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Not sure dh loves me, absolutely no sex, but dd adores him, what to do?

(53 Posts)
nicknamesarehardtothinkof Thu 04-Aug-11 00:15:38

Been married 10 years, together about 12. DH has always been a bit distant but I am not sure I can cope with living like this forever.
Our marriage is loveless in most definitions of love and sexless. It is like a friendship. With a bit of tension.

He never, ever tells me he loves me. He never hugs or touches me. He has made it clear that he doesn't find me especially attractive although not in as nasty way as that sounds.

We have not had sex for a few YEARS. He was uninterested and I gave up trying to initiate as it's humiliating when someone rejects you. I honestly cannot see sex ever happening again between us as there are so many issues. He once said I didn't really do it for him. I don't even want sex anymore with him so even if he miraculously jumped me I'd tell him no as it would be too weird and I don't feel comfortable about my body anymore with him.

He doesn't seem to care about my feelings if something bad is happening. He doesn't make an effort to call and chat to me (he does with dc) when he is away from home for work.
He probably wouldn't care if he didn't speak to me for a week - out of sight and out of mind.

He is a great dad though and dd adores him. If it were just me I think I'd leave. It would be hard because I do sort of love him but it would be the right thing. But there is dd.

He wants more kids and I can't have any without lots of treatment. If we split up maybe he could go and have more kids with someone else. Someone he actually fancies. So he'd maybe be happier.

BUT if I left it would be so hard on dd and then there are the financial issues.
It's not so bad day to day but there must be more to life than this?

Oh and we've tried counselling. It wasn't for him. He doesn't want to change.

shocked2 Thu 04-Aug-11 00:23:31

hi nicknames - haven't got much advice as am in quite a similar situation, but am interested to see what other posters will say...

you do sound sad though - he would be "allowed" to go off and have more children with someone he "fancies" but you are worrying about the effect on your dd if you left - not saying that's wrong, it's perfectly right, but what about you - do you want to have more children? I certainly wouldn't have any more children with your dh should he ask you because I think it would be soul destroying to become an "incubator" in that way, assuming your relationship didn't get any better.....

have you and your dh ever discussed the possibility of separating?

shocked2 Thu 04-Aug-11 00:24:06

I meant "if you left your dh"

jasper Thu 04-Aug-11 00:28:34

Yes , there is much more to life than this. Have you discussed splitting up ? It could work well as you are practically there already

TheFarSide Thu 04-Aug-11 00:29:28

Does he want more kids with you, in which case how does he think this will happen if he won't have sex with you?

This sounds like a very sad situation. It's almost as if he's behaving so badly (withholding sex & affection) that he's forcing you into a position where you have to leave, so he couldn't be blamed for leaving you. Have you asked him what he wants to happen?

CheesyQuaverBaby Thu 04-Aug-11 00:32:47

life is too short,

im currently in situation where i dont know if my partner is cheating on me. I have had many thoughts that if we seperated, could i cope being a single mother.

Truth is as scary as it seems you will be fine & your children will adapt & cope with your love & support.

Do you really want to wait til they are all grown up & they find out that their mother whom they love wholeheartedly stayed in a loveless relationship just for them.

U need to be happy & ur children would want the same for you when they are old enough to understand

nicknamesarehardtothinkof Thu 04-Aug-11 00:34:32

Shocked - sorry to hear you have got similar going on. You have hit the nail on the head about being an incubator. I feel now I'm just there to try and produce kids (and have failed as I can't) and domestic stuff.

He did say it's about having a laugh together too which was encouraging.

We used to have a laugh a lot at least but even that's gone mostly as I am bitter about not being loved and fancied.

We discussed separating sort of at a low point a while ago. I know he has contemplated it a little at least due to some comments he made about how he could have more children with a future partner whereas I couldn't. Our day to day life is good as we have a comfortable life and a lovely dd. But what is between us is so lacking. We could maybe rebuild some of it but never the sex and I can't change the lack of empathy. Also I don't think he makes any effort to rebuild things. Last month when we were in Spain I asked him to make an effort during the trip and I would too but he didn't.

nicknamesarehardtothinkof Thu 04-Aug-11 00:36:26

The far side - I cannot have more kids naturally so need IVF. I have had some already and don't want any more unless he can support me my way. He says he doesn't think he can do that and it would break us up so we're in a stalemate and burying our heads in the sand. I suppose the fact he hasn't pushed it means there might be some desire on his part to stay together.

peeriebear Thu 04-Aug-11 00:40:00

Your DD will still see him and have a full father/daughter relationship with him. He will be free to do whatever it is that floats his boat. You will be free to find a man who adores you, thinks you are gorgeous, wants to spend time with you, cherishes you and gives you the horn. There WILL be one out there for you- life's too short to spend it in a half life with an indifferent lover for the sake of your DD who will adapt just fine to an amicable split.

branstonsandcheese Thu 04-Aug-11 00:44:38

You deserve so much more than this. And so does your DD. You don't want her growing up thinking she should put up with being unhappy in love, or that her needs aren't important.

Your husband is refusing to be in a marriage with you. His comments about children are just horrible. Your DD adores him but he shouldn't be her 'pattern' for men, if you know what I mean?

Children are amazingly adaptable. Your DD WILL thrive with parents who aren't together. And then you can too. You deserve to have a full, happy life.

solidgoldbrass Thu 04-Aug-11 02:37:01

He can carry on being a good father to DD without living in your home and mistreating you. Because he is mistreating you by constantly telling you that you are unattractive, unimportant, unlovable, you are none of these things. He has no right to be so unkind to you. If he's that unhappy he should leave, don't let him hang on to the idea that you are so desperate to keep him that you will let him be this horrible indefinitely.

TDada Thu 04-Aug-11 06:04:05

These men are cruel. Sorry to hear.

peppapighastakenovermylife Thu 04-Aug-11 18:56:27

I am in a similar but slightly different situation in that DH is basically a great guy and I know loves me. He doesn't say 'nasty' things to me but just isn't enthused about anything, affectionate or loving. He doesn't see the point of kissing that doesn't lead to sex (e.g. a peck on the cheek / lips on the way out of the door) or hugs. We do have sex, just only say 2 - 3 times a month and that is the only time he physically touches me.

It is like he is content to live in a stereotypical old couple relationship - separate arm chairs, separate beds, not tonight dear it's a tuesday type way. He answers very factually if I ask him if he likes my new skirt or something. No affection or love in that way.

But when I ask him if he still loves me he looks absolutely aghast, shocked and confused as to why I would ask that question hmm

He is a great dad to the DC's...we get along fine as friends. I just don't think I can take them away from their Dad because I want passion and affection...we have a good relationship in many ways - see eye to eye, don't argue ....

I am sad for want of a better word to the affection I do not get ... and also find myself getting awful crushes on work colleagues etc who will flirt and be jokingly affectionate with me (a hug for example if I am down...this wouldnt occur to DH).

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 04-Aug-11 19:07:03

It might help you to have counselling for yourself, nicknames, to try and sort out your emotions and what you really want.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Aug-11 19:15:22

I think that you should try counselling for yourself. Life is too short,he can still be a good father without you.

noir Thu 04-Aug-11 19:20:18

From what you say OP, it doesn't sound like it would be an acrimonious split, after a small period of readjustment I cant see why a split would be damaging to your DD. I would argue it would be more damaging in the long run to stay together as you are teaching her that adult relationships are loveless, cold and lacking. You wouldn't want her to be in this kind of relationship when she is older.

thebody Thu 04-Aug-11 19:25:21

sounds like its over to me anyway.. he sounds cold and cruel.. sit down and work out your future as parents together but not as partners.. you deserve something much better than this...

nicknamesarehardtothinkof Thu 04-Aug-11 23:47:12

Thanks for all your thoughts so far. Peppa I can see similarities too in our situations. Sorry for you.

I had some counselling alone and it was very helpful - I stopped a few months ago as at the time she and I agreed that I wasn't ready to make a decision and didn't need to make one so she advised I sit on the situation and see if my thoughts became clearer. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to her and might well do depending on how things pan out in the next few weeks.

I might have one more try at getting dh to see what's going on.

I don't think he's out and out cruel fwiw just doesn't really understand why some of the things he says are hurtful - a bit aspergersy sometimes. I do like him really but think we're quite mismatched. And there's the whole more kids issue anyway. But I'm still daunted by the idea of separating and all the horrible complications of new partners potentially, step parenting, having no money etc.

peppapighastakenovermylife Fri 05-Aug-11 07:32:28

I understand what you mean by the comments and not meaning them to be hurtful. DH has a habit of speaking the truth without considering / understanding why it can be important not to say certain things or put them differently...I mean, they are the truth, why not say them?

Things like randomly announcing he wouldn't want to go on another holiday like our honeymoon again, that he didn't like the skirt I wore to work the other day etc. He was / is never the type to comment even jokingly that I'm the most gorgeous woman ever or something because I'm not. All these things are facts not him being deliberately horrible. I know he doesnt mean to be hurtful and I think it kind of goes with the lack of affection and excitement.

It is I said I have male friends and colleagues who are much more affcetionate / kind / flattering to me and it is difficult not to imagine how life could be different or get seduced by that flattery (the single ones). I wouldn't have an affair but sometimes I just crave that affection / emotion from someone.

nicknamesarehardtothinkof Fri 05-Aug-11 10:51:20

Sounds very similar peppa. DH would never say I was beautiful or anything like that in a million years. He thinks that sort of thing is a cliche. Rationally, I know he also wouldn't say that to the most gorgeous model on earth.

My counsellor said it's reasonable to want to feel cherished in a marriage and that would is quite telling. I don't feel remotely cherished.

He is incredibly rational. Sounds like your dh is the same?

There are upsides though - he doesn't have mood swings for example.

hopscotch1234 Fri 05-Aug-11 11:18:26

strange i am also in the same situation as peppa,my partner is great fantastic dad etc howerver we are lacking so much between us no sex or affection,i dont think its wrong to want those thing everyone needs them,he thinks that evey relationship ends up like ours after eight years,but i just think there is more,we have a six year old,at the moment i feel like im just here out of guilt,because i should stay for our son,i can imagine being on my own and being happy,just dont think i can do it to them,cant imagine how either of them would cope,we could stay freinds thats all we are now anyway,housing or money isnt to much of an issue,just cant find the strength to turn allour lives upside down,and support or advice id be greatful

nicknamesarehardtothinkof Fri 05-Aug-11 11:31:55

sounds very familiar too. Sorry to hear this as well. It would be easier if they were horrid or abusive (well, not really) from the perspective of it being more of a push to leave.

Dh says the same - most relationships end up like this. Maybe they do and we are being unrealistic?

Apocalypto Fri 05-Aug-11 11:52:54

I think you nailed it in your second sentence - he sees you as his best (female) mate that he doesn't fancy.

It's all there - "He never hugs or touches me", "he doesn't find me especially attractive although not in as nasty way", "He probably wouldn't care if he didn't speak to me for a week".

Reading betwixt the lines, he must think you a good mother, a nice person to be around and quite often fun. Given the fertility issues, he'd have been off by now if having more of your kids were important. But he'd apparently rather have you plus just 1, than leave you and have others.

I agree you have a bit of an issue here because zero sex is a bit weird and he's not entitled to deprive you of a sex life. That is welshing on the deal. Does he wank or look at porn and stuff? If not, he's possibly just not that interested in sex any more, and it's not personal. Your experience of other men must come from your pre-marital dating. Back then they were all gagging for you. Men in their 20s just are. Men in their 30s and 40s, who knows? Are they all still gagging for it? I think not so much.

Does he treat his male friends like you? Men's friendships can be very distant and well short of what women would consider functional friendship. I have one male colleague who reckons he hasn't actually spoken to his three best mates for 18 months. They just email jokes to each other and stuff, and take the piss out of each other's football team, but when they do meet up, the conversation will pick up exactly where it left off 18 months ago. Maybe he talks to you as often as he talks to his mates.

peppapighastakenovermylife Fri 05-Aug-11 12:21:35

Hopscotch - your post is freakishly how DH is. He is happy with what we have and it is what he wanted - a relationship like his parents essentially. Kind of just being together - no affection or excitement just family now and that is how it is.

I told him a few months back that I had thought about leaving. He seemed horrified and genuinely could not work out why...he said we had a nice house, didn't argue and three beautiful children - what more could I want?

And yes he is rational to the extreme. So logical. He would point out that a woman is very attractive if she is. And he cant help himself saying things. It was our anniversary recently and I got our wedding photos out to show DS1. DH looks over our shoulders and says 'those bridesmaids dresses were shocking weren't they'. Erm, no, nice dresses from 5 years ago - we're not talking about a 1970's horror 30 years on grin ... but he couldnt understand why that wasn't the right thing to say! In his head it was the truth...

I agree there are up sides. He NEVER loses his temper. I remember him getting angry once and throwing a cushion (when I was out of the room so not at me) when he didnt get a much longed for job due to a stupid mistake on a test. Thats it. In nearly 10 years. He doesn't sulk / get angry / have moods / get upset / cry ...but he also doesnt appear to really get happy / excited / emotional. It is just common sense all the way. In stressful situaitons he is fantastic though.

He does care for me - if my car breaks or I need new shelving or we need something fixing in the house he is there straight away and doing it. Our relationship functions well in that way - he does 'look after me' for want of a better word.

In a crisis / something upsetting me I can count on him to give me a rational, logical solution to a problem....but he wouldnt give me a hug if I cried. He was fantastic at all three births because he was so calm and practical.

And yes...again...although I don't really want this obviously I think that if he just had an affair or hit me or something I could walk away as I would have an excuse to - something I could explain to the children.

People have suggested I get this affection elsewhere - I can get some level of support from friends to talk about stuff but its the physical closeness and non sexual affection I crave. A hug or someone to stroke my hair or cuddle up to. The kids are obviously big huggers at the moment as they are small but soon they wont want to do that and I worry no one will ever hug me again in that close way sad

Apocalypto Fri 05-Aug-11 12:32:24

@ peppapig

I reckon what is going on there is that he is going out of his way to be frank. He tells you if someone's attractive, he tells you if he doesn't like your outfit, and he'd do none of these things if he had any secrets from you. I think this is a male way of saying "I am an open book". Acta non verba as they say.

What is a bit mystifying is why all that has to rule out regular and vigorous rumpy pumpy. You'd think both would be possible.

Perhaps some men don't 'get' non-sexual contact for its own sake like they don't get conversation the same way. Have you observed two men in a pub? It is entirely possible for them to sit there for two hours and exchange a couple of sentences and when they go home they will describe this as "a laugh".

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