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If you were in a relationship/marriage with no sex, but you really like sex, what would you do?

(17 Posts)
space1999 Sat 10-Nov-12 20:14:07

I know the right thing to do is end the marriage and then start up a new relationship, but for various reasons I want to keep the marriage going until the DC are a bit older. We don't like each other all that much, and wouldn't choose to spend time together except as a whole family but we rub along ok and agree on household and parenting stuff. I think of us as co-workers, we do our own jobs, we co-operate on joint stuff for the good of the whole family, we are polite but we have separate social lives and respect each other's privacy.

I like sex, I have always liked it and wanted it fairly frequently. Sex had reduced in frequency over the years, H has always had a lower sex-drive than me and I was usually the instigator. We last had sex nearly two years ago, H has not mentioned anything at all about sex since, if anything he seems quite a bit happier and more relaxed since we stopped. I don't want to have sex with him (not at all, I don't even want to touch him if I can help it), I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to have it with me, but I really, really miss having sex.

I'm fine week to week and month to month, but thinking ahead to perhaps a decade without any sex at all makes me really sad, sadder than a decade without chocolate would (and I'm addicted to chocolate).

Even if we split up now I don't want another relationship with someone else so would be looking for no-strings-attached sex, but all the possible options just seem really sleazy. I don't want an affair because I don't want to have an emotionally demanding relationship, especially if I am still married. I had a look at a website for casual sex but it gave me the shudders to think about having sex with someone whose wife probably has no idea what they're up to. I had a look at some escort ads, which does have the advantage of being a relatively honest transaction without any danger of the other person wanting to develop a relationship or wanting to do something that I don't like, but I have all sorts of ethical problems with paying for sex. Having said that I think it's unlikely that male escorts have been forced into the profession, and while it would creep me out to meet with a young man there are a few out there in their 30's and 40's who, I guess, have gone into it with their eyes open.

I'm not expecting any solutions from you, I don't actually think there is a solution except to wait it out until I can't stand it anymore and then leave H. I have found it helpful to just write it down, and maybe to hear about other people's happy endings.

NicholasTeakozy Sat 10-Nov-12 21:10:03

Children pick up subtle clues about their parents' relationship like you wouldn't believe. As you don't like each other my counsel is to cut your losses and separate. Sorry.

BunnyLeBOOwski Sat 10-Nov-12 21:11:38

If you were in love with your H but sex was missing it would be tricky.

You don't even like each other? Get out. You're doing your kids no favours by staying in a sham marriage.

You deserve amazing sex with someone (or more than one person) you really connect with.

You only get one life.

Change yours.

Hatpin Sat 10-Nov-12 21:17:48

Why do you want to wait?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-Nov-12 21:35:27

Wouldn't a Rampant Rabbit be a cheaper/more hygienic/less morally dubious solution than things like prostitutes or affairs in the first instance? As you've written off separation, which I think is actually the best solution for everyone in the story, that seems to be the only way forward.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 10-Nov-12 21:57:28

What do you want to teach your children about relationships here?.

You did not cite any reasons for staying within such a sham of a marriage but I can tell you now that no reason is good enough.

If you and he do not actually like each other then why do you want to keep this going until they are a few years older?. How much older exactly?. They won't thank either of you for remaining together and you will just end up teaching these children damaging lessons about relationships. You cannot and should not use your children as glue to bind you and your H together.

space1999 Sat 10-Nov-12 22:13:01

grin Cogito, I do have a very respectable collection of sex toys and some DVDS, although I'm not keen on rabbits. However I find that I am now masturbating less than I have before, and it's less enjoyable. It seems to work better as a top-up to regular sex. It's a bit like having some popcorn as a snack between meals, I like popcorn it's crunchy, chewy and salty. But if I stopped having meals and only had popcorn it would be a lot less appealing.

I'm really wavering about what is best for the DC, I'm anxious that we are not providing a good role model of a healthy relationship but I don't know that it's all that bad from their point of view. H and I don't really argue, when we're together as a family we talk to each other and have the usual light chit-chat without having to force it. In fact, now that I don't expect a physical or romatic relationship, we probably get on better than we have for a while. We don't snipe at each other or have passive-aggressive conversations with lots of sub-text.

DS has some behavioural issues, which are sometimes severe (he was already displaying some issues before he came to us and I'm pretty sure they are not related to us but to the high level of substance abuse by his birth mum during pregnancy and possibly attachment problems stemming from the long time he had to spend in hospital after birth because of health issues from the drug use). He is having professional help and H and I work very well with him to help him, but I'm pretty sure that he will continue to have problems into adulthood. I think that if we split up now H will think that every new problem that crops up will have been made worse by the fact that we don't live together as a family, and in my heart I think I would believe that too. I'm pretty sure that if we both continued to put the DC's interests first then DD would settle into the new lifestyle if we seperated, but I really think it would be a major set back for DS, especially while he is still so young, perhaps at secondary school age he might be less dependant on us for emotional and social guidance.

space1999 Sat 10-Nov-12 22:37:41

If my post about my DC outs me, try to pretend it hasn't. I'm not sure I could metaphorically look you all in the eye as my regular self knowing that you know about my lack of sex life. blush

Lovingfreedom Sat 10-Nov-12 23:39:56

Could you discuss sex with your husband? If it's been 2 years he must have....noticed. Do you both feel the same about co-parenting but not being lovers? Could you tolerate him seeing other people for sex if you were doing the same? IME the worst part of your partner being unfaithful is the lying and deceit. He might be willing to consider an arrangement..? Personally I would not stay with someone if we didn't have sex and didn't like each other...but can see your situation and priorities might differ.

notnagging Sat 10-Nov-12 23:45:53

One of my friends in schools parents stayed together for the sake of the children. He didnt have a clue until he was 18 as that had been the agreement. It obviously tore him apart and he hated his father. Took the whole family a long time to get over it. Children are not stupid. Please don't let them think your relationship is normal.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Nov-12 07:33:10

"perhaps at secondary school age he might be less dependant on us for emotional and social guidance."

If you think the pre-teen/teenage years are an emotional & social mill-pond and he will be less in need of guidance you are in for a massive shock. There will never be a good time to separate if you go with that logic.

tinierclanger Sun 11-Nov-12 07:39:07

How do you think your children will feel when you do split up when they're older? I know several people this happened to and it has wrecked their childhood memories realising their parents' marriage was a sham.

I really don't think you're making a wise decision for either yourself or DC.

VolumeOfACone Sun 11-Nov-12 07:52:41

I really think if you don't like each other, then living in the same home unhappily will be worse for the children than separating.

Feckbox Sun 11-Nov-12 08:16:25

But lots of people DO wish their parents had stayed together. You can find examples of just about any arrangement working or not working.

Op, I have the more mundane concern that you would split up and then not find someone you wanted to have sex with. There are millions of people in that situation

worklifedifficult Sun 11-Nov-12 10:22:09

If you re-wrote your original post substituting the word sex, for money or alcohol consumption or help around the house... would you come to the same conclusion?

DW and mine take on sex is different, its something we live with... I think I don't get enough, she thinks she's being pestered. I haven't 69'd since before her... should I shit out just to find someone who will do that with me? I don't mean to trivialise your feelings, but look a bit further into other things and if your find the same kind of mismatches, the consider further action.

As a man I'd get hammered if I spoke about buying sex, using toys and having DVD's I'd get destroyed here for those kind of sentiments

space1999 Sun 11-Nov-12 19:50:12

worklife, I'm not sure that any of those three words are easy to substitute for sex. They are entirely different problems, with different root causes and different solutions. I don't think I would come to the same conclusion about those issues (ie shut up and get on with it, but feel sad that the thought of years of the same) because there's a good possiblity that they could be sorted out.

I don't think you'd be hammered on here for most of what I have said. I have said that I have ethical problems with buying sex and find the thought of an affair with another married person tacky. I masturbate with toys, sometimes women post here complaining that their DH masturbates and they feel that he should be completely satisfied with only have sex with her, and on the whole the consensus is that what people do in private with their own bodies is their own business. Watching porn does divide opinion on here, but as it happens I don't enjoy watching it on my own, H and I used to watch it together occasionally (and laugh at it quite a lot). I don't think it has been watched more than a couple of times since we got DS. Mainstream tv and film especially Arrow or anything starring Philip Winchester are generally more erotic I find.

Lovingfreedom, I know that you are right and that a conversation of some sort will be necessary with H. I just don't want to. He can be quite defensive, and he is never wrong so it will be hard to get over his annoyance at suggesting that his marriage is going bad. He gives every appearance of not noticing that we haven't had sex, or indeed any physical contact like hugs or kisses. TBH he hardly ever initiated anything like that in the last decade so perhaps he never liked it.

Everyone who says that it could well be worse for the DC to split up later, I'm still wavering. My problem is whichever way I go I'll never know whether it was the right thing to do. In all likelihood DS will have a very difficult and challenging teenage time and I'm a bit scared of facing it on my own. I know that H will still co-parent and do what's best for the DC but he won't be right there in the house backing me up, or, when the DC are with him, I won't be there backing him up. DS is only 8 and he's already testing the 'divide and conquor' parent-handling approach, it's not working for him now but might be more effective if we were in separate houses. Plus H will be angry and humiliated if the marriage ends, so there will be a period of time when co-operation could fall off.

Feckbox grin, yes it could easily happen that we could split and I still would never have sex again. Especially as I really don't want another relationship (I know that people's feelings change on this issue after they get over a divorce, but I'm not counting on my feelings changing). But at least I would be free to look for sex, plus if H had the DC for the weekend I would crucially have the time to look for sex. At the moment it is all a little hypothetical anyway as I only have term-time weekdays between 9am and 1pm free and it's not generally the best time to pick up men.

Feckbox Sun 11-Nov-12 20:20:16

Space, I was playing Devil's advocate there about the maybe not finding a lover even if you did split up wink

I am in a similar situation actually. Like you I don't even particularly want another relationship. But the thought of it being like this forever amen is pretty stifling.

You said :

"Everyone who says that it could well be worse for the DC to split up later, I'm still wavering. My problem is whichever way I go I'll never know whether it was the right thing to do."

That's it in a nutshell, really isn't it?

Or as I keep saying, I don't know whether the solution would be worse than the problem.

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