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No sex drive, DH not happy - what to do? anyone else been here?

(51 Posts)
wonder23 Fri 27-Jan-12 09:06:13

Since DD2 (who is 16 mths) my sex drive has not recovered, to the point were I completely avoid intimacy with DH and don't want to be seen naked. He has been patient but is now very frustrated and has said he doesn't want to live in a sexless marriage. I don't blame him but feel like a switch has been flicked off and I have no desire to fix it.

We get on well generally, don't fight or argue, he's wonderful with our children and a nice guy. I do love him, whether I am "in love with him" I am not sure. This issue has now taken over to the point where I am not sure if there is any hope for us as a couple and we can only discuss it by text. The latest message this morning from him was along the lines of not finding the situation acceptable any more and if I wasn't willing to do something about it he "loves me but doesn't want a sexless life" and "I've had enough, you don't want to try". As I said before I do not blame him not think it is reasonable to expect him to live a sexless life.

I wish there was a magic pill I could take to fix this. I don't want an "open marriage". It feels like there is no hope we can stay together.

Just wondered if anyone else had been here.

mamafridi Fri 27-Jan-12 09:41:07

wonder I too am in your situation. 16 month old and no intrest in sex whatsoever. I feel so awful for my husband who has been extremely patient with me, but who now seems to have lost all hope and sex drive along with me.
We've been together 20 years though, and our relationship has been through so many peaks and troughs that I just put it down to a particularly low trough! I would love to find a magic pill to help me get my mojo back again and I do wonder if it might not be a vitamin deficiency of some kind. Or just general bone-tired knackeredness.
So you are not alone. Let's hope that someone will give us the advice we much need.
And by the sounds of it you do still love your husband and even though sex is important to a marriage surely it's not the be all of one. I often think that if only my DH and I could get away on our own for a romantic weekend then perhaps we could start the ball rolling... However, the chances of that happening are zero. But could you do something similar?

Abitwobblynow Fri 27-Jan-12 10:19:41

Wonder and Mama. Don't laugh. But the more you practise, the better you get.

Think of it like a favour you would give to a dear friend. Or a guest who is going to stay the night - you don't feel ecstatically happy, but it will be ok...

Explain to him that it isn't personal, that some sort of chemical 'switch' flicked off and it isn't anything to do with him. Say that because he is your friend and you know this is important, you will, on a few conditions.... [get some KY jelly]. Ask him not to try and stimulate you (it will just annoy you), don't touch your nipples (ditto) and ask him not to prolong it and outstay his welcome, because that will annoy you too.

And, a funny thing happens. I think the testosterone in the come gets absorbed by you, and slowly you start getting your mojo back.

It is because you are tired and overwhelmed with giving and NO testosterone (sex drive), you look after ONE baby 24/7 why give even more!!! but please think of his needs too and bring this up in an honest 'don't expect anything of me too much yet but - here are my groundrules' and come to an agreement. Your H has lost so much right now, he has lost your attention, his pleasure, his means of connecting with you and getting close, please give him a little. It will be 5 mins of your night, 3 times a week. That's all.

EirikurNoromaour Fri 27-Jan-12 10:22:34

Advice on how to reconnect with your sexual side-

get your hair done, shave/wax yourself, fake tan/whatever you do to feel attractive. Do not neglect yourself because you are a 'mum'. I'm not suggesting you go the fully TOWIE fake nails giant hair thing, but just make yourself feel nice. Not for him, for you.

Buy a vibrator. A nice, small, non penis shaped one for starters. When DH is out for the evening and the baby is asleep take your laptop to bed with a glass of wine. Find some erotica or (shhhh) porn if that floats your boat and make yourself happy smile Try to time this mid cycle so you are at your horniest.

When you are feeling a bit more confident and sexual you can approach your husband - don't put pressure on yourself to having rocking sex straight away, but start with massage, kissing etc. Buy some nice underwear that you can keep on during to boost your confidence.

Above all, do not let this situation continue. Most people will not live in a sexless marriage forever sad

Advice on the state of your relationship I cannot do.

EirikurNoromaour Fri 27-Jan-12 10:23:44

Hahahaha a nurse friend of mine told me that sperm is a natural anti-depressant. I think it is possible that it makes you want it more!

wonder23 Fri 27-Jan-12 10:30:06

thanks abitwobbly for taking the time to reply, I have been told that just doing it makes it better but just the thought of being intimate with anyone completely distresses me, I just do not want to. I cannot bear the thought of him touching me I feel like crying at the thought of it. he suggested a bath together and I don't even want to do that.

mamafridi We had a weekend away and it didn't help, all I felt was pressure pressure pressure to perform and didn't enjoy it.

I know it sounds like (to him at least) that I am not trying but deep down I do not want it. At all. I would gladly go without forever. I cannot bear the thought of him (or anyone else!) touching me in any way it physically makes me recoil. But I don't want to tell him that as understandably that is inexplicable and hurtful to hear. But if I love him, why can't I "try"? And in t he past even trying hasn't been enough as I am apparently not enough in to it and that's a turn off. Actually reading my comments makes me wonder if I do have some sort of mental issue. But otherwise I feel perfectly normal and happy. AAAGH.

karmathreefold Fri 27-Jan-12 10:37:55

I think that sex is something you get out of practice with, and if you don't 'use it, you lose it'.

I once spent a period of my life being totally celibate for around 10yrs (I did self-pleasure), and didn't miss it as such.

I have a 19month old, and my sex drive did recover quite quickly, quick enough to conceive when she was 6 months. I gave birth 3 months ago, sadly she was born sleeping.

My sex drive recovered again, but there are so many difficulties, and DH rejected me too many times, that my sex drive has all but gone, and it's ,making me fall out of love.

They say that a man has to have sex to feel love, and a woman needs to feel love to have sex - I don't think it's as simple as that, and I'm sure that men do feel rejected too, and I know in my case, that I need to have sex to feel love too.

Are you affectionate in other ways? Do you kiss, cuddle, massage each other? Sometimes just the physical touch can be enough to reignite some passion.

How about watching something racy together? Have you tried that?

karmathreefold Fri 27-Jan-12 10:42:08

Sorry x posted wonder.

If the thought of him touching you revolts you, then it does sound as though there are deeper issues.

Was the birth particularly traumatic?

From you DH's POV it could appear that his job was to provide a child, and now that the child is here, you don't need him iyswim?

It may be worth going to the GP, as it's not fair on your DH to miss showing & expressing physical love to his DW, and you too are missing out on the bond, the intimacy. But there is something going on, maybe even mild residual PND, even if you're perfectly happy.

MAybe there could be some hormonal imbalance?

Malificence Fri 27-Jan-12 10:54:40

I think it's worth investigating your contraception, some hormonal contraception has the ability to kill libido stone dead, especially if you are sensitive to progesterone, doctors tend to rubbish the link but there is far too much anecdotal evidence from women to ignore it.
A good multivitamin containing l-arginine and ginseng can help too.
Also, it can take up to 2 years to get your hormones balanced again after giving birth, not to mention any nerve damage that may have occured.
It's something that just isn't talked about - I reckon a large majority of women have libido issues for a couple of years or more after having babies, people need to see it as normal and a passing phase, however frustrating - the lack of any kind of intimacy ( even non sexual) is bad news for a relationship though., that does need addressing.

fluffygal Fri 27-Jan-12 11:15:10

I am exactly the same,I have a 16 month old cosleeping,bf DD and do not want sex at all¥ Advice of just do it when you don't want to I think is awful,I tried this and felt sick and ended up crying. I felt used. I love my DH and don't want to leave him but I just cannot get affectionate with him.I want to but I can't. Spending time childfree doesn't help as I then just feel so much pressure as sex is then expected.I am getting to the point where I am thinking of sex in a very negative way,where its a 'bad' thing and dirty. I don't really know what to do about it but just saying 'you have to have sex with him or he will leave' doesn't help at all.

Abitwobblynow Fri 27-Jan-12 15:43:59

How about not thinking about the sex, but as a favour to a dearly loved friend?

What exactly is it that repels you? Is it opening your legs (being vulnerable)?

Were you given shameful messages about sex? What do you think is going on?

mayorquimby Fri 27-Jan-12 16:14:21

No practical advice as I've not been in the situation, however if if I were him this scenario:

Say that because he is your friend and you know this is important, you will, on a few conditions.... [get some KY jelly]. Ask him not to try and stimulate you (it will just annoy you), don't touch your nipples (ditto) and ask him not to prolong it and outstay his welcome, because that will annoy you too.

Would leave me feeling utterly rejected and would not be likely to help.

wonder23 Fri 27-Jan-12 16:17:55

just wanted to say thank you for the replies, they are much appreciated and I will re read them all later. And I am sorry for others in same/similar situation.

abitwobbly I just don't fancy him. Or anyone. It really creeps me out the more I think about it. Haven't been given any shameful messages - I have really enjoyed it in the past! I hope one day my drive will return.

camdancer Fri 27-Jan-12 16:31:57

What about taking sex off the agenda for a while? Start by just spending time together naked. Maybe do 10 mins to start with. Then move on a few days later to touching - but not erogenous (sp?) zones. Slowly increase as you feel more comfy. But no sex. Not "oh we'll see how things go" or "maybe we could if you feel up for it". Take sex out of the equation completely and try to get back some of that good feeling in being touched by someone who loves you.

Maybe give it a month and see how you feel then. At least you would be doing something to move the situation forward. Both of you will have to commit to spending some time and effort on it.

vintagewarrior Fri 27-Jan-12 17:40:15

Had exactly the same problem, took me ages to realise it was a symptom of feeling unloved & resentful about other things. Are you happy with him in other ways? For me once the love has died, my libido is off forever!

Almostfifty Fri 27-Jan-12 21:59:06

Do you ever just sit and have a cuddle? When mine were young and I was too knackered to do anything but sleep, we would at least snuggle up in the evenings and have a cuddle in bed before we went to sleep.

It led to other things eventually.

solidgoldbrass Fri 27-Jan-12 22:41:50

Trying to force yourself to engage in sex when the idea really revolts you is not a good idea. You will end up either crying or puking, and if your H is a nice decent bloke, he will not get any pleasure out of a sex session when he is aware that you are gritting your teeth and longing for it to be over.
If your H is a nice decent bloke who you used to enjoy shagging, it is worth considering the reasons you now don't want to, there is definitely something in the idea of some brands of pill messing up the libido, also the general hormonal storm of pregnancy and birth can go on for a bit. Plus there is the tiredness factor - is your H doing his fair share of childcare and domestic work? It's not at all unusual for women with small children to go off sex if the man is doing a lot less than his fair share round the house; sex begins to feel like another chore you are expected to perform for his benefit.

However, if you really, really don't want sex and don't want to try to want it, IYSWIM, it is a bit unfair to expect a partner just to put up with this. If you don't want to have sex, full stop, why would it upset you if he does it with someone else? If you are not playing with that toy, why keep it from someone who does want to play with it? What harm does it do you if someone else is playing with the toy you no longer have any interest in?

FabbyChic Fri 27-Jan-12 23:06:50

Why not take a trip to the doctors? It does sound like some kind of mental block. Have you tried touching yourself thats the first place to start, bringing yourself to orgasm.

fluffygal Sat 28-Jan-12 08:56:05

I do want to want it,but when we have a cosleeping BF DD and 4 other children under the age of 6 its hard to even have the time to relax before even thinking about having sex. Our life is nonstop. The whole letting someone else play with my toy is ridiculous,I thought couples were meant to work at relationships,not just say 'well you will only have sex with me once a month so I am allowed to go shag whoever I want'. I wouldn't turn around and say well you don't pull your weight around the house so I am going to shag someone else. What was the point of our wedding vows for better for worse if as soon as it gets to a bad point someone goes running off to shag someone else. If my OH shagged someone else it would just show that he doesn't love me at all and that our wedding vows were just a big joke. I would hope my OH loves me enough to realise this is not a permanent situation,that having babies DOES kill libidos for many women,I am sure all women in this situation wishes they weren't-i know I wish I wasnt- but what else can you do apart from having forced sex and probably emotionally damaging yourself forever?

solidgoldbrass Sat 28-Jan-12 09:19:37

Fluffygal: but how long do you expect your H to 'work at it' ie be unhappy? If the relationship is otherwise good, you have to at least consider the fact that no sex is making your H miserable and keep talking, communicating, being kind to one another rather than withdrawing from him as much as possible.
And I have never, ever understood why it's such a big deal, if you don't want sex with your partner, for them to do the stuff that you don't want with other people.

Teeb Sat 28-Jan-12 10:07:41

I can see what Solidgoldbrass is saying here, a marriage doesn't mean placing a big hefty padlock onto your partners genitals for the rest of their life.

FeedZombieEatSmartie Sat 28-Jan-12 10:23:10

I was like that for 7 months after my DS was born. I just didn't want it at all. DP was very patient and understanding but I did feel guilty whenever he tried to instigate intimacy (not sex per se, just cuddles and kisses in bed) because I would try push him away, roll over and say I didn't feel like it. DP thought I didn't fancy him anymore and was worried for a while.

My DS is now 10 months and for the last 3 months it has definitely improved. I decided to go along with it one evening and found myself starting to enjoy it and I realised I had missed it. We are not there completely because I'm still self conscious of my body and don't always feel comfortable with his hands all over my body but he always tells me how gorgeous I am and that he thinks my body is just as sexy now as it was before DS.

So I can agree with the posters saying about getting out of practise. If you really feel that bad about it, talk to your GP. She/He may be able to help.

Helltotheno Sat 28-Jan-12 10:28:08

The op has said she doesn't fancy her dh and there is nothing more repulsive that being forced into touching or being touched by someone you have no sexual feelings for. 'Just do it' is not the right advice here imo.

It's not helping that he keeps going on and on about it because that just makes thing worse.

Op your dh doesn't sound especially understanding, given that your children are still so young, and sounds like the type who'll just get it somewhere else anyway. You need to sit down and assess whether the two of you can co-parent amicably, what your financial situation is, how you'd manage living in two places etc. Your children are young: if you're going to make any drastic moves, now is the time, when they're still young.

Your only alternative is to grit your teeth and start having sex with him again but I don't think that's the solution for you, from what you've said.

I feel for you op.. hopefully you'll come to some resolution.

sonicrainboom Sat 28-Jan-12 10:41:32

The "Lie back and think of England" advice in this thread is disturbing. OP you shouldn't have sex if you don't want to. I wouldn't want my dp to do me sexual favours if I could tell he wasn't into it.

Solidgoldbrass and Helltotheno - good posts.

juneau Sat 28-Jan-12 10:43:42

I agree that you should go and see you doctor asap. Not feeling like sex immediately after giving birth is completely normal, what with healing from delivery, exhaustion, hormones all over the place, etc, but 16 months on you should be back to normal (in fact, much sooner than that for most people). It sounds like a mental block of some kind and you may need to see a sex therapist or some kind of psychotherapist to examine why you feel the way you do and to help you to overcome it. Your marriage is unlikely to last much longer if you don't try to tackle this issue.

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