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How to improve wife sex drive? - or am I doomed?

(147 Posts)
RDerby Thu 24-Oct-13 08:46:00

Ok, I know this is 'mumsnet' and I'm a dad rather than a mum but I am after a female perspective on whether I am being unreasonable.

My wife has never been overly interested in sex with me - when we first stated going out it was maybe 3 times a week. We got maried witihn 2 years and even by then it had dropped to once a week. It's really been downhill from there (been married 10 year next year - two kids 5 & 2.5). For the last two years it has been at most once a month (me always initiating) - which I think technically is a sexless marriage (<10 per year). She has previously said that before she met me, the longest she had gone without sex whilst in a relationship was 3 days and that with at least one prevoius boyfriend it was all chemistry but not a lot else. I think with me it was more getting in a stage in her life when she wanted someone to settle down with and I fitted that bill rather than making her pulse race (I feel a bit like Ross in friends when Rachael is talking about how meaningless her 'relationship' with Paolo is).

Over the years we have had various arguments - normally about me wanting sex and her not - she telling me it (at various points) it's down to stress (when she was working) / tiredness (post babies) or me picking the wrong time (although there doesn't seem to be a right time). The normal scenario would be I would initiate sex (pretty infrequently - as I knew the chances of success!), Then be rejected which would then result in a row as she would accuse me of being moody. We tried a period of me not initiating at all to see if that would help. Sex was even less frequent.

I plucked up the courage about this time last year to have a proper chat, again she mentioned the tiredness. I suggested going to the doctor, that was met with point blank refusal. I suggested spicing it up a bit but she said we should get back to a 'normal' sex life first. The upshot of the chat was she said I needed to initiate more often and just accept that there would be quite a few rejections.

Needless to say I don't want more rejections so I haven't increased the frequency of initiating (and the fact she raised the issue in an argument not along ago - saying all I thought about was sex) - so sex has been even more infrequent.

I think she would be happy with none whereas I could get on with once a week (preferrably more - obviously).

Any advice would be useful - I am thoroughly miserable at the propect of this being my sex life for the rest of my life.

Oh and I forgot to mention she works part time and me full time. I already do nearly all the evening meal cooking, all the washing up and all cleaning - she does the washing and ironing & we both do getting the kids up / ready and putting them to bed)

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 08:54:21

I think your 'Ross' analysis is right, unfortunately. You weren't hired for the sex... you're the 'safe' guy. Tell me, is there much intimacy and affection in your relationship otherwise? Do you hold hands, snuggle on the sofa, are you tactile with each other or kiss in public? If the answer to that is 'no' then you really do have a problem.

SouredStones Thu 24-Oct-13 08:59:18

I'm female and I could have written your post about my husband.

Our lack of sex is the result of other issues though and I'm working up the courage to leave him. There is only so much rejection a person can take.

IamGluezilla Thu 24-Oct-13 09:00:40

I also think you're doomed. I really can't see a way back fr this for you at all.

TeaAddict235 Thu 24-Oct-13 09:02:03

Hey op, sorry to hear about this. I and friends get quite annoyed with some women who do this to their husbands, as they sometimes do it as payback and sow the seeds of conflict. I would ask her if she doesn't think that sex is part of a marital relationship, or did she only want to be impregnated. I don't get these women sometimes; if they find their husbands on dodgy websites they go beserk. What did you expect hunny?

Some of us are currently on a thread about getting our other half to do it more than once a week (that's my major problem with DH at the mo, who overworks himself at work, then is exhausted to do the deed.

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 24-Oct-13 09:11:17

Sorry you're going through this. No advice as I'm in the same situation.

We're in counselling though, would she consider going to discuss things?

stevea565 Thu 24-Oct-13 09:15:47

10 times a year, you lucky sod!

We are just finally confronting the issue as I can't go on like this anymore.
I hope we can deal with it, else we are all in for a lot of short term pain.

You have to let her understand how it's effecting you and that you can't carry on like this.
If you've repeatedly tried so deal with it and got nowhere, it's ultimatum time.

Tiredemma Thu 24-Oct-13 09:19:07

are you affectionate in other ways (other than in the immediate moments before you want sex?)

My Dp for a while only showed me affection when it appeared to be a form of 'foreplay' and this pissed me off.

When he became more affectionate spontaneously (ie hugs, kisses but not expecting sex) I found that I warmed to him more. And didnt feel as if I was just being used for sex.

DubaiAnna Thu 24-Oct-13 09:19:24

If your wife is interested in improving the situation, she could try taking Maca (powder or capsules from a health food store). It's a South American superfood with known positive effects on libido (also taken for fertility and general energy boost). It's a simple thing to try and definitely was a help to me. Works within a couple of days too smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 09:21:27

The answer to sexual incompatibility is not to medicate women... hmm

gamerchick Thu 24-Oct-13 09:25:31

Your wife has said she's tired and you've mentioned your partnership in sorting the house and kids out.

You haven't mentioned your relationship as a couple other than you initiating sex. . Having rows about it etc. What do you do together as a couple? Do you laugh you make her feel good about herself and visa versa?

JakeBullet Thu 24-Oct-13 09:26:36

Your sex drives are different end of.....I am like your wife too sadly but it is about trying to find a happy medium and I suspect you will need joint counselling to help you both talk this through without it descending to arguments and making the situation worse.

As others have asked you show lots of affection at other times? Hold hands, cuddle up in the sofa to watch a film wtc without this being seen as an expectation for sex.

It IS hard for both parties when sex drives are so mismatched.

PumpkinsPieEyed Thu 24-Oct-13 09:26:59

Op I think you haven't got much option left, your wife says you ask too much and then says you don't ask enough and then your fobbed off anyway.

Would she consider marriage or sex counselling?

I don't believe she is withholding sex out of spite and just used you to get impregnated.It is not her marital duty to provide you with sex at your beck and call but she has to at least address the issue and be open with you about it.

If you both love each other then you might work out but I think you should consider what you really need from This marriage and if it isn't getting met over time then Time to split.

RDerby Thu 24-Oct-13 09:42:01

Wow! - Thanks for all the quick responses. Other than the lack of sex - we are fine. We cuddled up and watched a film last satuday as it goes. We normally hold hands when we can (bit difficult when one is pushing a pushchair!). Also definitely not splitting as there is no way I am not seeing my two daughters every day (even just doing the normal day-to-day things with them) and would not be able to take them having a replacement 'dad' if my wife got together with someone else.

Wellwobbly Thu 24-Oct-13 09:51:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 09:55:01

If there's affection and intimacy in your relationship then it doesn't sound like a total train smash. The choices when it comes to incompatibility are broadly.... a) do nothing and suck it up b) keep expressing your unhappiness and try to reach a middle ground or c) reject the other person. a) will leave you feeling resentful in the long term, b) is hard work, c) you've dismissed so is a non-starter.

The other risk of a) or b) of course, is that one day someone will come along who lights you up, finds you sexually attractive, and your loyalties will be very torn.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 09:59:57

"she has broken her vows"

Mediaeval promises of regular sex are not part of the deal hmm No man should be demanding she performs her 'wifely chore' or similar rubbish... If people are incompatible they have to work it through like grown-ups on an equal footing.

Tiredemma Thu 24-Oct-13 10:00:35

"Also definitely not splitting as there is no way I am not seeing my two daughters every day (even just doing the normal day-to-day things with them) and would not be able to take them having a replacement 'dad' if my wife got together with someone else"

This has me me hmm

is that the only reason why you wont split???

Bythebeach Thu 24-Oct-13 10:01:47

If she wasn't overly interested in sex with you at the start then it sounds like you will have an uphill struggle! Add in the pressure of a young family and maybe sex just can't be a priority for her.

I have a lovely ex who I got together with when I was very young and stayed with for years and expected to spend our life together. It all fell apart after years fundamentally because although there was tonnes of love and like there wasn't enough lust. I never felt sexually wanted. I guess this is how you feel?
In contrast with my husband, despite three kids including a baby, the lust and sexual compatibity both ways is mutual source of enjoyment in hectic and overworked life. We manage at least once a week but it's lovely knowing we're in sync...would both like more if we weren't so tired! And there's lots of sexiness/affection that doesn't lead to sex
But I don't know how you get there if you aren't naturally into each other? It makes me want to ask why you married someone who wasn't that into you but that is completely unhelpful. Are the other areas of your relationship working? Do you have fun and like each other? It sounds like practically you share chores which helps to not build resentment. Have you tried no sex for three weeks but lots of kissing/touching type rule to build up the passion?

both like more if less tired! And despihhhvte having a mummy tummy etc

Bythebeach Thu 24-Oct-13 10:02:32

Grrr ignore the last couple of lines...posting on mobile

gamerchick Thu 24-Oct-13 10:06:50

I'm going to ignore wobblys post.. jesus grin

what else do you do together? i'm assuming you do the whole 'fancy a night out i'll find a babysitter for us' thing.

Or send her for a pampering without the kids every 6 weeks or so?

Does she get time out of the house without the kids to recharge (my husband shoves me out once or twice a week and takes over the house and kids).

Compliments.. do you give them to each other?

Does she confide in you about how she's feeling.. or if she's stressed or unhappy about anything?

SolidGoldBrass Thu 24-Oct-13 10:15:38

Do both you and your wife get the same amount of leisure time ie time without children or chores, to do whatever you like (see a friend, pursue a hobby, go for a walk, whatever)? I notice that your younger child is still only a toddler and looking after a toddler can leave a woman with little or no energy for sex. Toddlers are often physically demanding/affectionate and that can sometimes make a mother feel that she just doesn't want to be touched for a bit, but having a break can help with this.
Do you and you wife like and respect each other and treat each other with kindness generally? Do you listen to each other?

LessMissAbs Thu 24-Oct-13 10:32:38

So it wasn't a passion fest at the beginning of the relationship, but you both wanted the same things, which was to settle down and have a family. And now you have that, you naturally think a good sex life should follow?

I think you are very unlucky. A lot of people "settle" ie in not looking for the elusive "one", and stay quite happy. Have you tried counselling? Are you prepared to live the rest of your life like this? Is your wife prepared to lose you?

Wellywobbly I don't think many women who can financially support themselves would see the point in getting married if that was the way world still worked! Way too risky for them...

gamerchick Thu 24-Oct-13 10:35:18

Man I agree with sensory overloads from toddlers. After you've had a kid climb All over you all day everyday once they're in bed the last thing you want is to be touched.

AnyFuckerReporting Thu 24-Oct-13 10:47:22

I feel sad for you, this must be upsetting for you both but if there was never much sex, why did you settle down together knowing that things of that nature were likely to get worse over time, after children etc? And why had it become such an issue now?

I think you are sexually incompatible and you either come to other arrangements or split up. Something like this could really dent your confidence and erode respect for each other.

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