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To ask if you have a duty to nurture your sex life and keep yourself in good nick?

(64 Posts)
Tangled59 Tue 19-Jun-18 15:32:55

This isnt what I think but I am considering the question in am abstract way based on another thread I read.

So imagine you have a relationship and both parties want to be in the relationship because they love each other.

Imagine person A massively lets themself go or becomes too lazy/not really in the mood to have sex most of the time. This leaves person B with the option of either cheating or walking away from an otherwise good relationship.

Im not talking about temporary dips or periods that can be explained by illness, depression, bereavement but basically just when person A can't be fucked anymore with keeping themself looking their best and putting a bit of energy into their sex life.
Considering a relationship is basically like an unspoken contract, cheating is breaking that contract, but isn't removing all attractive/sexual aspects of the relationship just another way of breaking that contract too?

I guess in a way I'm asking if cheating is ever truly justified.

BestBeforeYesterday Tue 19-Jun-18 15:52:29

I don't think cheating can be justified, as in saying "it's okay in certain situations". But I agree that keeping yourself attractive for your partner, and providing sex, is what most couples will expect from a relationship and that refusing sex, or not washing, is a breach of that contract. I don't think people are unreasonable to leave their partners because they refuse to have sex, or are no longer attracted to them sexually.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 19-Jun-18 15:52:56

Cheating is never "justified" (its understandable, it's both very human and very mammalian, but that doesn't mean it's justifiable in the sense of being something someone has a 'right', so to speak, to do if their relationship is poor) - if you are unhappy with your partner or relationship then the right thing to do is either separate or negotiate an open relationship.

Making an attempt to look good for your partner, take care of your health, make time for affection and sex: duty is the wrong word but I think all of those things are reasonable expectations in a relationship and I'd not stay with a partner who was lazy, didn't bother with his hygiene or appearance, put on a lot of weight or didn't want sex. I'm aware many people may see that as shallow, but I'm not somebody who thinks that staying with a partner just because they're your partner is beneficial. I'm very independent and self-sufficient and I don't need to be in a relationship with somebody; so I won't settle for a relationship which doesn't make me happy.

OhTheRoses Tue 19-Jun-18 15:56:57

Yes. Said as someone who has been with my DH for nearly 30 years. Not to the chesting.

Tangled59 Tue 19-Jun-18 15:59:04

Thanks for these replies.

You often see posts on here where posters' solutions to lost attraction/sex life is simply: walk away or leave.

But actually thats a really black and white view thats probably very difficult for most men and women to apply. Imagine you love this person deeply, and they love you, and you've spent 15 years together and complement one another perfectly, you maybe have kids, you admire one another hugely, you laugh together, you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

But you also are a sexual being and your partner has decided to stop making an effort with for example keeping their weight in check, or don't want sex too often, or want to have sex in the same old way. Its tricky because how can a person "simply leave" such a solid relationship?

Tangled59 Tue 19-Jun-18 16:00:28

@OhTheRoses
So as someone with a successful long-standing relationship: do you think you've had to actively "work" at "fulfilling this duty"?

NomNomNomNom Tue 19-Jun-18 16:03:09

It really depends what you mean by looking their best. If you mean they no longer keep themselves clean, teeth brushed, basic maintenance done (basic haircuts every so often) etc. then I think that's an issue. If you mean they've put on 5 lbs and no longer lift weights or wear make up every day then that's just what happens when you get older.

If I was person B I'd reflect on whether my expectations were reasonable. If I genuinely felt my partner was just not at all interested in sex any more I'd discuss it with them and let them know what I needed to remain happy in the relationship and see if they were willing to work with me.

Birdsgottafly Tue 19-Jun-18 16:03:44

Not doing what is on your list, is a round about way of checking out of the relationship.

I say that as someone who lived celibate, in my early 30's, because of my DH's illness.

The only time when having sex with other people's is OK, is when there is a unspoken agreement between the Couple. So it isn't really cheating.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Tue 19-Jun-18 16:05:16

Ime to fully function for YOURSELF in a relationship (mentally +physically) you need to maintain yourself....
Which consequently benefits the other half of your marriage.
And ultimately both of you!!
Ime weight gain /feeling low / stressed have had massive effects on the sort of wife I have been. When I feel great it rubs off in my marriage, and we both benefit!!

pallisers Tue 19-Jun-18 16:05:31

cheating is never the answer.

But as far as I am concerned sex is the one thing I do with dh that I don't with anyone else (well that and child-rearing I suppose) and I wouldn't tolerate him doing with someone else so it is a priority for me - something that is very close to the definition of our connection. I wouldn't be happy if sex was arbitrarily off the table just because dh couldn't be bothered anymore (obviously other things affect your sex life - illness, worry, etc at times) - it would seriously affect our intimacy and closeness if he was no longer much interested in me physically.

rosesandflowers1 Tue 19-Jun-18 16:07:00

I think after a while it can be easy to sort of stagnate. That might be a reason for cheating happening, but its not an excuse.

I think you should put effort into all aspects of your relationship, including a physical one if you have one. Like everything that will require some work.

arethereanyleftatall Tue 19-Jun-18 16:07:03

There's a few more options for b.
Stay and accept it.
Help A want sex again.

I think the sex thing and the 'letting yourself go' thing are two different things. It's a bit shallow to be put off by your partner putting on a bit of weight.

Birdsgottafly Tue 19-Jun-18 16:07:17

"But you also are a sexual being and your partner has decided to stop making an effort with for example keeping their weight in check, or don't want sex too often, or want to have sex in the same old way"

Then it needs a discussion, examine the reasons why and decide on a solution.

I've lost my sex drive post Menopause, but I'd get help from the GP if it was going to damage a otherwise happy marriage.

Women change after the Menopause and with getting older, the difference should be a lot before the other Partner can complain to the point they think they could justify cheating.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 19-Jun-18 16:13:40

It's tricky because how can a person "simply leave" such a solid relationship?

If you genuinely loved and felt a deep affinity with your partner you wouldn't want to cheat and deceive them any more than you'd want to leave the relationship, so I can't see that deciding to be unfaithful would be the easier or more preferable option. In a situation like you describe, I'd always suggest having an open relationship; but I'm aware that my feelings about monogamy are in a minority.

Madhouse2018 Tue 19-Jun-18 16:18:02

This leaves person B with the option of either cheating or walking away from an otherwise good relationship.
hmm I suggest you put more thought in to your options if this is the only conclusion you've come to.

Screaminginsideme Tue 19-Jun-18 16:18:52

There are more than 2 options if you really value a relationship.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 19-Jun-18 16:20:04

I am person A - I never had much of a sex drive, and have always been somewhat overweight, but I have put on weight and lost what little of my sex drive remained, due to depression.

Luckily for me, my dh is a decent person who loves me because I am me, not because I look a certain way or give him sex regularly, and he k own that there aren’t just 2 options - cheat or leave - as @Tangled59 states in their OP - there is a third - carry on loving your other half, and accept that things have changed, but that there is still plenty in the marriage that makes it worthwhile.

StormTreader Tue 19-Jun-18 16:20:55

If you "love someone deeply" then you dont walk away simply because Jill in accounts has a nice arse and you think you'd like some. hmm

Youve been together 15 years, youre aware that the trim 20 something body doesnt stay with you forever, right? Especially after kids.

Gibraltarlady Tue 19-Jun-18 16:25:05

This makes me feel sad, I have let myself go I know and Dh would have excuses to cheat on me because of this. I have struggled with my weight all my life but the last 10 years have been worst combined with having 2 kids, working 60 hours a week...I know not an excuse sad

Metoodear Tue 19-Jun-18 16:27:23

Cheating is not about keeping ones self in good nick

Otherwise how do you account for men who cheat with women less good looking than their wife’s

And also why would somone like jay z cheat Beyoncé it’s pretty much the gold standard of black beauty confused unless you think she hasn’t her self go

BlueSapp Tue 19-Jun-18 16:28:35

If you are in love with someone what does it matter what they look like, sex is important to people but why is that tied to how you look within a marriage? I think the obsession that people need to keep their partners interested in them is sad, so if you put on weight your not good enough, if you haven't spent hours working out and preening yourself your less worthy of your partners affection!

If your partner no longer feels like having sex, running off to the nearest person is not the solution, talking and finding out why is the answer. relationships take work if you truly love your partner superficial looks won't ever matter!

AttilaTheMusical Tue 19-Jun-18 16:30:26

It isn't "Forsaking all others unless I don't fancy you any more, in which case I might have a bit on the side".

Either you are going to be faithful or you aren't.

2LitreBottle Tue 19-Jun-18 16:31:58

But as far as I am concerned sex is the one thing I do with dh that I don't with anyone else (well that and child-rearing I suppose) and I wouldn't tolerate him doing with someone else so it is a priority for me - something that is very close to the definition of our connection. I wouldn't be happy if sex was arbitrarily off the table just because dh couldn't be bothered anymore (obviously other things affect your sex life - illness, worry, etc at times) - it would seriously affect our intimacy and closeness if he was no longer much interested in me physically

I agree with this pallisers. I would also add though, that for DP and I it doesn’t matter if one of us puts on weight or if I don’t shave my legs etc because we love each other come what may. Those who think their partner has a duty to make themselves beautiful in order to have sex with them are missing out.

We all age, men will go bald, women will get wrinkles, inevitably our weight will fluctuate depending on the age and stage of our life. Being able to find your partner attractive throughout all of that is more important than keeping up with some arbitrary beauty rules. Obviously being clean and hygienic are important, but if my DP insisted I had waxed and primped and done my hair and make up before we had sex it would be about once a year instead of every day!

OhTheRoses Tue 19-Jun-18 16:34:27

Not actively tangled and whilst I'm 2 stone heavier than in my 20s I don't think DH would have appreciated it if I had stopped making an effort. But then I wouldn't stop. What I did have to really make an effort with when the DC were very small and I had given up work in those years, was to read a good book and a broadsheet so that if we went out, often with his colleagues/clients, I could make conversation about things other than the children. I saw more marriages flounder over that when mine were older teenagers than anything else to be honest.

Nquartz Tue 19-Jun-18 16:34:28

Jay Z has cheated on Beyoncé?!

(Misses point of thread)

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