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DH gets grumpy without sex(205 Posts)
DH & I have been married nearly 8 years. We have 2 young children (4 & 18mnths). Both work full-time; manage day-to-day household chores, etc - life is busy, same for everyone. Where we don't have sex after 3-4 weeks DH starts getting grumpy, frustrated, short, snappy with me on a daily basis - I can tell it's affecting him. he tries to but I'm often tired. I tell him to get over himself and grow up but the cycle just continues and has done for years; nothing changes. We have sex around once every 2 months normally. AIBU for reacting like this? should I be showing more of an interest, to prioritise his needs once in a while? he's great with the kids; works extremely hard; supports the family incredibly well and looks after us and makes me laugh every day - no issues there; just this. views please.
I'm afraid your relationship wouldn't work for me. I like sex more often than that even with 2 under 2 and now with 4 teens.
Sex is important and it is part of the glue in most relationships. If I thought your current state of play was temporary ok I'd deal with it, but if this is the rest of my life then I'd not be that keen long term.
And personally I'd divorce while the kids are as young as possible as it works best for them.
Obviously this isn't what you want to hear. But it is my view.
well i guess it depends.. is it the physical sex, or the general lack of intimacy thats making him grumpy?
Do you pay him ANY attention? OR just treat him like part of the furniture?
As a woman I was the same because I was only getting it once a week.
Once every two months I think I would have left him !
Six times or less a year is classed as a sexless marriage. If you want to address it please do if not don't be surprised if things get worse
Could you make an appointment with a relationship counsellor? Could you think of things he could do to help around the house so you’re less tired?
If you’d said 3-4 days then I’d say he’s being a sulky man child who needs to grow up. But 3-4 weeks? I can’t really blame him for being a bit frustrated
Yikes I get antsy going more than 5 days
And honestly how long does it really take?10 minutes, 15 with foreplay. I find my libido is a fragile beast and if I did as little as you I'd never want sex. I need to DTD about once a week as a minimum to keep my libido from dying.
It may be an unpopular opinion but I don't think your husband's reaction to this is unusual and I think you do need to prioritise his needs once in a while. Of course he wants sex more than once every 2 months that is not unusual.
My DH starts acting like an entitled arse after three days, yours is much more reasonable.
I'd be grumpy at sex once every 2 months too. YANB for not wanting to have sex if you don't want to, but YABU to not understand that this is (a perfectly reasonable, in my opinion) reason for him to be grumpy and needs to be addressed urgently between the two of you.
Should he be sulking and snappy because he's not had sex? No, that's stupid.
Should you be telling him to 'grow up' and 'get over himself' as though wanting to have a sexual relationship with his wife is purely his problem? No, I also think that's an issue.
It seems it's been framed in your relationship (by both of you) as 'DH gets sex, DW allows it' and that the having or not having of sex is therefore his issue and you just magnaminously allow it sometimes. When really the issue between you both is that you do not, for whatever reason, want to take part in this thing that affects you both very often.
So why is that?
Is the household split of labour equal - does he do as much childcare, cleaning, organising, remembering you need washing up liquid, buying new school shoes, sorting insurance, gardening? If not, there's step one - tell him you're tired and you're not going to get less tired unless he steps up to be an equal partner. Tackle the problem of your tiredness together by creating an equal split.
If you're physically exhausted beyond the norm, then have a look at that. Improve your diet, buy in help if you can afford it to free up time or work out what's not a priority if not, exercise, go to the doctor's if you're really concerningly tired all the time.
If you're 'just' tired by the general drag of family life with small children* and he's a good, equal partner the rest of the time and around the house, then I could see an argument for you making more time for sex - scheduling it in (even just in your own head) for some time to have a bath, make yourself feel nice, get yourself in the headspace of wanting to be intimate with him - I feel myself feeling irritable and less connected to my H if we haven't had sex in a while and I always feel so close and connected afterwards, so even if I don't feel absolutely gagging for it I try and make time because I appreciate that time together.
Amongst ALL of that, though - speak to him properly, instead of just telling him to grow up, because although he's doing it horrendously he is communicating something to you and I think opening the conversation a bit more broadly might help. Tell him that sulking and snapping at you doesn't make you feel like you want to have sex, and it adds guilt and stress and annoyance to something that's supposed to be fun. And then talk about the reasons why you don't want to, and what you can do about it together.
I think this'll be an unpopular approach - there'll be lots of people saying "oh GRIM I would divorce him immediately for snapping and sulking" and that's up to them. But in an otherwise good relationship (and knowing that I get the same irritable feeling when I don't feel as connected to my husband, although I am good at hiding it!) I'd be more inclined to actually communicate with him about it, while also reminding him that that does nothing for your desire to have sex.
*I know that it's exhausting, I mean within the usual limits and not medically worrying tiredness
Mine too! My libido has dropped due to my body image since becoming overweight. I try to make an effort at least every week or two as he loves me and genuinely wants to connect. I’m dieting and hoping a 2/3 times a week sex life will return.
Once every two months, jeez, I'd be going out of my fucking mind. I'd be noticeably off too; I'd try not to be but it would be very, very hard.
Yes, sex takes a hit after DC and you should not have sex you do not want to have. But that is a very low level of sex. Did you do it a lot more pre DC? Would you like, in theory, to do it more often? I think it's likely to become a serious problem between the two of you if not dealt with.
I just want to start by saying no one should have any sex they don't want.
But do you think the sex could be more frequent and enjoyable for you both? If so it's time to have a conversation about how to make that a goal for you. Love languages, mutual appreciation in daily life, communication.
Being snappy at you is terrible. It's hardly going to put you in the mood. And it's not a nice way to treat someone you love.
But I'd leave a marriage if that was my sex life and I didn't think we could work to improve it.
Mine might be an unpopular opinion but I really don't blame your DH for being snappy and unhappy.
I really think you should think about what you both want, if your happy with him and want to keep him then you are going to have to meet he's needs a little more often, if you aren't happy with him then let him go
Just wanted to add - don't feel bad.
Loads of couples have this problem. It's normal. x
I think sex every 8 weeks is pretty unusual in a relationship. For me, it would signal a problem.
Sex once every 2 months to me is not really taking his needs into account. Get that you’re tired but it probably takes 15 mins and as you’ve said he’s a good partner in all other areas I’d probably say you should suck it up and do it fortnightly non begrudgingly. May not be a popular opinion but it’s mine.
I clicked on this to reply as my partner is the same after around 4 days if we haven’t had any intimacy but every 8 weeks i can see his point to be honest. Therocinante has written a great response - I would work on why you don’t want it more often and how you can work on it together.
Personally my libido is not great, I am tired all the time and busy (both work, 3 kids under 6) but I schedule it in my head like any other household chore because I know it’s important to my partner.
How often did you used to do it?
We’ve never gone two months and we’ve got a two year old and I’ve got two older SDC so we’re not unencumbered by responsibility. Two months with no shagging and I’d be thinking something was very wrong between us.
Normally I would be saying that the DH shouldn't be grumping, but I think your attitude is rather dismissive of his feelings , telling him to get over himself etc. Once every 2 months is rather on the low side if one partner isn't happy I would say. Personally I would be missing the intimacy as much as the actual sex , perhaps he feels the same?
My husband would be tearing his hair out!! Having sex only twice a month sounds unusual, not that I'm saying you should feel like you need to do it when not in the mood, but could you find some sort of compromise?
Personally I couldn’t cope with that little sex, and telling your husband to ‘get over himself’ as though he’s some sex pest is ridiculous.