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AIBU to think saying no to sex is NOT emotional abuse?

(13 Posts)
hangrymum Sun 10-Mar-19 19:12:15

Ok, here's the background bit......

I've been in a complicated relationship for a long time. DH has some mental health problems that he has not yet addressed and this has put a strain on our relationship. We have a life together, lots of commitments, DC's etc so neither of us want to give up on our relationship but are both quite realistic that things need to change or we go our separate ways. Our relationship is a work in progress.

In the past I have always given in to his demands in all areas of our life because it was easier than putting up a fight. He likes to be in control of everything. I realised I'm enabling him by going along with this and also making myself miserable so I made a decision to stop allowing him to control everything and to stand my ground. This included within our sex life. He would demand sex and if I said I wasn't in the mood (on these occasions it was usually because he was having an episode and had not been pretty unpleasant to me) I would be called frigid, that I was dead inside and that I had something wrong with me. I used to give in and now I don't. I explain why I don't want to and we still have sex but when we BOTH want to, not just him.

Anyway, long story short I thought I was well within my rights to do this and was doing him a favour too by putting down some boundaries. But heres the thing.....I keep seeing articles and advice pages that state that withholding sex is a form of emotional and psychological abuse???!!!

Have I massively misunderstood this? Surely anyone has the right to say no to sex and thats the end of it, long term relationship or 2 minute fling, none of us owe our bodies to anyone if we're not feeling ok with it? I'm starting to think I need to rethink this but I just cannot see how its ok be guilted into having sex? AIBU?

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 10-Mar-19 19:20:55

Jesus. It may be a work in progress, but he's the one who needs to put in most if not all the effort.

It is everyone's absolute right to refuse sex, on any grounds or none. Even 40 years ago, when I was a priapic little shit, I understood that.

Also, you're not setting a good example to the children. Ask to have the thread moved to Relationships, where people who've got the t-shirt will tell you what your options are.

Deadbudgie Sun 10-Mar-19 19:21:37

There’s a difference between your situation and the emotional abuse. Yours sounds a normal mutual
Consent arrangement.

Withholding sec can be emotional abuse if it is being used as a weapon or if it’s withheld for a very long period day months when one party wants it more frequently it can cause mental health issues because of the constant rejection.

Only you can decide whether the relationship is right for you

jiggsymalone Sun 10-Mar-19 19:21:44

I think it's about context. There's a difference between not having sex because you dont want to and withholding sex as a form of control over a partner. You clearly aren't doing the latter.

BorsetshireBlew Sun 10-Mar-19 19:25:16

Only having sex when you want to is not withholding sex.
Are you withholding sex to control him? To punish him? To damage his self esteem?
Or are you a woman who wants to choose when she has sex without being coerced?

I really don't think you should be 'trying' any longer to save this relationship.

CigarsofthePharoahs Sun 10-Mar-19 19:28:34

There's a word for being forced into sex you don't want.

FishesaPlenty Sun 10-Mar-19 19:45:02

And no word at all for living an emotionally, physically, sexually unfulfilled life where you remain faithful to the one you love even though it leaves you upset and scarred.

It is everyone's right to refuse sex, just as it's everyone's right to refuse to make their partner a cuppa in the morning, to hug them when they're crying or to nip out to buy them a packet of lemsip when they've got a cold.

I can't see me ever refusing tea, hugs or lemsip to someone I love if that's what they need at that moment and it doesn't cause me any problems.

Fiveredbricks Sun 10-Mar-19 19:48:23

It's your right to refuse, but it's also their right to expect a loving relationship if they want one so can't complain if they leave or find it elsewhere, as long as both parties have the full picture.

Though in this instance your DH sounds like a prize ass and tbh you should be LTB... He sounds like a nightmare and not someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with, surely? You can see that he is an emotionally abusive prick, right? Surely? sad

CordeliaEarhart Sun 10-Mar-19 19:49:57

It is never okay to be guilted in to sex. Ever. I simply do not understand the mentality of someone who wants to have sex knowing that their partner doesn't. And I don't particularly want to understand it tbh.

Guineapiglet345 Sun 10-Mar-19 19:50:06

He sounds awful, are you sure it wouldn’t be better for your children to be in a single parent family than with a dad who forces their mum to have sex against her will?

AmIRightOrAMeringue Sun 10-Mar-19 19:55:39

Saying no to sex because you don't want to have a ex is not abuse.

Putting pressure on someone to have sex and calling them names because they don't want it is abusive, no one has the right to someone else's body.

I think the witholding sex that you're talking about is when someone uses sex or lack of as a bargaining chip and witholds it not because they don't want it, but the try and control the other persons behaviour, because control is a form of abuse

museumum Sun 10-Mar-19 20:01:39

Withholding sex is like blackmail. It’s not the same as just not having sex when you don’t want to.

bridgetreilly Sun 10-Mar-19 20:09:21

You can definitely withhold sex as a form of abuse. That is not in any way the same thing as saying no when you don't want to.

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