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Need advice / different perspectives on this. Sex Problems

(35 Posts)
Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 21:33:38

Hi there I am very hurt about something which happened between me and my partner last night. We have 2 DC and have been together 9 years so quite a long term thing. We have had our ups and downs at times we have been close to separating but we always managed to bring it back from the brink together, and we have been in what I thought was a 'good' period for a while now.

For the background - I have a medical condition called interstitial cystitis which will not ever go away, in most cases it can be managed. It has caused me chronic pain which in turn affects my mood and self worth. As for sex - it can make it difficult. If i get an ordinary urine infection on top of the chronic problem it can cause hell for me. Sex in itself is painful afterwards for a couple of days so I usually have to keep it to once every fortnight. To prevent a urine infection we have to both shower first, me shower after and also stay up for hours drinking and peeing after the act! So not very spontaneous. But this condition can cause people to be unable to have sex at all so I am thankful I even can.

I have discussed this with my P many times and I've said to him that if he feels he cannot handle my condition then I understand if he wants to split. I feel like I cannot give him what a 'normal' partner would and we are still quite young (he is 35).

Anyway to cut a long story to the point - last night he initiated sex whilst we were watching TV after kids asleep. It was very late and I have to get up very early for school run cause we live rurally. I did not fancy the prospect of staying up til 2 am drinking pints of water and peeing so I said well if you take the DC to school I can do it. I changed my mind though because it seemed a big rigmarole to change our routine. He then sulked and sort of stormed into the kitchen and said things like "it's just because you don't fancy me anymore" , and "the parameters keep changing you are just pushing me away" . I then started trying to explain that I was hurt by this etc , and he got annoyed because he kept having to rewind the TV and he didn't want to listen to me, so he stormed off to bed, leaving me alone watching TV which we usually do together )-:

I feel so bad about it. We have discussed it over and over and he has always said he was fine with it. He has always been respectful sexually and I've felt completely comfortable with him even though I have a past history of really bad and repeated sexual abuse. Which is making it difficult to clarify my thoughts on this.

He said this morning as soon as he came down that he went to bed because I was twisting his words, that he isn't bothered about sex but that he thinks I don't fancy him or "want" him, and I misconstrued his meaning! To me, it WAS about sex, the whole thing was about sex, and now I feel that is just backtracking.

I actually think we should split and told him so, that our relationship is all but over because I can't live with someone who clearly resents me for something I can't help.

I would welcome any advice / other perspectives on this from anyone. I am so hurt. I wrote him a letter last night after he went to bed and he picked it up this morning before he went to work (not due back til Sunday) and he said he would write me one back. His phone is now switched off which makes me angry.

I just don't know what to do. I feel so useless tbh. and I don't see a way forward. I think how he really feels has come out and if he cannot handle it then there is no point in continuing. I'm sure he will disagree as he thinks that all families should stay together "for the sake of the children". Always. So am I looking at a life of being resented? Or leaving and hurting the DC family life? argh.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 06-Jun-14 21:39:59

But you changed your mind - thereby I would imagine causing quite some emtionally painful disappointment. Isn't that why he reacted as he did? (and yes I know it's never justified etc) So not about the frequency, but about thinking you are going to make love, and then suddenly not being about to make love after all?

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 21:40:33

Sorry you have this. What have you taken for it? I believe there are tablets that are amazing by Waterfall. What about one antibiotic taken when you are about to have sex.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 21:41:16

sorry I forgot to add to the (already too long) post - the condition can sometimes progress and I live in fear of not being able to have sex at all. So it's important to me to have a partner who "gets" it. I thought mine did but I think it was just lip service and a couple of other times I have suspected this when he has said certain things.

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 21:44:34

I also think he reacted the way he did from rejection of sex when you had said yes previously. I know it's hard but isn't sex with him worth it. You don't have to stay up. You could go to bed with a big bottle and your phone or iPad or book. He seems understanding but you appear to be putting your sex life last and without it your just friends really.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 21:48:54

Yes TheSilveryPussycat , maybe that was it. After I was umming and awwing about it being late and then I came up with the "well if you take the kids to school so I can stay up v late drinking water and peeing" (to stop infection), and he agreed to that and his face lit up! And then yes I guess I did change my mind. I suppose I didn't want him to wake up in the morning cursing my bladder for changing our morning routine. I did offer that we could do it in the morning after kids went to school but before his work.

I Bindibach - Unfortunately Interstitial Cystitis is different from cystitis itself (strange I know) , it is like a permanent inflammation of the bladder lining , it is horrendous )-: it's not an infection (well none that shows up in current testing methods anyway) like a normal UTI. It's like a lifelong bladder defect. I do use the waterfall powder and I find it does help to prevent the traditional cystitis. I do all the drinking of water and washing before and after to prevent an actual infection occurring on top of the permanently inflammed lining which could make me a lot worse.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 21:53:56

I can't go to sleep because then I will sleep through the few hours drinking water and peeing I have to do to keep infections away. I have followed this routine for years and it has stopped me from getting any actual infections but I still have the IC. I've always been prone to UTIs and sex has always been the trigger. I am terrified of a UTI as well because I struggle as it is.

Is it worth it? Sometimes I would say yes I do enjoy it and I feel close to him, sometimes no because I suffer with pain for days after and wish i could just be a normal person )-: Also I have trauma around sex so it is difficult for me to let go and difficult emotionally.

Horsemad Fri 06-Jun-14 21:55:24

Sound hideous OP & I think he should count himself lucky you have sex at all!

MissMilbanke Fri 06-Jun-14 21:58:34

Sex doesn't have to be penetrative vaginal though dies it ?

Can you be intimate in other ways ?

Tbh I think your dh felt a bit rejected - it's on one minute them off the next, which probably explains his grumpiness.
From what you say I think he sounds a great guy, who clearly cares about you.

Your condition sounds awful - you have my sympathies

LilyMyOneAndOnly Fri 06-Jun-14 21:59:47

I hope this isn't a stupid or insensitive suggestion.. but do you have to have full sex? Sometimes when I'm stressed/tired etc I really don't feel like it so my husband will give me a lovely relaxing back massage and I will (ahem) return the favour?! Honestly I think it reduces my anxiety about not being up for it when he is, and he seems totally fine with it too smile

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 22:01:27

I know it has taken so much from me )-: and I have a relatively mild case actually compared to some.

I would be happy with just non-penetrative tbh. Which we do numerous times prob about twice a week. But he would miss the actual sex and I have tried to do it so we can experience that closeness, but my illness has definitely made us less close in a few ways.

Does anyone think I should act on the feelings of leaving? I think well if he is resenting it now what will he be like if it gets worse! I don't want to live a life with someone who resents me and a life of feeling inferior. I told him I don't think I will be able to shake the feeling. And does anyone think what i think was his backtracking was actually serious?

Quitelikely Fri 06-Jun-14 22:06:37

I think you're being over sensitive and definitely twisting his words. My dh has been annoyed with me when I have changed my mind on occasion. He is allowed to ask you if you have gone off him isn't he? Or if he asks are you going to throw him out. Also there are lots of ways you can pleasure him. Good luck with it all

Quitelikely Fri 06-Jun-14 22:08:11

But I don't think it was resentment. It was just frustration because you changed your mind! If he goes I think you'll be rather shocked and hurt. Just watch he doesn't call your bluff!

LEMmingaround Fri 06-Jun-14 22:20:06

if having sex caused my partner that mmuch pain and discomfort I wouldn't want to do it at all! Whilst I understand how hard it must be for both of you it is horribly unreasonable of him to even ask to be frank. I have suffered from uti's and can only begin to imagine how it is for you op. One uti I had was so bad I actually wanted to die sad

heyday Fri 06-Jun-14 22:20:13

I think this has been a bit of a misunderstanding really. You have said if he can't handle then walk and it seems that for the vast majority of time he is fully accepting it and trying hard to deal with it. Sometimes we all get a bit sexually frustrated and perhaps in need of some reassurance that we are still desirable. He is allowed to get angry and confused by your condition too as obviously it has a huge impact on your lives. Does using condoms help to lessen the chance of getting an infection?
I truly believe that with communication you two can stay together as in many ways you work together well. Are there any support groups for people with your condition as there are usually some sort of groups for most conditions nowadays. They may be the ideal people to have a chat with as they fully understand what you are going through.
Your self esteem is low and right now I think his probably is too. The thing you both need right now is a loving hug and you could provide that for each other if only you would both be brave enough to show how vulnerable you both are.
Give him a bit of time to get his thoughts together. He might be scared of saying the wrong thing or you thinking he is saying the wrong thing. Please don't give up on this relationship until you have sat down and really talked this through. I think it would be very sad if you split up over this. At least let him respond to your letter before you decide to throw it all away.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 22:22:03

I ask him to give me a back massage and he does sometimes reluctantly. We do other things for each other (ahem!) quite often and I think he accepts that but not just that iyswim. He seems to realise I can't do it much, because we will have sex and then for the next 3/4 times he won't ask for penetrative sex (like he knows) he will ask for those other things.

He is not that great, he is quite difficult to live with at times - dogmatic, rejecting of modern technology, head-in-the-sand and bad with money and terrible at communication. But he does pull his weight without being asked and very interested in the children.

As for our relationship, the first 2 years we were all over each other affectionate then we had problems for a while when the DC were babies and we hated each other and now we are not that affectionate - he is maybe slightly more affectionate than I am but I hate that he rarely hugs me other than when he wants sex - he says it's because I sleep half sitting up (true)

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 22:33:28

Quitelikely he didn't just ask if I had gone off him, he just barked at me under his voice a bit and sulked. If he thinks I have gone off him he certainly doesn't mention it at any other time (but then he wouldn't I guess) and he could bring it up in a proper way - he is the difficult to approach or speak to one.

My feelings are that there is no point, I'll never be able to have sex with abandon again and he does not accept that. But I'm not sure that I am being rational.

LEM - yes it's horrible. I am so lucky though that so far mine is pretty mild and hope it doesn't progress like some do. It's like having a mild UTI all the time for me. For the worst cases it's unimaginable.

Heyday - I do believe we in most aspects work together well. I am a member of support groups and they are a great help. Condoms make me worse for some reason, even non-latex ones. I definitely have rock bottom self esteem for sure. Between this condition, my PCOS causing such loveliness as hairy chin and with my post-2-children saggy tummy and stretchmarks, and previous abuse I feel about as sexy as a bag of spanners and this has been going on years )-: I can never initiate sex, I never have, and I guess that does not help him to feel desired, he has said so before. I am kind of 'scared' of male's sex drive if that makes any sense.

Thanks for all of your support x

heyday Fri 06-Jun-14 22:43:50

You sound quite sad and low at the moment, quite understandably. Is there anything you can do to make yourself feel better about yourself ie take up new hobby especially something like yoga, swimming or Pilates as these can all help with posture, relaxation and body stamina without going overboard.
Could you buy yourself a little treat such as something nice to wear or something that would cheer you up for a little while.
It might be worth asking your doctor if they can refer you for cognitive behaviour therapy as this can really help change the way you think and once your thought processes are more positive then you may well feel a whole lot better about yourself. I found it very beneficial.

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 22:50:58

OP the Waterfall Mannose powders are for interstitial cystitis . There are lots of links on the web to it.

There are also lots of discussions on Mumsnet regarding interstitial cystitis. Poor you.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 22:57:53

I am seeing a counsellor, I have been for years and find it does help me, especially when my moods get very low. I do swimming occasionally and I will look into yoga if it's not too painful.

Thanks bindi I didn't know there were discussions on here about it. I see the urologist about every 6 months and I have so far avoided invasive treatments except from the cystoscopy which diagnosed it.

His phone is still off. I don't know where we will go from here, but I feel he was not understanding and that perhaps he doesn't understand at all. I doubt he will address that because that is how he is.

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 23:03:44

Put in a search for interstitial cystitis in the search bar at the top and there are quite a few threads on here. Maybe some will help you in ways you might not have thought or heard about.

His phone is off cause he is feeling as hurt and upset as you are feeling now. Let him cool off. You have given him the option to leave but he loves you. If he didn't want to be with you then he probably wouldn't. I think you both need another discussion about what your needs are and what you can do to solve this issue. Its not worth leaving him over. No ones is perfect either. Lots of us has things that the other one dislikes.

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 23:05:42

Im sure he does understand. He has for all these years hasn't he. You are being extra sensitive because of the fallout from last night. He feels hurt. Now you feel hurt.

ForeskinHyena Fri 06-Jun-14 23:12:33

It sounds like he's being a bit insensitive to say the least if he is putting pressure on you have full PIV sex when you already do other things several times a week shock

I was going to suggest you both try other ways to fulfill each other, my DP and I rarely have PIV due to various factors, mainly contraception, but we have a great sex life.

I don't understand why your h would rather put you at risk of a painful infection and inconvenience you with 2 hours of preventative drinking/showering/weeing when he could give you pleasure in a 'more external' way and he could get as much fun from a blow job.

Slugpickeruper Fri 06-Jun-14 23:43:39

Yes, I think if I don't give in to my immediate knee jerk reaction to leave (because of his attitude but also because of feeling too guilty and depressed that I cannot live a normal life), then it will have to be spoken about again. I feel quite angry and hurt and trapped at the prospect of being someone's burden and someone he needs to stay with just for the kids. He has this obsession that kids should not have broken families, because his dad left abruptly and never saw him again it has obviously affected him I think although we have not spoken about it. I mean, I don't want families to break up either but I realise that sometimes it is necessary, he is quite militantly obsessed with keeping the family together at ALL personal costs.

ForeskinHyena (apt name!), I think he gets bored of just hand jobs and blow jobs all the time. I have explained the peeing and washing routines to him and on the first few times when I told him he had to wash himself before sex he seemed really offended and a little pissed off - he acted as if I thought he was dirty when in actual fact I had explained over and over it was NOT because I in any way thought he was smelly. But now he makes a sort of joke out of it, in a "darling, do you want me to wash there?" (wink wink) sort of way. I was glad he accepted that and he is considerate - he makes me the warm water and d-mannose combo often after sex , and brings it up to the shower I'm in doing the bloody washing thing. I worry that he doesn't 'get' how life altering and painful the IC can be as a condition - he seems to think it's just a case of some washing, peeing and a special acid-free diet then I'll be fine - just a tiny twinge of pain every now and again. He does not seem to want to think about what it can be like - zero sex, daily and hourly agonising pain and not being able to work or go on holidays etc. He has seemed to since I found out what it was, he just willfully ignores that it could actually have any impact on our lives. This makes me angry and feel pressure to be a "normal" person because I feel he expects it of me.

Bindibach Fri 06-Jun-14 23:53:10

It sounds so awful for you. Normal cystitis is bad enough but that sounds horrific. How long have you had it? He does sound like he is trying to get to grips with it though.

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