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Should I fancy my husband after 18 years or is this normal

(28 Posts)
Housewife10 Thu 18-Dec-14 20:29:13

Putting it very simply I love my husband but I don't fancy him.

I am really missing the intimacy. Is there anyone else in this position ?

I feel my chest tighten at the thought of another 30/40 years of this, it frightens me and I feel sad and panicked at the thought.

It hasn't been an intimate relationship for a long time, we have a child, much wanted by us both, assisted pregnancy. And he is as expected a wonderful father.

My family relationships aren't very good, the thought of my marriage failing is terrifying. I would be alone. Also the longevity of my marriage, about 18 years together, is a great source of confidence for me. But I would love to have a physical connection with someone.

I do understand that every other aspect is very good and that I may find intimacy short lived and 18 years down the road with another partner may not leave me with the loving caring man my husband is.

Thanks anyone for reading this, it's been an interesting process just writing it down, even if it's a bit garbled.

Windywenceslas Thu 18-Dec-14 20:37:16

What does your DH think about the lack of intimacy?

Maybe the attraction would return if the intimacy did? I'm not saying you need to shag your husband, but can you try being affectionate towards him, hand holding, kissing, making time for each other and see what happens?

I've been with my DH for 18 years and I still fancy him. We've had our problems over the years (nothing major) but I can honestly say that making an effort to find each other again really worked for us.

If it doesn't work for you, you need to decide whether you can live a life without intimacy and sex or not. For some people it would be a deal breaker, for others it wouldn't.

FrancisdeSales Thu 18-Dec-14 20:48:02

I also have been married 18 years and still fancy DH, we're always grabbing each other in bed in our sleep. It sounds like you need to find a way to reintroduce the intimacy that you want/need. We tell each other we love each other constantly and hardly fight because we like being best friends, but I think know we just can't take happiness for granted. When people divorce we say "let's not do that to each other". How have things got to this point? What is the story? Has it been a long slide or something recently that you are struggling with?

Thurlow Thu 18-Dec-14 20:54:43

It sounds like you need to work out whether it is about the intimacy or the physical attraction.

I think, personally, that after 18 years together you might not always be looking at each other and constantly thinking "phwoar" in the way you did when you first got together. Familiarity, busyness, tiredness, whatever - it can be very different after a long time together.

But I would say in a healthy relationship, you should still have moments where your partner still 'does it' for you. Whether its when you start being intimate, or whether they have just dressed up nice, you should be able to look at them and think, yes, that's why I fell in love with you.

Do you think it is the lack of intimacy that is causing the problem, or is there something physical that is making you not fancy your husband?

Housewife10 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:40:12


Thank you so much for reading my post and responding.

To try and answer, it's been a very long slide, and I do think it's the attraction. I love him, I think he is attractive in that he looks nice but he doesn't 'do it' for me. There is simply no chemistry at all.

We get on, we are nice to each other, we do nice things together, we tell each other we love each other but there is no further substance (that's the only way I can describe it really).

I desperately want my marriage to work, but I am frighted that I am kidding myself that I can work at creating chemistry.

We don't really talk about it, I once told him that I missed intimacy, and he was receptive, he is clever and logical.

I am simply terrified I am living a lie and to sort it out would mean separation. I don't think I could do it.

YoullLikeItNotaLot Thu 18-Dec-14 21:45:01

Was the chemistry ever there? If so, I think it can come back.

Re the assisted pregnancy, did this have an impact?

Do you ever get to see your husband outside of home/domesticity? I went to meet my husband at his work and watched him laughing and chatting with friends and just thought "mmmm, glad he's mine". Maybe a change of context will help.

You love each other, you're not in a situation where you're barely able to tolerate each other so it's not an irretrievable situation. Maybe you've just both list your way a bit.

dadwood Thu 18-Dec-14 21:49:28

Hi Housewife10

Just a quick check: Do you fancy men in general? I think it's possible for the general fancying drive to go up and down.

simontowers2 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:51:13

If it aint there it aint there. Is it? So therefor you have to be pragmatic and decide whether the pros of remaining together - nice bloke, financial security, you get on - are really worthwhiie. Personally i'd say yes.

TheHappinessTrap Thu 18-Dec-14 22:03:43

This is such a personal decision. Personally, I left a husband where the sex was available but as we grew up I didn't like who he'd become so I went off the sex. I spent some time getting to know myself and, for me, I realised I'm not good at sex. I can want it but I never enjoy it really. So I'm now happily in a relationship with a man I love and respect. We don't have sex. It was weird but now it feels normal. It's a very loving, cuddly and close and supportive relationship. No one else could have told me what the right decision would have been for me. I hope you find what you want op.

Jingalingallnight Thu 18-Dec-14 22:26:38

I would have thought it was perfectly normal not to fancy a partner after 18 years! The maximum for me has always been 18 months/2 years.

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 22:32:16

Marriages exist where there is no intimacy but it relies on both people being totally happy with the arrangement. If that's not the case, it's simply not going to work. If you're literally dreading the next 30 years, I'd say you've reached that point already.

Westendgal Thu 18-Dec-14 22:56:03

No one has suggested counselling yet. It might be a good place to start, if only to give you a place to vent and explore the feelings you are struggling with.

I think people get very hung up on the "stay or leave" dilema. It's not always so black and white, is it?

Reekypear Thu 18-Dec-14 22:58:34

Sex therapy. Sounds like you have a good marriage.

You need to spend sometime looking at old photos, remembering the early days, what you fancied about him then. Go from there.

dadwood Thu 18-Dec-14 23:07:46

I agree with WestendGal, there are often shoot from the hip responses. No abuse has been mentioned, so counselling seems like a good idea to me.

Having said that, I don't think black and white responses are necessarily harmful. I think most OPs are not that impressionable and are not going to make decisions based purely on the advice on a thread. The responses provide insights and clarify and separate the issues and help OPs come to a better decision.

itsbetterthanabox Thu 18-Dec-14 23:39:36

I think it is completely normal and natural to not have strong desire for your partner after being in a long term relationship. This is why people work at keeping a sex life.
That all consuming 'crush' feeling lasts a few years max. I think work on sex but be aware this would happen in any long term relationship.

heartisaspade Fri 19-Dec-14 01:23:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SelfLoathing Fri 19-Dec-14 02:00:23

Are you using the word "intimacy" in the sense of this is a polite way to say sexual intercourse?

Or are you using the word "intimacy" to mean emotional intimacy?

Or both?

It isn't really clear from your post. Emotional intimacy leads into sexual intimacy so the two are linked

Rinkydinkypink Fri 19-Dec-14 04:11:40

Been with dh for a lot of years. Were just to tired and don't see enough of each other without kids. I'm not sure if I fancy him. I know I have limited sex drive and so does he due to family/work pressures.

I like him, I do love him but no butterflies in this house. I'm hoping as kids grow up and we get a bit of time and independence back we can start again.

pombearsforbrunch Fri 19-Dec-14 06:11:28

Could it be the case that you haven't had it in so long that you just don't feel horny? Do you er..... have any toys? Sometimes some alone time ups your need for couple time iyswim. Could that help? Are you attracted to other guys?

Rootandbranch Fri 19-Dec-14 06:53:53

I've been with DH for 20 years and fancy him a lot. We still have the odd really passionate snog. The chemistry is there - the fire just needs a but of poking every now and again.

UnexpectedSchoolOffer Fri 19-Dec-14 07:00:27

We have been together 19 years and still fancy each other. I still get butterflies when I know he is due home from work.

We do argue quite a bit though but not usually for long.

defineme Fri 19-Dec-14 07:14:21

Life has ground me down a lot this year, but when I want to have sex the only person I could contemplate having sex with is dh...married 15 years. I am not in constant state of pwoargh about him, but when he puts his suit on or something I do fancy him. However, I certainly don't have butterflies about him coming home or anything, but I think that's not really my personality? I look forward to nights out that are just me and him.

Bowlersarm Fri 19-Dec-14 07:15:00

20 years married here and still fancy each other. We can keep our hands off each other now unlike the early days, but always hold hands, cuddle, have sex once or twice a week etc.

Hmm, I think yiu can get out of the habit of intimacy and it can take working on to get it back.

I think if I were you, as you have a great relationship with your husband otherwise, I'd throw everything at it to get it back. If you give yourself a decent timescale and have tried everything and the intimacy doesn't materialise, I think the relstionship wouldn't work for me. You can find companions in other areas of your life, personally I would want more from a husband.

Housewife10 Fri 19-Dec-14 07:30:30


Thank again everyone. When I say intimacy I don't think I mean just sex. Yes that's part if it, but it's more complicated. Feeling fancied to me and what is attractive is when some one gets you (or me in this case), likes you as an adult and an equal.

In answer to some of the posts yes I have found other men attractive.

My husband is a lovely man and he loves me a lot, and it's a caring love, but it is not a 'your really attractive and great to be with' love.

I put in one of my earlier posts I have difficult parents who weren't able to provide security, stability, or kindness. As I've got older I feel I have married these qualities. Which quite frankly I desperately needed, probably still do.

I am feeling less black and white about things, this morning, I lovely family life with a fantastic four year old and I am working hard not to to hand him my 'issues'.

That said to those of you who still have butterflies and fancy their partner, those who have an adult to adult relationship, I am so very (desperate not to use the word, but it's true) jealous.

Many thanks, feel sad but not as anxious this morning.

CinnamonCake Fri 19-Dec-14 07:41:28

^^ what Bowlersarm said

We've been together 21 years, married 17 and there have been times when sex was rarer (talking once a month here, instead of once a week, which is about normal for us).
We still fancy each other, kiss, hold hands, etc.
I couldn't be in a relationship without intimacy.

OP, has the spark ever been there? If yes, it can be brought back to life.

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