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Wife has no interest in sex or even holding hands!

(255 Posts)
Jimbo54 Sun 31-May-15 10:37:54

I am 40 years old. My wife is 8 years younger. We have a four year old and a two year old. Since my wife fell pregnant the first time, we have had sex about eight times (mostly when she, very occasionally, gets drunk). We have had absolutely no other intimacy – kissing, cuddling, anything. This isn’t by any stretch my doing. I love my wife and find her very attractive. But she simply is not interested at all in me, physically. I know what you will say – talk to her about it! I have tried. But she clearly feels uncomfortable talking about sex or intimacy and the closest thing I’ve got is “you don’t you appreciate that I’ve just had two children” with a look to say “you selfish pig, how can you expect me to have any interest in you when I’m so busy with the work/children”. Well, yes, of course I appreciate that, but I don’t see why there should be a complete embargo and for so long. It is destroying our marriage and I just cannot get it out of my mind. She says that I am a good father and I have a great relationship with the boys, but, I have to say, in fairness, she has done more of the heavy lifting with our second child than me. But I am starting to think she simply doesn’t want me in that way (she is objectively more attractive than me) and I find that very upsetting. But then I think back that when we got married, it took two weeks to consummate the marriage, so why am I surprised now? Further that, even now, when we rarely do have sex (and only the most vanilla of activity is allowed (for example, she won’t even allow snogging!)) I just know that she wants it over as quickly as is decent. In fact, now I think about it, she has never, not once, in at least the last eight years, instigated sex or any form of intimacy and I always have to do the running. I am now thinking enough is enough. But I could really do with a second opinion. Am I being selfish? Isn't this madness? What do I do? Help!

Horsemad Sun 31-May-15 10:42:01


PickledOnionSoup Sun 31-May-15 10:44:23

Why should you have celibacy enforced on you? This has to be talked about, maybe with a third party present. Have you tried Relate? If not then, maybe you should think about ending things. You are only 40, you could go another 30-50 years with barely no sex. Is that what you want??

PeppermintCrayon Sun 31-May-15 10:46:08

Might be an idea to try counselling. I can't help wondering about her background eg if she was brought up thinking sex was wrong or if she was abused.

LikeIcan Sun 31-May-15 10:46:41

I'd divorce my husband if he opened a mumsnet account to talk to other women about our sex life.

Jimbo54 Sun 31-May-15 10:51:37

She won't agree to counselling - I have suggested it.

LikeIcan - I get your point, but it's difficult to get a second opinion on what's reasonable and it seems to me any anonymous post hurts nobody.

EdmondDantes Sun 31-May-15 10:53:31

I'd divorce my husband if he opened a mumsnet account to talk to other women about our sex life.

Seriously! So he can't talk to "you" his wife and he is not aloud to talk to women who might offer an objective opinion who might keep the marriage together and spare the kids a divorce and the bitterness that comes from it. Wow simply wow

ALaughAMinute Sun 31-May-15 10:54:14

No, you're certainly not being selfish. One the one hand your wife might secretly resent you because you don't give her enough attention and don't help enough round the house and with the children, and on the other hand she might have some issues with sex from her past that you don't know about. Do you think she may have issues from the past? Have you asked her about this?

Assuming she doesn't have any sexual issues from the past, I think you could start by giving her some more attention and letting her know that she is valued and loved. You might also try helping her more with the children and around the house if you don't do so already.

Next, you need to work on foreplay. I'm sure you know this already but foreplay starts way before you get in the bedroom. Do you take your wife on dates? Do you go out much? Does you wife know that you love her and find her sexually attractive? Do you tell her you love her?

If all else fails then you might have to consider whether you have a future together. It's not easy to live without sex and intimacy when you're only 40.

NotJustaPotforSoup Sun 31-May-15 10:54:24

What was your sex life like before you got married?

BastardGoDarkly Sun 31-May-15 10:55:43

You need to have an honest conversation about why she doesn't want any kind of intimacy with you. And that you can't live like this, because you can't can you? Id find it unbearable.

Melonfool Sun 31-May-15 10:56:31

I think that's unnecessary LikeIcan, it's not only women who need support and I don't see you posting on their threads saying their husband should divorce them for posting on mumsnet.

I can't offer anything to the OP, counselling is the only hope but if she refuses......

It's no way to live is it. We often have differing sexual desires but in a good relationship you want to make sure your partner is happy, so you meet in the middle.

Mide7 Sun 31-May-15 10:56:54

Jim sounds like your wife has some underlying issues to me or maybe she isn't a sexual person.

Either way sex is important in a healthy relationship. I think counselling is a good place to start. Otherwise I agree the next logical step is thinking about leaving as hard as that would be

Taytocrisps101 Sun 31-May-15 10:58:23

This sounds a bit like me and my ex, except it was the other way round! It's great that you have tried to discuss it with her and having little children does have a big impact on your sex life. However this sounds like a bigger problem. Can you choose an opportune time to talk about it in a supportive way, and perhaps suggest counselling to try to get to the bottom of the issue? I know for me I couldn't accept carrying on for the rest of my life in this kind of's not just about sex but also intimacy and closeness.....things I have realised I'm not prepared to compromise on in my new life. Time to bite the bullet and see if you can get it sorted...if not would be a deal breaker for me, I'm afraid. Good luck!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 31-May-15 10:59:02

What ALaughAMinute wrote in its entirety.

Did she go onto explain why she will not go to counselling or did she not say anything more. If she will not go to counselling then go on your own. She may well never tell you exactly why she is acting as she does, it may well be linked to her own past.

On a wider level, what do you think your children are learning about relationships here from the two of you?. What are they really seeing here?. Would you want them to think that yes, this is how a married couple does behave in a relationship?.

winkywinkola Sun 31-May-15 11:00:38

I would leave.

Please please please don't have an affair.

If you leave and explain why perhaps then she will understanding why.

Keep it clean. If you have an affair you make it dirty and sordid.

ALaughAMinute Sun 31-May-15 11:01:06

"I'd divorce my husband if he opened a mumsnet account to talk to other women about our sex life."

Like, it's not always easy to talk to your spouse about sexual problems. I think the OP, has done exactly the right thing in asking us our opinions. It's not as if we know him is it? Seriously! confused

BeCool Sun 31-May-15 11:09:37

jimbo of course you are welcome here to talk about this.

I do agree with many of the other poster above and their suggestions.

Another thought- is it possible your wife is gay, but for one reason or another unable or unwilling to be out? Did you sleep together before you married?

theelephantknownasnell Sun 31-May-15 11:12:12

It would seem that counselling would be a good step, but you've already suggested this and dw won't entertain it, it does sound like others have said that your wife has intimacy issues which again counselling could help.

I really feel for you, you clearly want to make your marriage work but you can't spend the rest of your life not only without sex but any intimacy at all.

You wouldn't be selfish to leave if you've tried to repair things, I couldn't stay with my dh If there would be no affection.

Faithless Sun 31-May-15 11:12:17

I was your wife in that situation about 15 years ago. Basically, I was "touched out" and emotionally and physically exhausted from having 2 small children, running the house, working and studying. What I really wanted my DP to do was take the children off my hands, so that I could finish what I needed to do then recharge. And share the burden of running the house so that I felt less knackered. However he wouldn't listen and made things all about him and our sex life. He refused to see the connection between him sharing the burden of running a house and our sex life. For example, he would come in from work then insist on working out for at least an hour, right in the middle of the children's dinner/ bath time. Then when they were in bed and immediately after I had finished cleaning up etc, he would want cuddles and attention, just when I had reached to point of being a seething mass of tiredness and resentment. He would have described me as cold, I described him as demanding and self absorbed.
Does your wife often ask you to do more around the home and does she seem over burdened? Maybe if you focus pragmatically on how you can give her space to start to feel sexy again, rather than focusing on who is the most attractive and your frustrations about the lack of sex, she may start to get her mojo back. Really listen to her.
Unfortunately my DP didn't do that and the pressure of it all split us up 13 years ago.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 31-May-15 11:15:50

Your options are
- sexless marriage
- leave
- ask her to allow you to have sex outside the marriage

She sounds asexual or just completely uninterested in sex for whatever reason. Since she seems to have been like this all the time you have known her I don't think talking or counselling will make any difference but by all means give it a try.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 31-May-15 11:17:42

Although Faithless^ asks some relevant questions.

Jimbo54 Sun 31-May-15 11:18:06


We had a pretty decent sex life before we were married, but then it tailed off and now is non-existent.

She wouldn't go to counselling because she has a very robust and down to earth approach to life would think counselling would be a waste of time / weakness.

The honest truth is I find this intolerable and it makes me really angry. I know I will probably be criticised for this, but I feel like marriage is a deal and that one key component of the deal is sex/intimacy. Otherwise, we are just housemates that have children.

ALaughAMinute - I suggested a date night. I was rubbished on the basis that that is some American contrived concept and not for sensible British people. I compliment her, but I get a look as if to say, "why are you being weird?".

BeCool - I do wonder about her sexuality and there was one drunken incident that seriously brought this in to my mind, but I don't think she's a lesbian. I think she is either not interested is sex, or not interested in it with me. The thing is if she would just say that, it would be easier, but just not dealing with it is driving me mad!

It's awful to say it, but I thinking about joining one of those dating sites. It's an awful thought, but I am just desperate! Very unedifying, I know.

queenruth Sun 31-May-15 11:18:37

Women's libidos do drop with age. Usually a bit older than your dw, but maybe she's having an early menopause. Equally, when you have young children and are being 'pawed' all day, to then put the children to bed, heave a big sigh of relief, and then find yourself being 'pawed' again by your dh is utterly exhausting. I use the word 'pawed' because honestly, that is what it can feel like, so I'm just trying to explain it to you.

You have a choice - you can either leave, or you can wait and see whether things improve when the children are at school and your dw has a bit of a break from the physicality of it all. Being a mother to young children is very, very physical and sometimes, you just want to be left alone, completely alone, when they are not around. It can take a while to get the desire for any kind of touching with any other person back because of that.

Don't know if that helps with your decision.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sun 31-May-15 11:21:46

She's 32 confused her libidos should be in its prime.
Don't cheat on her, that's a ridiculous solution. That will end in divorce, recriminations, heartbreak and a lot of shame to you. If the relationship is over it's over. End it in an adult way then seek sex and intimacy with someone new.

Cocosnapper Sun 31-May-15 11:22:07

Likelcan what a vile and stupid thing to say. He's trying to save his marriage.

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