Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Libido's gone, OH frustrated - relationship suffering

(101 Posts)
NannyPahLum Wed 24-Jun-15 09:17:41

Sorry this is long but think background is relevant...

Ok, so we've been together 6 yrs. First 2 yrs long distance and just saw each other every other weekend. Always plenty of good sex.

Then we moved in together. Sex increased to every other day on average (sometimes more, but on average)

But about a year after moving in together our lives went a bit awry... OH's business folded, I was made redundant. After several months of constant job applications and getting nowhere we sank under debt. Lost our privately rented home and had to sell just about everything we owned. In the midst of all this I had an abnormal smear and and to have precancerous cells removed. I ended up with a nasty infection after the procedure that took lots of medication and several weeks to recover from. Although not being able to have sex during the infection, sex life apart from that didn't suffer.

Just as we moved to his parents I finally got a new job, and a week later so did OH. But then just another week in we discovered I'd fallen pregnant. Not planned and battled with whether to terminate or not, due to our less than desirable circumstances for raising children. But decided to keep the baby as in the end we both realised we couldn't go through with a termination. Despite all this, sex life didn't suffer too much.

So we spent those pregnancy months working our arses off and paying our debts so we could get our own place for when the baby arrived... We found a little place. I went into labour early - the evening before we were due to move into new house! Caused quite a few disruptions with landlord & estate agent but we got there in the end.

So baby has arrived, but birth was traumatic and prolonged. I suffered PND, PTS and generally found it difficult to adapt to my new life with a baby who wasn't an easy baby. I had to give up work as we couldnt afford the childcare for me to return. Cue sex life takes a nose dive

I ended up on AD's and still on them now.

Over the next few years Ive struggled to raise DS with zero help - OH works a LOT of hours, he's out from 5am until after DS's bedtime at 7pm. I'm 200 miles from my family, his family all work full time. DS is not easy - always been difficult & naughty and I have consistent with discipline which be draining when I'm doing it all alone.

Sex life has never recovered despite our DS now being 2.7 yo. Since his birth we've been through another 2 house moves due to bad landlords, discovered I was pregnant again when DS was 6 mths but miscarried the day after finding out. Was both upset and relieved all at the same time. We've had 2 significant deaths in the family just days apart. I'm devastated but trying to cope. I'm also single handedly planning our wedding that's in July and it's been a BIG stress.... I'm stressed miserable and have zero sex drive.

But none of these events havr affected OH's sex drive and it's causing big problems in our relationship just weeks away from marrying each other.

I find his constant groping of me, sexual innuendos or direct comments of what he wants to do to me in bed irritating. Or him seeing my reluctance to have sex as 'playing hard to get' and still pursuing and pushing until I give in to shut him up, is starting to cause me some resentment towards him.

A couple times he's even penetrated me (not in an aggressive forceful manner) even when I've said I'm not in the mood. He did it again last night and this time I got quite upset and stormed out of the bedroom and slept on the sofa

I don't know what to do. We both love each other, and i respect he works so hard for us. But the stresses of life over the last couple of years have really affected my libido and I can't give him what he needs. But him trying to take it anyway is not making this any better.

When we do have sex, when I do actually want to, it's still good. It's just so few and far between and im frustrating him. He accuses me of not loving him when I don't give it up. I do I'm just bloody tired!

Am I at fault for losing sex drive and not satisfying him? How do I regain it?

StEdmundsPippins Wed 24-Jun-15 09:33:55

Nanny , reading all of this makes me think of one long storm that you have gone through, and are still going through. flowers

A couple times he's even penetrated me (not in an aggressive forceful manner) even when I've said I'm not in the mood. He did it again last night
I'm really concerned about this line from your op. If a woman says no, no matter how not a forceful or aggressive manner you say, it's rape.

His 'groping, sexual innuendo, direct comments', etc would be revolting to me as it's saying he's only thinking about himself. As for accusing you of not loving him, that's to simply guilt trip you into doing what he wants. He sounds awful, and no matter how hard you say he works, it doesn't make up for this absolute disrespecting of you and your body.

No, a person is never at fault for losing their sex drive, so don't blame yourself, and rather than try to regain it just to please him, I'd be having a strong talk with him re boundaries, and him showing some respect for you and your needs.
He needs to back right off and give you some space, for as long as YOU feel you need, and show you he loves you rather than simply lusts for you.

NannyPahLum Wed 24-Jun-15 10:21:44

Whenever I tell him he doesn't respect me, and emotionally blackmailing me he says he does but "couples have sex, that's what they do. Otherwise we're just friends" or that any other woman would be flattered their OH was so attracted to them.

Don't get me wrong, I've suffered with body confidence issues. Especially after having a baby. So knowing he does still find me attractive DOES help to get past these issues. But it still doesn't help with my low libido.

And I just daren't say that word 'rape' because I genuinely don't think he realises this is what it could be perceived as... as his fiancé, and that it's not aggressive, and that I do remove myself from the situation without him becoming forceful doesn't feel like rape to me... BUT I do know it is wrong and I don't like it.

We've had so many talks about his overly 'fruity' behaviour, especially as sometimes he forgets where he is and has slapped my bum say, at his mum & dad's house or outdoors, where there are people.

He accuses me of being prudish and that it's all normal in a relationship. Or blames my depression thinking I'm just having an 'episode'...

I'm confused about what's 'normal' and acceptable in a relationship and what's prudish?

He's been brought up in a family who openly discuss sex, and his father slaps women's bums... not just his wife's but his wifes sisters and friends and nobody bats an eyelid. It's all just seen as just something he does.

He once slapped mine at a family bbq in front of other people and I was so embarrassed, but didn't feel I could kick off because 'it's just what he does' Even my OH didn't see anything wrong by it because he did it so openly in front of everyone.

OH's dad and a friend often make jokey sexual suggestions about me, but in front of their own wives and my OH so it's all just seen as a bit of jokey banter.

I wasn't brought up like this and my mother is very much a feminist, who accuses all men of being chauvinistic misogynistic perverts!

I try to keep a balanced view of both these wildly contrasting sides - am I a prude feminist who can't relax or is he a twat?!

mytitiferssungtheirsong Wed 24-Jun-15 10:24:27

Didn't want to read and run. I've never been married so what I'm about to say may be completely off but. ....

Could you postpone the wedding alt. Have a small wedding lunch with close family. I say that because it seems you have so many external pressures at the moment and lots of other things to focus on including how and if to work on your relationship.

I have a dd similar age who is hard work and also on ad's. I'm single which brings its own stressors but can not imagine feeling like i do and then having to deal with relationship issues.
You've been through a lot and I'm sorry but your dp does not seem very supportive. Pnd affects women hugely and he needs to understand that.
Can you tell us why getting married is so important right now? Can it wait.
Also pp is right. Penetrating you when you've said no is rape.

mytitiferssungtheirsong Wed 24-Jun-15 10:25:04

Sorry flowers grin

mytitiferssungtheirsong Wed 24-Jun-15 10:28:52

X post. It is not ok for your dp father to do that. I can see where your dp might get his sense of entitlement from when it comes to viewing women as being there just to serve men sexually.
And I don't think you need to be a feminist to think that.

pinkyredrose Wed 24-Jun-15 10:39:41

Please don't marry him. He thinks he has rights over your body. It won't get better when you're his wife it will get worse.

NannyPahLum Wed 24-Jun-15 11:09:28

Can't postpone wedding we're in too deep now. I had originally just wanted a quiet wedding abroad with just our kids (he has another DS from a previous relationship) but his family really like me, are so pleased OH met me (as he's had a couple of bad relationships that left him heartbroken) and we're desperate to be at our wedding. We told them we couldn't afford a proper wedding so OH's parents offered to pay... We couldn't say no. Now its all been paid for and I've discovered they've used a huge chunk of their life savings to pay for it.

I love his family, they've been so accepting of me and put a roof over our heads when we lost everything, and even backing me up when OH has been a dick (staying out with his friends later than he said when I was heavily pregnant, not looking after his dog properly and expecting me to do it etc) so I just couldn't do it to them...

Plus I DO love OH, and I know he loves me too. But the problem is he sees physical intimacy as the only way to show love. He genuinely gets quite sad when he thinks I don't fancy him anymore.

And our hardships have been a stress for him as well as dealing with my depressive mood swings.

I think in his mind everything will be ok as long as we love each other... and his one confirmation that that love still exists is by making love.

But I don't and it doesn't feel like making love to me if he's pushed it, and I'm half-heartedly doing it just to keep him happy and off my case

Jan45 Wed 24-Jun-15 11:11:55

Oh god, that's just awful, is he spending a lot of time watching porn where basically the man takes what he wants, that's what it sounds like, he sounds really controlling, I couldn't be near a man like that, don't put up with it OP, he's treating you like an object.

cailindana Wed 24-Jun-15 11:12:50

Why would he want sex with someone who clearly doesn't want it?

Jan45 Wed 24-Jun-15 11:18:15

The sex you are describing has F A to do with his love for you, it's his entitlement to take what he wants, regardless of your feelings, he's not even hiding it.

backtoworkblues Wed 24-Jun-15 11:36:19

I have a 7 month old ds and have been through very similar things to you over the last couple of years including losing everything, living with parents and being on ADs. Of course that kind of stress takes its toll on your sex drive. It's not always the same for men, being more a purely physical act rather than a mental one. I have had these type of conversations with my dh. Basically we have set boundaries and he understands it's a non negotiable. In fact, now he is less 'persistant' it has allowed me the freedom to be more affectionate, knowing that it doesn't have to lead somewhere if I'm not ready for it to.

StEdmundsPippins Wed 24-Jun-15 11:39:30

Can't postpone wedding we're in too deep now

Yes you can, you can postpone it right up to the moment before you say 'I do' if you need to.
It doesn't matter if his family really like you - you're not seeking their approval.
It doesn't matter if they're pleased that their son met you.
It was their choice to offer to pay towards the wedding, but even so, don't be beholden to them.
You do not owe them anything, honestly.

You are not happy. That comes across loud and clear, and just going ahead with all this simply to please others - because that is what it is - will make you even unhappier.
As Jan45 says, your DP is controlling you. You don't want sex, so he says you don't love/fancy/ are prudish/ having an episode/whatever. What a rotter, what a manipulator!

This is not about your love for him, it's about his behaviour towards you, because if he truly loved you, he wouldn't behave like this.

pinkyredrose Wed 24-Jun-15 11:49:28

Of course you can postpone! The money doesn't matter. What matters is that you're with someone who thinks it's ok to try and force you into sex.

NannyPahLum Wed 24-Jun-15 11:57:03

He is a good man in every other way. I appreciate it sounds like I'm making excuses, I'm not. But it's not as clear cut as him just being a plain and simple bastard

I've been with a plain and simple bastard (my ex) and I knew, after he hit me and I discovered he'd slept with a friend, that ending that particular relationship was a no brainer

But my current DP is a gent, he has my back with everything, we've stuck together through a multitude of hard times, he's a good father, he'd die for us, he'd spend his last penny on me if he thought it would make me happy.... but it's just the lack of sex and him needing it to feel loved us what's tearing us apart

RepeatAdNauseum Wed 24-Jun-15 12:01:26

I need sex to feel loved. I'm not proud of it. I am affectionate and I can't handle rejection. I need to feel attractive and wanted.

I have never forced DP to have sex with me. Never. To be honest, it would undermine the whole thing...I need to feel wanted and close and sex achieves that for me, but it wouldn't, if DP didn't want to be having sex with me.

I think it's a weird combination of a high sex drive and that need for affection, and I do my best to keep it at bay, and DP has no qualms with telling me that I'm not doing a very good job if I slip up.

So I can understand his need, but I also think you are being far, far too understanding. You are making excuses for him. He might not be a complete bastard, few people are, but he's having sex with you when you don't want too. That shouldn't be enjoyable for him.

I don't think you've got any chance of working on how you balance his need for sex and your low libido until that absolutely stops. He needs to show you some respect. He isn't.

BCBG Wed 24-Jun-15 12:07:09

OP, I could be wildly wrong here, in which case I apologise, but your post earlier struck a chord wit me, because of a reference you made to your mother's views and how you were brought up. Your loss of libido story is similar to mine, and I think I really struggle subconsciously with being relaxed around bed/sex, and finding it all natural - DH is not the greatest at technique but I know things would be so much better if I was relaxed, and free-er, and I never am - if anything Ive got more inhibited as the years have passed. If two people have different attitudes to sex then these problems occur and sex therapy/couples counselling is supposed to be great although I admit I was always to embarrassed to pursue it. My mother brought us up with the message that sex was something that we had to put up with, that oral sex was disgusting, that men were selfish and sexual desire and satisfaction something that was never to be discussed. It really affected my attitude to sex, so I just wondered if deep down you have some of the same issues. Apologies if I am wrong.

Jan45 Wed 24-Jun-15 12:09:10

If you don't see a problem and think he is entitled to force himself inside you then I really don't see how anyone can help. It's nothing to do with proving your love for a person, what he did was basically force himself on you and he no doubt knows you cringe every time he tries to grope you, he doesn't actually care, his needs are more important than yours, that's not a healthy relationship, that's about control and selfishness, I wish you well, it does not look good at all, not until you actually tell him he can only touch you when YOU want it.

Pumpeedo Wed 24-Jun-15 12:18:51

The ADs will be cold water for your libido. I think you need to try to get your DC in to some sort of nursery setting so you can have time out (may be a part time job) to find yourself again. You sound trapped almost but when DC goes to full time school I'm sure things will improve.

NannyPahLum Wed 24-Jun-15 12:19:36

BCBG - yes my mother was terrible with sex/the body. I couldn't talk to her about periods and when I had my first period I'd not been expecting it so I obviously bled into my underwear. It took me a good 2 hrs, on getting home from school to tell her. All I got was a stern "ok" and when I asked if I could go get a shower and change I was told to grow up and stop being pathetic. She then proceeded to take away all sanitary protection from the bathroom to then force me to ask for it so she keep an eye on my cycle for signs of pregnancy... I was made to feel that now I was a woman capable of childbearing I must be some kind of sex crazed nympho and she wouldn't put up with me having babies in her house - she would undoubtedly throw me out.

I would therefore save my own money earned from babysitting jobs to buy my own sanitary protection but she would go through my bag/bedroom. I once heard her on the phone to my dad having a major hissy fit because she found tampons in my school bag. She assumed because I was using tampons I was obviously having sex! (I hadn't tried sex or tampons, the tampons were given to girls during a sex ed class at school)

She made me feel dirty in all honesty, and I was constantly quizzed about who she thought I was having sex with, that I'd better be using contraception and I'd be out if I got pregnant

BaronessEllaSaturday Wed 24-Jun-15 12:25:16

This isn't a good man this is a rapist, that is what you call someone who penetrates someone when they do not want it. it doesn't mean they will have no good traits but it does mean that they do not respect women and view them as a possession and to be used. Please do not marry this man.

Having unequal libidos, no matter what the reason that caused it, does not give anyone the right to treat someone the way he is treating you.

differentnameforthis Wed 24-Jun-15 13:10:37

Am I at fault for losing sex drive and not satisfying him? No

How do I regain it? You won't, not while he is putting pressure on you & raping you!

The only question you need to answer is why do you put up with that?

He knows exactly what it is...just because it isn't rough, aggressive. or he doesn't get rough when you walk away, & you are engaged to doesn't make it not rape.

I'm confused about what's 'normal' and acceptable in a relationship and what's prudish? OK, this is a very personal thing...what you like, is what is NORMAL. For instance, I like having my backside slapped when I walk past dh, (if he was to even try it one anyone else, I'd kill him) I like that he watches me as I undress & makes pleasing noises (I am overweight & that he still finds me attractive is a huge thing for me), I like that he occasionally makes suggestions. I HATE him groping me and pestering me & he learnt to stop sulking about no sex about 6mths after our relationship became sexual. I like "things", things you might not...I hate other things, think you might like.

I have a friend who allows her dh to have sex with while asleep. I'd kill my dh if he did that! I don;t understand how he finds that pleasurable...she isn't interacting, I can't think of anything worse! But they find it acceptable.

My point is, normal isn't set in stone, what YOU find acceptable IS what is acceptable. You set your boundaries, and your other half should respect them, at all times. When it comes to how you use your own body, nothing is prudish/wrong.

I certainly wouldn't marry him!

But my current DP is a gent, he has my back with everything No he isn't..he is raping you. You said he doesn't think it is wrong, because you are engaged, what will he be like when you are married? It is illegal to force your girlfriend/wife to have sex with you & has been since approx 1992. You think he is better than your ex because he doesn't hit you, yet he is forcing you to have sex you don't want, in the worse way, in the very real definition of rape-way! He is no different to your ex, honestly!

This isn't about your libido! This isn't about making time to be together, or getting through rough patches, or having ADs kill your libido.

You sound trapped almost but when DC goes to full time school I'm sure things will improve. This isn't about time to herself...she is being raped by her dh...that won't stop when her child is in school. If anything, it WILL get worse & once married he will start to put up a fight as she tries to walk away. He thinks he is entitled to her body & sex at any time. That is NOTHING to with me time, ADs, pressure, no libido.

After marriage, op...aggressive men get worse. The pattern hardly ever gets better...mainly because marriage makes it harder for you to leave.

differentnameforthis Wed 24-Jun-15 13:13:09

The following sentence has been altered because to me, it doesn't make sense.

I have a friend who allows her dh to have sex with her while she is asleep. I don' t understand how he finds that pleasurable...she isn't interacting, I can't think of anything worse! But they find it acceptable.

StEdmundsPippins Wed 24-Jun-15 13:14:16

Have just read your last post OP, and whilst I empathise with what you say re the effect it has had on you, what has that got to do with your DH behaving as he does towards you ? Absolutely nothing.

differentnameforthis Wed 24-Jun-15 13:17:35

nanny, a lot of what you described as your mum fits with what my mum was like. She told me that virgins didn't use tampons, that touching yourself to insert them was dirty & wrong. I could go on & one, but this isn't about me.

Whatever your mum did, it does not excuse what your partner is doing now. He might need sex to feel that the two of you are OK, but that doesn't mean he can take it when he likes.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now