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No sexual relationship anymore!!

(18 Posts)
Stevelincoln Thu 20-Feb-14 23:18:12

I really don't know what to do.Me and my partner have been together 5 years and also have a daughter.we get on really well but there's just no spark,cuddles,kisses,SEX!!! anymore.
I'm stuck in a rut as she never wants to do anything about it,and whenever it comes up in conversation I always get a 'sympathy shag' after because she feels bad about it.ive done everything I can possibly think of to make her feel better about herself but nothing's worked.Has anyone had this problem in the last and managed to sort it out?

FlatsInDagenham Fri 21-Feb-14 00:43:03

How old is your daughter? It's fairly common for the female libido to take a back seat after birth for longer than you'd expect - it took me a couple of years.

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 00:52:55

'sympathy shag'

<urgh>

Stop doing this. When you force someone into sex they don't want it kills their sex drive and the relationship... Unsurprisingly... How can you even get aroused knowing your partner doesn't want sex?

You can't get answers from us. You have to talk to her.

Agree that if the dc is small infrequent sex is normal. You should be able to communicate about this though. If you can't there isn't much chance it will be resolved.

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Fri 21-Feb-14 00:57:30

Maybe there is something deeper lying such as depression or anxiety, and sex is the last thing on her mind.
Or maybe she is exhausted being a mum/working/etc.
Speak to her. Be gentle. Take her away for a night and romance her without the sex.
Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Feb-14 05:55:11

I think it's a really bad development when a relationship stops being affectionate. Sex might become a lower priority when children are small and everyone's knackered but it's miserable if there's not so much as a cuddle to go around. If she's gone off you as a person, you need to know. If she's gone off sex, you need honesty. If she thinks a cuddle is always going to be interpreted as a green light for sex, that can add pressure and make matters worse.

As ever, it's all down to communication and honesty.

anighttoforget Fri 21-Feb-14 07:33:02

Sadly not a positive experience here but wanted to share. My marriage ended last year the biggest issue being my husbands perceived lack of sex. (I disagree, it was less frequent but we still had sex)
Every time he brought it up my self confidence nose dived making me want sex less. It became a vicious circle where we forgot to be kind to one another and it ultimately destroyed us.
You need to talk very frankly with your wife as you are obviously miserable but you also need to listen to her. Make sure she realises how serious this is to you. I always thought that a decline in sex was a normal part of a long term relationship so I didn't realise how upset my husband was until he left. I'm not saying you should put pressure on her but explain to her that as a couple you need to work on this.
Good luck, I hope you find a way through this. I would also recommend seeing a counsellor possibly relate, they may be able to pinpoint small changes that can make big differences in your relationship.

Offred Fri 21-Feb-14 07:50:16

It's not the sexual it is intimacy and affection and communication you need to work on.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Feb-14 08:06:12

" I'm not saying you should put pressure on her but explain to her that as a couple you need to work on this"

There are very few ways to have this conversation, with or without a counsellor, that are not going to make someone interpret it as 'I want more sex'. Once you're in this mismatch cycle it's very difficult to get out of it. If the base emotion isn't there, logic and persuasion do not make it return

Keepithidden Fri 21-Feb-14 08:21:00

OP - Flatsindagenham is the same advice I received last year when I posted something similar. It's pretty shit and I'm just playing the waiting game at the moment. Two small DCs, youngest will start school in 2016 so I figure another couple of years of this. Hopefully our relationship will last, but we'll see. We're both crap at communication, so Offred's advice seems the most pertinant though I'm conscious I'm being very hypoctical typing that!

RE: The "sympathy shag" I can empathise, it is crap. I hate it, fortunately it's dropping to a couple of times a year now. If I refused DWs advances I know her already low self esteem and body image would be shot to piecies so I try to engineer situations where the opportunity doesn't arise. It's not so much the shag itself that is crap, I think we both enjoy it, it's the feeling that afterwards things may improve, but they don't and the following weeks just drag by until I hit the celibacy plateau again!

Anighttoforget - I'm very sorry to hear your story, can I ask how you squared the circle of your confidence taking a nose dive when your partner brought the subject up balanced against the need to keep talking? Is it purely in the manner in which it is brought up? I.e. no blame, calmly, frankly and without prejudice? Or was it simply the subject matter that was too difficult? Sorry for the questions if it's too personal/painful.

anighttoforget Fri 21-Feb-14 13:31:09

keepithidden I'm not sure I/we did manage it. It has only really been since we split that either of us have managed the honest, open dialogue which may have saved our marriage had we been able to accept our own flaws earlier.
I always felt ex was pushing for more sex without showing me the affection I craved. He felt rejected and withdrew affection. The crucial bit is I never understood this until it was too late.
Some years ago we did have counselling and we were able to see the negative pattern of behaviour, unfortunately for us I think the scars were too deep. Although I also don't think we would have lasted as long as we did had we not seen that counsellor and learnt how to communicate.

Keepithidden Fri 21-Feb-14 15:07:02

Thank you Anighttoforget.

I'm sure the vicious circle is one that crops up on a regular basis in many relationships.

OP - Hope some of our experiences are useful.

MostWicked Fri 21-Feb-14 16:35:03

It's not the sexual it is intimacy and affection and communication you need to work on

Exactly this ^^
Forget sex, work on everything else with NO pressure for more. In fact positively hold back. Wait until she desires it. It will be so much better for both of you.

Stevelincoln Fri 21-Feb-14 23:54:21

Flatsindagenham she is nearly three so me and my partner have had plenty of time to adjust.
I totally understand what people are saying about intimacy instead of just sex,that's exactly what we need but where the hell do you start?after a certain time physically apart from each other I guess you forget how to be intimate.
I've always said to her that I'll never ever push her for sex as I don't want her doing something she doesn't want to do,but at the same time,I don't feel I can do the same,as I still have a normal sex drive.im sure there's a few people out there in the same boat and an also sure there maybe people of the opposite sex thinking I'm just another caveman who wants a bit.but I can assure you I've got our best interests at heart and never want to split from her as it would kill me not seeing her and my little one everyday.
Can I just ask though?how the hell are you supposed to bring it up in conversation after numerous attempts have failed?
Thanks

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 00:04:17

you probably need a safe environment like couples counselling but i'm afraid if it really is very important to you (and it is to me too) you have to be prepared to split up if you can't fix it because living like this, as you know, is unsustainable.

hookedonchoc Sat 22-Feb-14 00:37:14

Intimacy isn't just a physical thing. You say you don't know how to start. Would you consider writing her a love letter telling her how much you want her in your life? When you lay your feelings bare it is more intimate than physical interaction imo. And maybe giving her some warning that you are going to be more physically affectionate but that it is just for closeness, not a precursor to sex.

Once that is out there you could start with just holding hands sometimes, making an effort to kiss hello/goodbye/goodnight etc. Just baby steps towards being closer and more affectionate. Also try and make an effort to connect each day telling her you love her and making eye contact.

I don't know how bad things have got between you, but if someone is willing to put themselves out there then there is hope the other party will be moved to reciprocate. I know how painful it is when the intimacy goes away, my dh & I had some bad years but we stubbornly hung in there and eventually the kids got older, life got easier and we found each other again. I hope things improve for you soon.

anighttoforget Sat 22-Feb-14 00:45:51

I think couples counselling is the only way to create a safe environment for this conversation without introducing any additional pressure. It will help find the cause of your problems and can offer advice on how to resolve them.
I had body confidence issues which were holding me back, we were given homework and tasks to carry out which did really help. We were encouraged to get naked and explore each others bodies through sight and touch with the only condition being that it must NOT lead to sex and we should discuss what we did and didn't like about our own and each others bodies. It helped me get over lots of issues that I had created in my head and I was amazed by how much I wanted sex when it was off the cards!

Stevelincoln Sat 22-Feb-14 16:44:51

Thanks for all the tips and advice everyone.its going to be tough but I'm going to try and hang on in there until this spanner in the works sorts itself out

Offred Sat 22-Feb-14 19:35:27

It isn't likely it will sort itself you know so I hope you don't plan on actually doing that?

You need to work out what has caused the loss of the affection and intimacy and both commit to taking steps to improve the situation if it is going to improve IMO.

Just hoping it will get better on it's own is a massive risk. If it is that you are frightened of her saying she is no longer sexually attracted to you it is better to hear it sooner rather than in five years when the relationship has got even worse.

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