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are we the norm or the minority?

(34 Posts)
WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 08:24:26

DP and I have been together 8.5 years.

We are both a little under 30 so I like to think young and spritely.

We have one child who is 4.

We now have sex one or two times a month. It's been a steady decline since I was pregnant. And as I started snoring when pregnant, we started sleeping in different beds. Also a steady decline from him leaving once he couldn't sleep to him starting the night in his own bed.

We used to be very sexual and now we are not. He used to be very sociable and always going out with friends. Now he prefers my company and defines himself as anti sociable. Basically, he is saying he's completely changed as a person. We've been together so long he just isn't interested in sex. He was concerned and spoke to his friends. They told him that he was silly to be concerned because after so long together, they all rarely have sex too. However, I know he watches porn. If he has a sex drive for porn , why doesn't he have a sex drive for me? I asked him and he sticks with the belief that we have been together too long and it's not going to be how it was. He says he still finds me attractive but that our relationship is now on a much deeper level and he'd rather have that then a good sex life.

I'd rather have this to but I miss the passion and I feel it's me not him.

Is he right that most relationships go this way or do we need to change things?

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 11:56:03

Hopeful bump.

category12 Sun 18-Oct-15 12:12:18

It's all very well him being content as he is, but you're not.

I don't think it's the norm, but it doesn't matter if it was, it's whether you're happy with it.

And 8.5 years isn't that long to be together.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 18-Oct-15 12:16:46

I don't think it's the norm either - we've been together over 30 years, so not so young and spritely, and we have sex at least once or twice a week. It's difficult if he won't discuss it and just says that's how it is now

Costacoffeeplease Sun 18-Oct-15 12:18:41

Sorry posted too soon

Are you happy to think this is how it's going to be for the rest of your life?

Tealtowel Sun 18-Oct-15 12:28:55

Children do change the situation. You should be getting back on track though intimately. When I was pregnant my DH didnt want to have sex the afterwards I didnt want to but year later we are back on track.

You do need to share a bed togetger are you back to sharing now? It seems more like your living as friends with a children rather than a family/couple.

RoobyTuesday Sun 18-Oct-15 12:49:34

No one can really say what's a normal amount of sex to be having as a couple but I think it's fair to say preferring porn to actual sex with your partner is not normal. I think that's the issue you need to address. Being tired after kids, relationship dynamics changing once you are a family is all normal etc etc. But I honestly think most men would prefer to be having a sexual relationship with the woman they love over using porn on a regular basis.

Intheprocess Sun 18-Oct-15 13:37:01

OP, it's not you.

RoobyTuesday is right. I know this will be very difficult, but you need to talk to him about the porn and the impact it's having on his life and his behaviour. For many relationships, sex is part of the bond that keeps you in love. Without the sex, the bond will eventually wither away. Having small children does have a big impact, especially for the one who gave birth, but that should just be an interruption and by 4 yrs the sex should be back.

Porn isn't just a hobby that some men have, it can be an insidious addiction that impacts heavily on male sexuality. Your DH needs to recognize he may have a problem. For some people there simply is no acceptable level of porn use, just as for some people there is no acceptable level of alcohol consumption. It will be very difficult for your DH because porn-addiction is one that carries a tremendous amount of shame and it sounds like he's in denial. It may also be that some of his male friends are in the same situation wrt porn use, which normalizes the problem and adds to the denial.

Perhaps you could contact Relate and discuss with someone there how to best deal with the issue?

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 13:40:09

I don't know that he prefers porn but have to assume that is the case. It seems odd doesn't it. When we've discussed it in the past he has said that sex is awkward now. This is because we don't seem to touch anymore. Ever. So to have such an intimate situation as sex is difficult.

I'm happy with every other aspect of our relationship. We have bad days but generally everything else is a perfect relationship.

No, I'm not happy with this tho. I want affection and I don't want to have to wait for the day when he says "I think we should see other people".

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 13:51:19

We definitely were closer after DD was born. It went slowly downhill after I was pregnant and was worse once she was born and has got continually worse. We tried date night for a few months. It went really well but our closest family is 45 miles away. It felt unfair to keep asking her and petrol was expensive

Intheprocess Sun 18-Oct-15 16:30:52

OP, don't play down the significance of physical intimacy in your relationship. Avoid buying into the idea that 'love conquers all' as, in my opinion, this arises out of an unhealthy gender-stereotyped view of female love and sexuality (an attitude so deeply rooted that, when you know what to look for, you'll see it leaking out all over the place, even here on pro-feminist, female-sexuality-empowering MN).

I personally feel that for most (but not all) romantic relationships, the little 'loving' intimacies are fundamentally different from the physical affection between friends or family members. Just like the bedroom activities, they come from a combination of love and sexuality. If either one of these two dimensions goes, then so does all the intimacy and all you're left with is an empty relationship of zero intimacy or pretend intimacy. Women cannot base romantic relationships solely on love and expect their relationships to work. Men cannot compartmentalize sex and love and expect their relationships to work. OP, you have a healthy need for a sexual component to your relationship, both in the bedroom and outside of the bedroom. Your DH, however, is not in a healthy place and is compartmentalizing his sexuality in your relationship (exacerbated / caused by using porn) to the point where you are becoming justifiably very unhappy.

Tealtowel Sun 18-Oct-15 16:34:43

What about a date night when LO is in bed? Sit together few candles have a nice dinner together something special.

SunnyL Sun 18-Oct-15 16:36:54

I think all relationships have their ups and downs in terms of how much intimacy there is but if its generally been downhill for the last 4 years out of 8.5years then yes perhaps he does need to start talking.

Its not necessarily the porn that is the problem but its possibly his view of you as a mother rather than his lover.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 18-Oct-15 18:16:30

If you're unhappy with the situation you have to resolve to fix it. It starts with him getting back into your bed, no excuses. Then work on intimacy. I don't mean going straight into sex, especially if it's weird at the moment. Hold hands, cuddle, show each other affection during the day. Work up to getting naked in bed together. Once you remove the physical boundaries, it will feel less weird.

I wouldn't recommend a weekend break. It just puts you both under enormous pressure to perform.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sun 18-Oct-15 18:49:35

Sorry, when I say you have to resolve to fix it I mean you as a couple. You can't fix it unless you both want to and both put the effort in.

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 20:23:38

Thank you all for your support.

I've started working 3/5 nights a week until around 10pm to get extra money as we just moved house and our mortgage is quite high. I work until 7/8 the other night. I don't think this will help but needs to be done.

I just asked what he thought of us making efforts to sleep in the same bed and he did a big shrug and a cheerful scoff. I don't know.

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 20:29:21

I also leave for my day job before he is up so morning isn't a good time either.

RandomMess Sun 18-Oct-15 20:33:22

I think it is important to get back to sharing your bed to give you the intimacy back.

You're not happy and it will just eat away at you over the years.

SpanglesGalloway Sun 18-Oct-15 20:43:27

Obviously no one can say what is normal. It's what works for the couple as pp have said and I don't think this is ideal for you?

8.5 years is not a long time really to be in a 'rut' me and dh been together for same length of time. We were DTD nearly every night until I got pg. I'm 27w pg now and maybe 2-3 times a week...pregnancy and dc change a relationship but if your not happy with it please don't let it continue on you need to have a chat if your not happy!

WhimsicalWinnifred Sun 18-Oct-15 21:33:01

Is this your first DC spangles? We were having sex quite often until I was quite big. It dropped to once a week by the end. I think it's the changes children bring rather than the length that's important but he's using the length as an excuse.

Good news to end the day. He just got into my bed, no more discussion than my simple comment. DD is here and awake so it's not romantic but it's a step grin Yay!

SunnyL Mon 19-Oct-15 06:32:08

Good news Whimsical.

DH and i regularly slwep in different beds because he is a shift worker. Before kids we always shared but since DD came along its too hard for him to come in at 3am and then DD at 7am. We always make sure we at least sleep in the same bed when we won't disturb one another though.

Jan45 Mon 19-Oct-15 12:10:49

Tell him to spend less of his time invested in watching porn and invest in the relationship, I don't think it's the norm but everyone is different, I'd be more concerned about the correlation between lack of intimacy and his porn use.

SpanglesGalloway Mon 19-Oct-15 19:06:14

Good news whimsical.

Yeah #1 dc. I'm sure sex will become a distant memory come 12 weeks time...

WhimsicalWinnifred Mon 19-Oct-15 20:57:45

Hopefully not! Or at least only temporarily! I wish you every luck with the remainder of your pregnancy and everything after that smile

We shall see if he can make it two nights in a row fairly soon. I am very hopeful! He has turned into such a good boyfriend in every other respect. I'd be so happy if we could get the spark back.

SpanglesGalloway Mon 19-Oct-15 21:46:12

Oooh good luck for tonight wink

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