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Can this ever get better?

(71 Posts)
ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 09:29:14

Please be gentle, am feeling very raw. sad

Been with DH for 12 years and married for 10. 3 kids under 4, I'm a SAHM. Nice lifestyle, no money worries. Absolutely crap sex life. He never (and I mean never) initiates it. For him it's a chore he'd rather not bother with. We have sex maybe 4 times a year, always when I've thrown a fit about it. We sleep separately, he smokes and snores.
I've ignored my sexuality for so long I'd started to believe it doesn't matter. But then something happened and I've realised it does.
DH says for him sex is a really emotional intimate thing whereas my approach is much more recreational. Somehow I just don't seem to do it for him and then he loses his erection and gets angry, usually at me. He thinks he knows how frustrated I am but he's no idea how much this is making me climb the walls.
I decided to do everything I could to try and make it right but he couldn't get hard. He really would rather just not bother.
He came in last night and said he'd taken a Viagra (he bought some off the internet at my insistence) and expected me to be thrilled and I pointed out that I'd rather not have sex with someone who thinks they're doing me a favour by shaggjng me.
He's been to the doc about it (after the last time I insisted) and the doc wouldn't prescribe anything as he told her that he didn't have any erection/performance issues when he was on his own.
I tearfully told him last night that I couldn't go on like this, and I didn't know how to fix it or if it could be fixed even. He tells me he loves me, we both adore the children and if we could get this sorted I think we would be fine.
This has gone on for so long, years and years even before we had the kids, so it's not that. I don't want to sound big headed but I'm in good shape and I don't think it's as simple as a straight attractiveness thing.
I really want this to work, but honestly can it?

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 09:55:01

Anyone? sad

LucyInTheSky78 Fri 15-Aug-14 09:57:21

Well, I'm really no expert in this at all but if it's not a physical problem he has then maybe it's emotional.

I'm sure it must be a sensitive subject for him but at the end of the day, it's causing an issue between you and neither of you sound particularly happy. Of course he might just have a very low sex drive but I think since the GP hasn't helped, then maybe you could talk to him about starting counselling to try and get to the bottom of it?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 15-Aug-14 10:05:15

Could he be gay?
Does he watch a lot of porn and get himself 'off'?

I couldn't live like this.
It destroys your self-esteem and your confidence.

So.. if he'd taken viagra, what happened?

I'm not sure this is fixable.
What do you want to do about it all knowing that things will never change and this is it for the rest of your life, unless YOU make the changes?

Quitelikely Fri 15-Aug-14 10:09:40

Could he be feeling guilty?

Quitelikely Fri 15-Aug-14 10:10:52

I believe he knows why he can't get an erection when with you. The reason is in his head, just as he is trying to get it up. If he told you what goes on up there at that time then you will know why.

Inkblinkandmustard Fri 15-Aug-14 10:26:10

I think it would be worth seeing another GP. Viagra etc can be useful to get over performance anxiety initially. Psychosexual counselling may also be helpful.
I think if everything else in your relationship is good, then yes, you can work this out but he will need to want to change it, and you will both need to communicate
Good luck!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 12:49:33

If sex is an 'emotional intimate' thing for him then the answer is not Viagra but to increase the intimacy. By which I mean not just sex but being tactile, affectionate, loving, personal .... intimate.... the rest of the time. Has he seen anyone about the snoring or tried to give up smoking? Sleeping in separate beds when there's an absence of affection more generally can have the effect of turning people into flat mates.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 13:17:40

Lucy I think counselling would be a start. Whether he would go or not is questionable. But if he doesn't then there's nowhere to go is there? I have to put up or get out.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 13:20:52

Hellsbellsmelons I don't think for a second that he's gay. I'm ok with porn and he had a sizeable collection when we met and none of it was gay.

If this doesn't change? That scares me. If it was just the two of us then I'd leave, but with the children, it's a different question. I can't go on like this. I always thought affairs were for nasty weak willed twats and yet in facing this, I can see how they happen. It's so sad. sad

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 13:26:16

Quitelikely I think he feels guilty for the state we are in now but I have no reason whatsoever to suspect there's anyone else or ever has been.
I think he's got a low sex drive that's easier to deal with with a solitary wank occasionally. He doesn't see me in that way anymore.

I think there's a seething resentment underneath - he's really really angry with me about something but isn't dealing with it and for him because sex is tied up with so much emotion, he withholds it. I'm not even sure he could articulate what's eating him and maybe it's not just one thing, it's anger plus the pressure of small children plus a demanding job plus smoking and carrying a bit of weight plus performance anxiety.
But I just don't know how to fix it. Without my instigation it would be like this forever.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 13:32:52

Inkblinkandmustard I really hope he will consider some sort of psychosexual counselling. He can get hold of Viagra anytime and supposing that's sorted out, i need to get past feeling like my husband thinks it's a chore that he has to take a tablet to "to his duty".
He blames me for things I have no control over or have happened in the past and it's that resentment I feel that gets between us.
He displays a lot of what I understand to be the traits of Aspergers too, and having read quite a lot about it, emotional intimacy can be very difficult. He also (when pressured into it) only wants things to happen on his terms his way, so ABCD every time is the only thing that does it for him. If I suggest CABD he refuses. The one thing he really likes to do to get going is a massive turn off for me.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 13:41:40

Cogito after years of my begging, he's finally trying e-cigarettes but it's very half hearted. He's been to the doc about a few health issues and they diagnosed him with pre diabetes, which coupled with the smoking doesn't help the performance issue. Re snoring we have had separate rooms for years but he just says that I'm too noise sensitive. We can only sleep in the same room if I'm slaughtered drunk or had sleeping tablets because his snoring is so loud. Either way I need a good night's kip to deal with the kids.
We are a lot like flatmates. There's been a lot of pressure on us on top of general life - a big legal case which has gone on for years but is ultimately going our way, that sort of thing.
I've bent myself out of shape trying to make this right, or ignoring it because I wanted it to be "our" issue that we could fix, but much as I hate to admit it, I think it's his problem to deal with.
It eats into every aspect of us now. I resent him so much for making our marriage this way. I shouldn't have to feel like this, nor should I feel bad about wanting a sex life. sad

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Aug-14 13:53:47

You say your libidos were mismatched before the arrival of DC.

If you have three DCs under 4 by DH - not being flippant - unless you used the turkey baster method he must have managed intercourse at some time. Had you not said that his reluctance to initiate sex pre-dated starting your family, I'd hazard a guess is it purely fear of another baby? Infants, snoring, smoking are valid reasons for sleeping apart but it drives a wedge between you.

If he gets hard when on his own it doesn't follow he can definitely manage or sustain an erection with you so the GP didn't exactly take the time to investigate further. I don't know if by acquiring Viagra your DH is just placating you or genuinely keen to address this. Even taking it there still have to be some sexual stimulation happening for it to work. So maybe after trying it you will be closer to figuring what is going on.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Aug-14 13:55:57

Reading your last post about medical issues I'd be wary of him taking something that wasn't prescribed or okayed by his doctor.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 14:14:00

Donkeysdontridebicycles we had IVF. We were trying for a while but that put a terrible strain on us (him) to perform on specific days and I nearly lost my mind with the frustration of him saying "I just don't feel like it today, let's try tomorrow." I'd explain it didn't work like that, we had to do it NOW (which he knew fine well) and he'd reluctantly do it.
It was a relief to have IVF (which we did genuinely need) and take him out if the equation.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Aug-14 14:45:08

Thanks for explaining it must be difficult putting it down in b+w.

Jan45 Fri 15-Aug-14 14:54:40

If he's not willing to talk about it/seek help then he will be leaving you no choice, like you, I would not accept a relationship with no sex, it's a recipe for disaster.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 14:56:31

I feel so selfish for potentially exploding our children's lives and splitting up the family "just for sex".

FairPhyllis Fri 15-Aug-14 15:29:04

Aretha, I don't have many ideas here but if you really think there is some deep seated anger and resentment burning underneath, then how can that not be unconsciously filtering through to everyday life and being picked up on by your children?

It sounds as though there's something fundamentally wrong in the way you relate to each other - he only wants things on his terms and he blames you for things that you have no control over? That sounds horrible. It doesn't at all seem like a problem which is solely about sex. Do you think the sex thing is part of a general pattern of withholding affection?

If you split up, by the sounds of this it will certainly not be "just about sex".

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 15:38:06

The more I think about it the more convinced I am that it's anger. I think he consciously wants to have a good sex life but with me, he can't. Then the other stuff - smoking, weight and performance anxiety on the top just kill it dead.
He seems very unhappy. sad

I really want this to work.

ArethaFranklinstights Fri 15-Aug-14 15:41:27

"It sounds as though there's something fundamentally wrong in the way you relate to each other - he only wants things on his terms and he blames you for things that you have no control over? That sounds horrible. It doesn't at all seem like a problem which is solely about sex. Do you think the sex thing is part of a general pattern of withholding affection?"

All of this.

He works very hard. I'm at home with the kids but have my own income (from a big insurance claim when I was badly injured) and he insists on us running our finances separately. He resents that I don't "work" for my income despite being at home with three small children. Then he gets a grip and remembers that a) that's a job in itself and b) if I went back to work we would have to pay for childcare.

Jan45 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:49:35

Selfish? For wanting a normal healthy loving relationship with your partner that involves intimacy/sex - that could never be described as selfish, it's a natural physical want that comes from loving a person.

Jan45 Fri 15-Aug-14 15:52:49

I would be livid if my partner even hinted at being resentful, doesn't sound like you two are a team at all, you're at home with 3 kids and he's pissed off cos you have money (to spend on the family) and are home looking after the kids you both decided to have together....confused

What exactly is he bringing to the table?

LineRunner Fri 15-Aug-14 15:55:52

If something that gets him going is not at all ok for you, then you have an issue of sexual incompatibility, unless there is something else you both like to do.

You sound so, so pissed off. I really feel for you.

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