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How important is sex to you? - TMI, but really need some opinions :(

(73 Posts)
InDangerOfExploding Thu 18-Aug-11 10:15:25

Am regular but have name-changed as DP knows my usual name.

So, DP and I have been together a few years. We are pretty solid: going to start ttc in a 24-mo timeframe, he recently switched jobs and moved about 100 miles to be with me after I got relocated. We are saving for a mortgage together. We get on really well and have a lot of fun together.

But we don't have sex. He has ED, has had since before we got together - and he. won't. do. anything. about it. First time he brought it up we had been together about 6 mos, and he said, yeah, if I'm going to be in a longterm relationship I'll need to get that sorted. I didn't want to pressure, so I just said, in your own time.

Fastforward three years, and nothing has happened. We used to have sex about twice a month (though we'd fool around more), now it's more like once every 5 weeks, but even when we do it's not really satisfying because he can't get a full erection. I tried to be sympathetic for so long, but last year cracked one night in sheer frustration, started crying and said he needed to go see the GP. He felt really bad and said he would, but nothing happened; have brought it up once more since and said it was really important to me, and he said he would, but nothing. That was in April.

I love him, I understand it's not his fault, but FFS, sometimes I just want to SCREAM and shake him and say, we are only in our 30s, I don't want to go the rest of my life without sex, quite apart from ttc, and frankly I am finding myself thinking about other people.

AIBU? Am I shallow and selfish?? How on earth do I approach this without making him feel like a failure? Really at the end of my tether........

lachesis Thu 18-Aug-11 10:20:28

YANBU. You are not being shallow and selfish.

You can't approach this anymore. You already have, over and over. He knows how you feel. He refuses to do anything about it.

You need to start making plans for life without him, tbh, because this is making you miserable and you know, we only have one life.

Also, to get pregnant, you need to be having more sex.

solidgoldbrass Thu 18-Aug-11 10:24:16

Well you're not going to get pregnant with a man who won't have sex with you, are you? I don't think this relationship has a future: for whatever reason, this man does not want to address the problem. Which means that he thinks his feelings are more important than yours. You are not shallow and selfish, but he is being very selfish in expecting you just to put up with something that makes you miserable.
IF you feel you should give him one more chance, then set a time limit on it and be prepared to end the relationship, because what will happen is he will make more promises and not do anything because he thinks that promises are all he needs in order for normal domestic service to continue.

Tortington Thu 18-Aug-11 10:27:00

sexs is essential

lachesis Thu 18-Aug-11 10:27:17

What SGB said.

Imagine having to nag and begs, for the rest of your life, for a few scraps? Do you really think this is what you deserve? Or think so little of yourself you'll settle for this?

mousesma Thu 18-Aug-11 10:27:22

YANBU apart from anything else it you are TTC you need to be having sex at least 2/3 times a week.

Even with the ED issues you could still be having "sex" penetration isn't the be all and end all. Unfortunately you can't make him get this resolved and you need to think seriously about whether you have a future together if thing stay the same.

Icelollycraving Thu 18-Aug-11 10:29:53

Perhaps bring subject again & say that you will go with him to gp. Men are dreadfully embarrassed about anything to do with their manbits,I think all the smears etc make us a bit more accepting of whipping on the couch!
To be honest you should point out it will be v tricky ttc under the conditions you have right now,not impossible but v unlikely to give you the result you want. Maybe start the conversation about ttc & then discuss the ed.
Good luck!

Ephiny Thu 18-Aug-11 10:33:54

You're not being unreasonable at all, sex is an important part of a relationship/marriage.

Why do you think he won't go to the doctor about his problem? I would have thought most men would be keen to get it sorted, or at least find out what's causing it and if anything can be done to help. Is he embarrassed? There's no need, it's not an uncommon problem (though more likely in older men) and the doctor will surely have dealt with such things before! Worried that maybe it can't be fixed and doesn't want to find out if so?

I know you don't want to pressure him, but I think you need to talk properly - not just ask him to go to the GP, but talk about why he isn't doing so, and the effect it's having on you.

pjmama Thu 18-Aug-11 10:42:16

I am 10 years on from where you are and my strong advice is this - do not have a child with this man until he's prepared to sort out this problem. It will only get worse and when you have children it's much, much harder to put your own needs first and break up your family because you're not getting any. Unless you're prepared for celibacy you need to address this now.

InDangerOfExploding Thu 18-Aug-11 10:42:31

Thanks all, although in a way it's not what I wanted to hear sad I'd almost rather I was BU.

I really don't want to end the relationship. He has just uprooted himself for me, and I do love him. I can't bear to think of hurting him. I don't really want to be with anyone else. But it's just become like a constant physical ache in the last few months.

He went to the GP once, years ago, before we got together, and they told him there was nothing they could do and gave him Viagra. He will take this and it mostly works, but it gives him nasty headaches - can you imagine your DH being in pain after every time you had sex??

I just couldn't do it. So we stopped with the drugs. But in that situation, I would go to the GP and ask to be referred to a urologist or male health specialist - no??? He seems to think that is not going to happen.

InDangerOfExploding Thu 18-Aug-11 10:43:38

pjmama I want to address it but how?? What did you do? Please tell me how to do this without destroying his confidence sad I think he's less selfish than really insecure and fragile about this.

pjmama Thu 18-Aug-11 10:47:38

This is the rest of your life you are talking about, it can't be all about his feelings. Talk to him, be understanding that it's uncomfortable and embarrasing for him, but make it absolutely clear that this is a deal breaker and the future of your relationship depends on this. He will continue to bury his head in the sand for as long as you allow him to. You have a chance now to address this and make it better. Don't let it go on for years and years until the festering resentment is so great that there's no way back.

violetwellies Thu 18-Aug-11 10:48:37

Make an appointment &go with him. Make sure you are both available for the appointment so he hs no excuses. I have just done this re the dentist, not quite the same I know, but probably a similar mount of fear smile

Ephiny Thu 18-Aug-11 10:50:10

Did they investigate the cause? It's fairly unusual in a man of his age, surely? I think he would be quite justified in asking for a referral to a specialist, especially if he can't take the Viagra.

peacemoon Thu 18-Aug-11 10:51:58

Make the appointment now.It's definitely ultimatum time.

pippilongsmurfing Thu 18-Aug-11 10:53:23

I stayed with a man who had the same issues and refused to sort them out.

I left him (not just for that!) and feel like I've wasted so many of my good "fertile" years iykwim?

With DH now and TTC but feel like I wasted so much time with the exP.

I'm not saying this is the case with your DH, but it needs to be sorted for you, as well as for him.

Whatmeworry Thu 18-Aug-11 10:54:57

Well, it all depends on whether its the man or woman thats not getting any on MN that determines the advice you get. Both sets of advice will suggest counselling, but then it differs wildly:

Frustrated Men: - Be more understanding, don't pester, do the housework, give her time, you are just crap in bed etc
Frustrated Women: - He's a bastard, life is too short, leave him.

Somewhere between those 2 poles the correct advice lies smile

I was very intrigued by 1 woman's thrread on this topc a whiel back. She told her DP he had a year to sort it or it was over. She got a lot of flack but I thought that sort of approach had something to recommend it.

firsttimer84 Thu 18-Aug-11 11:03:01

I don't think you should leave him, if this was the other way round and you had a very low sex drive and only wanted sex twice a month, we'd be flaming your partner for even suggesting he leave you. This must be awful for your partner (and you obviously!) as they are very very proud of their function as a man.

I like the joint appointment idea as it also says to your DP "we're in this together". He's so young, there must be something they can do without drugs that have disabling side affects.

I would gently talk to him again and suggest going together to the Dr's and say we're talking the rest of our lives here, the problem is not going to go away.

PS I'm talking as someone who has a low sex drive and my poor husband has been extremely supportive and I got help. I can't begin to imagine how frustrating it was for him (although I think you must know!) I'm now 8 months pregnant!

Highlander Thu 18-Aug-11 11:19:21

I don't know how old you. Guys are, but if he has ED he needs a thorough medical exam.

ED can be a red flag for cardiovascular disease. For the sake of his own health, please get him to the GP. Go with him, men are often economical with the truth wink

Highlander Thu 18-Aug-11 11:22:24

Actually, I would make an appt for him at your NHS sexual health clinic. They are brilliant at anything to do with sex; often GPs can be a bit uncomfortable dealing with willies and fannies.

DilysPrice Thu 18-Aug-11 11:33:44

If you are in your 30s you do not have a lot of time to fanny about. Let him know how much this is distressing you, and say that if he wants to make you happy (or indeed ever have a child) he will have to push for a referral to a specialist.

Personally I don't like the idea of going with him -because it's his body, he has to be able to speak freely and I think it's infantilising, but I appear to be in the minority.

smoggii Thu 18-Aug-11 11:40:19

I'm horrified that people are telling you to leave your partner because he has an issue which is most probably emotional.

He does have to face up to it if you want to have children but it's not easy for men to deal with ED.

You have to be strong, try not to cry about it as he will think too much about it and it will make things harder for him, I know it is frustrating and upsetting for you but I would say that this is not about you, women are very guilty of internalising other people's problems.

Bring it up at a time when you would not normally be thinking about having sex, say a sunday morning when you are chilling out together. Let him know that you are worried about him and you would like him to see a doctor. Let him know you are worried it could be a physical issue but if it's an emotional issue a doctor might give him some viagra or the like to get him through the mental barrier.

Ask him if you can do other things like massage and not have sex or fool around after, just be close. You need to tall him that you want children and that TTC takes time and requires regular sex so you need to work on this together.

Good luck - don't throw your otherwise happy relationship away without trying to work on this issue first. If he still refuses to do anything about it then it may be that there are other issues such as not being willing to do things for your relationship and that may become a problem.

smoggii Thu 18-Aug-11 11:42:37

I did read but missed the bit about viagra sorry, he can discuss this with his doctor there may be an alternative which doesn't cause headaches.

notmyproblem Thu 18-Aug-11 11:54:55

OP, you namechanged for this, but I actually think it's worth showing this thread to your DP to show how desperate you've become and how much you want to save your relationship -- to the point that ýou've posted here asking if you were BU and nearly hoping you were! sad

Agree with what the others have said, this is a deal breaker and particularly so if you want to have kids. He must understand this on some level, it's only because you've not made it a huge issue up to this point that he's been allowing it to slide. If you put your foot down and insist, then he will have to make a choice (and so will you).

I think you need to find out what his issue really is. If he's not even keen to fool around (without penetration) or completely uninterested in sex, then your problems go further than a physical issue like ED.

Ephiny Thu 18-Aug-11 12:01:50

Some people are talking about what we'd say if the genders were reversed here. I think I would be sympathetic to a woman in the equivalent situation (e.g. finding sex uncomfortable, or not feeling able or wanting to do it for some reason), a lot of us would as we've been there ourselves.

But at the same time, the same reasoning applies - it's an important part of a relationship and the husband would not be unreasonable to be unhappy about it. Especially if it was something that had gone on for years, and she was unwilling to seek help or try to do something about it, despite supposedly wanting to start a family.

Most people here have been sympathetic to the DP. I can certainly understand how this is a very personal, sensitive issue, and I know it's very linked to self-esteem for men especially. But he needs to face up to it and make the effort to seek help, I think. If it was me, I'd want to know what was going on medically to cause such a problem in a young man (OP said they're in their 30s) and whether that was cause for concern in itself.

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