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Is this ok?

(82 Posts)
gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 13:55:18

I have been struggling with a very low libido for quite a while now and have no interest in intimacy or sex at all.

I can't figure out exactly what's causing it - I have a stressful full time job and a ds so am totally knackered at the end of the day and I don't sleep well either so that doesn't help.

Dh and I have been through a rough patch and he has done some things that have shocked me and frightened me in terms of bad arguments. He has never hit me but can be verbally abusive and throws things around, shouting a lot and has threatened to kill himself etc.

However, he has settled down a lot and most of this is in the past and he has worked really hard on it. Every now and again when he gets frustrated he might call me names but apologises very quickly.

I think that what has happened in the past has affected my libido because I was scared of him tbh. I can't seem to move on or forget it and it's causing big problems.

The main point of posting is to get some opinions on what is acceptable in terms of touching and intimacy. For example, during the day he will come up to me and touch my breasts etc and I am uncomfortable with this. He likes a lot of cuddles and affection and quite often makes sexual remarks during the day. For example, he will call me "hot" and it's the last thing I feel as I am overweight and I think I am very unattractive. It actually irritates me when he starts saying nice things about me! I don't know why. I feel in no way like a sexual being and actually don't want to be. I know this is not right. I hate it all. When we wake up in the morning, he just touches my boobs and I hate it.

He says he wants a nice romantic evening and I actually don't know what that is. I sound really pathetic. I have felt quite depressed recently and withdrawing into myself. I crave time on my own a lot and I can't be bothered to talk or anything. I know I'm being really cold and I know it's driving him crazy.

He might send me some sexual texts out of the blue and I can't bear it because it means nothing to me.

What do you think?

Leverette Sat 20-Apr-13 14:09:41

What do I think?

That he has done a very good demolition job to your self esteem, comfort, self worth and safety.

His verbal and nonverbal behaviours toward you reveal a selfish, objectifying and entitled attitude which underpins all his abusive behaviours.

Listen to your feelings, you don't want intimacy with this person for a very good reason.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:34

Everything Leverette said, great post.
He sees you as a sex doll. Your body doesn't want him, because he objectifies you and doesn't respect you. That kind of atmosphere is really sexually oppressive, it's put off the horniest of women, yuck. I bet you anything that if you left him, your depression would 'magically' clear very quickly.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:49

It'd, not it's, sorry.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:16:38

Leverette I don't know. He really doesn't do the horrible stuff anymore and he is perfectly aware of what he has done and feels absolutely terrible about it. It is very rare now and when he does get upset it is normal type upset. Believe me if he was still doing it I would be gone.

I just can't seem to move on. I think I have affected his self esteem as I now he feels totally rejected and he tries so hard to do the right thing. He is brilliant around the house and so loving and helpful. He just wants us both to move on but I am the one who can't.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:18:35

Oxford, he doesn't do it in a sex doll way I don't think. I feel like I am the one who is a freak as I don't want the sexual attention. I know he genuinely loves and fancies me which is quite natural. What do other couples do about touching during the day etc, sexual comments made etc?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:55:47

Anyone out there? Please!

Lizzabadger Sat 20-Apr-13 14:57:16

No it's not OK.

Why are you with him?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 14:58:06

Lizza, which bit is not ok?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 15:35:17

I don't think your libido is the problem.. you're just incompatible. The aggressive stuff from the past would have been enough to put anyone one off being intimate with him. That's the starting point and now, even though you claim he's changed, unfortuately he's behaving like a lecherous old git. Loving and fancying someone is all well and good but there also has to be respect and sensitivity.

Your DH is confusing affection, romance and intimacy with 'sex'. Instead of boosting your confidence, helping you relax and making you feel good about yourself by being gentle, patient and considerate he's getting it totally wrong with the suggestive 'Sid James' chat up lines and pawing your boobs etc. Embarrassingly bad.

You desperately need to talk to each other because the current set-up is miserable all round. But emphatically DON'T blame yourself for this.

Lizzabadger Sat 20-Apr-13 15:39:29

1. Verbal/emotional abuse
2. Unwanted sexual attention/trying to harrass you into having sex with him.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 15:44:33

"Every now and again when he gets frustrated he might call me names but apologises very quickly."

You realise that's not acceptable even on an occasional basis? I think at some level you realise he hasn't actually changed that much, you're still very wary of him and you no longer find him attractive. Once you've seen through someone like that, it's very difficult to ever see them the same way again. Your reaction of being depressed and blaming yourself really does sound like the behaviour of someone who is still being bullied. As the PP points out ... emotional abuse and sexual abuse aren't that far apart.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 15:51:23

Blimey people, calm down. This does not sound like abuse to me, nor should you be packing your bags, gropey!

Firstly, it sounds like you might be a bit depressed yourself. You're working hard and don't have much time for yourself. You probably aren't getting enough physical exercise, which doesn't help with the flow of natural endorphins. And you feel unhappy about your body.

Do you spend much time together doing things you both enjoy? e.g. cinema, dinners, walks, etc? It sounds like you need to spend some time relaxing in each other's company. Tell your partner you're struggling with the idea of sex at the moment, but that it is NOT because you don't love him but because you just don't feel like it at the moment. Tell him you want to improve the situation and that you want to try to work it out together so that you can be intimate again.

Maybe you haven;t told him clearly enough you don't want to be touched sexually, so just let him know that you're not in the mood for it. Do you ever feel like just having hugs with him? or do you feel wary of this in case things get too sexual and then you have to reject him? If this is the case, just try and explain to him.

It sounds like you could benefit from some couples counselling to work through some of the things that have happened in the past. Do you think your partner might be open to this?

Also, maybe if you feel the need for some time to yourself, could you organise an exercise class or something which means you'll get out of the house and do something for yourself once in a while?

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 15:53:52

Whoah greywhites re read the third paragraph of the OP.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 15:57:16

Yes the OP says they've been through a bad patch, there was shouting, verbal abuse, etc and he has been suicidal. There are a LOT of issues to work through here. Which is why I asked if relationship counselling would be an option.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:02:37

This does not sound like abuse to me

....???? I'm not surprised you don't feel like having sex with someone who shouts, throws things, of whom you feel scared and who threatens suicide. Not surprised you feel depressed either...do you think there is a connection?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:24

Thanks cogito, I think at the bottom of it all is that I don't trust him. I am going to talk to him about it all. What I want to know is how other couples do the sexual thing, ie is there any sexual stuff during the day or comments made. I have lost sight of what is normal.

He is feeling really rejected and feels unattractive because of the sexual rejection. This is my fault as I avoid him. It's not that I don't find him attractive but just don't want to have sex.

This has happened to me in my previous marriage and in other relationships in the past. My libido is very fragile and it always has been. I have a history of sexual abuse as a child and I think this haunts me every day of my life. I feel so low and depressed about everything.

I am so tearful at the moment and am struggling with everything.

Greywhites, we don't do anything together as there is no time. I'm so exhausted all the time. I hate my body and have put on so much weight but I feel unable to do anything about anything.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:09:11

Loving, I have suffered from depression on and off for a long time so I think how I feel is not helped by what's going on at the moment but it's not the whole story.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 16:10:09

Surely plenty of relationships involve some shouting and anger and all kinds of things. If everyone who'd been shouted at or had a depressed or foolish partner packed their bags then there'd not be many couples left in this world.

I'm not here to make judgements and call this man an abuser, etc. I don't think that is helpful. I'm not surprised she's depressed either, but the OP still has to work through these issues with her partner. People who pipe up to say, oh I'd never let anyone shout at me and if they did I'd pack my bags are not helping with her self-esteem either.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:13:45

The other night he called me a frigid cow. It really hurt but I understand why he said it. He felt so awful afterwards and couldn't apologise enough. He knew it was wrong and regretted it.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:17:52

It was the OP who first used the term ' abusive' ... I interpreted that as more than a bit of shouting and disagreement, given that she also mentioned being scared.

We all have our standards and expectations of relationships. Personally, these days, feeling scared or abused would break the deal for me. Neither are normal or acceptable IMO.

GreyWhites Sat 20-Apr-13 16:18:49

Sorry my last post was in response to the previous posters.

Are you on antidepressants, gropey? They can seriously affect your libido.

You have a lot to deal with in terms of your past. Don't give yourself a hard time about this and certainly do not blame yourself.

As for asking what is normal for others, you'll get a massive range of responses, but none will be helpful, as you need to just focus on what's normal for YOU. Can you remember a time when things between you were more active sexually as a couple? HOw did you feel about him touching you then?

Does he know that you have been abused in the past? Him touching you when you don't want to be touched must be triggering all kinds of terrible feelings for you. This is so much for you to deal with. Could you consider counselling for yourself as well? Maybe a visit to your GP would be a good first step.

Lovingfreedom Sat 20-Apr-13 16:19:32

Counselling might help then you can work out what you want and can work on your self esteem.

AnyFucker Sat 20-Apr-13 16:20:49

What do I think ?

I think you don't love him nor respect him any more because of how he has treated/is still treating you but you don't want to admit it to yourself

Take your head out the sand

SirBoobAlot Sat 20-Apr-13 16:21:22

Don't punish yourself for the fact that his past behavior has turned you off.

He has NO right to touch your body in ANY way if you don't want him to. It's your body. Tell him to stop if you don't like it.

Do speak to your GP or nurse again about the depression, but this is in no way purely down to that.

How can you fancy someone who you don't trust, and has shown he doesn't respect you?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:23:23

GreyWhites, yes I have been on ad's for years and this could have a bearing on my libido. At the beginning of our relationship it was all ok. Tbh I think unwanted or unexpected sexual touching is really not good for me.

I always used to feel that I was just wanted for my sexual parts if that makes sense. I tried to hide them when I was a teenager as I didn't want to be noticed. I think that's why I stay overweight because I don't want to appear sexually attractive.

I have had counselling to work through the abuse which has helped. I think the effect of it is hardwired in my brain - it was a family member but my parents still don't know and I will never tell them. Thankfully, I don't have to see this family member anymore. I just feel ruined really.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:27:11

"What I want to know is how other couples do the sexual thing, ie is there any sexual stuff during the day or comments made. I have lost sight of what is normal."

What is normal for other people is probably not that relevant to your situation. If you have a history of abuse then I think it follows that you need to fully trust and feel comfortable with your partner in order to be able to engage with them sexually. Much moreso than anyone else. You're reading it as having a fragile libido... I'm reading it that you're someone that needs a huge amount of reassurance... which you're not getting. In that context a partner that paws your boobs and expects you to turn on like a light-switch is really getting it horribly wrong. Getting angry and calling you names like 'frigid cow' when you turn him down is also getting it horribly wrong and making a difficult situation even worse.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:27:32

AF that has crossed my mind. he really has changed though and I still can't move on.

If I push him away he gets offended and hurt and sometimes it's easier just to get on with it so that there is no upset. I feel the freak tbh.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:28:32

FWIW... why would you never tell your parents?

AnyFucker Sat 20-Apr-13 16:28:50

So you are modifying your own behaviour and walking on eggshells to keep the peace ?

That doesn't sound like an acceptable way to live

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:31:13

Cogito, that is a really good way of looking at it - I hadn't considered it that way. I don't like him touching me unexpectedly and he needs to expect that. He has been on the whole really understanding about it all and says he wants me to feel comfortable and not do anything I don't want to do. However, continued rejection of someone is not good for them.

I'm not sure if I can have a sexual relationship with him again but that cannot do that to him as it's not fair on him. I can't expect him to live a life without sex.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:31:29

If 'just to get on with it' means having sex with him to keep the peace, that's really going to damage you.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:33:34

Cogito - it would destroy them if I told them what happened as they allowed this person to babysit. My dad would fall to pieces. I have held it all these years. I have avoided and missed family parties, funerals etc without being able to explain the real reasons why. Luckily, my parents are not in touch with him anymore.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:55

Cogito, I have sometimes 'got on with it' but don't do it now as he doesn't want me to and always knows and makes it stop - he is very sensitive in that way and is horrified if he thinks I am not into it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:35:10

There wouldn't be continued rejection if he what he says about making you feel comfortable was actually the truth. He's saying one thing but then doing the opposite and calling you names into the bargain. If you've been abused in the past and... using an old-fashioned but apt word... 'violated' then this unwanted sexual attention from someone who claims to want you to feel comfortable is just the same thing over again.

I'd really stop worrying about what's fair for him and start working out what's best for you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:36:07

So it's better for you to fall to pieces than your parents to know the truth? Do you have children yourself? If one of them was hurt, wouldn't you want to know rather than think they'd taken it all on themselves?

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:38:27

Yes I have dc and yes I would want to know. But it was so long ago nothing good can come of my parents knowing now. I wish I hadn't held it all in for all these years because I think it has gone a long way to messing my life up. It stays with you forever and that's just the way it is. It can't be undone.

AnyFucker Sat 20-Apr-13 16:40:11

OP, your partner is being completely contradictory

he says he "never wants to make you feel uncomfortable" but then touches you up when you don't like it, calls you a "frigid cow" and guilts you into sleeping with him so he doesn't feel "rejected"

He's a manipulator

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:43:33

A lot of good can come from telling them. Just the acknowlegement that it happened for a start. Keeping a secret as terrible as that one does mess you up because it isolates you and makes you have to tell lies... like all those family events you avoided. You've had to be dishonest, protecting your abuser. Telling a therapist or an anonymous message board is a great step but I think you need to be believed by someone that matters. It's never too late.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:48:56

Cogito you are probably right! Not sure I could deal with it myself and any fall out tbh.

I feel like I can never be happy anyway. I have been through some crap in the past and just feel tainted if that makes sense.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 16:52:46

What exactly do you think would happen to your Dad if you told him the truth? A heart-attack? A drinking bender?... Your parents put this person in a position of trust which they abused. It's not your parents' fault any more than it was your fault. You've all been betrayed by the same person. If your Dad fell to pieces it would be quite a selfish reaction on his part.

Please try to put yourself #1 priority in your own life. You're the most important person, not your parents your husband or your abuser. Not even your children. You deserve peace.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 16:59:01

Yes, I guess I am worried that my dad would go and sort him out which I wouldn't want at all.

I do deserve peace but, without meaning to sound defeatist or self-pitying, I don't think it's every going to happen. I've been like this for too long.

The truth is that I don't trust any man because my trust has always been thrown back in my face. I sometimes think that I just can't do relationships and that there is something I'm doing to sabotage things. I don't think I'm cut out for a happy relationship - the only happy one I had without problems ended up in him walking out on me one day with not a word of explanation or any warning.

I don't trust anyone.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 17:05:52

All you're doing wrong at the moment is thinking that you can't do relationships. It's not wrong to mistrust people when they've shown themselves, like your DH, to be untrustworthy. That's how we survive in life - learning from our experiences and being wary when something feels wrong. Trusting the untrustworthy and being naive can lead to some horrendous problems - don't recommend it. So you're not sabotaging anything, you've just had the bad luck to be partnered up with one person that walked out on you and another that isn't right for you. How is any of that your fault?

If your Dad want's to go and kill this other person, again, that's his decision. What's more important is that you get this terrible secret out in the open where it loses its power. Kept inside you it's making you ill, overweight, self-reproachful and miserable.

BicBiro Sat 20-Apr-13 17:12:33

OP I feel for you so much. you are placing blame on yourself for so much. no one is entitled to sex because they are married. presumable your DH knows your history, so WHY THE FUCK is he touching you up, breaking your boundaries, calling you horrible names????? you're supposed to feel safe with him, not like a failure who won't put out. the desire for sex develops through a loving safe bond with someone - I'm not seeing that in your marriage. this is a horrible selfish man who should be cherishing you after everything you've been through.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 17:23:20

Cogito, you talk a lot of sense - thank you for talking to me, it's really helping.

I don't know if dh is right for me or not. I think the problems we have had have had a big impact on our relationship. We have had money and job worries and other stuff going on, which doesn't help. He really is lovely most of the time and I know he is struggling with what he has done to me over the last year. I can see it in him. He reacts badly when he feels rejected and this is to do with his own past too. It would destroy him if we split up - it's all so hard.

BicBiro, yes it's not good and it's had a massive effect on me, just don't know what to do.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 17:25:18

I've got to go now, dh is back. I will come back on when I can and thanks so much to all of you - I have a lot to think about.

BicBiro Sat 20-Apr-13 17:28:27

you are worrying about your DH's needs, he is worrying about his needs....

who's worrying about your needs?

UrbanGardener01 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:12:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Sat 20-Apr-13 18:13:43

hmm

Leverette Sat 20-Apr-13 18:14:11

biscuit

BicBiro Sat 20-Apr-13 18:40:11

what a load of bollocks urban

UrbanGardener01 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:54:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 21:15:41

Urban thank you for your suggestion. It sounds interesting.

I've felt really upset all evening about it all. Dh has asked what's wrong. Just made me think about it all. Lots of thinking to do.

UrbanGardener01 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:34:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 21:44:27

Seriously, Urban, WTAF? The OP is describing abuse here. It cannot be solved by a bit of understanding that Aries people can be fiery, or whatever. Jesus, what next - suggesting you can get over rape by taking a homeopathic remedy?! I'm sure you think you are being helpful, but your posts are actually very inappropriate, shallow and tactless.

UrbanGardener01 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:47:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoctorAnge Sat 20-Apr-13 21:57:22

Urban maybe well - meant but really not the time or the place.

Fluffymonster Sat 20-Apr-13 22:45:20

Hi gropey

I'm not surprised your libido is low and you don't feel like having sex.

You have a stressful full time job, are often tired and not sleeping well. That's enough, for a start - but as well as that, he has frightened you by being physically violent, shouting, and threatening to kill himself. You're still traumatised, with good reason.

Your comment that he called you a "frigid cow" only a few nights ago concerns me. He is still being abusive.

So every time that happens, your libido probably sinks a little lower. It's hard to believe someone can love us, if they can be so hurtful, so easily. That's why you can't let go and trust him. Because you shouldn't!

Sex isn't just mechanical, it requires being in the mood, and trust plays a big part. In that context of verbal abuse, you can't trust him. Your instincts are right, your libido is right.

No matter how much he comes up to you and touches your breasts, (which btw, would be a real turn off for me - they're not lumps of dough to be kneaded at will, fgs - and it's insulting, if he thinks giving them a honk and a tweak is enough to turn you on). Unless you're 'feeling it' in your brain - you won't be 'feeling it' anywhere else. You don't want to be sexual because you actually just want him to leave you alone, because he hurts you. How can you believe him when he says you're "hot", when he could just as easily be pouring insults?

And in this abusive context - no, you don't know what wanting "a nice romantic evening" means. It's not pathetic, or cold. It could mean an evening where he gets his rocks off, and he may well think it's romantic - while you end up feeling used.

Every time he badgers you for sex it's just exacerbating the problem, because the underlying issue isn't your frigidity, it's his history of physical aggression and intimidation, and continuing verbal and emotional abuse.

gropey Sat 20-Apr-13 23:02:41

Oh fluffy I am in tears at your post. It rang true. I've come to bed early and just want to cry.

I am such a loser compared to my friends and family and people at work. I've screwed my life up so many times I don't know how to get it back. I feel like shit and hate the world. Im so angry.

BicBiro Sat 20-Apr-13 23:38:19

I've gone off sex with many partners I've had too gropey, it's not just you. it's an act which for many is an expression of intimacy built on trust and security, like fluffy said.

once that trust is broken, to me it's only natural the sex goes too. your body shuts down, it cant respond anymore.

your DH is thinking only of himself every time he demands sex, shouts at you, calls you vile, hurtful names, prods you and whatever else he does. it's all about him.

our culture promotes sex in a marriage - we should be doing it X amount of times, in X amount of positions, regardless of the state of the actual relationship.

what if you took sex off the agenda altogether and said to your DH "look, i want no sex for 1/3/6 months - i will come to you", how would that be for you?

hopkinette Sat 20-Apr-13 23:41:26

You're not a loser. You're having a really hard time at the moment and you're struggling, and that happens to absolutely everyone. I would bet you that most, if not all, of the people you're comparing yourself to also feel like "losers" and believe that they've "screwed their lives up" - everyone feels like that sometimes and for the most part we plaster on a smile and pretend that everything's great. So don't compare your internal world to other people's external appearances and use that as yet another stick to beat yourself with!

Sexual abuse is an absolute bastard. I know that you've had counselling, but would you consider having more? Because it does sound like it's still eating you up. And do you think you could make your DP understand that he NEEDS to stop making sexual demands and that this is absolutely crucial for your happiness right now? Do you feel you could say that to him? Do you think he'd respect it - and I mean really respect it, as opposed to saying he'll respect it and then pestering you, groping you, and calling you ugly names when you are forced to reject his advances?

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 21-Apr-13 00:25:36

Dear Gropey, this is making me weep. I feel so sad this is happening in your life. (I've just had a long interruption while composing this message so I apologise if I'm going over what has already been said in my absence.)

I can't add much to the good advice you have been given, just the encouragement to give yourself the gift of being heard; listen to yourself, your posts are lucid and intelligent.

I can see you are determined to see the best in your partner and whereas I do not want to discredit this effort on your part (although I do think this tendency 'fits' with the dynamic of the relationship you are describing) I think the best place for you to start is with making space for you. This is about you and your wellbeing, and to paraphrase an earlier poster ( Cogito ?) you need to put yourself and your needs at the centre of this. Your partner's needs (for intimacy, affirmation, acceptance, whatever it may be) are totally secondary now, at least as far as your efforts are concerned. I would be inclined to return to counselling if you can find the time and money. In my personal experience, once you begin to dare to feel what you are really feeling and trust that it is OK to act in congruence with your true feelings, you tend to feel a lot clearer and better equipped to do what is needed; whether that is creating boundaries, speaking your truth, making requests, anything.

Perhaps, if your parner is in earnest, he would also benefit from some counselling or a local men's group. You really, really are not responsible for making things OK for him, and in a therapeutic context he might find the support he needs and some useful mirroring and feedback too, if he's lucky, however uncomfortable it may be at times. Hopefully, it would allow you to relinquish some of the sense of responsibility you feel you have for making him feel better about it all. If he struggles with remorse and rejection, he would do well to take responsibility for that himself. Not because you have too much on your plate, but because it is not your job.

I will check in on this thread tomorrow, and in the meantime send you lots of love.

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 21-Apr-13 00:28:11

And yes to Bic and Hopkin 's suggestions just now that he needs to stop approaching you sexually, say you'll come to him when and if you're ready, however long that may be.

BicBiro Sun 21-Apr-13 00:34:46

wonderful post peacefuleasyfeeling. you have such a lovely calming, grounding presence.

gropey, how about changing that to NoMoreGropey), please read the posts above, please put yourself first. you will feel so much better once you are being true to your feelings. you will be able to think straight once again.

fionathepink Sun 21-Apr-13 00:43:19

He is probably trying to build your self-esteem by making sexually explicit comments and calling you 'hot'. He probably doesn't realise this is not the right way to go about making you feel good about yourself and that a heart felt apology and understanding for the past hurt he has caused will go a lot further.

If you feel uncomfortable then you need to tell him and also tell him why. He most likely feels rejected and then acts out as a result. This isn't saying it is your fault but that it takes two people to make a relationship work. He might just be a prick trying to make you feel crap but he also might love you and want to make you feel good about yourself the only way he knows how. You need to tell him how you feel, specifically tell him how what he does and says makes you feel and why.

Sex should be an integral part of a relationship and if you feel your libido is nothing then there is something integrally wrong in your relationship that you need to address, whether it is past abuse or something else.

After you've told him how what he does makes you feel then start again slowly. Talk about how you met, the things that attracted you to each other, what you love about each other. If you need more contact without sexual implications then tell him e.g. I like it when you rub my shoulders, it relaxes me but when you want that to go further it makes me feel tense so for the time being can you just rub my shoulders and accept that is all I need. Then maybe do something non-explicitly sexual for him that he would like. See where that takes you.

Over all, you should both talk about getting some counselling or advice maybe for sex as a couple to work these things out in a safe environment.

Fluffymonster Sun 21-Apr-13 00:57:29

You're not a loser, gropey - your instincts are working fine. Somewhere inside you, you knew the situation wasn't right, that's why you're unable to get turned on by him. It's self-preservation at work.

I think, maybe you just needed to hear some validation, because your inner voice has been drowned out by dh's needs, demands, and name-calling.

Crying is a good thing, let it out. Awareness of something wrong, is the first step towards putting it right. Try and get some sleep if you can - it's time to take care of your emotional needs, that can only be a good thing in the long run.

Googleit Sun 21-Apr-13 00:57:55

It's clear that due to your past abuse you are unclear about what is normal intimacy in a marriage or relationship. From what you have described it is perfectly normal to have intimacy during the day and spontanity in touching and text messages.
It's also normal for you to have a low libido do you may end up coming across a bit frigid but you are tired and bearing in mind your abuse in the past only understandable.
Work on the relationship and try to move on from the past.

BicBiro Sun 21-Apr-13 01:16:35

i dont think find use of the word frigid is appropriate or necessary when describing someone's libido.

Ouchmyhead Sun 21-Apr-13 01:18:51

Oh Gropey, you sound so defeated and sad, it must be awful to be going through this. You put so much blame on yourself and seem to carry everything on your shoulders - you need to be much more forgiving on yourself, none of what has happened is your fault!

As for the sexual contact and your husband, it is understandable that you don't want a sexual relationship or to be touched by him. You ask what is normal for other people, and to be honest with my DP we have a very touchy feely relationship, he will grab my boobs or my bum unexpectedly, but I'm fine with that and like it. With your situation it's completely different, he's worn you down and been abusive, with sexual abuse in your past as well, it must make things so much worse.

I can only suggest counselling and visiting your GP about your anti depressants as it really does sound like you need support right now and advice. As for your husband, tell him straight you really need him to be there for you and not expect anything in return - that's what people in relationships do, when my DP was depressed I had to be strong for both of us, and it's what he should do for you. You don't deserve to be called names or made to feel guilty, you should make it clear to him he either supports you or leaves, because you can't deal with getting yourself better and him draining your strength at the same time. Good luck.

Fluffymonster Sun 21-Apr-13 02:00:29

I second what others are saying about asking your dh to leave sex completely off the agenda for a while - as feeling pressured into it is not helping matters and making things worse. You need some breathing space.

Counselling may also be a good idea as you have mentioned similar things happened with your previous marriage, and other partners, now dh.

However...not sure couples counselling is the way to go at this stage. The reason I am a bit cautious, is your dh is still verbally abusive towards you.

It may be that there is an abusive pattern in your relationships, because your 'potentially-abusive-partner' alert, needs work - understandably, because of what happened to you.

In which case - couples counselling may not be appropriate. However - I'm not an expert.

So sorry you're having a rubbish time - I'm sending you an un-mumsnetish [hug]. Will check back tomorrow to see how you are.

Lueji Sun 21-Apr-13 07:11:37

His calling you names and apologising is a typical cycle of abuse.
He's telling you what he's thinking, but then bringing you back in.

Of course it's toned down. You said yourself that if it was as bad as before you'd have left.

Accept that you are rejecting him. Your body and your emotions are rejecting him, yes. Listen to them.
It doesn't make you a bad person.
Even if he was a good man, you cannot force yourself to be attracted to someone else if you don't.

BicBiro Sun 21-Apr-13 12:55:12

how are you doing today gropey?

AnyFucker Sun 21-Apr-13 13:15:04

I would be interested to know if OP does tell her H that sex is off the agenda for a while, but more importantly how he reacts to that

Fluffymonster Sun 21-Apr-13 13:43:01

Hi gropey - how are you feeling?

I should clarify (thank you BicBiro) that when I referred to "your frigidity" in an earlier post - I meant "so-called" - because yes it's an out-dated and derogatory term and not really appropriate. Everything you described would put most people off sex and anyone calling you - or you calling yourself - 'frigid' is missing the point.

Also agree with everything peaceful said about it not being your job to fix his issues with rejection. That is his responsibility and his alone. If he has difficulty with it - he needs to seek help (separately). You can't help him by trying to make it so he never feels rejected, because it has been destroying your self esteem (and libido) in the process.

gropey Sun 21-Apr-13 20:54:58

Hi everyone and thanks for your messages today.

Well we had a long talk and I was brutally honest with him. He took it quite well and said he understood. I told him that sex was off the agenda completely and that all the touching and sex talk had to stop. He said that he would stop.

We talked about splitting up and he said he would go if I wanted him to. He then said that he would have to give his business up if we split which made me really angry. It felt like emotional blackmail and I told him that I was not responsible for him and his choices.

He seemed to get it and I made it very clear that his past behaviour was inexcusable no matter how frustrated he felt.

He is now feeling upset and Air suspect a bit sorry for himself. I have warned him that one more name call and it's finished.

I still feel really low and don't want to talk much. I think I will go to the doctor

gropey Sun 21-Apr-13 21:00:21

Hi everyone and thanks for your messages today.

Well we had a long talk and I was brutally honest with him. He took it quite well and said he understood. I told him that sex was off the agenda completely and that all the touching and sex talk had to stop. He said that he would stop.

We talked about splitting up and he said he would go if I wanted him to. He then said that he would have to give his business up if we split which made me really angry. It felt like emotional blackmail and I told him that I was not responsible for him and his choices.

He seemed to get it and I made it very clear that his past behaviour was inexcusable no matter how frustrated he felt.

He is now feeling upset and Air suspect a bit sorry for himself. I have warned him that one more name call and it's finished.

I still feel really low and don't want to talk much. I think I will go to the doctor for a review on my ad's.

I need to stop looking at other people and feeling like a failure. It's like a background soundtrack to my everyday life and it's a horrible feeling. I feel like I've wrecked my life. Sorry for all the self pitying crap.

You've all made me see what's going on and helped with a way forward. Lets see how long it all lasts.

AnyFucker Sun 21-Apr-13 21:07:42

Keep in touch, love

You sound lovely

You have been very clear with him, and if he lets you down it isn't your fault it would be because he cannot step up to being a decent partner

One more name call and he is out. Make sure you stick to that. Empty threats really do put you further back than you ever were before, if you do not follow through

Take care x

BicBiro Sun 21-Apr-13 21:25:26

hi gropey, well done instigating a conversation and making yourself heard.

i really hope he gets it this time.

be kind to yourself. and we'll still be here if and when you need to chat.

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 21-Apr-13 22:38:58

Good evening, Gropey. Well done, those were big things you addressed with your partner in one sitting! You seem, despite feeling low, very clear about how you want to move ahead. I hope your talk with your GP is fruitful.

For what it's worth, I realised I missed making the point yesterday that your partner will only truly feel OK if he himself puts in the work to look at himself and his "stuff" (most appropriately done in a therapeutic context) and that any "making it alright" that you might provide is only a sticky-plaster and will not even touch the sides of the kind of self-loathing I imagine is fuelling his behaviour. So all the more reason to let him shoulder this responsibility himself.

Much love to you.

Fluffymonster Sun 21-Apr-13 22:49:20

Hi gropey - very glad you've tried to talk to him.

Whether he really will take it on board is another matter - I think you're right - right now, he will be upset and probably feeling sorry for himself. Don't give in to any emotional blackmail - it's just smoke and mirrors.

If he's smart, he will be super nice for a while, which is very typical. It will be interesting what happens when he gets tired of that though.

If you do go to the doctor's - perhaps it might be an idea to ask if you could be referred for counselling, to talk about the trust and intimacy issues?

Or maybe look into some cognitive behavioural therapy?

I've not had experience of it myself, but know people who have, who said that CBT can be very effective in helping to them counteract that constant negative self-talk.

Of course you're not a 'failure' - at least, no more than anyone else. But it must be very difficult if you can't believe that, and how draining, to have that going on in your head all the time! It doesn't have to be like that.

Anyway - take care, and there are always people here if you need to talk.

GreyWhites Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:43

That's brilliant Gropey. I think being clear and being firm about your boundaries is a good start.

The suggestion of making a visit to the doctor's is a good one. Write down the things you want to say before you go so you don't get flustered and forget. It's worth mentioning your low sex drive, as the ADs don't help and some ADs are worse than others in this regard. That's not to say there aren't lots of other very good psychological reasons why you're not interested in sex right now, but making sure there are no pharmaceutical blocks to this will help get you work slowly back to a position where you might be able to consider it with less indifference.

When my partner was on ADs we hardly ever had sex and when we did it was awful. Eventually he told me that he couldn't face sex and the idea of touching or any intimacy (eg kissing, hugs, sitting together, anything) with me disgusted him. Obviously that was horrible for me to hear but at least he was honest. Once he was no longer depressed and off his ADs, his sex drive returned to normal. So don't fear that your sex drive is gone forever or that your relationship with your partner will never be intimate. He just has to be patient with you. If he really loves you, he will be.

Lueji Tue 23-Apr-13 13:30:26

That's really good indeed. smile

Just make sure that you stick to those boundaries.

Sadly, I suspect he'll push them. But fingers crossed. smile

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