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Advice please - sex and communication(20 Posts)
Ok I'll try and keep this as brief as possible. Really need some advice on communicating with my dp. I know there will be a lot of LTB or 'think carefully before marrying this man' comments but that's not really what I'm looking for, need advice on fixing things not ditching things!
Been together 5 years, engaged, due to be married next June. Overall great relationship but issues with sex. The issues are:
- sex started off well but slowly became less regular. He is 11 years older than me, claimed low libido and said he'd always been that way. I accepted it was going to be once a month at best. It wasn't ideal for me but it's not a dealbreaker. It's still something and is good when we do it.
- about a year into the relationship I found out he'd been looking at a niche form of porn. Not terrible but a little taboo. He'd never mentioned it to me and it's clear it's not something he wants to try with me. I worried that the low sex drive was really him preferring his little fantasy fetishes over a sex life with me.
- he takes viagra. Again, never been discussed. I found the pills by accident. So maybe an ED element too?
- he has a thing about not having sex when my kids are in the house which is understandable and still lots of opportunities when they go to their dads or grandparents. But it's become almost like he wants to set a date and time which takes all spontaneity and fun away from sex. I don't want to be allocated a slot! This has put me off doing it too.
- the main issue is total lack of communication about any of these things. We just don't talk about sex. He is a great communicator in every other sense. But with this he just clams up perhaps due to embarrassment.
I'm starting to feel resentful of my situation and the fact my sex life feels such hard work at the age of just 35. As I said I don't want to break up over it. I love this man, my kids love him and we have a great relationship and life together apart from this. But I need to talk to him about this and explain that I'm not happy to just sweep my feelings under the carpet because he's not comfortable talking about things. Day to day we have a lot of banter and jokey conversations so it's sometimes hard talking about serious things like this. Can anyone give me some advice on how to start the conversation or what to do?
Thanks for reading so far!
Has he been to the GP to discuss his lack of libido (possible ED) and see if there's any treatment to improve it, or are you just supposed to deal with a less than satisfying sex life? If I was going to marry someone I'd want them to demonstrate that they're doing all they can to ensure a mutually enjoyable sex life, not one that suits him only.
How often is he using the viagra? Are they just for your monthly sex sessions or is he popping them more regular? If he was using them regularly as an erection aid to help him enjoy his porn habit, but not using them to enable a better sex life with you then I'd be upset.
He sounds very secretive OP. Does he know that you know about his porn fetishes?
Yes he's been to the doctor and had testosterone levels checked which apparently came back normal. He has bought vitamins and supplements to help improve libido but nothing meaningful has come of it. A token gesture perhaps.
He knows I know about the fetish. I confronted him at the time and he seemed embarrassed and sheepish about it but said it's a silly kink he's always enjoyed. He thought I would find it weird. I have gently suggested that he might like us to try it but nothing has come of it.
Your point about him having a sex life that suits him only feels very true. I think this is why I'm no longer going along with the scheduled sex sessions, its always on his terms. Perhaps he needs forewarning to take his viagra? I'd understand it all a lot more if I could just have a proper conversation about it! And yes I agree he is secretive around this topic. Or maybe just unable or unwilling to talk openly. It's bothering me though and usually he is very keen to address and tackle problems in our relationship.
Has this gone on for some time. Sex is always good at the start of any relationship and dwindles over the years when life takes over. Would you be comfortable to take part on his fetish. If so have you tried supriseing him with this? You say he is older could he be feeling anxious worried about his body or his preformance. Does he have any history of low mood ? (This can have an effect on libido) I underatand him being uncomfortable with kids in the house.
Could you go for a weekend away just the 2 of you (after lockdown)?
Have you tried just being loveing shareing a bath giveing a massage snuggling on the sofa i think the more pressure you put in the situation the harder it can become try just being together as above and see if it leads somewere. I think the pre planning may well be due to needing to take viagra but let him know you understand this and dont think any less of him. This could all be due to embarrasment
@Mo81 yes I think there's a lot of truth in what you say and I know that forcing a big serious chat is likely to put pressure on. On the other hand I can't carry on with things as they are. I'm not very confident myself and would be mortified to be rejected. Part of me thinks he wants to keep this fetish to himself and our relationship separate.
I'm struggling with the fact that maybe we just aren't compatible in this sense. And although I don't want to break up the relationship over it it's a very sobering thought that this is my life now....if it can't be worked on that is. I suppose that's why I'm so eager to try and improve things but I know it has to come from him too.
He will need forwarning to take his viagra so there would be less spontaneity as a result. A sex therapist might help you both, maybe? But, unless you can cope with this being your sex life for the rest of your life, I would seriously reconsider staying with him. You deserve better.
I think it is worth more conversation with him, although you say he doesn't feel comfortable he would prefer an uncomfortable conversation or two over you leaving him.
He is 46 and may not have been taught how to be open to talk about sex and fetishes and ED by his school or family, so you probably can't blame him. I don't know many men that are very forthcoming about sex when it's anything other than positive feedback.
If has issues with gaining an erection it might be worth knowing if it is physical or mental but I can imagine it being quite embarrassing for him.
With the fetish I think you could try and tap in to that more and might be a way to tap open him up a bit.
If he is scheduling sex when your children are away I would say that is good, shows he is considerate, thinking about your sex life and knows he needs time to take his ED tablets. If you are then 'not up for it' as there is no surprise involved, you are contributing to the issue as much as he is. Personally I like having a planned night on the cards, I like thinking that my husband is thinking about it and I have time to shave armpits
@MrsTumbletap it's not that I'm against choosing a time and if he needs that in order to be able to perform then I would understand that. But it just feels a lot like I'm being told and that everything is on his terms whereas my feelings are just ignored.
We've started watching a series together where there are loads of passionate sex scenes and I feel embarrassed watching it because it's about as far away from our sex life as you could possibly get!
It's the communication aspect of it that upsets me I think and the fact that I'm expected to just put up and shut up. He must realise that at 35 my sex life should be far from over. But he just doesn't seem to care about my needs.
Hi OP. You've hit the nail on the head there. 'he doesn't care about your needs'
This isn't about sex, it's about him not caring about something that's important to YOU.
You can't make someone change, you can't make them do something if they don't want to. You asked how to fix the relationship. The truth is your DH doesn't want to fix it, or else he would have tried already. Any effort on his part will ever be token gestures but not something that will ever really work because he's happy as it is.
I'm not going to tell you to LTB, but I will say can you handle another 50 years of this, because he's not going to change.
@Treacletoots it's very hard to think of it like that but deep down I think you're probably right. I have had my fair share of bad relationships over the years and this one is single handedly the best and most fulfilling. He is a great guy and this is literally the only area where we have any problems. But it is a big thing, not necessarily a deal breaker (sex isn't as important to me as some people) but enough to be giving me doubts. I just don't feel like I can blow our whole lives apart over it at least without trying to improve or even understand what's going on.
He's 11 years older than you and regular sex with you isn't particularly important to him. This is going to get worse not better. Factor that into your decision making.
It's easy to slide into a sexless relationship.
What is the fetish as that might be informative about his mindset and sex.
@MaeDanvers without going into too much detail it's to do with food and 'messy play'. I don't get it. He's a very professional intelligent man and this just seems really silly and out of character but apparently it's his thing...
I will have been married 24 years in a few days am 51 and have a great sex life. If anything it has got better as I got older. I am frankly really worried that you are willing to sign yourself up for a passionless and virtually sexless marriage
It's depressing just reading your posts. Maybe you should really step back. Just because you love your partner doesn't mean you should marry him. You could have a fantastic platonic relationship. It just feels you are signing your youth away and this will just not get any better. Please take some time to talk to a marriage counselor, alone and discern if this is really for you. I'm not keen on all his secrecy either.
What is the fetish as that might be informative about his mindset and sex.*
@Sunflowersok I did answer this down thread x
I don't think you need to focus on the fetish. Plenty of people watch porn about things they don't want to do in real life, the whole point is that it's a fantasy. I'd recoil from discussing my porn preferences with my DH and we're great at communicating and have a good love life but some things are just for your own private enjoyment, so am not surprised he's clamming up about that.
On the wider matter, I think you got to the core when you said he doesn't care about your needs. You're thinking about every angle trying to figure out what's going on with him and how to make it better and he's doing the opposite with you, disengaging and taking no apparent care to make you feel better. As a PP said, this is not going to improve with age. You need to lay it on the line now if you can't live like this and decide what you both want, because long-term this sadly doesn't sound compatible.
Cat lady, I don't think you can easily join in with a fetish you find silly- I'm not criticising, just pointing out that it's hard to feel sexy with someone who's having to pretend to enjoy your fetish.
If it had given you a frisson of excitement or curiosity then you'd have a chance. As it is, what turns him on isn't what turns you on. I'd say he's resigned himself to that and is effectively settling.
You have to decide if you want to settle, and be settled for, in return.
I think the fetish you describe is a bit niche but not overly concerning when it comes to attitudes towards sex with women generally. But it's not something you're into and if it's the only thing that's doing it for him then that makes a pretty big incompatibility.
I tend to agree with Pinkdelight that fantasy is fine and not everyone shares the same ones. But I think if a healthy sex life is missing as well as having a private fetish inclination then something is going wrong with the intimacy.
That he doesn't seem bothered to you about your needs is worrying. It sounds like he's happy with his sex life - he has his fetish and is comfortable with getting fulfilment that way. You don't seem to factor in.
I'd not want to continue like that long term myself.
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