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Too young for celibacy, too old to start anew.

(22 Posts)
Minus2seventy3 Wed 03-Jun-15 14:45:56

And too scared, to be honest.
First, I realise Dadsnet gets fuck all traffic, so I'm not really posting for comments, mainly just to write it down (possibly for a bit of a self-indulgent kicking).
41 now, been married just over a decade, got a beautiful daughter who's 8, and is absolutely the light of my life.
Joined MN about 9 months ago to post about my sexless marriage - and it really is that: no physical intimacy for about two and a half years now, and it was dwindling for a long time before that - no sex the first year after childbirth, then some (very) infrequent spells, to, well, nothing.
Little, if anything, in the way of affection also.
Tried all sorts to rekindle some romance, the usual stuff advised on here (date nights, cuddles without expectations, talking [well, when it doesn't degenerate into a one sided fight leaving me utterly dejected], taking sex "off the table completely", which has basically been the last seven, eight months?).
Essentially, we're housemates who bring up a child together. We're a decent team, both working (she fewer hours hours), nice house, family meals out and fun together, and we've done some genuinely wonderful things together and for eachother. Probably look okay to the outside world.
DW said to me years ago (before we wed), that her brother and his longterm GF didn't have sex, they were just really close. Realise now ofcourse that it was bollocks - they're at it like any other couple. DW was talking about herself, it was a view of our future.
Wasn't always like this - believe it or not, she chased me, and the early, honeymoon period, we had a lot of fun together. Time was, she couldn't keep her hands off me (and it was mutual). Guess it was the "hook", the reality follows, and I realise I've spent over a quarter of my life with someone who doesn't feel for me the way I do for she.
And this is where I now find myself. Nothing's going to change.
Pretty much rock bottom, my self esteem, self worth is literally shot to pieces.
I sometimes think what it would be like to be out there again, but frankly, it scares the crap out of me; my own wife rejects me, why the fuck would anyone else want me?
Couldn't live without my little girl - the thought of "part-time dad" is heartbreaking. This girl I winded and settled during the breast feeding early months, who we put to bed together for the first year or two, and who I've done bedtimes for five nights out of seven since then. All those bedtime stories, the fact it's daddy she's always shouted of in the night. How could I bear to not be with her full time? The answer is, I can't. That full on relationship reduced to what? Every other weekend, perhaps a night or two a week?
Honestly have no clue what to do next, other than trundle on. How does someone the wrong side of forty go about going out alone anyway? Rented two bed flat? Could that be any more lonely than being married?

PurpleWithRed Wed 03-Jun-15 14:50:41

I am so sorry to hear this. Have you considered counselling, alone, so you can work through your options and maybe find some new ways to communicate your distress to your wife? And worst case scenario, if you are a hands on dad would it really mean just every other weekend and a night a week?

At 41 you are still very young - you'll find plenty of us on here who started new fantastic relationships well after that age.

Chillyegg Wed 03-Jun-15 14:53:37

Im not sure how to advise but hears a brew Im sorry you feel like this. Someone will be along to help with wise words much sooner than me!

CMOTDibbler Wed 03-Jun-15 14:54:07

Well, theres a couple of options
1. Do nothing. Resent your dw
2. Have an honest and open talk with her, go to counselling, both really work on your relationship.
3. You leave

If you leave, you are no way too old to start again - I know two people where their dw left post 40, and both men are in much better relationships than their marriages ever were now. One, the children chose to stay with him.

Have you talked to your dw about this?

AnImpalaCalledBABY Wed 03-Jun-15 14:54:32

I'm so sorry you've found yourself in this awful position

Does your wife realise what a dealbreaker this is for you? Have you discussed and open marriage?

I agree with you that you are far too young to accept a lifetime of no sex, if you stay as you are the marriage will be in trouble anyway from built up resentment

OurGlass Wed 03-Jun-15 14:57:26

I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but I really feel the heartbreak in your post and I am so sorry you've found yourself in this situation.

Minus2seventy3 Wed 03-Jun-15 16:46:51

Thankyou all, for reading and responding.
To address a couple of points, whilst we have talked about it in the past, and sometimes even stayed cool enough that I thought there was a glimmer of hope, a sign of progress, I have never used the term "dealbreaker" - I'm not the most confrontational person in the world, and such a word is very close to ultimatum territory.
I have not looked to counselling - opening up to strangers anonymously on the Internet is a far cry from doing it for real. Perhaps I need to change that, if not for a solution, at least to check my own sanity.

Drew64 Fri 05-Jun-15 11:38:58

Relationships do go through this to some extent while you are building a family but you're there now with your DD.
I get that you have tried all the good advice that you have been given here and all of that advice still stands and there is no reason to give up on that advice.

You both sound like you need to sit down and have a serious chat about your future though. You both need to understand where you are both coming from.
You may need to spell out how you feel too so take your time and choose your words carefully.
If you are both committed to your relationship and each other I see no reason why you can't deal with this either with or without external help

good luck

Mdeoude15 Sat 06-Jun-15 19:07:19

All I can suggest is talk, remember your wife may have sexual desires that are also not being satisfied in your relationship but sometimes women can somehaw brush this aside and bury it, I know from experience, it is not that she does not want sex or sex with you necessarily, she may have feelings about her body or other areas that get in the way. Without being crude, men generally have a biological need to ejaculate, otherwise it is not healthy or can be painful if you don't (my husband explained this) but us women tend to work differently, you have to talk,however hard it is, your daughter is worth it good luck, this pribably did not help much x

lotsofcheese Sat 06-Jun-15 22:38:35

I agree you're too young for celibacy; but wouldn't say that early 40's is too late to start again.

Counselling, either individually or with your wife, will help you explore the issues. Would she agree to go? If not, it doesn't bode well. But go yourself, with or without her.

Holowiwi Sat 06-Jun-15 22:49:36

You are not too old to start again, do not let your age be a reason to stay and be unhappy.

VoyageOfDad Sat 06-Jun-15 23:12:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnsolvedMystery Sat 06-Jun-15 23:45:54

You shouldn't have to live in a sexless marriage. Physical intimacy is an important part of a relationship.
You have to talk to your wife, and really spell out to her, just how difficult this is for you and you really do need something from her. Maybe counselling would help. Your wife needs to know how important this is to you.

KDS0401 Sat 20-Jun-15 13:18:41

my £0.02's worth:

Just turned 40? No way too old to start again, just more difficult (I'm considerably older than you and may need to SAOA myself, not too sure yet)

Sexless marriage? Probably more common than most of us might think (have experience of this).

Counselling: You owe it to your DD to give it a try

There is an option 4 not mentioned above (I only mention it as one with experience of being apart from DCs and it is a living death sad) and that is to live-separate-lives-together for the sake of DD. Share the house, childcare, bills but have a 'don't ask, don't tell' approach to having time without DW. Yes, this might sound cold or pragmatic or generally undesirable, but right now I'd be comfortable with this option. In fact today I'm feeling it's my preferred option. Just because she doesn't want you, do not assume there isn't someone out there who would.

MuckyRaker Sun 28-Jun-15 20:41:06

It's tough isn't it. But really not uncommon - women often lose all interest in sex after they have children.

You haven't said what your relationship is like outside of this issue. Do you enjoy each others' company, and have good times together? Are you able to avoid letting the sex thing build a lot of unpleasant resentment? If so, then a non-physical mutual child-raising friendship maybe the best you can ask for. If you want to add extra-marital dalliances to that then so be it, and obviously your wife would be unreasonable to expect you not to. I can see that they may not solve the problem though.

Others are certainly right that 40 is not too late to start again, but they may be missing the point. If I sense it correctly, it's more that you don't FEEL like starting again. You've got a home life and a great kid that you live for, and the idea of breaking all that up, seeing her part time and pretending that you're all fresh out ready to "start again" is just not where you're at, in yourself.

Toffeelatteplease Sun 28-Jun-15 20:51:40

A deal breaker is not an ultimatum. It is a recognition that you have hit your limit. You arent making someone else responsible for making you happy. Responsibility is on you to do something about your own happiness.

So you need to work out whether your deal breaker is being in a sexless marriage or seein your DD a max of 50% of the time. If you feel you have done everything possible to sort it, (you can't change someone else) it is literally that stark choice.

Or ask for an open marriage

MuckyRaker Sun 28-Jun-15 20:54:38

Or don't ask...

Roseybee10 Fri 03-Jul-15 09:34:08

I'm sorry you're feeling this way about your marriage and that communication seems to have broken down.
I worry that you're already very bitter over this issue though. From your post it seems that you have decided this was always your DW 'agenda', that she reeled you in with a false idea of what life would be like with her and once she had you in her clutches, then she stopped sex like she had always planned.

Unfortunately it's far more complicated than that. Having a child plays havoc with your hormones. Breast feeding plays havoc with your hormones. Sometimes those imbalances are never corrected naturally.
I know when I've been on the combined pill I have completely lost my sex drive. Maybe the difference is I've been willing to do something about it and my husband has also been incredibly supportive. He realised it isn't that I don't feel the same about him anymore but maybe that I don't feel the same about me anymore.

A woman's body also changes so much after a baby that it's possible she feels very self conscious about having sex. Also I find the longer you leave it, the harder it is to get back into it and the more scary and stressful it is.

Aside from the sex issue, are you happy with DW? Do you love her, enjoy her company, do other couple type things together? I do think sex is important but so are all these other things and if you still have them then there's definitely something to build on.

Counselling could really help but you both have to be willing. I understand it must be difficult if she has shut down but she's probably embarrassed and upset and terrified that you'll leave.

TRexingInAsda Fri 03-Jul-15 09:46:40

It doesn't sound like there's much love in your relationship - the sex issue aside. Do you confide in each other and laugh together and spend time together as a couple? Do you talk about everything, except the sex thing? Or is it more you're just living in the same house and sometimes you happen to do things together - the three of you?
What does she say when you talk - how does she want your future to be? Is it still sexless but close? How does she envisage you two keeping close?
I think agreeing to live together with a don't ask/don't tell policy is an idea, but obviously your wife might see this whole situation differently. I would seriously consider couples counselling as a first step.

Casimir Sun 09-Aug-15 14:39:39

Mate. Not at all too late to start anew. Leave, go to gym, lose the gut, talk to women, you will be fine. Absolutely fight to keep your daughter.

pretend Sun 09-Aug-15 14:52:30

41 isn't too old to start fresh, god no!!

I'm 39, divorced and loving it smile

There's all those other divorcees out there for a start, although personally I find being single has a lot to recommend it.

Life is too long to be that unhappy. Forty more years in a sexless marriage? Fuck that.

travellinglighter Sat 15-Aug-15 15:01:22

Forty one and too old to start again?? Thanks for that from the 47 year old who has just done that. FWIW, I have just had two different relationships in the last year, one I wanted to keep and another one that was short and not very sweet and I was glad to get rid of.

So the position for me is, single, own house, car, job with 50% care of my kids. I know it’s tough but I have a better relationship with my kids now that it’s all done and dusted than I did when I was in the house. If you’re quietly resenting your wife then I suspect that it will reflect on your relationship with your DD.

So my advice. Talk to her, tell her you will do anything (within reason) to save your marriage and a healthy marriage means that occasionally you have to bump uglies. If that doesn’t work and it sounds like it won’t then you need to make a planned withdrawal. I went through the no sex phase and thought it didn’t bother me but I was lying to myself.

Good luck, chin up.


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