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What did you learn from your sexless marriage/relationship

(28 Posts)
horsewalksintoabar Sat 27-Jun-15 12:19:16

Enlighten me. sad
No great details here. I'm in one. Lots of 'reasons' and excuses: "You're always tired at night" "I try to touch you but you turn away" "You're so busy with the kids" "I don't want you to risk getting pregnant" ... it's all a bunch of crap and the blame is very much placed upon me. The fact that his porn habit is an open secret between us does not help in the bedroom. Anyway. In the past couple of years it's just stopped. I can count on less than one hand the number of times we've been close. Oddly enough, I no longer want it with him. And yet I know that I should try and fix things.

Anyway, what are your stories? Did things improve on their own? Get worse? Did you get help?

muchhappierthesedays Sat 27-Jun-15 13:49:54

I spent years thinking there was something wrong with me but once I got rid of him I learned that actually the issue was that I just no longer loved, or even liked him. I haven't slept with anyone since we split up nearly a year ago but I do fancy people and fantasise about sex again which I didn't for years and am so relieved to know that there is nothing wrong with me.

Jenoftheweek Sat 27-Jun-15 13:50:15

Well he blamed me, but in my defence I didn't fancy sex with him when he either ignored me all evening (only responding in grunts or sighs) or stayed out most of the night drinking. It just didn't make me feel sexy when he shook me awake telling me he had a massive horn on him. Yuk.

Momagain1 Sat 27-Jun-15 17:26:51

Ours improved, but there wasnt a porn issue, and we both were well aware of each other being under massive stress for unconnected reasons. Wwe were in a hold on tight, it's a bumpy ride mode. He tried blaming me once, but I turned that right back on him as we very much took turns at avoidance!

Good luck

allyouneedisloveandginandtonic Sat 27-Jun-15 17:29:46

We had sex but he was terrible (no connection, no skill). He used to blame me saying I hated sex.

Short version. I ended it. Now having fantastic sex. Turns out I did hate having sex ... With him.

Maybe ending things is not ideal for you but really was the best thing I ever did.

eliphant Sat 27-Jun-15 17:35:33

Ours' wasn't a porn issue but it was a bit of a sort of lack of time spent and also with kids at home whenever we are together and we just don't feel like it then. To be honest I have found I don't really want it and neither does he. Also I get pregnant too easily and well after 3 kids and being so very busy because of it, that is like a contraception of sorts... We don't go to bed or wake up at the same time and I think that has something to do with it too. It's not a problem. I imagine it might change when the kids start going off to do their own thing when they're older. Or it might not. It's not something that bothers us a lot though to be honest. It's not ideal but it's somehow working out okay. I had a midwife once give me a lot of grief about this and so I've learnt not to tell others who ask unless I can trust they won't judge.

elliepac Sat 27-Jun-15 17:48:38

In short...after years of a virtually sexless marriage I realised that I didn't love him anymore (for a myriad of reasons he was not the right man for me and made me deeply unhappy). It took a long time to come to this conclusion.,I thought there was something wrong with me because i didn't want to sleep with him. Turns out there was something wrong...him. We split after 18 years together. I am now in a relatively new relationship and have remembered what wanting to be as close to someone as possible is all about and the sex is great..far better than it ever was in my marriage which tells me many things.

pinkfrocks Sat 27-Jun-15 18:26:21

OP why do you think you ought to try to fix things? Is this because of children and you don't want to split?

If what you mean is he makes excuses and this is partly because he's getting satisfaction from porn instead of you, then have you talked to him about it- seriously and not when you are angry?

If your Dh /DP is selfish - which he seems to be- makes no effort to communicate why he'd rather watch porn tha have real sex, why is it down to you to make it all better?

Your options are:
-talk to him and decide first if this is a deal breaker if he won't change.
- suggest relationship counselling via Relate.
- have counselling on your own to help you decide if you really are best served by staying with a man who doesn't appear to care about you or your needs.

Sex is a barometer of a relationship.

Bahh Sat 27-Jun-15 18:37:15

I was with mine for 4.5 years. He used various reasons; ADs, religious issues etc. If we ever did attempt it (about three times in the whole relationship) he would continually ask me if I was going to finish, it would last a few minutes and then he'd ask me to leave the room so he could sort himself out. He watched porn often. It ended 1.5 years ago and I still haven't really dealt with it. I hate him with such a passion, he robbed me of all of my self esteem. I have very instinctive reactions to certain things my current OH does or says as a result, I know it's not fair but I can't help it. I had definitely accepted my circumstances as my lot in life, I specifically remember saying to my friend at the time that 'some people get romance and happiness, some people don't. I don't'. Occasionally I'd panic and think 'I really can't do this for the rest of my life' but for the most part it was just a sad resignation.

The thing I learned was that it's 1000000000% NOT worth it. I have fantastic sex with OH and if that ever stopped, even for health reasons or whatever, I would have to think very seriously about whether or not I could stay. It's such a huge part of the relationship imo, it's fun, it keeps the trust and intimacy going, it relaxes and unwinds, it boosts self esteem ... I definitely need sex now. I really didn't know how much being denied it would fuck me up and it's just not worth it.

Patchworkpatty Sat 27-Jun-15 19:07:48

Lack of sex between a couple (when one wants it and the other doesn't) is a marriage killer . Sex is the difference between being lovers as well as parents/housemates. It is not fair on either party to enforce celibacy on the other without discussion. The most common reason for affairs is because 'my wife doesn't want sex ' this is because many women get their emotional fulfilment from their children and do not need their partner for this purpose once children arrive. For men who go off sex in a marriage it can often be tied up in the mother/wife issues (seeing you as a mother now rather than a lover ) Sex is usually more of a physical need in males (although women often feel the need too but is more usually to be connected to an emotional need than physical). The bottom line is that you need to discuss it . The porn issue depends a lot on when it started. Did he start/increase his habit as you had less interest or has it been the same throughout your relationship. There are plenty of people who have successful sexless marriages be that for reasons of illness/disability or simply no longer fancying their partner. But open marriages can only work when it suits both partners.

SomebodysRealName Sun 28-Jun-15 08:01:59

That he was having an affair. That I should have LTB over the cruelty of his constantly rebuffing me and not being prepared to do anything about the problem and blaming it all on me.

GrumpleMe Sun 28-Jun-15 08:20:55

The most common reason for affairs is because 'my wife doesn't want sex'

That's a myth.

nearlyhadenough Sun 28-Jun-15 09:01:26

I have been married for 22 years, we have 2 children (they were conceived when I worked out the specific days for conception.....) aged 23 and 20, we have been together for 25 years.

Sex was never good - I thought it would improve as I was his first real girlfriend. I was aware that he viewed porn, this became more of a problem as time went on. He is unable to maintain an erection with me and this has got worse over time.

We have probably had sex (and by sex I mean 'proper' sex, attempted sex and times where there is no intercourse but he has pleasured me) about 15 times.

I have been devastated by this. I do not know what is wrong with me, does he love me, am I that unattractive/sexy/bad in bed/useless as a wife etc. My confidence and self-esteem have hit rock bottom.

We go around in circles - with me getting so desperate for some affection that I initiate a conversation saying things have to change, him agreeing, maybe an attempt at sex or at least a cuddle in the following days... then back to nothing.

We have had couples counselling and sexual counselling. I have begged. I have completely backed off and told him that we will live a non-sexual life (I lasted about 4 years). I have said that if he doesn't get help I will leave as I cannot live like this. He refuses to go to the doctor to see if he can get medication. I have explained how much it hurts.

Porn has been there all the way - though he says he uses it no more? he has also had emotional affairs (I think they were more - he says not). We did split up for a few months but I let him come back - I wish I hadn't.

pinkfrocks Sun 28-Jun-15 09:02:16

How do you feel about the replies OP?

The fundamental issue in your marriage is lack of communication.

You aren't talking to each other.

What are you going to do about it?

SomebodysRealName Sun 28-Jun-15 09:04:09

Yes a total myth.

pinkfrocks Sun 28-Jun-15 09:07:11

nearly if you want an active and loving sex life then you are going to have to cut and run. You have given this man so many opportunities to change.

Medication will help him get an erection if that's a problem; it won't give him back his libido or lust for you - or even respect for your feelings.

You have had sex 15 times in 22 years? Why on earth have you stayed?
Nothing is going to change unless you change- he's had 'warnings' and threats from you but until you do leave them he is not having to face any consequences of his behaviour. I even doubt he loves you- he's staying because it's a habit and comfortable and reaching out to other women for emotional connections.

Please get some self respect and plan your exit and hopefully a happier life either alone or with someone who shows you some love.

twirlypoo Sun 28-Jun-15 09:09:55

I left after 7 years with my confidence on the floor. I couldn't believe that other people found me attractive which led to a bit of a sleeping around phase when I was newly single and was actually able to see the damage that being rejected constantly had done to my self esteem. It was about power for my ex, he had control when he turned me down - so he won. It took a long time for me to realise that and regain my confidence.

Sickoffrozen Sun 28-Jun-15 09:39:16

Nearly- what on earth has convinced you to stay in this situation. It sounds horrendous.

whinesoda Sun 28-Jun-15 09:51:21

My marriage ended. He was a porn user too, I became desensitized to porn use and him visiting lap dancing bars (not often, stag do's and the like) and thought it was normal and typical lad behaviour.

My now DP never watches porn and wouldn't step foot in a lap dancing bar. He is a very considerate lover and doesn't spit on me in the bedroom (!). I looked at him incredulously when he told me this wasn't typical sexual behaviour. Ex was rough in bed, not painful, but clumsy - didn't know how to satisfy me and wasn't really bothered.

Keepithidden Sun 28-Jun-15 14:36:23

I've learnt loads, here's a list, not exhaustive:

1) Anaphrodisiacs don't work, at least not when you read the medical research into many of them. The placebo effect does operate for a week or so though.

2) Escapism through drink, drugs etc. is a sticking plaster and not a long term solution.

3) Mismatched drives is bad, but mismatched perceptions of sex is worse. Some people enjoy it for what it is, great fun! Others see it as a method of bonding, emotional connection etc.

4) It probably is a symptom, rather that a cause of relationship breakdown, but seeing that when you're going through it is nigh on impossible.

5) Masturbation is no replacement. Especially ref: point 3 above.

6) Hormones are interesting things to mess around with, and I'm not sure anyone really understands the consequences.

That's it for now, probably be a lot more over the next few years.

nearlyhadenough Sun 28-Jun-15 21:43:45

Pinkfrocks and Sickoffrozen

I have stayed because of my children - I made a vow to myself that I would leave when they had left home - which has happened in the last couple of months. There is also a financial issue - my MiL died 4 1/2 years ago leaving DH a substantial inheritance, it is yet to be completely sorted and as yet there is no actual physical cash/property in his name. Once there is, I will be able to start to extract myself from the marriage (this may seem grabby - but without this money neither of us would be able to buy even a small property on our own).

I have been seeing a counsellor with regard to my self-esteem and to help me with my decision making for this process. I want my life back!

I believe that my DH is gay and that I have been his cover up - when it became clear to him that I was serious about not hanging around he 'became' seriously ill. I believe that he is lying to get me to stay.

Horsewalksintoabar - talkto your DH/DP and don't take any crap. If he won't do anything to help, (if that's what you want? I'm not sure you do from you post) PLEASE get yourself into a position where you are strong enough to leave. It will destroy you. I wish I had walked years ago and I know now that my DC would have been ok.

MadameLeBean Sun 28-Jun-15 21:50:25

Ugh porn destroys passion. It's like the McDonalds of sex. It's addictive. I hate it.

Imi22sleeping Sun 28-Jun-15 23:04:22

My husband and I have been married.3years I fell.preganant after a year he had touched me once since. I have no idea why or what to do I was never bothered about sex before I've always found it a weird thing to want to do now his not interested I see what I was doing to him before. Our child doesn't sleep and we have no family help we are exhausted and go to bed to.sleep we are trying to.lose weight and have lost 7stone between us since Jan but have real self esteem issues . We still are affectionate. But not sexual he just says that he doesn't see a problem but I think it's the mother thing it's sad

horsewalksintoabar Sun 28-Jun-15 23:42:05

Thank you all so much for your honesty, for baring your's so painful and I really appreciate you sharing your stories and experiences with me. I always feel like 'maybe this is just normal. Maybe sex just nosedives after kids and I can't accept it.' But the thing that bothers me the most is the lack of intimacy across the board. We never hold each other or cuddle...we're just not close. We have kids, married 6 years together 7. The past 3 years my happiness has waned but this past year has been a real turning's clear we're just not going to bounce back. The past year and a half really has been so lousy and we really lead separate lives. We go from getting along well to bickering and being tetchy with each other way too quickly and too often. We've had so many talks and I just know that getting help or support or even supporting each other and making an effort will never happen. I think I'm a 'mother' and those 19 year old, lithe, unreal creatures he wants off to have been my undoing. And when we have had sex he only wants a hand job. I literally sit there thinking "FFS how long are you going to be???" That's our intimacy... when it happens which is so infrequent, I can't remember the last time. It's soul destroying. I don't want it with him. I am relieved not to have sex with him. Yet, I'm here, asking "Why is it like this?" So I must miss something or it wouldn't bother me so much. Thank you all! You're wonderful! flowers

horsewalksintoabar Sun 28-Jun-15 23:46:13

19 year olds he 'wanks'- that should have read...not 'wants'.

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