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Don't know where to start really - sex problems

(31 Posts)
DearestMommy Thu 11-Dec-14 12:20:09

Hi there
I've name changed for this as I feel such a fool.
Background. Split with husband of 20 years two years ago. Stormy marriage, lots of arguing but he's moved on and has met someone else as have I.

I love this man to bits. He still after almost a year makes my tummy flutter and I so enjoy being with him. He clearly feels the same and is with me at every given opportunity. Has proposed several times and i have said that I do love him a lot but divorce is not finalised yet. However, I do believe that marriage doesn't make the relationship but a good, caring, trusting relationship can exist without marriage. However, if it's important to him it is something I am quite happy to do.

But, and this is a big but, after just a few months his interest in a sexual relationship has diminished to a very low level. I tried talking about a few weeks ago and he was so apologetic and lovingly sorry and tried to make amends that I thought it would be OK. However, I'm finding things becoming increasingly distant and a bit cold if you know what I mean. I long for the affection that existed just a few months ago. I long for him to reach out to me but he doesn't. Whenever we sleep together when he wakes in the morning he sticks his arm out over the pillows and waits for me to turn around and put myself in the crook of his arm. He will then say "morning darling" and give me a peck on the cheek. Then a pat on the arm or leg and he's off out of bed. When we go to bed he often is asleep by the time i get out of the bathroom and if he's awake I get a peck on the cheek or a pat on the leg and a "goodnight darling" then he'll roll over and be fast asleep in seconds snoring.

In the day time now there is no affectionate contact unless it is done by me. Sometimes I reach to kiss him and he avoids it or gives me a very quick dry sort of peck and pats me. He never just hugs me out of the blue. He never looks at me when I am undressed. Oral sex (which I love) has ceased and only probably happened on a handful of occasions despite the fact that I do it for him most the times we make love. He used to text love messages (as did I) but they have more or less stopped. However, he does make plans with regards to our future. Looks after me and spoils me a bit. Can't do enough for me on the practical levels

Historically we've had problems with ED and premature ejaculation. But we talked about and I've said that we can get over this as I'm understanding, older like and not overly demanding in that respect. But it's the complete loss of the closeness that is hurting me so much. Last night I tried to talk about it again and he got angry and defensive. He then came out with the killer sentence "To be honest, I don't see a future in this relationship right now" I felt my heart breaking and my stomach churn over. He has gone to work and I'm sat here feeling so broken and hurting. I have told him I love him. He has told me he loves me but can't deal with my neediness. I really don't see that I am needy. I just said that relationships need intimacy and closeness and ours doesn't seem to have that right now. I understand that the problems lack or arousal etc can cause the desire for sex and affection to go completely in men as the issues cause them anxiety thus exacerbating the problem. I guess what I am trying to say is that if the relationship is important to both of us both of us would try and see what we could do to resolve it. But he refuses and just says he's not interested in sex and doesn't know why. That he feels less of a man because of it but can't handle the pressure of it.

Goes on about how tired he is all the time but will sit up half the night chatting to avoid going to bed it feels to me. It's so strange because he is so loving with his little dog. He's known for being so loving to friends and his kids and grandchildren.

Am I just being a moaner? Or should I bail and lick my wounds on my own? My heart is so aching. I am crying a lot without him seeing. I am so scared of losing someone I love so dearly but I can feel him pulling away and I can't win. If I try to stop him backing away I might appear clingy and if I just let him back off and do his own thing he will read that as me not caring.

Just to give this some perspective we are both in our late 50s so not kids with no life experience and baggage.

Please give me some sympathy and guidance.

CogitOIOIO Thu 11-Dec-14 12:33:03

It's a sensitive one and I think it ultimately comes down to compatibility. Physical intimacy - leaving sex out for a second - is very important to a lot of people and if you're one of those people then you're never going to feel properly happy with someone who doesn't feel the same way. To bombard you with acronyms, there are plenty of ways that someone with ED or PE can enjoy a healthy physical relationship without it necessarily being PIV. Couples can enjoy each other with a little creativity & providing the motivation is there.

However, if he's not prepared to talk, avoids the whole thing, and would rather insult your feelings and call you 'needy' than consider alternatives then I don't think there's very much you can do. I find myself saying quite often that someone doesn't have to be a bad person to be the wrong person. He just sounds like the wrong person.... sorry

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 12:40:26

You don't sound needy, OP. Just mismatched to your current DP. He is ore if a loving friend type partner and you want more than that.

Sounds like intimacy makes him run a mile. The fact that he's not into giving oral is a bit of a red flag, ime. He doesn't like sex all that much. He doesn't look at you naked either. fsad

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 12:41:47

More of, not 'ore if' !


CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 12:44:29

I think you have bigger problems than sex.
You came out of a horrid marriage and this sounds like a rebound as this guys seems so lovely by comparison. Honeymoon periods do end but it seems like this guy doesn't want to be with anymore, that doesn't make him a dick just that you and him aren't meant to be.

pinkfrocks Thu 11-Dec-14 12:45:45


To be honest it looks as if there are 2 issues: the first is that has underlying issues re. his ability to maintain his potency which may be an age or health related issue. I'd want to know if this was something he'd experienced with previous partners or if it's new.

He may be finding it difficult to face up to this if it's physical problem, and like many men perhaps avoids seeking help. Do you know if his marriage was sexually ok or if this a pattern repeating?

He does need to see his GP to have his testosterone checked, his blood pressure, his cholesterol and diabetes test. Any guy in their 50s who has ED issues could be suffering from any of the above including arterial disease which affects erections. Is he unfit or overweight?

He could be avoiding intimacy because he fears failure if he tries. That is the most common explanation. However, there is also the chance that he's out of the 'honeymoon' phase with you, has been trying to keep it all going by talking about the future, but his heart isn't in it.

My only advice is that you talk to him and ask him if the sex side could be sorted then would he want to be with you?

There is also the possibility- being blunt- that he is a closet gay who has hidden it for years and who won't accept it.

I'd give yourselves some space- can you stop seeing him for a while and see how it pans out, and at the same time persuade him to see his GP to rule out ( or in) physical reasons?

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 12:51:26

You're not a fool, OP! Concerned that you would even say that, tbh. It's very undermining being with a man who has a low libido and is perfunctory with physical affection. You need more.
Please don't let his tepid sexuality undermine you.
His "I don't see a future for this relationship" is his way of telling you that he can't meet your sexual or emotional needs.

Do you want to go hungry for love with him? That's what he's asking of you.

Quitelikely Thu 11-Dec-14 12:56:50

I think he seems like a nice guy.

Something to ask yourself: do you want the sex because it's symbolises that he wants you or want the sex because you need it, in that your horny?

If you are a person who needs sex then this isn't right for you.

If you usually have a low sex drive and are only wanting it so that you feel more secure then you might be able to work on this.

He turns away from your affection I think because he is worried you might want more or it reminds him of his inadequacies.

If you do stay together remind him that sex and affection are different things and cuddles act are ok.

For some folk sex is the beginning and the end of everything. Not for me though, I value many things in a relationship above sex. The key is getting someone who is on the same page as you though.

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 12:59:56

Dry peck instead of a genuine kiss. That's being put firmly in the friend zone, isn't it. Very hurtful.

WannaBe Thu 11-Dec-14 13:22:50

He's just not that into you. (Sad)
Tbh op he's told you the relationship has no future, take him at his word, cut your losses and move on.

Darkesteyes Thu 11-Dec-14 13:27:37

Someone who tells his partner the relationship has no future instead of being willing to sort out the problem does not sound like a nice guy to me.

EhricJinglingHisBallsOnHigh Thu 11-Dec-14 13:39:35

He doesn't sound very sexual. Some people aren't. You're not needy for being sexual. It's a basic issue of incompatibility.

CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 14:09:19

Yes it's so mean to be honest isn't it darkest maybe he doesn't want to work on it? Or thinks the problem is too big to fix.

daisychainmail Thu 11-Dec-14 14:25:42

What is his past OP?
I had a boyfriend with ED and it was surmountable but there was always a weird element of passion lacking. I wondered if he might be gay (but very in the closet).

DearestMommy Thu 11-Dec-14 14:31:14

thanks for all your replies. To clarify on the health side of it. There are issues there and I was well aware of them and knew from the outset that this might be a problem. He has had heart problems about two years ago but insists he's been fixed. He hasn't been in a relationship since that operation. I am the first long term relationship for about 3 years. I think, however, he might have a couple of one night stands with an old girlfriend, who is always up for that with her exes. Having said that he managed very well the first few times we slept together. It's not sex that concerns me the most but the lack of emotion and intimacy. We are beginning to feel like sister and brother or a couple that have been married for 20+ years.

I am not highly sexual myself (one of the main reasons my marriage was so awful as I would put him off regularly and he would get angry). I'm also wary of the scenario where you equate love to sex. You can shag away with anyone and not necessarily be in love with them. I love this guy. He says he loves me. He says he wants to spend the rest if his life with me. He wants to be with me every day. He looks after me. He says he hates being away from me. But, he shows me no affection apart from the little kisses on greeting and on saying goodnight or goodbye.

I don't want him jumping all over me and rodgering me senseless! But I do want him to caress me sometimes and kiss the back of my neck when I'm not in bed. I would like him to touch me in other places and not just where it is needed for sex. I would like him to maybe sit in the bath with me sometimes and chat. I would like him to look at me and say I look nice when we get ready to go out. I would like him to send me silly text messages like he used to. I sound awful. He just bought me a car FFS.

I'm hoping it is more a health issue that anything else, but I am just not sure. I am just going to leave him to sort out his feelings. I made it clear last night that I am concerned. I said that I felt we needed to sort some things through, but he ended up feeling threatened and just kept saying he's sorry he can't give me what I want. I wanted to shout, "what I was given in the beginning and not just what I want. I am really not that demanding".

But I just kept quiet having said how I felt and left him to mull it over. It ended up in recrimination about other issues as a deflector and degenerated into him saying he was afraid the for the future of our relationship. I know he's a quitter. I've listened enough about how his marriage went. I read the warning signs and possible ignored them or gave him the benefit of the doubt because his wife really is pretty awful, I've met her. After 8 years she's still very bitter and nasty. But yes, I do feel foolish because I ignored the red flags because I fell so hopelessly in love with him. I held him off for a long time. I saw him for a short time and then let it go. Had no contact for a few months and he came back to me saying how much he hurt and wanted me. Is it the thrill of the chase maybe? Either way I feel it is doomed and I am hurting like hell.

MatildaTheRedNosedReinCat Thu 11-Dec-14 14:34:45

I think he sounds like a man who is very scared of his potency issues and has completely lost sense of the difference between sex and affection. He can, of course be affectionate without any risk of 'losing face' but may have, for whatever reason have deeply held beliefs that cuddles=sex. My own DH is a bit like this but the other way round IYSWIM?

If you love him and want him regardless of whether sex is part of you relationship, tell him so. This might mean you are left sexually frustrated, though. If he is open to this then you need to be true to this but lead the way on regular cuddles and hugs etc. and not hope it will lead on to more.

If having sex is a deal breaker for you then maybe the relationship really is over. For whatever reason he lacks the confidence or incentive to seek professional help. Probably the initial sex was that honeymoon period that almost all relationships have (at 20 it's sex non stop, late fifties quite a lot less but regular nevertheless). Clearly the pressure of sustaining this has become too much and his only response, to protect himself, is to walk away.sad

I think only you can decide how much you want to peruse this. It would break my heart to see the dog getting more love than me. But if only he would 'let you in' and trust you, it seems like a wonderful relationship so worth working on. But only if he will put his pride aside enough to work with you.

Good luck.xx

MatildaTheRedNosedReinCat Thu 11-Dec-14 14:37:28

OP sorry, cross posted.

DearestMommy Thu 11-Dec-14 18:23:56

Thank you all for your messages. MTRNRC. That was a lovely thoughtful post. Made me tear up a bit. I'm glad to see I'm not barking mad (see what I did there?!!!) to be a bit jealous of a dog!!!

InfinitySeven Thu 11-Dec-14 18:39:59

I can kind of see where his neediness comment has come from, if I'm really honest. It's not the loving bit... It's the sitting in the bath bit, the loving texts. It's very honeymoon stage, and it would take a lot of effort to maintain if it doesn't come naturally to him.

It sounds like you being unhappy is making him unhappy, which at least shows that he cares. So now I guess you decide if there is a compromise you'd be happy with, or if there is no middle ground for you. That will decide if you can ever be compatible.

Riverland Thu 11-Dec-14 18:44:13

No. Sitting in the bath together and loving texts isn't 'very honeymoon stage'. It's 'very close relationship'.

InfinitySeven, I'm sorry if your relationships have turned tepid fast and you've normalised that in your head.

Darkesteyes Thu 11-Dec-14 20:26:35

Thats all very well Cheese but what would happen if he started dating the next woman.
He needs to sort the problem out before starting a relationship hoping that the woman would put up with it.

MoRaw Thu 11-Dec-14 20:52:16

Don't make this about you. This is likely to be a health issue and he must be going through emotional and psychological hell. Don't make it an issue otherwise things will get worse. Put yourself in his shoes. Ultimately he needs to seek professional help. You will need to think how best to get him to that point.

LuluJakey1 Thu 11-Dec-14 22:37:37

I think when he met you he did what we all do in the early stages of a relationship. However, for him this was not his default intimacy behaviour and as time has gone on he has reverted to his default behaviour. This is how he is set. Most people are stuck with that once it is established unless they are extremely determined to change - and he isn't.
I think you either accept it and live with it, or you can't live with it and leave.

Dowser Thu 11-Dec-14 23:33:51

We are ever so slightly older than you and when one of us isn't feeling too grand things do go off the boil so to speak.

We've been living together three years now and it's not like before and I do miss what it was like in the beginning but you know what I've got a fantastic, solid man who would lay down and die for me.

So what do you do. Live apart and keep your relationship on a slightly more than dating footing or go to the next level.

We love and laugh and there's plenty of banter. We have disagreements and occasionally the odd argument and we are always there for each other.

Would I swap all of that for a few more lit candles, a bit more spicy sex. No I wouldn't. I d just remember the guy I love underneath all the daily grind and remember to sweep all that aside and make him feel special.

Has he got a bit cosy in the relationship? Maybe seeing a relate counsellor can teasel out was going on in a non threatening environment.

I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water until I'd explored every avenue.

CogitOIOIO Fri 12-Dec-14 07:58:36

@Moraw.... this is about the OP., surely? This is her life and it's precious. If the partner has health or any other problems she's not responsible for curing him. If he's embarrassed or upset or whatever it doesn't give him the right to be unpleasant and call her names.

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