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Wife has no interest in me physically

(100 Posts)
greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 13:17:37

My wife and I have been together 11 years now and have three children aged 3, 6 and 8. Like any relationship and family we have our disagreements, irritations & stresses but overall I would say we have a happy family life together.

I work full time and my wife part time and we have plenty of support from our families. I would say I do more than my fair share of household duties, but then I suppose most people think that! I try to be a caring, considerate and supportive husband and dad. I’m not perfect by any means but I try my best. We get on well together, make each other laugh and have opportunities to be together alone regularly.

However a few months ago it became apparent to me that my wife never held my hand anymore, hugged or cuddled me, rarely kissed me apart from a goodnight peck and clearly didn’t really want to have sex anymore. In reality we haven’t had regular sex for quite a while (apart from when trying to conceive), probably since my wife fell pregnant with our middle child seven years ago. We certainly had more regular sex before our first child was born and after that but if I were to think about frequency over the last seven years I think perhaps we had sex every month or so. When she's been pregnant we've easily gone 9 months without sex which is completely understandable and acceptable.

It has been obvious to her that we haven't had much sex over the last few years as she acknowledges in bed 'that we must have sex soon' before turning over and going to sleep! When we have had sex it's clear she's not enjoying it and now niether am I because I know what she's thinking. I never pressurise her for sex.

When I raised the issue with her a few months ago - not just the lack of sex but the complete lack of physical contact - it didn't go down well. I said that I was beginning to resent her because of it and didn't want to be like that. I said I loved her and couldn't imagine not being with her but couldn't comprehend a life like this in the long term.

It was obvious what I said shocked her as she said she was happy just pottering along in life and admitted she's just not interested in sex anymore. I don't think she realised there's no other physical contact either. That was it. She said perhaps her feelings might change in the future but she didn't know and couldn't guarantee anything.

We've tried discussing the issue since then but have gotten nowhere. She finds discussing 'emotional issues' difficult upsetting and views them as confrontational. For me, perhaps what's worse than the minimal physcial contact, is that she feels no need to do anything about why she might feel like this - medical, physcological.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Has anyone been through and come out the other side? I'm at a loss on what to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 22-Jan-14 13:21:51

What you're describing is a pretty fundamental incompatibility. Something that is important to you but not to her and something which most people would say is a fundamental difference between a long-term relationship and just being friends. Couples can go long periods without sex but few can go very long without any kind of physical contact. Does she hug and kiss the children or is she completely averse to any kind of physical affection?

greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 14:35:35

Sorry, may have given the wrong impression - she's not an emotionally cold or distant person, there is everyday physical contact with friends, family etc and certainly the full range with our children. But she feels no need to go beyond that with me. In fact she's said she's quite happy just getting cuddles from the kids - that's enough for her. Unfortunately that's not enough for me! She acknowledges I'm not being unreasonable but is of the opinion this is what happens in marriages.

CailinDana Wed 22-Jan-14 14:56:57

She's wrong. Lack of intimacy kills a marriage. She seems to have very little respect for how feel.

Is this a dealbreaker for you?

struggling100 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:01:27

There could be any number of reasons for this, but let's start with the simplest explanation: she sounds knackered. And stress and tiredness will kill a libido as strong as Don Juan's!

I bet that if you guys had a bit of time to yourselves, away from three young kids, the romance might well rekindle. Is there any way that you can drop the kids with a relation and get away for a long weekend (a day to sleep, a day to reconnect, and a day to have fun)? It should be all about things you do together as a couple (not doing separate things). She needs to feel special again, away from all the duties and responsibilities she's handling.

Alternatively, can you get a sitter an evening a week and spend some quality time together? Maybe a nice meal out, a romantic walk - nothing flashy, but just some fun time together filled with relaxation and laughter? I'm not saying that sex will follow that evening, but it might contribute to a more loving atmosphere.

And, to state the absolute bleeding obvious, when it happens, make sure she really, really enjoys it!! smile

UriGeller Wed 22-Jan-14 15:05:13

Sounds like she's forgotten about you a bit. I'm sure 3 kids and a part-tine job is enough to occupy any woman but she also should be reminded she has a relationship with you also that needs maintaining.

Jaffacakesallround Wed 22-Jan-14 17:51:35

Women's sex drives can be up and down, but there was some research recently that showed for some women sex was important up to the point of having kids but then they have no desire or need for it.

I think you do need to persist in talking about it, but choose a time when you are both not tired and ideally not last thing at night or in bed as she'll think you just want to get your leg over.

There are people of both genders who have very low sex drives and needs and it's possible that she is one of these.

On the other hand sex is a barometer often of a marriage and if each of you has different ideas on what works then you may be annoying her is some ways, she might simply not fancy you any more ( sorry) or you may not do as much around the house as you think.

More talking needed.

pinkflaming0 Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:28

I am on the flipside of this coin. I have no interest in my husband physically. We have sex but I have no desire for him. He knows things are wrong but hasn't broached the subject.

I know that I need to.

We are a little further down the road, together 17 years, children 12, 9 & 8 and I work full time, but things have been this way for several (many?) years.

We make a good parenting team and have a good standard of living. Our children are all healthy, happy and doing well. From the outside all looks rosy.

I was tolerating the situation as I couldn't imagine being apart from him for the sake of the children if nothing else. Then last summer I started a relationship with a married man and in the midst of that suffered a double bereavement. The relationship is over but made me realise what I, and my husband, are missing and that I do desire sex just not with him. The bereavements have left me thinking 'is this it?' and 'life's too short'.

For the first time I have contemplated a future in which we are not together. I don't know where I am going from here but standing still is no longer an option.

What I'm trying to say is that you are right to try to address the situation as it is in my experience a ticking time bomb and things may have gone too far to save my marriage.

The reasons I feel no desire for my husband? I'm trying to unravel exactly what they are but these are factors - he's put on a lot of weight and I just don't find that attractive, we have little in common except the children, things are much better now but there have been times he's been miserable, unsupportive, wrapped up in his own problems and these eroded our relationship, I was worn out looking after three small children and found sex another chore...

Not sure if I am helping at all but I wish you well - sorry.

livingmydream612 Wed 22-Jan-14 18:53:42


I find it hard to believe that she loves you yet is unwilling to even discuss getting help.

I have been with my man for 10 years and I still fancy the pants off h. Sure sex isnt like it was in the early days but on average twice a week with lots of handholding/cusdles etc. I think it keeps the relationship close if you are intimatem. Has she said she isnt attracted to you anymore?? Sex once a month sounds a long time to me. You say its been like that for 7 years... Bloody hell.

As a woman, sometimes life/chores/children do get in the way with sex life (my experience) but I find it so sad that you are receiving no physical affection from her.

You sound lonely op.

Bl00dyhell Wed 22-Jan-14 18:54:24

Welcome to my world, if one of you needs intimacy and the other doesn't it's a real issue.
You need to address it before the void gets too big and it becomes impossible. If it isn't addressable you need to make some big decisions.

Bl00dyhell Wed 22-Jan-14 18:55:45

Ps once a month would be a luxury, I'm lucky with a couple of times a year

wakemeupnow Wed 22-Jan-14 19:04:28

She maybe avoids physical contact because she is worried it might lead you into thinking you are going to have sex.

How about suggesting you'd like to have a cuddle in or give each other a back massage but with an agreement that it is not as a lead up to sex.

If you take the pressure off then it might open the way for her to be more physically affectionate.

greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:46:32

Thanks for all the advice and words of support

Struggling 100 - She does say she's tired a lot, however she has plenty of support childcare wise from me and both sets of grandparents. And she always has the energy to go out with her friends socialising till the early hours so that would be a poor excuse on her behalf. I do everything I can to make her life easier round the house and childcare wise. I do most of the cooking, washing, ironing. Couldn't do anymore really! And we have been away for nights /weekends and have some evenings alone but she's just not interested.

Jaffacakesallround - I have asked her if the problem is she just doesn't find me attractive anymore ,or love me, and she says that she does. The problem is she doesn't really want to talk about it. I can tell she wishes I'd never brought it up at all. She's clearly upset by what I've said but the problem is twofold – she's not interested in in me physcially and not really interested in doing anything about it apparently. She has said she doesn't know what to do.

*PinkflamingO , livingmydream612, blOOdyhell*– Like I say I did ask if she didn't find me attractive anymore – she said she did, but perhaps not as much as when we first met which is fair enough I suppose. I'm not overweight and do try to keep in shape. I've raised the issue now because I don't want to get to the point where we both dislike each other and are unhappy. I can't bear the thought of us not being together but neither do I want sex-less, contact-less marriage. I still feel like relatively young (ish! - 35) and really need some love and affection from her.

Despite having a great figure she isn't happy with how she looks bodywise after three kids. Tiniest little bit of tummy and smaller breasts after Bfing three kids. However she really does look great and I tell her that all the time. Any mothers out there who have learned to love their bodies again after lkids?

Wakemeupnow – That's the thing – I never pressurise her into sex and wouldn't expect a hug to lead to something else. Even a cuddle in the kitchen from me on a sunday morning with noisy kids in the background (clearly not foreplay!) is met with nothing. In the last 9 months we've probably had sex 3 times and each time was awful. I don't want to be thrown 10 minutes of sex every few months like it's a duty for her.

I'm trying to be positive and constructive in finding a way through this but don't feel hopeful right now.

rollonthesummer Wed 22-Jan-14 21:52:45

Silly question, but when you hug her and she hugs you back, do you automatically think she's turned on and start to get raunchy?! My DH does do this which puts me off being affectionate with him as I don't necessarily want sex! Then I feel I have to be careful how I react.

Apologies if you don't do this though-it was just a thought.

rollonthesummer Wed 22-Jan-14 21:53:39

Oops, sorry-I see someone else has suggested that and you have replied.

greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:57:17

rollonthesummer - not at all. Not wanting to sound overly dramatic but I can't remember the last time she hugged me back! Most of the time we have three kids running around and all that entails so not really anytime for me to try and misinterpret a cuddle. And that's the thing - clearly I would like sex but I would also like some day to day affection also. Without expectations it will lead anywhere.

cheapskatemum Wed 22-Jan-14 22:00:14

Yes, me! To answer your question about mothers who have learned to love their bodies again after kids. I have 4 DSs, I'm not saying my figure's perfect, but I'm happy with it. Does your DW enjoy any kind of exercise? Finding time for physical activities I liked helped me a) improve my figure & fitness b) get more energy c) feel happier because I was doing something for myself and it had all round benefits for everyone.

Have you tried suggesting you both go to relationship counselling?

jayho Wed 22-Jan-14 22:09:38

have you thought about cuddling inbed just leading into you bringing your wife off (for want of a better phrase) rather than resulting in sexual activity between the two of you. Look at providing her enjoyment first and making it clear that this is what your're focussed on, letting her relax and enoy, not about performance. I know it'll turn you on too but you need to take the presure off her. She's being asked for stuff all the time.

greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:14:32

She much prefers going out socialising than exercising-it's not something she's ever done as she's always been slim-still is.I think she'd find it hard to see the logic behind it.I will try and suggest it again though. I did mention counselling when we last 'discussed' the situation but she didn't really respond.Her initial suggestion was for me to move out for a bit so she could Have some space to think. I refused as I felt like I was being punished for something.

Thanks for your input though - it is something I thought might be worth suggesting.

greenman99 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:25:19

I could try Some cuddling in fact we did use to do this.however I would still find it difficult to get past the fact she doesn't even really want to do even that.

jeannie46 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:40:40

The reason she has enough energy to go out with her friends, is that she's getting the emotional support she needs from them; talking over her problems, comparing notes etc.

It could be that you could provide more of that? IME she's feeling upset about something in your relationship. Probably not feeling appreciated.
And, sorry to be brutal, but perhaps your ' sexual approach' is not good enough and she's learnt to avoid it.

Do you bring her presents, praise her, sympathise with her ups and downs, tell her you love her? Her friends will be doing all of this.

RalphLaurenLover Wed 22-Jan-14 22:43:09

Today I split up with my ex DP for this reason.

Last night I went to sleep on the sofa in my own home whilst he had the bed and lay there awake thinking I feel completely unloved.

He admitted a while ago that the spark wasn't the same, we didn't hold hands any more, kiss, say i love you etc and we tried to make it work, Today was the day I ended it. I couldn't live like this any more it wasn't fair on me or my DC. He told me he saw me as a friend more than anything now, we went from having sex 3 times a day to barely 3 times a week because he didn't find me attractive any more and couldn't get an erection.

Im doing a lot better now despite it being only a couple of hours. If this is a deal breaker and she is unwilling or dismissing the chances to make things better I'd consider leaving tbh!

Sorry OP

Littleen Wed 22-Jan-14 22:50:53

This sounds very sad, but it can have a number of reasons. Could be a psychological issue, or something with you. For example - if you have different ideas about hygiene, this could be a reason. Also think it's important to try and talk to someone professional, whether it's for her on her own or the two of you together. Something is obviously wrong, but it's very hard to pinpoint.

Littleen Wed 22-Jan-14 22:53:22

Also, you can cuddle her in bed even if she doesn't "consent" - of course if she pulls away you take the hint, but a bit of spooning without holding around her could be a nice start at least. Mind - I am very cuddly but can't stand having an arm around me in bed for more than a few minutes as I feel a bit claustrophobic, so might not want to do that smile

mcmoonfucker Wed 22-Jan-14 22:54:18

I know you say you are supportive however it's always worth actually asking the question to make sure she believes and feels that too. " Do you feel I am supportive?"
Open ended question and importantly must be approached with an open mind that she may very well not feel supported, despite the fact YOU feel you do your best.

The reason I say that is in your post you said "she says she is tired however she gets plenty of support from grandparents and me"
That's actually very dismissive of her authentic feelings and nothing kills a sex drive quicker.

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