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Can I get a female perspective?

(138 Posts)
Octopus7 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:11:19


I'm 34 and my wife is 36, we've been married for 7 years and have 2 amazing sons. We're a really tight family but over the years the relationship between my wife and myself has become almost entirely about the kids. My wife has little to no interest in sex and hasn't since she became pregnant with our second son 3 years ago (we've probably had sex 5 times in the last 3 years). She's quite a shy person and doesn't like to talk about such things and she always has a reason why she rejects me (generally it's tiredness). As its been going on so long I've tried a lot of different things from asking her to talk about it to backing right off.

The obvious assumption is that she isn't attracted to me anymore, well to me it is anyway so a couple of years back I joined the gym, started hitting that pretty hard in my lunch breaks and taking a lot more pride in my appearance. I'm not the best looking guy in the world but I'm in decent shape, I like to think I'm a good father and a lot of people comment on how close we are as a family. Outwardly I'm a very confident person but this is really ripping me apart. I could never leave because I love my wife and sons far too much - how do I get this back on track? I'm not out for sympathy, I just need some help!

Thanks everyone

queenbitchapparently Fri 27-Sep-13 16:52:48

Missed the update. Very cool, keep making her feel special and hopefully it won't be a one off

queenbitchapparently Fri 27-Sep-13 16:51:04

Sounds like she has replaced her life with children.
It is far to common and not very healthy.
Try to get her out more just the two of you.
Try to have some fun.
Be really frank about how you are feeling, think about counseling for you both. Maybe a sex therapist.
You shouldn't have to be without intimacy.

Monty27 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:50:11

Feeling on top of the priorties list makes me feel special. Freedom of course each way and space, but you need to appreciate what dw does for you.

I'm coming back as a dog in my next life not really grin

Monty27 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:45:17

She felt equal, appreciated and loved. It's not all about physical stuff, it's working together and having joint goals. That has some mileage.
I'm happy for you both smile

Wellwobbly Mon 23-Sep-13 14:34:26

And don't underestimate EVER how much women need affection.

Affection: non-sexualised touching. Hugs, cuddles, kisses, stroking hair and non-erogenous zones.

In my next life I want to come back as a Englishman's horse. Those long lovely brush strokes ...

Lazyjaney Mon 23-Sep-13 06:58:04

Things that make you go hmmmm

NameChangedForAChange Mon 23-Sep-13 01:59:55

Blimey, OP! See what a few changes in your behaviour have made to your wife, eh?

My two penn'orth on this is that, when my (many) DC were tiny and in nappies or potty training and waking a lot at night, sex was just another job on the to-do list. Even worse, it was yet another job that involved dealing with someone else's bottom! At that time all I wanted to do was either SLEEP or BE ON MY OWN.

So, erm, think on, OP. You may, perhaps, have cracked it by actually doing a bit more supporting stuff.

springybuffy Mon 23-Sep-13 01:21:52

where were the kids

springybuffy Mon 23-Sep-13 01:21:02

WOW! smile smile

fabergeegg Mon 23-Sep-13 01:09:28

amazing!! Chuffed for you! Now, before your coach turns into a pumpkin, ask for the thread to be pulled!

Octopus7 Mon 23-Sep-13 01:04:49

So over the weekend I've done a lot more around the house, put work on the back burner and we've generally spent a lot more time together as a couple (watching movies and things) - my wife totally caught me off guard and asked if I wanted to come up to bed this afternoon! Maybe it's coincidental, maybe not!

HeyJudith Sun 22-Sep-13 17:46:53

winters my DH did this "I'm going to bed" and off up the stairs too leaving me with the final tasks. Drove me mad.

I argued about it with him a few times. Then I started making sure I went to bed first so he had no choice but to do it (or risk leaving the house unsecured). I would also call down "oh and the washing needs taking out, or else or your clothes will smell smile".

Then I introduced the concept of sharing the tasks. Ie Him: "I'm off to bed". Me "Well before you go, you check the doors and windows and I will put the last bits in the dishwasher". (or whatever). I changed it around so we both got to do all the last minute tasks including waiting for the washing machine, locking up, letting the cats in or out etc etc.

Now we do it all between us without discussion because we both know exactly what needs doing. I believe if you know pretty good in other ways, then it's a bit of a blind spot/learned behaviour.

ifonawintersday Sun 22-Sep-13 10:10:56

I know Darkesteyes. I know.

He does not refer to spending time with his kids as baby sitting. He enjoys spending time with them and takes his parenting seriously. If I want a lie in, he will get up with them early. If I want to go out and see friends, he is happy to be home with them. He rarely goes out himself. He goes to the gym a few times per week, this does not impact on anything. He always ask if there is a session I would like to go to before he goes, as he says he is happy to let me have "first digs".

He takes the kids to school every day before work. Sometimes, he also picks them up. I cook dinner 90% of the time and we eat together. He is also happy to cook tea for one child if I am out with the other. I just say, "look I will be at x with dc2, so dc1 will need a meal" I find that we parent very efficiently together.

My only issue is what happens in the evening after the kids have gone to sleep. Because they fall asleep quite late, I like to sit and relax for a little before doing all the last dashes, maybe with a book, a glass of wine, some tv, spend time online just to take easy and enjoy my evening a bit. And then BOOM, "I am going to bed", without sharing that last bit.

I know it is a small thing as everything works fine and is running smooth up to that point. But that is enough to make me not want physical closeness.

Writing this, I realize I may be unreasonable because he is such an equal partner while the kids are still awake. When they go to bed, he goes to his study to answer emails.

Lazyjaney Sun 22-Sep-13 10:01:45

The OP is being led a merry dance, becoming a domestic god is very unlikely to be effective in this case IMO.

Read the reverse threads on here OP, and you will see (many of these same) women recommending far more assertive steps for other women to take. Communication is of course recommended, but more of the shape up or ship out mode.

I think most of the advice on those threads is more genuine, and is probably the better advice to take.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 01:11:52

Winter thats the problem I hate this phrase "helping out" or helpful. Its not being helpful its picking up his OWN mess and contributing to the running of his own home.
When he takes the kids out on his own have you heard him make reference to this? If so does he refer to it as parenting or babysitting.

ifonawintersday Sun 22-Sep-13 00:53:57

Yes, but the point is, because he does do chores, and is generally helpful, he would say he helps a lot around the house. He does. BUT, the fact is still, by the time he is tired and wants to go to bed, there are still things that needs doing, and this is left to me. Yet his perception is that he does plenty. He does not realize how important that final run is. If he was sharing the load, we would both get to bed earlier.

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 00:42:17

So he fucks off to bed when he is tired and then moans at you for coming to bed late when the reason that you are is cos you are finishing off the chores that he sees as womens work.? Jesus what a selfish twonk And moaning about what time you go to bed also strikes meas a bit controlling.

springybuffy Sun 22-Sep-13 00:41:54

I had a lodger like this. He thought he was being so wonderful to do a miniscule amount of tasks - he clearly expected a medal. When one fine summer day I asked him to mow the lawn [petrol mower, takes about 20 minutes] he took off and I never saw him again. (there was a thread about it: half the posters thought IWBU to ask him to mow the lawn. But he used the garden more than me. He also never once wiped the surfaces. The magic fairy did all that.)

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 00:37:57

Winter its not as if he doesnt know how you feel because you have already told him. thats why i think its passive aggressive Have you tried just leaving his shite on the landing What would he do if you did?

ifonawintersday Sun 22-Sep-13 00:33:24

We are both 40. I really dislike how he just swans off to bed when HE is tired, leaving to me to "finalise" all chores. Am I not tired? Why is it always ME that has to be responsible and pick up his slack?

Darkesteyes Sun 22-Sep-13 00:29:51

wintersday leaving his dirty socks/pants for you to pick up is disrespectful.
And you have already asked him and he continues to do it. So he KNOWS hes being disrespectful.
Hes doing the bare minimum he can get away with but because he really thinks that its all womens work and that he shouldnt be doing it really, he passively aggresively leaves his dirty underwear for you to pick up. How old is he Because my DH is 63 and he doesnt do that (im 40 btw) We seem to be going backwards.

ifonawintersday Sun 22-Sep-13 00:18:02

I love my husband very much. He if handsome, and I find him attractive. But, I am not keen on physical closeness at all. This is why, and you need to think hard if you do any of these things. Because my husband would say he was doing housework, and chores, but I see things very differently.

This is a standard evening at our house:

- He will just go off to bed when he is tired. I am left with ensuring all the doors are closed, windows shut, and lights off, etc.

- If the washing machine is still going, I will stay up and wait for it, and hang the clothes up.

- I will walk around the house to look for dirty mugs, cups, left behind. Then clean up the kitchen, stack the dishwasher and turn it on.

- Every night he leaves his dirty socks and underpants on the top of the landing. Every morning he goes downstairs, leaving his dirty clothing on top of the landing.

- He uses the dinging room as his personal clothes storage, and chairs will be laden with trousers, gym shorts, t shirts, etc. (I dont have my own dressing room, how do I manage to keep all my clothes in our bedroom, in the wardrobe, hung up and tidy?)

- All his correspondence is left where ever it falls, and I end up putting it all away.

BUT, he cooks breakfast every morning, he takes the rubbish out, he clears the table after dinner and stack the dishwasher. He leaves the surfaces for me to wipe though. He takes the kids out swimming or to the park on his own. He reads bed time story every night. So he would say he does a lot in the house. But compared to what I do, it is very little. We both work though, I work part time.

And when I come to bed, he has been laying there reading, and is in a huff as he has been kept up saying "why are you up so late, I need to get some sleep" He wont go to sleep before me as he does not like to be woken up when I come to bed. So when I come to bed, I lie down, I turn my back to him and go to sleep.

I have given up asking him to pick up after himself, and I just dont see HOW he can just walk past an untidy kitchen and go to bed when clearly he can see that there is still lots left to do before going to bed.

If you recognize any of this, think twice, because while you may be doing chores, it could be things that you dont do that is wearing your wife out.

Darkesteyes Sat 21-Sep-13 23:58:04

Thats a great post faberge

fabergeegg Sat 21-Sep-13 23:50:19

I like the sound of you, OP - I think you sound like a genuinely nice guy. When you made the 'life that I give her' comment, it didn't grate because I was assuming you were making it from a place of deep insecurity, thinking, 'Is she only keeping me on because I'm helpful to her lifestyle?' Only you can know if this was the way you meant it. Then I started thinking about how I'd feel if my husband said I to me. I'd be furious! I would be thinking about the family life I give him by giving up the satisfaction that would come from work (not that I'm not pleased not to have to, either). When you're pulling together against the tide, you both do whatever jobs you have to do - for the other. Her for you as much as you for her. Don't forget it because I think you're probably a cut above that kind of chauvinistic comment.

Darkesteyes Sat 21-Sep-13 14:30:43

In the wider world though single dads are hero worshipped and single mums are vilified You only need to look at the Daily Mail and Gov policy to see it.
Mysogynistic comments like "she shouldnt have opened her legs if she cant afford to support those kids" are tossed around frequently.
But with single dads "oh isnt he wonderful doing all that on his own"

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