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Really bad sex, considering divorce

(21 Posts)
Feathers1981 Fri 21-Mar-14 19:14:58

I'll try to make this short!

My husband is a wonderful father and all aspects of our relationship are pretty perfect-apart from sex. Which is beyond terrible. It's never been earth shattering but at times it's been ok. But now it's so bad I just can't bear it.

We have different sex drives (mine high and his low) which I can cope with. But He never initiates sex. To prove this I stopped initiating and we went 3 months without sex. I've had several bouts of feeling very down as I've made a move and it's just gone over his head (for example even getting in shower with him, which we used to do, him getting hard and then getting out and getting dressed and walking off). Discussed this and he said looked shocked and said he wasn't sure why he'd done that (or the other examples I gave him). So I end up feeling rejected. He had ED for a year and a half 4 years ago or so and then for the last year PE...but ED also makes an appearance now and then. He never brings me to orgasm before him, so after his two minutes he then might start on me (I've started to get so annoyed by this that I just push him away and give him a cuddle instead). There are no health issues and doc given all clear. I've spoken to him about this and we both know the ED is caused by things in his head I.e he worries it will happen so it does.

I've tried not putting him under pressure, being reassuring, faking it anything to make him feel better about himself but I am at the end of my tether. I'm so frustrated. I just want to have sex with my husband and enjoy it. I'm sick of only foreplay and two mins of sex. I can't relax now as if we do have sex it's so disappointing.

Sex is important to me. I can't live like this forever but can't stand thought of only having joint custody of DS and do love DH and would like to make it work. But no idea how. We have an open dialogue about this now as I told him I was thinking of leaving a little while ago when I was feeling massively rejected. So he knows how bad it is. We are talking about but basically on top of the above he's just pretty bad in bed. I've tried showing him or dropping hints but I don't know what to do now to make things better.

I really want my marriage to work and Desperate for any ideas please. We've tried nights away etc, sexy board games (yes really!)

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 19:38:19

Have you considered sex therapy (or whatever it's called)?

Would he agree?

Ragwort Fri 21-Mar-14 19:45:30

I expect my DH feels just like you do about our sex life, sad. I don't know what the answer is but do you want to tell your children that you divorced their father because you didn't have a satisfactory sex life? It depends on what the most important aspect of marriage is to you.

The usual answer to husbands on mumsnet with this sort of complaint is 'sort yourself out'.

Lweji Fri 21-Mar-14 19:50:52

The usual answer to anyone is that they can leave for whatever they want.
And that it's not ok to pressure a partner for sex or to cheat "because" of lack of sex.
Personally, I'd deal better with lack of sex than bad sex, with a selfish partner or one who didn't have his heart in it.

Toohardtofindaproperusername Fri 21-Mar-14 19:54:21

You don't usually tell children the intricate details or reasons why you might have divorced though do you (whatever they are it is not necessary for children to know).
I think sex therapy can help but usually when both people are committed to improving their sexual relationship. In my experience a partner agreed to go and then only months down the line did they accept,when challenged., that they went "for me" rather than because they wanted change. They were happy as things were. So I guess it's about deal breakers, knowing what you BOTH want and will accept and knowing yourself. There are some similar current threads on this topic that might be helpful to check out. Hope it's helpful if you both decide to get therapy - relate sometimes have a sex therapist but depends on where you live.

Tinks42 Fri 21-Mar-14 20:22:37

What made you be with him in the first place OP if sex has always been an issue? Some people are just not sexual, no amount of coaxing/counselling is going to make it better in my opinion. I feel it's up to you to decide whether you can live with this.

BardOfBarking Fri 21-Mar-14 20:46:54

I have a wonderful husband and a really crappy sex life too. I have a well used 'rabbit' but it's not the same - the rabbit is always obliging but never gagging for it. I don't know the answer sad

Tinks42 Fri 21-Mar-14 20:55:37

You can't "make" someone be sensual/sexual they either are or aren't.

Feathers1981 Fri 21-Mar-14 21:15:40

Thanks. I don't think 'sorting myself out' is the answer (I also have a rabbit!). I want intimacy between us to be part of our marriage. I want to feel that closeness that you feel when you are lying in each other's arms afterwards. We are actually in counselling (just had second session). My concern is (as has been suggested) that he says he wants to change but actually he's happy not having that much sex or having 2 minutes of sex. Not sure he can change.....

Think as is an important part of being a couple. Otherwise you may as well just be best friends. Which is fine if your happy with that.

To answer one of the questions. He'd never been in along term relationship before so I put it down to lack of experience and hoped it would get better. If anything it's got worse

Tinks42 Fri 21-Mar-14 21:19:10

Then it just goes to show OP that he's not that way inclined and no amount of counselling is going to make him. You clearly need different and will end up resenting him and feeling like a huge part of a relationship for you is missing. Personally, I'd part.

rosdad Fri 21-Mar-14 21:55:56

I can give slightly different perspective on this as the grown up son of a mum who got intoa similar situation. When I was 8 my mum had an affair and eventually divorced as many of us parents seem to do. Its left me feeling keen never to put my daughter through the same pain. But at the same time I've had to come to terms and accept my mum's side of the experience too.

My dad had put pressure on mum to go back to work and had pressured her to move away from her town to take work. They'd lost any chemistry they had and she met my step-dad at her work. If that had been that and they'd accepted the situation and moved on Id be a happier son 25yrs later but they handled it by taking 3years to decide to get a divorce through which time I saw my parents fighting, being absent for months, throwing things around and generally being miserable. The pain of that time has been a reference for all of my relationships since.
On the plus side I now have a step dad who I love as much as either natural parent and two half siblings who Im really close to.

If kids are involved, consider them by acting with certainty and good character. There are many options that the two of you can choose. Some dads actually get off on seeing you with a purely lustful friend - each to their own and all that. I guess most dads arent that self confident and comfortable with themselves and so couldn't share, and so from my perspective, a clean split is healthiest for all if you really need to be fulfilled. I don't think our mainstream post-religious culture is really tooled up for supporting you with an illicit affair and I imagine most would consider that emotionally risky (aka immoral) for all involved.

I'll stop before I offend anyone else but please understand and empathise with my perspective.

Feathers1981 Fri 21-Mar-14 23:25:35

Thanks. I appreciate your perspective.

Open relationship/affair is not what I want. I'd rather sort it out and (very) worse case part. We don't argue infront of our son, actually we rarely argue. We are affectionate generally. It's purely a bedroom thing. I am afraid if resentment building. I'd do anything to make it better rather than part and lose my son, family and husband. But it has to get better. It's just how....and if it's hopeless it not grin(

nerofiend Sat 22-Mar-14 10:42:27

ED, and PE are all signs of other deeper psychological issues that might have been developing since childhood, it is not about the particular person "being bad in bed", or rejecting the other half.

If you love your husband, and really want to give your marriage a go, please try to talk to him and help him understand what lies beyond his sexual anxiety.

Many men with sexual anxiety had mothers/fathers who were probably very neurotic and possessive or domineering. Maybe they had parents who viewed sex as taboo and that's why they don't feel entirely comfortable having sex in a relaxed affectionate way.

Some come from very rigid families where the limits of what was prime and proper were clearly defined from early on, and transgressing was viewed as a big fault.

What I'm trying to say is your complaint is perfectly valid, and so is your frustration, but before leaving a good human being and breaking a family up, please try to give your DH a chance, and try to go the root of his problems. I'm sure counselling with help with this.

Ragwort Sat 22-Mar-14 11:09:52

If this was a husband complaining about his lack of sex life, the responses would be much less sympathetic and many similar threads have said 'no one has a right to a sex life' etc etc.

Why the double standards on Mumsnet? hmm Some people just aren't into sex.

Lweji Sat 22-Mar-14 11:12:52

Men are told not to pressure their wives, but everyone is entitled to leave a relationship for their own reasons. Even for lack of sex or bad sex.

Dahlen Sat 22-Mar-14 11:16:11

No one has a right to sex, but it's not unreasonable to expect to feel loved, cherished and desired within your primary relationship - surely that's why we have them instead of just having friendships?

There are numerous ways to make your partner feel special and desired, it's not just about sex. There are a large number of couples who clearly love each other and have a lot of affection but they aren't having sex. They have intimacy. Sex is just one expression of intimacy.

OP, I would say you don't have intimacy in your relationship. You say everything else is great, but I'm seeing a relationship in which no one really tackles this subject with the depth it requires for fear of hurting feelings. That's respectful but not intimate. If you want to get past this, you need to bring this fully into the open and deal with it for good. You may find a sex therapist useful at some stage, but the first and most important stage is going to have to be your DH's willingness to get to the root of his problems with ED, etc.

Good luck.

newbieman1978 Sun 23-Mar-14 13:51:20

I started a thread recently about sexual compatibility without seeing this thread but this is the exact sort of thing I was talking about.

I know it won't help your situation OP but have you not got yourself into this situation. You say sex has never been very good, you put it down to lack of experience however it hasn't improved with experience. Yet you carried on and married this man and then went on to have a child, may I ask the time fame of your relationship?

Whilst you were still trying to work out if he would improve, you went ahead and got pregnant (planned?) Maybe it would have been prudent to see if you could cope with the level and quality of sex before you entered in to a committed relationship and brought a child in to this world.

Maybe divorce is the answer, let this man you describe as pefect every other way go and find someone who with appreciate him for what he is rather than criticise what he isn't.

Sorry to be harsh.

WobblyHalo Sun 23-Mar-14 18:42:03

Feathers, I get you. Completely. I'm sort of in the same situation. Although we did have a great sex life in the beginning.

I started a thread earlier and was lucky to get more supportive posts. I'm sorry they're a bit harsh with you.

I've decided to talk to my husband again. Will see how it goes. I also really really want to sort it out instead of part.

I'm sorry I don't have anything constructive to add, but wanted you to know you're not alone. Good luck.

YoungBodyOldHead Sun 23-Mar-14 18:54:20

I believe sex is 50% of a relationship.

Its important to have any sort of intimacy in a relationship to keep the spark alive.

I wouldnt settle for a non existent sex life in a marriage.

I do believe everyone is entitled to a sex life

Timxlt Tue 22-May-18 19:26:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Dadaist Tue 22-May-18 20:46:31

OP - I’m sorry so many MNers just don’t get what you are suffering, and the advice that ‘there’s more to a real relationship than sex’ and ‘just sort yourself out’ are contemptible and useless. Ultimately an intimate and sexually exclusive relationship has to allow for both people to have their sexuality accepted and reciprocated. It’s a huge deal. And yes - it’s ok to consider leaving a relationship where one partner has no desire to reciprocate. It may be that your DH is asexual, or is gay, or no longer attracted to you, or suffering psychological issues. Bottom line is that if it is possible than he has to be willing to address this, because this part of the intimacy of a relationship can’t be buried away or found elsewhere without it impacting on everything else in your relationship.

I really get that you don’t want to end your marriage over this, particularly because of the impact on your DC. But he will understand when he’s older and it can be made as painless as possible where there is no animosity.

I think the first thing to do is to try psychotherapy for DH or sexual therapy (probably as a couple initially). And try to get things on a path to improvement. If it doesn’t then you may have to consider how you want to live the rest of your life. I hope it works out OP.

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