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lovely, lovely DH. Just not attracted physically. Argh.

(70 Posts)
lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 19:32:43

NC'd. We love each other a lot. He is absolutely great, thoughtful, kind, hardworking, very bright, very insightful. I love him, he loves me. We've been together for 9 years, discussed lots of stuff in the past few years, got married nearly a year ago. We have plans for the future, including kids. We talk every day.

It's fairly obvious that the elephant in the room is that neither of us actually enjoys sex with the other, at all, and never really has. And we each feel very guilty about that, and can't really discuss it functionally.

Before DH, I had 2 boyfriends who were emotionally unavailable immature arses. But my god I found them attractive, and the sex was very good, even if emotionally it was all awful. From the first time with DH, it hasn't been any good.

With DH, I thought that he was so lovely that we could work on things and it'd all get better. I don't know if that's what he thought about me. He also had 2 previous relationships that may possibly have been more based on sex than emotional connection.

We made an effort for the first few months. We quickly got into a pattern of sex at most every few weeks. I went on antidepressants, libido disappeared entirely for a few years. Sex never really recovered. Recently I've been away, posted overseas for 18 months and we've only been together for a few weeks, three times in the time I've been away. We managed to consummate our marriage successfully, but that's it for the last 2 years.

I'm off back home to DH at the end of this week.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

CocktailQueen Sun 23-Nov-14 19:34:07

Are you sure he feels the same way? Sounds like you have to face the elephant in the room and talk about it.

Good luck -sounds very tricky.

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 19:37:41

He very occasionally talks about finding sex "odd" and that it's a physical thing for him to be able to sort it out (i.e. that sex works for him even if it's not really "working" for both of us).

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 19:40:21

We are both capable of - er - "sorting ourself out", but we've never discussed this - and for me, the feelings are almost completely not there, since having been on antidepressants.

Sigh. Kids at this rate might well need to be adopted.

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 19:51:50

I've read enough on here to know that - while we have a very strong relationship - we are each one step away from meeting someone to whom we actually are attracted. We do not wish to acutally go out and start this process.

I have thought about what i'd do in that situation, and have sufficient self-control, I think, to stick with DH and absolutely not stray. But i know it's a volatile situation if it happens, and could potentially happen.

Some friends of ours are divorcing as the wife has fallen wildly in love with someone else and the husband "wants to give her a chance at love again". We think that they may have been in our situation (have referred to it obliquely, DH clearly was thinking the same thing), though perhaps further down the track of a friend-like relationship.

MadeMan Sun 23-Nov-14 19:59:20

I can't really see how you can fix it; you sound as if you're both resigned to not ever wanting sex with each other again.

Surely you should both be stripping out of your clothes and foaming at the mouth as you get off the plane back to hubby at the airport?

Are you sure it's not a combination of the antidepressants and being away for long periods of time that are causing the problems?

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:06:51

Many people have relationships that are essentially sexless. But they're not in their mid-30s.

I think the antidepressants had a big effect in breaking it, though they were 2007-2009. There has been a lot of time in between, when we've been in the same country/house.

We can't wait to see each other and are very excited about the end of the week - but just not in a remotely sexual sense. Does it matter? I don't know. Maybe not?

Vivacia Sun 23-Nov-14 20:07:48

Surely it's worth talking, trying therapy or "self help" books before giving up.

Three kids and careers and life have left me firmly of the opinion that sex is as much a habit of mind as anything else.

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:14:07

Yes. Talking is what we need to do, and have never managed to do successfully on this topic.

I think we're each terrified of saying "actually, when you do XYZ, um, I don't really enjoy it. Oh and ZXY as well. Um. Actually none of it works. and I don't know what to do instead, because I just don't enjoy any of it."

To me, that would be a devastating thing to say to him. I don't want to turn him away at all. I just don't know how to make it any better because I don't have anything that he could do to make it better and isn't doing already... and I think he feels the same way.

Vivacia Sun 23-Nov-14 20:16:22

You don't need to be negative and critical! Just say, "I love it when you do x" or "let's try y" or "I was reading about z...".

Vivacia Sun 23-Nov-14 20:17:14

Is it not worth trying sex therapy before you give up?

hellodave Sun 23-Nov-14 20:17:50

There is a book called something like : make love like a prairie vole !?!?! It is available on amazon and very good. Or try a different book / relate.

MadeMan Sun 23-Nov-14 20:19:44

I'm going to bring it up because it's a favourite intimate pastime of mine; you should try playing some board games together alone at night, with wine. smile

Seriously! wink

If that fails... well then maybe forget about it...

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:21:05

but that's the thing - there isn't any x that either of us loves... and this has been the elephant in the room long enough that we both know that. I don't want to be negative or critical, but this is where we are both too scared to be honest.

His tastes are very definitely not going to stretch to y or z... have been through that in the past, as had been in much more adventurous relationships before him. TBH my tastes don't really stretch to anything any more anyway.

I think we've got to a place where we both respect each other's honesty and integrity and yet we know we can't really be honest with each other if this is going to be fixed - and we haven't yet been honest because we don't want to say anything honest that can't be fixed. Catch 22.

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:24:01

MadeMan - that sounds like my idea of hell as I am teetotal and just absolutely cannot be arsed with boardgames, but the suggestion is very much appreciated.

Shall look up that prairie vole book. On my phone so the subsequent Amazon ads don't show up on my laptop at work...

Sex therapy is probably indicated here, but i think we need to get to the point of discussing this with each other before we discuss it with a stranger.

MyOwnJungle Sun 23-Nov-14 20:25:42

you can't go through a long marriage gritting your teeth every time you 'have to' sleep with your own husband.

I would just cut your losses now before you have kids.

Vivacia Sun 23-Nov-14 20:26:08

but that's the thing - there isn't any x that either of us loves...

Do you mean that you don't feel sexual at all, or do you mean there are things that turn you on but just not stuff that requires him?

DeadCert Sun 23-Nov-14 20:26:45

You need to be able to say to your husband if you don't like something he is doing to you sexually, that's a communication issue.

Relationships have peaks and troughs and the onslaught of work and children, particularly, can quickly zap a sex life. I'm not sure what the answer is but when DH and I have gone through periods of not having sex, we have made a conscious decision to make it a priority, literally like another thing on the "to do" list. The more you do it, the more you want it, and the less....well, you know what happens.

Do you want sex with anyone? Is it a lack of sexual desire or lack of desire for him? I think if it's him you have a bigger issue,

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:27:21

So yes, if sex is a state of mind, I'm clearly in the wrong mindset.

MadeMan Sun 23-Nov-14 20:28:22

"MadeMan - that sounds like my idea of hell as I am teetotal and just absolutely cannot be arsed with boardgames, but the suggestion is very much appreciated."

Hahaha, fair enough then, forget all about the wine and games. grin smile

meandjulio Sun 23-Nov-14 20:28:39

Are you certain that he has never enjoyed it either?

applecatchers36 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:29:16

It sounds like you are very good friends but without the passion, attraction, chemistry you will both be vulnerable to seeking this elsewhere eventually. Also having kids is really tough you need the glue of a good sexual relationship to keep things together.. Or maybe you decide to be friends who choose to co- parent?

Good luck it doesn't sound an easy situation to come back to.

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:32:13

Vivacia - actually nothing turns me on now. I very, very occasionally have sexual dreams and wake up feeling a bit turned on. If I try to masturbate, sometimes it works, but the feelings are hardly there. Mostly it doesn't work.

DeadCert - it's a lack of sexual desire for anyone or anything, and I think that's both of us with this mindset. I wonder if it was originally a different issue and that we weren't attracted to each other specifically (given I'd had previous very sexual relationships) - but right from the beginning I knew I was not turned on at all, and I suspect he wasn't really either, though we were making an effort to do it a couple of times a week for the first few months. But that is a long time ago now, so the issue could have changed.

Vivacia Sun 23-Nov-14 20:34:18

Apart from worrying that one of you will get your head turned, is there any need/motivation to change things?

lackofplaisirdamour Sun 23-Nov-14 20:35:05

I think the thing to do is full and frank discussion. Perhaps late at night, with wine for him, over a game of Monopoly. Not Risk as we'd each find that more interesting than the discussion grin

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