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to think that it's okay and pretty much what always happened to have periods without sex in a marriage?

(11 Posts)
arses Wed 01-Sep-10 00:09:39

This is not really a thread about a thread, but it has been inspired by recent ones.

I personally always believed that marriages would inevitably go through periods where one or other of the parties was a bit knackered and didn't really want to have a lot of sex. Sex is a physical activity and when you're sleep deprived or under stress, so I always figured it might not be high up on a couple's list of priorities and, y'know, that didn't really reflect on a relationship, well, at all.

Is everyone really having more sex than me? Is everyone having less sex than me on the brink of divorce?

I have a nine month old son who is a poor sleeper and while I'd rather not get into the details re: frequency I would say we don't do it that often. Very rarely. Not much. Now and then etc. It's improving.. but I didn't consider it was something really worth concerning myself about.

AIBU? Is this The End of my marriage?

Just interested in canvassing opinion.

Prolesworth Wed 01-Sep-10 00:11:52

Message withdrawn

moondog Wed 01-Sep-10 00:14:25

Forget what other peopel are and aren't doing and remember two things.

Sex is exercise and like a lot of exercise, quite often you don't want to do it but once you have you never regret it.

Depsite what many try to claim, having sex when you are not massively up for it but want to please the one you love is really an ok thing to do and will leave everyone (not least of all you yourself) a good deal happier.

mmmperuna Wed 01-Sep-10 00:15:14

Yes def ups and downs - lots of factors - sleep deprivation, stress, tiredness very common.

FWIW now our baby days are over and DH has had the snip so we don't have to worry about contraception, in spite of us both knocking on a bit not being in the first flush of youth, our sex life has never been better. However after we had DS we didnt have sex for months and months

wukter Wed 01-Sep-10 00:17:07

YANBU, it ebbs and flows.
However, if your partner is unhappy with the situation you need to come to some sort of solution for both.

tiptree Wed 01-Sep-10 00:21:47

I would not want to have sex with my husband if he was not "massively up for it". Why would you want to have sex with a reluctant partner?

I do think the more sex you have the more you want, so it is sensible to keep an active sex life. I could not imagine my marriage without regular sex.

I have a demanding career and know there are times when we have dry spells when I am stressed or very tired, the same for DH. We just accept that but make sure the intimacy is shown in other ways. I try and make sure that if we don't have sex for a week that I let DH know it is because I am tired rather than I do not want him.

arses Wed 01-Sep-10 00:27:59

I'm not particularly concerned. Don't think he is either. He's more exhausted than me, if anything... there have been half-hearted initiatons and rejections on both sides.

Just interested in where this idea of a 'normal' sex life comes from, especially when it's tagged with numerical values e.g. 3 times a week, 5 times a month, every day etc.

I've no theoretical problem with having sex to make my partner happy but I see it advocated at an out-and-out 'intervention' leel on MN threads, as though 'giving' your partner sex was something you'd better get to sharpish if you don't want the beast gadding about. As though sex were a gift from an unwilling woman to an insatiable male who can be tamed by this act of kindness.. (though woe betide the woman who really feels she's just not up to it).

We're not beasts in the barnyard. I don't see why all the love and affection in a marriage should just up and go 'poof' because of a bit of common-or-garden exhaustion..

Have been wondering if there is an other half and how they live. Where do you all fit it in?

mrsfollowill Wed 01-Sep-10 00:33:48

Agree with moondog and tiptree! Yes there are times when it is just not possible. When my DS was so young we went through some very dry spells.
But make sure you still communicate and are intimate - hugs/kisses etc- then as your DC's get older and less reliant remember why you are together in the first place! When your DC's are v young it is very easy to forget what you are like as a couple.

BertieBotts Wed 01-Sep-10 00:36:49

I think that what you are saying moondog does have truth in it. Sometimes you're not up for it because you're tired or some other arbitrary reason, and when you get going it's worth it. But if you are really not in the mood because you are very tired, ill, fed up with your partner for some reason, doing it just to please them isn't going to help it's just going to make you feel worse and I don't think that is right, at all.

I'm not in a relationship atm so can't answer the OP

arses Wed 01-Sep-10 08:15:11

But, mrsfollowill, surely part of 'what you are like as a couple' is about learning to be parents together, it's not an interruption it's a fundamental part of the marriage?

I remember someone saying once that the importance of sex was that it was 'the only thing' that only you could do with that person e.g. other functions could be fulfilled by others outside of the relationship. But I wonder. I wonder why sex is the 'glue' that holds a relationship together when you are building your world around one another in so many different ways.

My dh and I are together 12 years, so we've had ups and downs many a time - my finals, his finals, a period where we lived in different countries etc. There are high points and low points sexually but also in other areas.

What I don't understand is the fact it is pathologised as 'not normal' to have a 'reduction in libido', why people have to discuss going to sex therapists when, really, it's because they're tired or depressed or have too much on their mind to commune in this particular way with their partners. Why people have sympathy for bad behaviour in response to a change in frequency of sexual intercourse e.g. 'well what's he supposed to do when he's not getting any?' kind of thing. Because surely, sex is just like anything else.. so what you're 'supposed' to do if you are unhappy with this ONE aspect of your relationship is talk about it, problem solve, find a way around it together, not beat yourself up for being a "bad wife" or see it as the most important fuel to your relationship.

In the magazines, it's all about 'spicing it up in bedroom' as though it were a chore that needed tending to. There's a 'just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down' flavour to some of this that is just a variation on the 'lie back and think of England' theme etc. As though it were imperative to keep your sex life at the level it was when you first met or face Certain Relationship Doom. I think there are an awful lot of people who are seriously concerned if they don't meet a 'three times a week' quota and I just wonder what it was like before this number was arbitrarily imposed on the expression of human love.

To me, if you need to reassure your partner that because you hadn't done it that week you still loved them, that implies that sex is the sole conduit for love and that there's very little meeting of the minds happening in other areas. There's also something in all these discussions that seems to imply that keeping the fires burnin is a woman's work, as though it weren't something you both could talk openly about and reach your own solutions about etc. Ah, just do it and you'll get into it. When you only have 10 minutes between getting the laundry on and clearing up after dinner and tending to the screaming teething infant and fixing the dodgy light switch in the kitchen and sending those crucial emails and phoning your old mother to see that she got home alright and, and, and? You should just have a jolly old poke in the utility room and 'unload the gun' because otherwise you might have a sulky partner with a roving eye?

I think it's just unrealistic to think that over an entire lifetime there won't be very, very normal (and possibly, in the early childrearing/careerbuilding years, quite frequent) periods where sex is not THE priority... and that turning it into a chore or something that you need to worry about really doesn't help most people get in the mood.

I think it is only a problem if it is a problem to the people in the relationship.

We certainly 'ebb and flow'grin, sometimes we go months and months without and then have a few weeks where we are at it all the time.

Regardless of sex we are always very physically affectionate and loving towards each other.

It suits us, we are happy, we could make sure we had sex all the time by doing it when one or the other 'isn't really up for it' but we don't. Totally agree that the more you have the more you want. But we still have these long periods when we go off the boil, then periods of rediscovery.

'Meh' to anyone who thinks it's not 'normal', it's normal for us.

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