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If DH and I don't improve our sex life I think it's over

(37 Posts)
NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 18:30:42

I've NC for this as I feel so sensitive about it. I've posted on this board before and got amazing advice. After a one night 'fling' (no actual sex) with a colleague, which was the latest in a long line of male-attention-seeking behaviours over the years I posted a desperate plea and MNers really helped. I was advised to attend counselling and I have.

Essentially, my counseller thinks much of my behaviour stems from my DH. I am in no way seeking to blame him for what I did with my colleague which was a shocking breach of trust and I feel horribly guilty. But I do understand why I behave the way I do.

DH is very undemonstrative verbally, with 'you look nice' the only compliment I have ever had from him, and only when he knows I've made an effort (ie we are going out to dinner). I might be shallow, pathetic and needy but I would love more than that. I would love him to begin a text 'hello gorgeous' or say something truly heartfelt.

The main problem is that coupled with the above, we just don't have enough/any sex. We only do it when he is drunk sad. He is very cuddly and affectionate but it never goes further.

I know it's not right but I compare us/him to other bf's I've had previously (who were all over me all the time) and to the way men are portrayed (as horny buggers).

I've spoken to him a number of times about the above (without improvement despite reassurances) but I've hit a brick wall and am stuck as to how to proceed. Any suggestions? I love him and think he is the most utterly gorgeous creature ever put on this earth! He is my ideal man in every way except this and I'm feeling heartbroken.

I'm also, of course, desperately concerned that my bad behaviour of the past will repeat itself and everyone will end up heartbroken. I cannot bear the thought of him being hurt for even a second, but I can see a troubled path ahead if things don't improve.

Is counselling an option for him?

Has he always been this way with you?

Does he show his love for you in other ways?

Does it seem to you like he has a low sex drive, or like this is something more complicated?

Has he ever offered any reason as to why he doesn't want to have sex with you? Was he always less interested than you were?

Basically, someone who has, for a long time, been withholding sex while aware that this makes his/her partner miserable is not that 'lovely.' He is being selfish, because he wants the relationship to carry on as it is, because that suits him and he considers your unhappiness unimportant.

He may simply be someone with a very low libido. He may be gay-but-homophobic (men who have been raised in a bigoted culture often hate the fact that they are gay, and marry in order to convince themselves and others that they are heterosexual, but at the same time, feel little or no desire for their wives and therefore avoid sex). He may have a particular fetish that he is ashamed of and disinclined to share with you.

Have you ever discussed with him what might make him more interested in sex? And if he suggested anything, was it stuff you were prepared to try? (Not that you should do sexual things that revolt or scare you, of course).

If he really, really, isn't interested in having sex with you, then your options are to end the relationship or tell him that you will be seeking sex elsewhere. Because he doesn't have the right to enforce celibacy on you for the rest of your life.

catladycourtney1 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:44:33

I don't have any advice for you but I know exactly how you feel. "We only do it when he is drunk. He is very cuddly and affectionate but it never goes further," - I could have written that myself. Ditto the comparing with previous boyfriends/other peoples' relationships/how men are portrayed. The only difference is that, although I've been sorely tempted, it's actually him who has cheated (albeit a long time ago, before any of this was really a problem). And I've tried to address the issue in the past to no avail, but since I've been pregnant there's no point because he uses that as an excuse and refuses to appreciate that we ever had a problem before.

I hope you manage to sort this out, one way or the other.

NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 18:54:44

Thanks for the quick replies already.

He has never been a mad shagger(!) but we used to have a better sex life than we do. If I'm truly honest with myself though, it has been an issue for a long time (possibly with me really acknowledging it).

He offers an explanations which are; being tired, too many other things to do, we tend not to go to bed at the same time (he stays up late) and he also says I need to make more of an effort to come onto him I think I make a normal amount of effort which is always rejected - part of the issue is that I want to feel wanted by him.

As guilty and sick as I feel about cheating, the sexual spark and connection I felt with my colleague blew me away. He utterly desired me and made that very clear. I wish I could have that with DH but I know it will probably never be like that. I would be happy for even an iota of that feeling with him.

NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 18:56:20

Sorry my punctuation went a bit mad in that last post.

I have broached the idea of couples counselling with him and he is agreeable if not keen. He will really struggle to discuss these issues with a counsellor though.

NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 18:57:29

One final thing which is the most concerning to me - we are in our 20's and have no kids. I dread to think how things could be in ten years' time.

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:05:43

Erk, I don't know if I posted on your previous threads but if I did I probably told you to cut your losses now and move on

In your 20's, no kids, shit sex life, looking outside your relationship because you get no hot sex within it ?

I don't know if he is a bastard, but I do think you should leave him. In as kind and thoughtful way as possible of course, but the outcome should be the same.

Life is too short for this. Really.

AThingInYourLife Thu 31-Jan-13 19:09:33

"he also says I need to make more of an effort to come onto him"

That is really, really shitty behaviour.

He knows you want sex, he knows you feel rejected by him, and yet he is putting the onus on you to make sure sex happens and implying that if it doesn't it's because you didn't work hard enough?

He deserves a kick in the nuts for that little piece of manipulative bullshit.

Why not actually shag your colleague? Sounds like you could do with some sex with someone who makes you feel good.

AThingInYourLife Thu 31-Jan-13 19:10:31

20s with no kids?


Absolutelylost Thu 31-Jan-13 19:15:04

He may be gay-but-homophobic (men who have been raised in a bigoted culture often hate the fact that they are gay, and marry in order to convince themselves and others that they are heterosexual, but at the same time, feel little or no desire for their wives and therefore avoid sex).

This was the marriage I found myself in, after our second child was born we went without sex for two years. I eventually left, I couldn't carry on that way in the end.

I feel for you and I do hope you can get the situation sorted out.

deleted203 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:16:00

I think SolidGold gives very good advice as to 'why' he may want less/no sex and also ways of talking to him about it. I also think that you need to spell it out to him in very, very clear terms that you are unhappy with the lack of sex to the point where, if it does not improve - and rapidly, that you will be out of this relationship. (Either completely and literally - or you will at least be seeking sex elsewhere). I think you HAVE to make it abundantly clear to him that for you this is a deal breaker (being in your 20s and childless) and that there is no way you will be spending your entire life like this.


I am you 20 something years away.

One child who was conceived through IVF. Haven't had sex since 1995. 1995.

I should have left in my 20s. I always wanted more sex than he did. I was always more demonstrative. He never compliments me.

We tried counseling. Twice. Last time he admitted that it wouldn't bother him if he never had sex again.

Why am I still with him? Because of DS. I forced the issue of getting married and having a child. And although he wasn't initially keen on having children he adores DS and vice versa and he is a great dad. And other than the physical side he is a good husband. We are ok. Although I do worry about what will happen when DS grows up and leaves home.

But I do regret that I stayed. I wouldn't be without DS obviously but I do feel I have missed out on lot.

And if you do want kids the pressure will be even greater on your DH to have sex and the stress of trying to conceive will lead to more problems.

Junebugjr Thu 31-Jan-13 20:17:13

I'm not sure it's you who needs counselling, as there doesn't seem anything 'wrong' on your side of things.
It's human to want sex , love, affection and desire, and if your being deprived of it, I can understand why you've looked elsewhere. Especially as your still young and have no children.
Be aware, if you do have children, sex tends to take a nosedive for a couple of years afterwards, so it's unlikely to get better if you go down that road with your DH.
Personally if he isn't willing to face this head on, and take an active role in getting your sex life back, then knock it on the head. Life is too long to go without the things your missing.

cronullansw Thu 31-Jan-13 20:19:55

Hey - can you send me your counsellor's details, so next time I get caught cheating I can get a note from him saying it's all my DP's fault.

And AF and SGB are saying the things I'd say; at your age, your position, maybe it's time to move on, but...... don't flick it away just yet - talk to him, in blunt terms, tell him clearly, precisely exactly how you want things to be and what the options are, it needs to be blunt and straightforward.

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 20:48:46

If I needed to (repeatedly) talk someone into fucking me, I would go off and find someone who didn't need any second invitations

CityTiliDie Thu 31-Jan-13 21:00:02

I am in pretty much the same situation just the other way round my DW has almost zero libido but doesnt want to do anythong about it. tried counselling but she stopped that after a few sessions.

No advice but just to let you know there are lots of us out here in the same boat holding your hand.

Also, I think it's perfectly understandable for someone in your situation to have an affair, either as an exit strategy or as a way of being able to continue in a relationship that, for whatever reason, you don't feel able to call a halt to. In fact, I think it's quite reasonable for someone with a sex-refusing partner who is making no effort to resolve the situation to decide that s/he will discreetly and privately seek sex outside the marriage, because no one has the right to force another person into celibacy.

Pinkerl Thu 31-Jan-13 21:20:12

I think you should end it for both your sakes. You don't seem to respect him much, and that can't help him

NomNomDePlumPudding Thu 31-Jan-13 21:22:41

leave. either his libido is mismatched with yours or he just doesn't really fancy you - whichever it is, you can't fix it. don't waste any more of your time. (i'm sorry if this seems harsh, but the sooner you junk him, the sooner you are going to meet someone who makes you feel like the hottest woman in the universe)

I would also wonder if his low libido was a medical issue and urge him to get blood tests for testosterone at the docs.

NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 21:44:16


Thanks for the further replies. I feel devastated at the thought of us breaking up but I'm not sure if things can be rescued from here. The thought of being by myself and for all the plans I had for the future not coming true is terrifying. The thought of him having to live alone without me there to look after him... I honestly don't know if I have the guts to end things - I feel pathetic admitting that!

I have booked a couples counselling session (news of which he has reacted badly to although we have discussed it over and over) so I'll see how we get on at that.

I appreciate the time people have taken to respond and the words of wisdom.

NeedYourHelpPlease Thu 31-Jan-13 21:46:04

And I will see if he will speak to a doctor about his libido as well - I do think he is interested in sex and probably 'looks after himself'. It's the bother of actual sex that he seems not to want.

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 21:47:11

You are not his mother, ffs !

he doesn't need you to "look after him" hmm

you are wasting your day you will look back and regret this very much

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 21:47:52

he's big into porn, yes ?

Helltotheno Thu 31-Jan-13 21:59:54

OP it sounds like you think he can't live without you or something. I agree 'look after him' doesn't sound good if that's the dynamic you have as a couple. He'll be absolutely fine, no question about that. You're in your 20s, just grab life by both hands and enjoy it. You're flogging a very dead horse here...

AnyFucker Thu 31-Jan-13 22:07:54

Look, move on

This loser will find some other rescuer to look after him

and you will get a life


ManInBeige Thu 31-Jan-13 22:55:06

Move on.

Sex is fantastic. Start having some.

ObscuredByClouds Thu 31-Jan-13 23:12:00

I agree with the above posters: you're in your 20s. Get out now. I was with a man who withheld sex and actually it's a form of control. God knows how I remained faithful. But after 11 years if marriage, 4 without sex and huge amounts of frustration on my part, I ended it despite having children together. I now have a husband who makes me feel wanted, desired and sexy. Don't waste the amount of time I did.

ImperialBlether Thu 31-Jan-13 23:21:44

I'd cut my losses and go.

In my opinion your twenties are for either experimenting with different people or, if there's one person, he's so fantastic that you couldn't envisage being with anyone else.

I wouldn't go to a counsellor to find out why my partner didn't want to sleep with me. I'd just take it that he didn't and go elsewhere.

What's he doing when he comes to bed after you do? I agree with AF - he is in to porn isn't he?

badinage Fri 01-Feb-13 01:22:20

Bollocks to having an affair on the side. For starters it's not bloody fair to use other people to prop up a relationship you want to stay in and the only men who would agree to that arrangement would either be dickheads after a shag with a safe married woman, or some poor sucker who'd lose his heart to you. And yes, you could have sex on the side with someone where you both knew the score, but that doesn't sound remotely like what you're after.

Agree with those who've queried whether he's a porn loser.

It's fine to leave a relationship where the sex is bad or non-existent. Really it is. Sex is important to most people, but for some reason women in particular feel ashamed that it's such a big deal.

If you love him and want to stay with him, that's fine as long as he agrees to work with you on this and for you to be honest with eachother. That means he tells you if he's using porn instead of having sex with you and you're honest about your ONS. As it is, it looks like you've both got secrets and can't communicate.

MidnightMasquerader Fri 01-Feb-13 03:20:46

Oh goodness, this is such depressing reading. sad

I feel for both of you, but really, more for you. The solution is so blindingly obvious to those of us looking in from the outside. You're in your 20s, you're child-free and you're unhappy. It's such a no-brainer.

I can't believe you're seriously considering a lifetime of this.

Free both of yourselves up for people you're each better suited to. People you're properly compatible with. And the sooner, the better.

Mosman Fri 01-Feb-13 03:36:43

If you were my sister/friend/daughter i'd be round there helping you pack, you will find a lovely man who doesn't need looking after and will want you as you want him.
God do not waste your youth on this man.

Hyperballad Fri 01-Feb-13 03:52:55

I think Midnight is spot on, I wasted far to much of my twenties in the wrong relationships.

Don't be afraid of being single again, it really isn't that bad, and you will find someone so much better suited to you.

ohfunnyhoneyface Fri 01-Feb-13 04:47:05

He may be gay-but-homophobic (men who have been raised in a bigoted culture often hate the fact that they are gay, and marry in order to convince themselves and others that they are heterosexual, but at the same time, feel little or no desire for their wives and therefore avoid sex).

^^ this exactly was my marriage. I was child free, in our 20s and nosedived as soon as we got engaged. Like the need to fake it vanished. Am now with someone who is a perfect match for me, desires me, makes me happy. Expecting our first baby any day now. Still only 28. Didn't want to waste my life!

I hung around long enough for serious psychological damage though- an old eating disorder resurfaced and all the health problems attached. Thank goodness it didn't effect my fertility, or that I stayed longer and totally broke my spirit.

Life is so so so short. You aren't happy, he is blaming you, you need to make yourself happy as no one else will.

NeedYourHelpPlease Fri 01-Feb-13 08:37:31

Fuck deep down I think you are all right but the thought is completely terrifying. I am a complete coward! Maybe in the counselling room we will be able to have a safe and constructive discussion about it all since our communication at home is not working.

I'm not sure about porn - certainly not that I know about but he is a computer whizz so could easily have access to all sorts that I'd never be able to know about.


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