Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
No affection, no sex, six mths pregnant - lost and upset(56 Posts)
I don't know where else to go as I'm too embarrassed to discuss this with anyone in real life. I'm six mths pregnant with my second DC, been with my DH for eight years, and he is no longer showing me any affection or having sex. I feel completely rejected and humiliated in my attempts to get close to him.
Background is - he is quite an emotionally closed off person, but very kind underneath, just struggles to express himself. Before DC1 we would regularly have sex, his libido is greater than mine so often initiated by him, but I would always make an effort also. Since DC1 it has not been as regular as it is hard to get time together (we both work full time, and DC1 is a bad sleeper, so only time is really at bedtime). Now I am pregnant and have put on a lot of weight, I'm not sure if this is the problem or something else...
It has been a month since we last had sex, and that wasn't that successful. Since then I have kept trying to initiate it when we go to bed - cuddling up to him, etc. He just lies there, doesn't respond to me at all when I do it. Sometimes he has just mentioned being tired, and I've taken that as him saying 'not interested tonight'. This weekend I was desperate to initiate some sort of physical contact, as he doesn't even cuddle me or touch me. So each night I was trying to cuddle up to him. He gets into bed and immediately wraps the duvet round himself so it is hard for me to get close. Friday = 'tired'. Saturday I managed to get him a bit aroused I think but then he turned over and said he was tired and wanted to sleep. I cried quietly so he wouldn't know I was upset. Last night I gave him a hand job, he just lay there the whole time - yawning sometimes I think to tell me he wasn't interested, or maybe he was just lying back and enjoying it? He didn't say anything afterwards, just went to the bathroom and then got back into bed and turn onto his side away from me. I felt so humiliated, like it was really seedy or something.
I've asked him indirectly if anything is wrong, he just says no, it is hard to get him to even say that one word. He is fine talking if it is just about DC1, but I can't even get him to chat about anything else. I don't know what has happened for it to get like this, and now I'm scared I don't know how to turn it around (and I'm only going to get bigger and fatter and have less time and be more tired). I realise the only way to work it out is to have a conversation with him, but I can't seem to get him talking (although I've only been very indirect). Don't know if I should just leave it and hope for the best, but it feels like the longer this goes on the worse it will get.
So embarrassed. Please say nice things as I can't check this at home and I don't want to cry at work!! Pretending I've got something in my eye at the moment.
I'm torn on this one. I do accept that some men find pregnancy difficult, sex-wise. He may be embarassed of how he feels and doesn't want to say anything to hurt op.
Men do have lower testosterone whilst their partner is expecting and the newborn period, I think as a protective mechanism (lower aggression), so maybe lack of male hormones has dampened his arousal. He may not be aware of this sciencey fact so maybe he feels it's something wrong with him and has gone into defensive mode?
In an ideal world, it would be great for him to explain exactly how he feels. Maybe just give him his space and see if things improve after the birth?
Really feel for you. My ex-P was like this as soon as he found out I was pregnant with DD. It went on for 2 years with no reasonable explanation other than at the time he didn't want to hurt the baby. I know that the lack of emotional connection is a worse feeling than lack of sex itself. Speak to him on the basis he can't hurt your feelings by telling you the truth any more than he is at the minute by telling you nothing.
I'm sorry that happened to you Getall. WRT your own situation, if it's become an established relationship habit that difficult conversations are off-limits, it's not unusual for either party to cast outside the relationship but the permissions given will be different, depending on whether it is the 'talker' or the 'avoider'. Part of the 'talker's' self-justification at keeping a secret about being attracted to someone else is that their partner wouldn't want to talk about it, so there's no point - and there is sometimes a punitive angle when the 'talker' has an affair. In a general sense though, it's not unusual for people who have given up on trying to change their relationship and their partner, to have an affair. However, there are evidently avoidant personality traits in someone who chooses this route to exit a relationship, rather than a dignified ending.
The motives for 'avoiders' are often different. People who find talking to anyone about their feelings (even to close friends) are sometimes knocked sideways when they meet someone who either brings this out in them, or the infatuation gives the illusion of depth of feeling and being able to share it. In a new relationship, people are on their best behaviour and they tend to listen actively to one another and ask questions. At this point there is often an unfair contrast made with a partner who has given up trying to get blood from a stone and restricts conversations to the superficial. Because this person doesn't talk to friends about feelings (let alone a partner) they have no external 'reality check' from friends or family about any damage that is being caused by their affair. Some 'avoiders' drift into unwise affairs because they find it impossible to say 'no' and even if they want out of the affair, they can't extricate themselves cleanly and so the stress they feel about being out of control, gets acted out at home.
It's especially problematic in relationships if there are two 'avoiders' although often one of them didn't start out that way and it became a learned behaviour. The OP for example, bravely acknowledges that not being able to talk to her husband is ridiculous. I'd be interested Eggs if you were always this reticent or whether you've adapted your behaviour because of your husband's personality.
Op, I hope you have managed to tell him how he is making you feel and have seen some change. Xx
Its not a great thing in itself, but how difficult is it to say; "Blimey I'm knackered, but keep going" or a "let's leave it tonight darling, I'm not into it,"?
The fact he does nothing to reassure her suggests he doesn't care. Getall, what do you suggest it means?
Thisisaeuphemism I agree, but someone up thread posted it was a heinous crime in it's self. Which is an insane opinion imo.
Charbon I've got do disagree with your last point if I'm reading it right. I had problems discussing things with my XP and she eventually went off and had an affair.
Dispute the pain involved and ramifications, I could understand why she did it.
Eggs you say you're going to have a discussion about how he is feeling, but it's just as important that you tell him how you've been feeling and what changes you'd like to see in your relationship.
Talking about intimate and personal issues promotes intimacy as a couple, whereas having subjects which are off-limits causes all sorts of problems in a relationship. You are in an intimate relationship and you are soon going to be parents to two children. If you are only able to interact on a superficial level with eachother, the bond you have will grow weaker. This habit you've both got into of not being able to speak about issues face-to-face needs tackling along with everything else.
It's much easier for someone to detach from a relationship if face-to-face communication about conflicts or personal turmoil is absent.
I might add that people who find it hard or impossible to risk a difficult conversation are especially vulnerable to infidelity. They find it impossible to discuss unhappiness with a partner, to risk offending someone who is trying to breach their boundaries, to nip a potential affair in the bud and to extricate themselves from situations that are getting out of control. It's a significant personal risk factor.
Op, why not send him an email letting him know how you feel?
Of course yawning during sex alone is not a heinous crime. However, on top of not showing any affection, wrapping the duvet around himself, refusing to admit anything is wrong and rejecting her so that she cries silently next to him - yes, that IS pretty horrible.
Eggs I found it so difficult to discuss those kind of issues. I guess a lot of people do.
I found it difficult to the point where I just couldn't get words out, it sounds idiotic I know, but it was very upsetting for me, and XP, it was like a vicious circle and I can't really explain why. I'd just clam up after a few words.
I knew I wanted to say stuff, I knew I wanted to make things better, but it would come out wrong. It had nothing to do with my feelings towards my then partner.
But it certainly contributed to the demise of the relationship. The next thing that happened was that I slept in another room on the excuse that I snored. That was basically the beginning of the end.
You have to find a way to work through this, and talking , as hard as it might be is the only way I think. Don't let what happened to me happen to you.
And I'm sure somewhere in my life I must have yawned once during sex due to tiredness, and been on the receiving end, I don't get why it's such a 'heinous crime' to some posters here.
I wondered if the yawning was him trying to say "I'm tired and not interested in sex" - or if it was just accidental (we are both tired a lot). He did orgasm so I assume he was into it though.
I think I find it hard to talk about these things because it is such a sensitive subject. He tends to close off when we discuss anything intimate - and I think over the years I've started avoiding those sorts of conversations as a result as I can see it makes him uncomfortable. I guess we always got by in the past by just avoiding it - on particularly tricky subjects, we've resorted to emailing rather than speaking in the past, which I realise sounds totally ridiculous. But this isn't something I can email him about, obviously, so now we're stuck. I really wish everything was just normal again without having to take any action.
Can I be very clear in saying I am not saying eggs "is abusive". Touching sexually without someone's consent is not ok. I do think it is important to mention that and important to say they should be no subjectivity about the fact that it is up to the one seeking consent to ascertain consent.
However I stand by what I was originally saying. If a woman who had gone off sex and was wrapping herself in the duvet to try and avoid it then orgasm or no orgasm a partner who badgered for several nights and then just went ahead and touched her, continued to touch her when she showed signs of not being into it would be (quite rightly) slated.
That however is a separate issue.
It is absolutely horrible and abusive of him to be leaving eggs crying in bed all night and completely failing to actually communicate with her.
Eggs if it helps qualify the above thing I think the yawning was nasty as well. I find it hard not to see these things aren't all connected and I suspected it would be because you didn't realise about the consent thing which makes me wonder why that is and if, at the beginning of the relationship when you describe him as having a high sex drive he wasn't interested at all in your consent so it had set the boundaries and dynamic for your sexual relationship from then on.
He owes you an explanation for the complete withdrawal and also for the yawning. I'm also quite concerned about you feeling you can't speak to him. You should be able to, do you know why you feel you can't?
Good for you Eggs, I really hope things work out for you all.
For what it's worth I don't think you're abusive at all, I can fully understand your need to have some affection.
Thanks all, it really does help to have all perspectives as I think I've got myself so wound up I can't think straight. I am going to try and talk to him, it seems the only way forward. I tried a little last night, just about the lack of cuddles, and we did then have a cuddle.
I hadnt even considered that it might be abusive for me to keep touching him when he didn't want it - I guess I just assumed that if we could just be intimate again it would fix everything. I'm going to try to get him to talk about how he's feeling, and then take it from there.
I don't get the sense that this is about consent at all. Nor do I think that if a man posted that he had brought his partner to orgasm while she laid there, yawned, left the room and then silently turned over, would be berated about abusing her consent, especially if his posts contained all the other contextual details about the sudden change in a happy relationship, the cold shouldering, the lack of engagement, the porn use and the pressure his partner had previously exerted to get him to engage in pornified sex that he wasn't comfortable with.
Some posters though would notice instantly that the interaction described resulted in no orgasm for the man and in my view, this would have attracted more comment than it has on this (woman's) thread because men having sexual interactions without orgasm is regarded as more unusual. But the fact that the OP didn't receive any reciprocal sexual attention has slipped by almost unnoticed on this thread.
As for the 'rush to affairs' jibe, as far as I can see posters are suggesting this as a possibility rather than a definite. It is just as plausible as suggestions that the OP's partner finds pregnancy and weight gain off-putting, has something on his mind etc. If someone posts about a problem that in many posters' experience, is often attributable to one cause in particular, it would be of no help to an OP if no-one voiced it as a possibility.
As far as I can tell, the resounding message on this thread has been that the OP should talk to her partner about her feelings, rather than crying herself to sleep and worrying.
This is the first time on MN I have really agreed with the sentiment of "if the genders were reversed you would get a totally different answer" and no-one's even said it...
And to be fair I think someone who is being touched without their consent is pretty damn entitled to say fuck you.
Why flabbergasted OMC? Sometimes there can be abuse from both sides in a relationship, I actually think it is very common for it to be like that. There's not always a clear cut "baddy" and "goody". I did some abusive things to my xp when he was abusing me (cheated, told some lies) and I think most victims of a primary abuser do behave secondarily abusively at points.
Not saying it is that way here because the only actual suggestion made on this thread of anything which is obvious abuse is the handjob. The handjob is undoubtedly abusive towards him to me and i'm pretty shocked other people don't see that. I don't want to call out the op for being abusive before getting more information because it may be secondarily abusive as a result of him setting sexual boundaries where consent is not required for sexual activities that one partner wants.
It was the mentioning of both the man's hugely higher sex drive at the start and the complete withdrawal of any affection now combined with a stated lack of communication and inability/reluctance to communicate did make me wonder if the origin of abuse in this relationship is actually him rather than her. I know that may seem a bit left field but it is one possible explanation of all the things not just the incident where she behaved abusively.
I'm really surprised to read that many people seem to think this guys behaviour is acceptable or just nerves about the baby.
He has completely closed down on her and more importantly, he won't tell her why. Unless he's always been a pig, then it looks like something has happened recently. It's quite natural to wonder if an OW is involved.
Please try to get him to talk to you, OP, but if he won't, then prepare yourself for the worst.
My DH also wasn't keen on sex after I was 6 months pregnant or so. Fair enough. We talked about it, laughed about it, carried on hugging etc. This guy really is something else. Yawning during a hand job with no affection, no conversation etc, is a deliberate way of saying: F* you.
Hi OP hope you are ok.
For what its worth, my DH went completely off sex during my pregnancy with our first DD. I felt humilitated, rejected, wondered whether he still loved me, if he was going to leave - I thought about leaving him and I was very miserable. He didn't admit it was the pregnancy (for fear of my reaction) until after she was born.
After she was born, our sex life returned to normal until I fell pregnant again, but this time I was prepared for his feelings and coped much much better.
I hope this helps and that things get better soon.
Offred Tue 27-Nov-12 08:45:45
I sympathise with the op's situation and wonder if this is a form of sexual abuse where you are first put under huge pressure to perform sex acts or have lots of sex and then sex and affection is completely withdrawn,
I'm flabbergasted at that when I agree completely with ^ I am also quite uncomfortable (understatement) at the thought of any sex act being performed on someone who doesn't consent to it. I don't think it is acceptable to try and force someone to get aroused or carry on touching them when they don't want it^
maras2 Mon 26-Nov-12 15:42:12
What an arragant pig,ignoring your attempts to make love.
Nonsense, she doesn't know why. If it was a woman ignoring attempts to make love, it would be called pressure, and she's be told the man had no right to expect it.
Sounds like there's other things to worry about, but I love the rush to affair etc...
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.