way i am dealing with this problem and i would hate to think he was being advised to LTB (the female equiv) An open and honest chat with ideas for compromise seems a reasonable rational suggestion. It is important to me that we are both happy in this marriage

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 16:40:54

You seem to have sexual issues of your own as your post reeks of disdain.

I don't have sexual issues of my own as far as I'm aware, with the exception that I'm not here to service anyone. And yes I'm totally disdainful of OP's DH because that's what his behaviour deserves. If you think his behaviour is loving and respectable, your own boundaries could use some redefining.

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 16:41:06

Sorry respectful

TheOriginalLadyFT Thu 13-Dec-12 17:03:27

I've posted about something similar in another thread, and your post has resonance with me, OP

My DH is a wonderful man in many ways, and I love and appreciate him, but I feel as though we have a growing issue about sex. Mine is not due to small children, but I am very busy, plus I have put weight back on that I had lost when I first met him and feel less confident. I also think I just don't want to have sex every night, which I'm pretty sure he would like to do.

My DH doesn't sulk, but I am aware that he feels he's being kept on 'short rations' if he goes more than a few days without. I know I'm risking getting flamed for saying this, but frankly his sex drive appears to be more about a basic physical need, whereas I don't feel that type of need anything like as often. I love sex, but I just don't want it all the time!

I'm not sure what the answer is, as it's something I wrestle with myself - but I've gradually got to the point where I say 'no, not in the mood' and if he chooses to sulk (openly or otherwise) then so be it. I certainly don't see it as a LTB issue (!) and I don't deny that sometimes I have sex when I'm not really in the mood, because I know it makes him happy and he's a good man and I want him to feel loved and valued. It's a tricky subject, and one that I really struggle with when wearing my feminist hat!

WinklyVersusTheZombies Thu 13-Dec-12 17:08:30

How do you feel about the sex that you actually have OP? Is it good, or something to get over and done with?

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 17:16:39

I would never regard the giving or receiving of sexual intimacy as 'servicing' a partner but part and parcel of a loving relationship and as such something willingly participated in.

Once a week doesn't sound like a problem to me! I wouldn't say leave the bastard but I would wonder why he thinks it's ok to sulk and pressure you to do it more when you have such a young child and a toddler.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 17:29:37

I completely understand where you are coming from original lady. Sadly you seem no closer to a solution than i am. Perhaps there isn't one. In answer to the question about enjoyment of sex... i do very much just don't want to as often as dh. I should maybe replace the word 'sulking' with 'displaying obvious dissappointment' as this seems to have given the wrong impression. I'm not here to defend dh as i know with certainty i don't need to as he is a wonderful man with some faults (who hasn't!). I do consider myself to be a feminisy but the militancy of some on mn amazes me. Relationships surely are a two way street!

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 18:17:56

*I would never regard the giving or receiving of sexual intimacy as 'servicing' a partner but part and parcel of a loving relationship and as such *something willingly participated in.


It wouldn't be an LTB for everyone, that's true. It would be for me because I just couldn't visualise 20, 30 years etc having to be a slave to someone else's sex drive. There are peaks and troughs in every relationship sexually. How will your DH fare out OP if you become ill or for some other reason unable to do anything sexually, or even if you go through a period where your sex drive comes to a standstill? Do you think he'll support you in those cases?

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 13-Dec-12 18:19:29

When one partner wants to have sex more often than the other, it often becomes a bit of a vicious circle as the more the sex-craving one asks (however politely) the more the less-keen one feels pressured and put off. I do think that the key factor in sorting the problem out is for the more-sex partner to accept completely that no solution is going to involve having sex every single time s/he fancies it. This is a more ethical solution than insisting that the less-sex partner engages in sexual activity that s/he really doesn't want.

Secondly, no one has a real physical need for partnersex. If you are desperate for release, you can give yourself an orgasm, job done. For a lot of nice, non-abusive people, wanting more sex is not just about orgasm, it's about intimacy and feeling valued by your partner, so reassurance and communication and demonstrations that you like and respect and value each other on both sides help keep a relationship running smoothly, particulary when the mismatched sex drive issue is happening while there is a young child in the house and so everyone's tired.

But sulking when you don't get your own way is not attractive, and I'm with the other posters who are gently querying whether the OP's partner expects to get his own way all the time, and will stamp his feet and shit with rage if he doesn't.

QueenieLovesEels Thu 13-Dec-12 18:33:11


This is not about gender. These issues are not gender specific.

Slave to someone's sex drive or understanding about a fundamental difference in sex drive?

We have very different views. Sex is not a power play issue for me.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 18:52:45

As far as gently querying is concerned i think i have made it quite clear that my husband is showing his dissappointment but is in no way abusive. Nor does he express his dissappointment with rage or anger. He is in every other respect a kind and loving partner. I don't mean to be rude but i am starting to feel this isn't what people want to hear. Many thanks to those offering constructive solutions and empathy for my situation

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 19:02:40

Sorry that did sound a but rude! Didn't mean it to be. Just want to make it clear that i am in no way being abused nor am i a pushover. This is just one issue in an otherwise happy relationship. I do appreciate all responses

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Thu 13-Dec-12 19:08:09

Your thread title says that you think he is obsessed with sex, and your OP says that nothing is ever enough for him and he sulks if you don't put out.

You had a baby 3 months ago.

It really does sound quite grim.

Helltotheno Thu 13-Dec-12 19:16:13

Queenie he sulks when he doesn't get the amount of sex he wants. You mightn't think that's him making her a slave to his sex drive but I do so we can agree to differ there. I'd be miserable if I was with someone like that, especially if we already had a decent sex life, or is once + a week not decent? I don't know any more... I always thought it was pretty good for a couple with small kids, maybe other people don't.. That pressure to perform would be something I couldn't take on board but obviously the OP can handle it, and OP I'm not trying to say he's abusive towards you, I just hope it's a problem you can resolve over the long period that will be your lives together.

Yes agreed, this is not about gender. I'd say the same if the poster were a man.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 19:34:04

I appreciate that a post written in the heat of the moment does sound rather grim. I have tried to explain the situation in further less dramatic detail and have tried to make it clear that my dh is a loving and kind man who admittedly has his faults. I simply wanted to ask for advice on how to deal with a specific relationship problem. Thanks to all who have contributed and shown concern.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 13-Dec-12 20:12:11

Probably the best thing to do at the moment is remind him that your baby is only 3 months old and so it's normal and understandable and reasonable for your libido to be low, but that things will get better soon.

qumquat Thu 13-Dec-12 20:36:04

Tell him that sex once a week 3 months after giving birth is bloody amazing and he is a very lucky man.

sudaname Thu 13-Dec-12 21:42:24

On reading your OP again where you say:

"I am really trying to ensure our sex life remains interesting but I feel as though he is constantly dissatisfied. This makes me feel as though i can't win and that any effort i make leads to him hoping for more."

Sounds as though he is not only unhappy with the frequency but also making you feel as though the sex you do have is not up to his expectations either! Otherwise why all the 'really trying' and 'effort' you obviously feel you have to put in to keep it ' interesting'.

If my DH made me feel like an inadequate performing seal or someone who's just had 'must try harder' written on her school report by her headmaster then l would be concluding my own LTB tbh without even waiting for the mumsnet jury. hmm

MobileDad Thu 13-Dec-12 21:56:11

Sulking is not the right answer but it can be very difficult to understand and accept that a DP / DW is not interested in participating in an enjoyable (we hope), relaxing and intimate activity.

I think communication is the key, he needs to learn that sulking get him nowhere.

AnotherGlassPlease Thu 13-Dec-12 22:29:58

I am sneakily (DH in bath) informing you that a frank and honest chat has been lovely. Dh and i have talked at length about this issue and we both feel a million times better. Time will tell but i am glad we are at least working our way towards improving our communication. Thanks all

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Thu 13-Dec-12 22:33:51

"it can be very difficult to understand and accept that a DP / DW is not interested in participating in an enjoyable (we hope), relaxing and intimate activity."

You must be extremely hard of understanding (and acceptance shock ) if you struggle with the idea that a woman who has recently given birth and still has a small baby entirely dependent on her for all its nutritional needs might not have the energy for any activities, no matter how enjoyable, relaxing, or intimate.

Luckily my husband is as exhausted as I am, what with not being a lazy shite, and somehow has the brains to comprehend that fully 5 months after giving birth I have no libido due to the effect of breastfeeding on my hormones.

Kindness is a far sexier quality than sulkiness.

When my libido comes back, I'll really want to fuck him.

Which I would not if he was a whiny, needy, sex pest.

freeandhappy Fri 14-Dec-12 09:10:45

Well put sleighbells.

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