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.
A good idea? [Titled edited by MNHQ at the request of the OP](99 Posts)
Our story is long and I tried to type it all out the other night but lost it when I tried to post so I will try to summarise...
Basically, dh and I have been having difficulties for several years. We've had counselling jointly and me individually. This has helped me enormously but we don't seem to be able to break through whatever is the real problem.
Dh thinks the main problem is that we don't have sex often enough. he describes it as the glue that keeps the relationship together, the third leg of the stool, etc, etc. I understand that he is frustrated but his very neediness is one of the things that turns me off completely. There are very specific things he does that I really don't like, have told him many, many times but every time we have sex or he tries to initiate sex, he does them. Why is that? Passive aggressive behaviour? He says he can't help himself.
After a dreadful episode on holiday last week where dh woke me in the night and was so desperate for sex that I ended up giving him a hj whilst almost in tears, he has suggested that we should think about a sex contract. He sent me links to read about it and I have spent the last week thinking about it and everything else.
Will it make things any better? I have a horrible fear that it will make things much worse. He thinks it's all about my lack of libido and that I am deliberately withholding sex from him (and from myself) to punish him. I don't think I am but all my thoughts are going round in circles and I'm at the point of wondering whether I am being unfair or even abusive towards him. Perhaps I need to try this contract idea? It scares me though.
Does anyone have any experience of such a contract?
I'm about to be really thick - but what is a sex contract?
Does it dictate how often or what can and cannot be done?
"I ended up giving him a hj whilst almost in tears," this really worries me and in no circumstances is this ever ok. I think you have bigger problems than a sex contract.
As in something that you are both supposed to sign?
what does he do that you dont like? is that what is making you not feel like sex?
I ended up giving him a hj whilst almost in tears
And he was ok with that
Jesus christ. A sex contract is not the way to go about it if feeling under pressure to have sex turns you off.
hope you're ok OP
You could ask him 'does he want to do his daily rape'
If he repeatedly do things that you have asked him not to then it isn't about sex. It's control. I wouldn't touch the sex contract with a ten foot pole. It will make things hell.
Of course you are doubting yourself, his behaviour is designed to make you do that.
btw a normal human being would not be able to get an orgasm if their partner was in tears.
No no no. It will make everything a thousand times worse.
Sweetie, what has he told you that made you feel you are abusing him? That you think it's so necessary that he gets some form of sex that you'd wank him off while being in tears?
There is nothing wrong with you. Even if you had no libido at all that is perfectly fine and you're entitled to feel that way. NOBODY has a right to demand sex from you, ever.
So he wants a contract allowing him to rape you?
I know teh above is emotive, but that is what it boils down to.
Your husband is abusive, sweetheart.
Any man who forces his wife to wank him off depite her obvious distress is an abusive cock.
This is part of the stuff he sent me...
Would a sex contract work for you?
I promise to have sex with you once a week and come up with something new to try at least twice a month. In return, you promise to kiss me more, spend more time on foreplay and give me lots of compliments in bed.
Would you sign on the dotted line if your partner asked you to sign a sex contract?
The initial response of most couples is a disgusted nose-crinkle and cry of But sex should be spontaneous!
In an ideal world, it would be.
Sadly, desire naturally falls over time and the routine of real life tends to take over.
Sex - nearly always last on the daily to do list - inevitably gets pushed onto the do tomorrow instead list. And again the next day.
Which is why getting couples to sign a sex contract is a remarkably effective way to get things back on track if youre having a few wobbles with your love life.
I know our problems are bigger than this. I think it's all to do with feeling unappreciated, disappointed with how our lives and relationship have weathered having children and I do think that dh is being borderline abusive when it comes to sex. My counselling made me realise that I only want to have sex when I feel like it - whether that is for my pleasure or his iykwim. I hate the feeling of having to do it.
No way in the world I could have sex with someone who was only doing it due to a contractual obligation. I have a higher sex drive than my DP, I am frustrated much of the time, and what is worse is the feeling of rejection but the answer is not to demand a good seeing to every mon wed and fri.
Do you have an actual lack of libido or is it more an incompatibility or is it that you just do't want to have sex with him (understandable as he does things you don't like and begs and makes you cry)
What man gets a woman to.wank.him.off when its upsetting her to the point of tears?!!
What is it that he keeps doing that you have asked him.not to?
A sex contract? No.just no!!!
I used to be in a sexless marriage and I did ask my ex to try and make the effort to get in the mood more often, but i never felt entitled to it, even though it was upsetting.
hes actually being awful to you.
Um, ok. I can see that if BOTH halves of a couple want to increase their sex life then it could work for them. This is clearly so unsuitable for your situation that it makes me want to scream at you "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO"
He wants to force you to have sex when you don't want to. That's it. And that's pretty much a definition for rape. The fact that he got any pleasure out of a situation when you were in tears is sickening.
If your libidos don't match, then the answer is talking, maybe therapy, and finding a solution together. Not him trying to force you into sex
He repeatedly does things during sex that you have said not to: this is assault by the way.
He demands sex from you even when you are asleep, waking you up and then getting you to wank him off even though you are crying: this is assault.
Why on earth would you want to sign a contract with a man who sexually assaults you?
He isn't being borderline abusive, by the way, he's the whole hog. The line was crossed a long time ago.
Doesn't everyone only want to have sex when they feel like it? Nobody wants the feeling of 'having to do it' and more significantly, normal people can't comprehend getting pleasure from having sex with someone who doesn't want to do it.
No, don't do it. You will resent having sex with him even more than you currently do. If he took the time to do the things on his side of the 'contract' in the first place perhaps there wouldn't be the need for him to pester!
Wow - just wow, honestly, there's no way I would be having sex with him at all...
Affection and togetherness should be part of any loving relationship, not a bargaining tool so he can get laid more often.
The trying something new also worries me, there's obviously "a bit of fun", but my sense is that this man will abuse that and turn it into something more sinister.
Please do not sign this contract, and please seriously reconsider whether you want this man in your life, as others have said his behavior is abusive
I'm guessing that's from one of those bullshit articles rattled off by students in between essays and drinking binges in order to make some spare cash. And 50 shades of grey has a lot to answer for
You say your counselling has made you realise (recently?) that you only want to have sex when you feel like it. This is normal! Nobody wants to have sex when they don't feel like it. And nobody - including you - has to have sex when they don't want or feel like it.
I made a sex contract with XP. I was fed up of being badgered every night so I set up the contract because it gave me set nights without pressure, and I knew what I was expected to "do" the rest of the time so I had time to psych myself up. Looking back I'm so, so horrified by this. It is truly awful. Your "D"H is not being borderline abusive when it comes to sex, he's being overtly and possibly even extremely abusive. He does things, repeatedly, that you don't like. That is extreme and overt abuse!
Well, the things he wants to do sound so innocuous that this is partly why he makes out that I am being unreasonable.
He wants to stroke me and touch my hair. He wants to have sex in the morning, often waking me up by said stoking, and then gets annoyed when I explain that I almost never feel sexy in the morning and being woken up is worse.
When we do have sex, I find it ok but never mind-blowing. This has always been the case. I don't think I have a particularly high libido. However, it has definitely got worse as it takes so long.
He has big problems with rejection (caused by me, he says) and describes it as me having stuck a knife in him.
BTW, I wasn't actually in tears and it was dark so he didn't know. I was furious though and was thinking "this had better be worth it for you as it's going to be the last time..."
He does things to you that you despise, even though you have said no. Do you want sex with this 'man'. No, it does not sound like a sex contract would help anyone, it is just a license for him to try new things out on you that he knows you would say no to.
And thinking up two new things every month?? Blimey, I'm exhausted even thinking about the prospect.
I know that it sounds awful to talk about a 'sex contract' but to some extent it only formalising the kind of informal, unspoken agreements that we make with our partners. Unspoken understandings about how frequently sex happens, the kind of thing that tells you when a spell without sex becomes something that needs spoken about, the things that each of you know (for yourself and your partner) are deal breakers / never to be repeated, the subtle changes in circumstances that cause changes in your sex life and patterns.
Sometimes having a formal agreement can help when something becomes an issue that isn't resolved by usual communication.
However (and similar to any contract), the only people I know who have benefited from something like this have done it with the support of an experienced and trusted professional (e.g. pyschosexual counsellor). That way it is established in a way that is safe and reasonable for you both, that it is something that each of you really want, that there are clear arrangements for what will constitute breaking of the contract (e.g. your partner initiating sex with whatever act / behaviour you don't like). It should also be focussed on the positive - the things that you do like and the positive outcomes for each of you, and that there is a safe person for you to go to speak about how it is working.
However, like other posters, I think the position you are starting from is really worrying.
It doesn't matter if it sounds innocuous or if other people would like it. The fact is he continues to do things that you have clearly stated to him that you don't like. He doesn't have the right to decide what turns you on.
Your OP is so upsetting to read. I feel wretched for you. Your partner is being unreasonable and cruel.
Having read the blurb about sex contracts, I can see how they might work for someone like me, who ends up not having sex because they don't prioritise it and basically needs a bit of a reminder, but is sexually in tune with my other half, but then I can't imagine either of us waving it at each other if we genuinely didn't want sex for any reason, whereas from what you've said, this is what would happen to you.
Were you thinking that your side of the contract would be to get him to sign up to not doing all the things you don't enjoy? Do you think he would stick to that?
Why couldn't he sort himself out?
That "sex contract" excerpt looks like something that might help a couple where they have both fallen into a rut, both put sex a long way down their to-do-list, both want more but forget to suggest it.
That is not your situation.
You do not want sex with this man because your subconscious is screaming at his attitude towards your body. There are things you dislike, things you find a massive turnoff, but every time he tries to initiate sex, he does them. He is saying "My wants are more important. What you like or dislike is irrelevant. You will provide me with amusement. Your humiliation is part of my fun."
Did you mention any of this to your counsellor? Or did you sound apologetic and say "Well, I have less of a libido and I know the problem is just as much my fault". Because that is what he is trying to make you think. And it really, genuinely, isn't true.
No decent man would force you to wank him off while you cry. He ought to have gone soft as jelly, apologised, and given you a hug, no matter how horny he'd been feeling up till then.
He has terms in the contract that are specified and quantifiable (once per week; at least twice per month) whereas the terms for you are not quantified - they are 'kiss you more, more time on foreplay, lots of compliments' which are not defined.
So effectively, you would be agreeing to specifics in return for nothing. IMO this is enough to suggest 'unreasonable behaviour'...
....and by the way, no guy is so desperate for sex that they need their partner to give them a handjob against their will (he has his own hands presumably?) and if you say you don't like something and don't want to do it, a decent man would respect that and not suggest it, let alone do it again.
Your husband sounds like a bully to be honest. Sorry.
It doesnt matter how innocuous the things he does are, if you dont like it and have said no that means he doesnt do it end of.
Eeeew I'm all itchy just at the thought of being woken up by hair touching and stroking.
And I HATE morning sex
unless I'm hungover.
It's not unusual to really dislike those things. I am actually sctratching at the thought, and I am quite a sexual person.
Just so you know. It's not at all unreasonalbe of you. It's iNCREDIBLY unreasonable of him to carry on doing it.
I think that a sex contract can be helpful in some situations, where both partners want a sexual relationship but aren't communicating well or have got into unhelpful habits and so their needs aren't being met.
But this doesn't sound as though it is the case for you, and the agreement proposed doesn't seem to offer you anything.
In your circumstances, if you want to rebuild a sexual relationship, I think you need to focus on reestablishing trust.
Thanks all for your posts. The sex contract feels wrong the way things are.
I have to take the kids out now so won't be able to reply for a bit but I am taking on board all your comments.
It does look so bad when it's written down....
No I wouldn't, I agree with the others that you have bigger problems here.
If my DH woke me in the middle of the night to pressure me for sex he would be told to fuck off in no uncertain terms. If he is frustrated he can give himself a hand job.
The contract, the bullying for sex and the repeated attempts to inflict acts on you that you have told him you do not like are about control and abusive.
You need to consider whether you want to be with a man who would do this let alone have sex with him.
In very few exceptions a contract is heavily weighted to the drafting party.
This is no exception.
I was getting to the stage where I thought that nothing could surprise me but this did.
This is a service delivery contract and it says that you must deliver a service, like sky tv or a newspaper delivery.
Agree to it at your peril.
It's utterly dreadful.
No, no NO! A contract would kill any remaining respect you have for him and yourself. I've been there with the 'sex acts whilst
almost in tears. It is horrible. And it gives you such an awful feeling in your stomach that you are doing this and he is just there, getting off and not giving a shit about how upset you are. I have no kids and have never been in a vv long term relationship but I have been there.
Just to clarify, was all of your last post a bit of what he sent you? From .."Would a sex contract.. " down to "..wobbles with your love life" ?
If so it sounds like he's found it online somewhere on a site aimed at women and is using it to be a bit controlling TBH. That coupled with him 'not able to help himself' doing things he knows you don't like, doesn't scream of him having much respect for you.
If it doesn't feel right, don't do it IMO.
OP, I hope you're ok. I don't often reply to many posts, but I had to reply to yours.
I actually cried reading your OP. My ex was abusive, and I ended up doing what you did, giving hj and bj whislt almost crying because I didn't want to. And I felt like it was my fault, that I was so weird for not wanting to have sex with him. Now I am in a very loving relationship with a man who would never dream of doing something like that, and I can see how wrong it was, and that there was nothing wrong with me - but everything wrong with him.
I know how horrible it feels to do something like that, its sickening. I can't bare the thought of someone going through that like I did.
You will get some fantastic advice on here.
In the meantime, whatever you do, please, please DO NOT sign any contract - I feel sick that your husband has suggested that. It is wrong. He is wrong. And please, never ever do anything you don't want to do. You should never feel like you can't say no.
You are NOT being abusive to him. I'm so sorry to say this, as it can be hard to hear, but he is being abusive towards you.
I hope you're ok OP, and that you get all the help and support that you need.
I think a sex contract might be a fun way of spicing up a basically sound relationship as a form of sex game or as a way of making time for sex in a relationship where both partners actually do want to have sex, but also have busy lives.
But underlying a sexual relationship is the trust that you maintain control over what you are comfortable with, in the mood for, or choose at that moment in time. This is regardless of any 'contract' etc...(hence safe words etc - retaining a right to say 'no').
The contract set out here seems to be the man making sexual demands and offering in return some vague promise of affection. It sounds so far away from anything fun/sexy/erotic/romantic/positive for a relationship.
I don't think he's 'borderline abusive' when it comes to sex, I think he's full-on abusive to you.
If you love someone, you stop doing things you know they find deeply upsetting. "I can't help myself" is another way of saying, "I'm not going to exercise any degree of self control because what I want is more important than how you feel about it." Everyone can always help themselves. There is always a choice, even if it's not an easy one. He chooses to dismiss your feelings for his own gratification.
I would be amazed if this sort of selfish, entitled behaviour did not extend into other areas of your relationship, and as such I am completely unsurprised that your libido is on the floor. Nothing like being treated as an unimportant cross between a domestic appliance and an interactive blow up doll to cause loss of sex drive.
I hope you manage to find a way through this.
I rarely feel sexy in the mornings, so we dont do it in the mornings. However I do feel sexy at other times so its not an issue.
I think he is putting so much pressure on you that its both borderline abusive and making things worse.
On the other hand it IS completely hideous to be constantly rejected for sex, and if youre turned off by him touching and stroking you, plus never want to have sex and hes begging you and youre being disgusted and hurt by it, then tbh it doesnt even matter anymore who is right and who is wrong. Its a case of accepting things are actually over and making arrangements to seperate so you can both find happiness.
Yes sex is a glue and is important in a relationship but I've been in bad relationships where I was so far from being turned on that sex was dreaded. I also thought it was my low libido. But it wasn't so much a bad libido as a very bad sexual match. The thing to ask yourself then is if sex is a glue and the sex with this man is bad why he with this man?
Are you to be his sex worker?
What if you don't stick to the contract?
Does he think he has the right to force you to stick to it?
I'm slightly flabbergasted tbh.
A gun to my head wouldn't make me sign it. And i'd be fecking snapping it off, if i was badgered in the middle of the night for a hj.
The point though, is my dp wouldn't do that and neither would most respectful dh/dp's.
I'm not sure what to suggest because it sounds to me like your problems go a lot deeper than just the sex. ie, abusive, no respect for you, entitled etc.
I think i'd be tempted to send him something back, along the lines of, no sex unless i'm in the mood, no sex if you do stuff that i have already expressed a dislike for. No sex unless i feel loved, cherished, respected etc.
And tell him it's not contractual, it just is.
When I moved in with my ex, because of all the extra travel to work, the housework etc etc our sex life fell by the wayside a bit. So we both agreed that 3 times a week we'd plan in an hour in bed together. Not 'we will have sex' just 'we will cuddle up, talk, laugh, relax' quality time. Because of this, we frequently cuddled for 10 minutes, chatted, then CHOSE to have sex. But there was no pressure and id do nothing that says you must have sex!
The FFS isn't aimed at you op.
It's a very exasperated FFS at the situation.
I see lots of people commenting on this sex contract, but I feel the need to draw your attention back to the had lots of counselling comment its all been helpful, but neither of you can break through the final problem.
The problems as I see them are, he irritates you, pesters you for sex, which when you do you dont enjoy it and probably never have had.
The in a normal loving relationship things he wants to do sex wise stroke your hair kiss you etc, you now find creepy which is a fair point.
I feel the need to point our that it honestly sounds like you dont like him very much and possibly dont love the man, because his attempts at what he see's as tenderness freak you out.
I'm not sure why you are with him, because it sounds like you dont want to be. The reason probably why you libido has dropped and you dont enjoy sex is because why if you dont like some one would you allow them to be inside you? I think theres some very hard and stark questions you might want to ask yourself, do you honestly want to be with him? He is right that yes sex is part of a loving relationship, but not if one person doesnt love, respect and finds the other irritating and by the sounds of it wants to bitch slap him.
I am by no means at all taking any of his side, but your post i think isnt about a sex contract, I mean that deserves a slap at best, but it sounds like the dieing gasp of a worn out relationship to me.
OP your post has made me feel sad. Everything just screams do not have a sex contract with this man. The pressure it would put on you just sounds huge. You would basically be complying to all his wishes it seems to me. I can't believe he woke you up for a h j - surely he should be reasonable enough to sort himself out.
Most couples libidos don't match exactly. The mature thing would be to find a middle ground by chatting and communicating, not via a contract, it's just not appropriate unless you are keen on it as well. (Maybe your bit of a contract could dictate no sex/talk of sex for the first fortnight in any month or something like that-that'll learn him)
He sounds thoughtless and crass. And maybe you just don't fancy him anymore?
I can imagine being rejected time after time can be awfully frustrating.
Has this stroking from the beginning always been a problem?
I think it goes down to the issue of you are simply not attract eft to him? Hence everything he does is creepy to you, I cant imagine you'd be creeped out if eg. Daniel Craig was stroking your hair in the morning.
Chances are he was the 'safer' option when you first got together?
No. A million times no. The only thing you should be signing is a cheque to the divorce lawyer. Because you are married to a misogynist tosspot. And you don't have to be.
There is nothing unsexier than a partner not in the mood. Anyone who could have an orgasm through such begrudging hand movement obviously enjoys your discomfort.
I think you've just gone off him, which is fine, but there's no mending it.
The fact that he thinks I am deliberately withholding sex from him to punish him means that he sees that he is entitled to have sex with you whether you like or not, not that you are an independent
woman person who may not feel like sex.
He thinks you are punishing by lack of sex not that you being asleep and being woken may have a reason not to want to have sex but that you again are doing it deliberately.
Preventing people from sleeping is a form of torture. To deliberately wake you because he wants sex is vile and shows zero respect for your needs.
His doing things you don't like every time shows zero desire to make sex good for you. It is all about him and his sex. Not you.
This contract is more of the same. His interest in his sex not yours.
I am shocked, the BJ with tears in your eyes made my stomach turn
I hope he didnt see you where crying as if he did he is plain nasty and a bad person.
I know exactly why stuff that should be 'normal', ie stroking, hair touching, etc., feels creepy - because your bosy knows what your mind is desperately trying to avoid admitting: that he is sexually abusive to you (and not doubt abusive in other ways that you would also doubt, blame yourself for or minimise - men like this are really cunty in just one area). There is a saying: the body knows what the mind cannot acknowledge (or words to that effect).
Do NOT sign a contract. It reduces you to a prostitute, to given permission for rape/sexual assault. Every single issue he has are things that HE should be dealing with; if he has rejection issues, a normal person gets counselling, not guilt-trips their partner into doing intimate things they despise. If a normal person gets horny but their partner isn't up for any action, you either take yourself off for a crafty wank or you just do something else to take your mind off it. No-one is so fucking horny that they have to have any sexual action with someone else, EVER, and if they say they do, they have either a mental health problem, some weird kind of hormonal disorder or are a rapist.
You are NOT being abusive. You ate not responsible for his needs or pleasure. You cannot allow your body to be used for something so intimate just because he wants you to.
All his talk of you punishing him and so on are just the classic words of an abuser (honestly, there are textbooks written about abusers where these words are shown to be so common that it's like they all have one limited script). They're designed to make you doubt yourself, feel guilty and above sll, to make you give in to him.
You have big problems in this relationship, but it's not how often you do the deed. It's him being a selfish abuser, full stop. The wanking incident was really upsetting and rapey to read, you should not have felt the pressure to do that. As others have pointed out, no normal, decent man who sees women as human beings could so much as achieve an erection knowing his partner was doing something under duress, much less get off on it.
PS it looks so bad written down because it IS so bad.
I was with someone who had a porn addiction - quite nasty stuff. He said he turned to porn because of my lack of libido. He thought we should go to counselling together
I'm divorcing the dickhead.
Like others have said, you don't want sex with him because you don't actually like him. The situation is only going to get worse. You are not suddenly going to get sexual feelings for him after this.
any wonder why sex is not on the menu with a **like that..?
He's sexually abusing you by pressurising you for sex acts to the extent that you end up having things done to you and doing things to him that you'd rather not do. Please don't stay with him, let alone feel oblidged to sign a 'contract'.
Its worth pointing out that although we are urging you not to sign a sex contact with him, because we believe it is a bad idea, as it will make you feel more oblidged and him feel more entitled, that we think he'll use bit as an 'excuse' (though such a thing doesn't exist) to rape you as he'll take it as 'consent' that you've agreed to sex X times a week - actually the contract is completely unenforceable, it doesn't take away your right to refuse consent. If you were to feel forced to sign it, it doesn't mean you have to abide by it. I think its important to stress that though its a bad idea, if you did go ahead with it, you can change your mind at any time, please don't let it trap you in an abusive relationship (as he wishes you to feel further obligated to serve him sexually and so trapped).
Please have a think about the rest of your relationship, I'm certain none of it can be so great as to justify staying with a man who can't even listen to and respect what you find sexy and not sexy. He's obviously too caught up in his own desires to pay any attention to your discomfort - which makes him at the very least a selfish sexual partner, and more likely he's abusive. A good sexual partner would listen to you and respond to your sexual preferences - its wrong that he's deliberately ignoring your wishes and crossing your boundaries - please leave before he gets worse.
Lots of things to think about then....
I don't want to go into anymore specifics on here as am worried that, despite this being an anonymous forum, it's very traceable on Google.
I think I have to face up to a lot of things in our relationship. Maybe I don't like him. Maybe I'm scared of what will happen if we split up. What about the children?
I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore or if I am capable of loving anybody.
I have arranged to see a new counsellor next week and am going to talk to her tomorrow.
This morning I did agree to discuss things at the weekend. Not just the contract but also more wide ranging things too. But my overwhelming feeling is that at the end of it will be a discussion about separation. It's not fair to either of us to continue like this...
I am in a sexless marriage OP of 17 yrs standing. My DHs choice. And even though i am in this situ im with the other posters on this. What he is doing to you IS abusive.
And the BJ with you in tears. Bloody hell he doesnt care does he. I would never dream of trying to bully someone into having sex with me. It is abusive and i would want them to want me as much as i want them. Your h doesnt seem to care about that so he must be getting off on the fact that you are uncomfortable.
Bet he got this contract idea from 50 shades. FFS.
I saw an article about a sex contract recently on the mail online, think that's where he got it from. I agree that in your situation it is totally inappropriate for the reasons people have said. Although my situation wasn't the same I remember feeling pressured for sex by my ex h and for a while I was very confused as I didn't really admit to myself that I didn't love him any more. Long story, we split up, eventually found DH who is respectful and considerate as well as fun to be with so none of these issues ever arise. It sounds to me that you would be happier away from this man though of course it is a big thing to split up. But think about it, you may find a really wonderful life out there (with your kids) with or without a man! Good luck.
boots my exH used to pressurise me for sex and I thought I had a low libido because I didn't want it. He was not affectionate and I reached the point where I would not be naked in front of him. I even started to note the dates in my diary because he would claim it had been longer eg that we hadn't had sex for months when it was only a few weeks.
I am in no doubt that you are suffering sexual abuse. please be very honest with your counsellor so he/she can help you.
My counselling made me realise that I only want to have sex when I feel like it - whether that is for my pleasure or his iykwim. I hate the feeling of having to do it.
Here's your sex contract op.
I will only have sex with you when I feel like it. You will not stroke my hair. You will not wake me up because you have a desperate need for sex. I will never have sex with you because I feel I have to, only if I want to.
ok, have read all your messages boots, like others have said NO NO NO to signing any form of sexual contract...how ridiculas! what if it gets to a Sunday evening and you havnt yet had sex that week and you don't feel like it?...does he then rape you because you signed on the dotted line!?...that makes be feel sick!
however all you've really mentioned is that he wants sex once a week, wants to stroke you and touch your hair? once a week isn't asking for much, do you really not even have the libido for once a week? stroking and touching your Hair also isnt too much to ask for? damm if my dp wanted to "stroke" me nicely I wouldn't object! do you not fancy him? or is there more that he's said he wants to do that you have left out here?
obviously if you've asked him not to wake you for sex then doing so is totally unreasonable!
Boots, my exH also used to pressurise for sex and do things I explicitly and repeatedly asked him not to do. I avoided sex because it was horrible (climaxing is not the same as enjoying lovemaking). I was beyond miserable.
I am now in a different relationship and have learned the happiness that comes with a healthy sexual relationship (sorry, TMI for RL friends). Yes, it's actually true - normal happy couples do actually have happy and open sex lives. Amazing.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm so sorry you had to go through that, LeClerc
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
As a man I find the thought of legislation in the bedroom dept horrific. The hand job is frightening for two reasons, I could never be that horny I needed to upset my partner for one and secondly sorry to all the women but none of you are as good at hand jobs as you partner. He has been practising for years...... As others have said he is a bully and should work on that, then there would probably be no need for a contract
To the poster who said this: however all you've really mentioned is that he wants sex once a week, wants to stroke you and touch your hair? once a week isn't asking for much, do you really not even have the libido for once a week? stroking and touching your Hair also isnt too much to ask for?
The op doesn't like it.
And perhaps her husband's attitude to her feelings is part of the reason why.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
1)a contract should in some way be mutually beneficial. sounds like you get nothing out if this.
2) the hair stroking. the probable reason that creeps you out us that you know he is waking you up to 'try it on' it is the prelude to him prssurizing you and Will always end in you feeling guilty for saying no or you doing something you don't want to. either way you lose and he wins. you feel bad and that is probably as important to him as the sex. and yet from his point of view he can say 'but i was only being nice'. NO he is not being nice. it is a deliberate tactic. he knows exactly that he is doing.
It is abuse.
Which is a very hard thing to admit. so i am very sorry op as a lot of this is probably hard to hear
If you think about do you love him i bet sometimes you think oh but he can be really lovely. Because that is what abusers are like. if they were utterly shit all the time no one would put up with them.
I bet if the discussion does come to separation he Will start trying to squirm off the hook and promise you the moon. beware. he won't change. it us tempting to think he might but he won't. and if he might he can do it without you and come back to you when he is a fit and proper person to be in a relationship.
You do not have a problem OP... well other than having him for a partner.
tis brave post.
You may find other things you recognise at the top of this thread
Very sorry if you do recognise it but you Will find a lot of support there.
The necessity of a contract indicates a lack of understanding and respect between each other. So if your DH likes to have lots of sex (like me) then he needs to up his understanding of you and what enhances your libido, if he manages to do that then it's not just the quantity that will increase but also the quality. Challenge him with that statement, sex should not be a chore but an escape from.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The hair stroking really creeped me out and I think that's because it's violence in the guise of affection. The iron fist in the velvet glove kind of thing.
He's vile, OP. Really, really vile.
scarlet ... if the OP doesn't like sex why's she in a relationship with soneone who does? you can't force someone to celibacy because you just "dont like sex" ....
OP, if that's really the case, for BOTH your sakes, just end the relationship!
The problem with this "contract" is that it's to benefit him.
You could easily present him with your version and let him decide to take it or leave the house.
BTW, it's this kind of sexual pressure that ultimately led to me breaking up with exH. He turned violent too.
He doesn't care about your feelings at all. You are just an object for him to do sex on.
NandH - not sure you are deliberately misunderstanding, but I don't think you are. The op doesn't like the way he is doing things she has asked him not to do to her, ie stroking her hair in a particular way and ignoring the fact she has asked him not to.
This shows a lack of consideration at the very least. Hardly conducive to a decent loving sex life. Perhaps it's not that she doesn't like sex, but that she doesn't like sex with someone who ignores her feelings and wakes her in the night just because he wants a hand job!
The thing about a contract is that it is negotiated. So you should be able to say "Actually I don't like your proposal at all. Here's mine which is more of a Framework Agreement..."
And your's would say
1. Both parties acknowledge that sex with a person who doesn't want to is rape or sexual assault
2. Both parties agree not to rape or sexually assault the other.
3. Each party shall demonstrate their consent enthusiastically by verbally saying yes, asking for more, etc.
4. For the purposes of clarity lack of enthusiasm will be recognised as lack of consent.
5. Lack of enthusiastic consent will be respected at all times.
6. It is recognised by both parties that disrespecting or reacting negatively to lack of consent is corrosive to the relationship generally, and makes it less likely that the other will want to have sex with them at all.
7. Taking into account all of the above, both parties can have sex, as frequently, as imaginatively as they both jointly desire.
But because you feel unable to negotiate that then it would be better to call it a day maybe.
You don't owe him sex.
you don't owe him sex
nandh i think you did miss the point a but yes, if the amount of sex in a relationship does not suit one partner (him in this case) and that partner does not feel that there is sufficient reason to stay without the sex then he should consider leaving rather than abusing his partner.
Whilst he has this attitude towards sex you will never feel turned on, or want sex with him - end of!
I had a 'contract' of sorts with my exH, we had to have an hour of 'kinky sex' per week, I had to tie him up and do all manner of, quite frankly, gross stuff. I used to blind fold him so he couldn't see me cry. I also had a clock next to the bed and it was always 60 minutes, no more.
What it did, was make the situation worse, I couldn't bare him touching me, or kissing me, I'd dread 'the day' I had to do it, as it got closer and closer I'd get more and more anxious.
I realised later this was abuse! And after 10 years I left. My now dh us nothing like that and we have a happy and healthy sex life. This surprised me as I was always told by my exH that what he wanted was normal, and I was fridged and had a low sex drive. I don't, it was his whole attitude that turned me off.
I'm afraid it's unlikely to ever get better tbh. The contract will only make things worse .
Someone told me once that men (generalisation) think everything is fine, as long as they are having se. Women want sex when everything is fine.
Do you think your P is taking that attitude that - as long as i can persuade/pester/cajol Boots into sex, then all other problems meaan nothing (especially those problems that she keeps going on/nagging/bringing up)
Thanks everybody for posting. Your opinions have been very useful. I was shocked by how dreadful most posters have found our situation but I needed to hear that and it has made me think a lot more about what is actually going on.
I have taken from all your comments several things -
1. What he did that night was wrong.
2. I need still to think about why I find physical contact with him such a turn off and why I feel so anxious and tense.
3. I need to be honest about my feelings for him.
4. I won't be signing any contract. I am open to some sort of discussion where we are agree that all sexual contact has to be completely consensual.
I was sitting at work today thinking how unreal it seems to be considering ending my marriage. We have been together for many years, almost half my life, but sometimes I feel I don't know him at all.
He has been pretty freaked out by me this week as I have asked for some space to think about things. He asked me this morning if it was because of what happened on holiday. I told him one of the most upsetting things about that night was not just what happened but that he doesn't even seem to see it as wrong. He was very contrite and promised that it would never happen again. He said also that it is torture to lie beside me in bed and not be able to touch me. Well, it's not much fun for me either. I feel so tense and anxious. So I am decamping to the spare room tonight.
I spoke to the new counsellor on the phone yesterday and liked her a lot so will see her next Wednesday. I didn't go into details with her but said I need to talk through this crisis and that I was wanting to make a decision whether to stay in this relationship or not.
Once again, thanks for all your comments. I have found them all very helpful.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
God yes I've had the its agony lying next to you and big being able to touch you bollocks too.
I think it's 1 of the most manipulative things which can be said.
2. The reason that you find him such a turn off and the reason you feel anxious and tense are the same reason - it's because he doesn't make you feel safe. In fact it's the exact opposite, he deliberately does stuff you don't like (even if it seems innoccuous) and he's constantly pushing/pestering at your boundaries by saying things like "it's torture" and making his sexual tension your responsibility. Nobody would feel relaxed and sexy in this situation, really, nobody. You are not abnormal in the slightest.
4. Can you not see how staggering it is that you even have to have this conversation? Sex which isn't fully consensual is rape.
I am glad you are sleeping in the spare room tonight and I hope you enjoy a night free of pestering/guilt. I'm sorry you're in this situation in your marriage, just know that this really isn't the way it should be. Do you mind me asking if you were quite young when you got together, perhaps in your teens?
Ummm "not" instead of "big" obviously.
My XH used to wake me up for sex, and expect it every night. A few times I shrugged him off because it was 1am and I was knackered. He took this as a huge rejection. Even when I said I was tired.
He would also touch me when DD was on the bed watching tv on a Sunday morning. This made me very uncomfortable as I did not feel it was appropriate with 4yo DD in the room and he took it as huge rejection when I said No Way.
Any sex that you are not comfortable with is wrong.
I'm glad you can see through the contract. It was all about him, there was nothing there for you....
OP slightly worried for you. could you please come back and just let us know that you emerged from the contract negotiation unscathed. not wanting to pry into the details of he said she said (unless of course you want to sound off).
Just want to know you are ok and that h did not blow a fuse when you did not want to go along with his plan.
I'm sorry but if my Dh presented me with something like that the only thing I'd be signing would be divorce papers. Fucked up on so many levels.
Just to update as requested...
No more mention has been made of the contract. We were supposed to be having more talks this weekend but have both kept ourselves really busy and have been avoiding any communication. I particularly don't want to talk as I'm not ready to say it's over though I think that's that I want. I just can't face the repercussions in terms of endless talking and tears and recriminations... I also want to speak with the counsellor, and maybe also a lawyer.
I have slept in spare room for 2 nights and will again tonight. So nice to have the bed to myself.
Thanks again for all your posts and concern, especially those who have shared their own experiences. I really appreciate it and they have helped me take a more honest look at my own situation. I am hoping I will have the strength to sort out this mess properly.
You are doing the right thing.
I'm so saddened by your situation. Please don't feel pressured into doing something you're not 100% happy with.
I can imagine all this pressure coming from him is a complete turn off and only makes the situation worse.
Have you considered dating your DH, like starting again and trying to get to know one another? Everyday life can wear you down and you can lose sight of who you are and indeed what you see in each other. Perhaps going on a few dates may help you open up and communicate more easily.
OP - I confess I've only read your OP but felt I had to reply. How on earth can this man be seen as decent and kind and loving if he has no qualms what-so-ever about making you do things that you don't want to do? How is he getting any enjoyment out of that? I get the immediate feeling that there's something not quite right in his psyche to be perfectly okay with having his wife nearly in tears just so he can get his own jollies.
So sorry you are in this situation.
How are you today OP? How are things at home?
Things at home are ok. No further forward. Still in spare room, still not really talking, being polite towards one another. Neither of us wants to start the conversation. I think we're both scared how it will go.
I have my counselling appointment tomorrow and we are going out in the evening. It all feels a bit unreal. Normal but not normal.
I have been looking at things I have written down over the last few years and can see that nothing has really changed. It's time to start thinking about separation... I think he'll take it really badly but i think it's what he's expecting. I know once I've said it there will be no going back so I have to be absolutely sure. Bloody hell.
it's like ripping a plaster. Not nice at the time but will soon be over. I hope your counselling today is helpful.
Join the discussion
Please login first.