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.

Is this normal re sex in relationship

(38 Posts)
LookARandomName Mon 19-Oct-15 08:25:11

Okay, I may well get flamed here.

First off, I'm a man, married to a woman. We've been together ages (in our thirties) with a small child.

Basically, my wife has very little interest for sex. She's admitted that to me, and that she has for a while, and basically she only has sex to please me.

She does enjoy it when we have it, and more or less just needs to "get into it", but doesn't have that initial feeling very often of "you know, I quite fancy some sex right now" (though she does get it occasionally). She does say she is attracted to me but, as I say, doesn't get that particular initial feeling.

Part of me has now rationalised this as "well, if she enjoys it and is happy with it, as well as happy with it making me happy, then there's no real problem". That's the part my wife subscribes to, I think.

But then there is another part (and I don't have a lot of self-confidence) which says she's only doing it out of pity, that if she's like this then she should just bugger off and find someone she likes doing.

As I say, not a lot of self-confidence.

She does also have some confidence issues, which I'd like to help work out. Unfortunately, as I'd imagine a lot of men, I can also get a bit miserable (I'd term it more as being silent) if I feel neglected for a few weeks. I don't start fights or anything, but I term it more as feeling as if I'm walking on eggshells.

Other aspects of our relationship are fine - we both pitch in around the house, help each other out and so on. I have no real problem with the frequency of sex, which is about 2/3 times a month (she says it would be more like a constant once a week but she gets very heavy periods).

But there is a part of me - more of a fundamental part - which says if she doesn't desire sex initially then she doesn't desire me, and that there's something wrong. My brain basically flits between calling it "pity sex" and her "prostituting herself out to me".

So basically, I think I'd term this up more as "what should I be thinking?".

pinkyredrose Mon 19-Oct-15 09:46:44

Amy man who says he gets miserable through feeling 'neglected' would get my back up to be honest and I wouldn't particularly want to have sex with them. Do you feel like she opens her legs for you because it keeps you happy, rather like giving a small child a sweet to shut them up?

Ask yourself - what do you do to make her feel appreciated? As a wife, a mother, a human being etc. How does being married to you make her life better?

thequickbrownfox Mon 19-Oct-15 09:56:48

Agree, you need to look at what's happening outside the bedroom! Do you think she feels like it's just another demand on her which isn't about her wants/needs? I do sometimes feel DP wants to go from zero in the day to hero in the bedroom and to be honest it means there's not enough build up. I need time to switch on and it may be that your DW does too. What are her confidence issues about, do you know?

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:08:38

I am like your wife OP. Been together with OH for exceeding ten years now. I love my OH, fancy my OH, I don't want to be with anyone but my OH. I just don't want to have sex. We have got two small children, which does make things harder.

I have sex with OH to keep him happy. Infact we tend to do stuff more then have sex. (I'm scared of having sex because I bleed when I was 4 months pregnant and now I'm terrified this will happen again).

If your wife is sometimes up for it, then I wouldn't worry...that's a good sign and if she's enjoying it when your at itlt, then that's even better.

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:08:54

At it *

CheersMedea Mon 19-Oct-15 10:13:50

Amy man who says he gets miserable through feeling 'neglected' would get my back up to be honest and I wouldn't particularly want to have sex with them.

That's a bit mean pinkyrose - firstly he's just being honest. People have different levels of need for all kinds of things - affection, sex, food etc. Some people do get grumpy if they don't get a MASSIVE meal regularly. Some people get miserable if they don't get time to go to the gym regularly. Some people (including women) get miserable if they don't get sex regularly (or indeed affection).

secondly, he hasn't actually said he's said this to his wife in that way.

thirdly, how you feel about it is neither here nor there. It's how he feels and his relationship with his wife that matters.

There are a number of issues here:
1. is your wife's lack of desire is something that she is happy with or is it something that bothers her too? Does she feel it's "different" now or that she has low self confidence that turning down her libido? Does she feel under pressure from you to have sex so that acts as a turn off?
2. If she's happy, then you need to look at how you can manage this long term or if it is such an issue for you that you would consider leaving.
3.If she's not happy, then you need to get to the bottom of what it is.
4. Entirely separately, it sounds like you need to address your own self esteem issues. Women are perfectly capable of saying no to sex so you shouldn't think that it is pity sex! If she didn't want sex at all, she'd tell you. There are plenty of threads round here about marriages with very very long "dry spells."

pocketsaviour Mon 19-Oct-15 10:14:22

It's not clear from your post if the sex has always been infrequent and she has a very low libido, or if this is more recent, since the birth of your child.

If she's always been like this then it's unlikely to ever change and you have to decide whether you can live with someone who doesn't desire you but will throw you the ocassional pity fuck. I couldn't.

If it's more recent then it's possible this could change when the DC get older. You doing more to help her will also help with this.

Good luck.

Etak15 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:18:49

Agree with working on things that are happening outside the bedroom sounds like things are a bit 'frosty' also lack of libido could be hormone related - is she on the pill or other hormonal contraceptives? Or how old is your little one? Probs up until mine being 6 months I would have probably felt the same - due to hormones and frequent breastfeeding etc and just did it for dh really - although wouldn't have told him that! But now I feel my normalself again so those feelings have come back.

pinkyredrose Mon 19-Oct-15 10:23:57

I don't think what I said was mean at all! The OP seems to want our thoughts and advice as evidenced by posting here.

Seeyounearertime Mon 19-Oct-15 10:26:46

Maybe OPs OH needs a little more foreplay? It's just a thought. smile
Maybe, one day just randomly text her,
"Love you XXX" For no reason, don't expect sex that night obviously, more like showing her you care.
Another day, take the kids out for the day, let her have a day to herself and just as you leave, surprise her with a bath time relax kit with nice soaps and bath cream etc.
Another day, suggest a non sexual massage, get some massage oils, candles, relaxing music etc. Let her have a bath, set u the bedroom and then give her a massage all over (check ootube for tips) make it about connecting together and not sex. It's a lovely thing to do smile
Lots of little things to boost her self confidence, to get you feeling closer and to show that you care about her and love her.
This may not sound like 'foreplay' but it all counts IMO.

Or to put it in a blokey way,
"You wouldn't rev an engine without oiling it first would ya mate eh? Nah you'd grease it first, check all spark plugs were aligned, check tyre pressure and make sure its all right before you even put the key in, nah wot I mean?"

Obviously that's just my thoughts, I may be totally wrong.

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:32:11

Seeyounearerthetime your post was lovely smile

LookARandomName Mon 19-Oct-15 10:32:41

Some good responses - I was dreading this turning into a "she should leave you" sort of thing.

As I say, the "me feeling miserable" thing is, unfortunately, me feeling miserable. I am aware of this - basically, as I say, it's me feeling as if I'm treading on eggshells. I don't let it impact her - I won't be rude or curt or anything like that, or yell or argue - I'm just generally a bit silent.

Child is 2 years old, and I know that giving birth there was a fair bit of tearing - she says sex hasn't felt quite as good since (though, as I say, she still enjoys it and comes nearly every time). She has been on all sorts of hormone etc pills in the past that have messed things up.

This has always been ongoing - we've been together 12+ years and she says her sex drive has mainly been this way. It's mainly with her saying that she has sex mainly for my benefit (but again, does enjoy it and wants to keep having it). I'm still unsure whether I'd see that as "pity sex" - part of me does, but that's the part of me that believes everyone wants sex and is having it all the time, which isn't the case.

I am trying to be more confident now - have started going to the gym. In turn, this is giving me something else to do. I feel part of my self-confidence, and being miserable about being rejected, is because I feel I have nothing really going for me. I find it difficult to make friends and I don't go out and drink as I can't stand the taste of alcohol, so I tend to be very introverted. Personally, I feel if I can get over "being downbeat" for a while then things will start looking rosier.

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:43:11

Cheer up OP. You really arn't the only onewink

Not everyone can be doing it out of pitty. So stop beating your self up .

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:44:04

I think it's your confidence tho that's really the issue here pal.

LookARandomName Mon 19-Oct-15 10:44:32

Oh okay, I'm still logged in. Thought I'd logged out.

In any case, pinkyredrose I think that was probably a fair thing to say. I do feel as if she's having sex to please me. But it does please her too.

One thing though that I did forget to mention is that she says she generally doesn't feel the urge to have sex - not just with me, but in general. With anyone.

Seeyounearerthetime - some good thoughts and sentiments. However, I do get the feeling that she would associate anything like that with pressure for sex. However, it may well boost her confidence. We do text each other regularly (ending with love and kisses etc).

From reading this back, and responses, I'm generally feeling it's a confidence thing now with the two of us. We both help out around the house, with child etc - pretty much shared 50/50.

LucySnow12 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:44:32

I think you both need to show more active appreciation for each other, compliment each other. I can totally understand that if you feel your wife doesn't desire you sexually, it is a blow to your confidence. Are you making her feel good about herself too? Have you opened up to her like you have here? Does she know you feel this way? It's very easy to withdraw when we feel neglected but that's not going to improve the situation. You have to engage. Here's an article that I think offers some good advice:

I hope you can work it out.

brunetteandproud Mon 19-Oct-15 10:46:07

Lots of posts like this where the question should not be "what can I do to get more sex?" but "what can I do to make her happier?" Ask her...If she's tired help her,if she's drowning in childcare/housework drudgery then send her out shopping for some her time. Ask yourself honestly if you're the same man she first met...are you putting in the same effort you did to get her? If she's not meeting your needs you're not meeting hers somehow.

LookARandomName Mon 19-Oct-15 10:48:32

Another quick post - reading this thread is making me feel more confident, or at least happier. It is an issue, but it seems like it's one that can be worked out or at least made better. I had half-expected a crazed cry of "she should leave you you **ing selfish ***rd" or whatnot.

CheersMedea Mon 19-Oct-15 10:50:17

the question should not be "what can I do to get more sex?" but "what can I do to make her happier?"

Not necessarily. If this is permanent state of affairs (constantly lower libido with no change caused by recent events/feelings) then making someone happier won't make a blind bit of difference.

People are different and can have wildly differing libidos. If there is a permanent mismatch, the question is "is it something we together can live with/cope with/is it worth it OR is it such an issue we should part".

Jo4040 Mon 19-Oct-15 10:51:59

another quick post

Don't feel like you can't keep posting OP if its doing you good.

Iamthinking Mon 19-Oct-15 11:01:53

I don't think it sounds like she is have either pity sex or prostituting herself, I think you should take it on face value that she enjoys it once she gets going and would miss it if it didn't happen.

I can completely relate to what she is saying. I feel very similar - I totally get going and love it once it is initiated, but often my libido is such that laziness overrides it. It has never been any reflection on my dp. I suppose I have been lucky in that he hasn't taken it personally.

I think there has been some good advice about the foreplay starting out of the bedroom, but I wonder if that will just feel more like you are doing all the running still?....when what you sound like you need is the boost to your self esteem of someone saying phwoar to you now and again.

From my point of view, I think she loves sex with you and would really miss it if it were not on offer, but has a low libido and is probably tired.

I think you need to find ways to communicate your feelings about your self confidence, without it making her feel put under pressure to 'put out' more, which is a really tricky one to broach... but nonetheless, I really feel there is an achievable middle ground to be found.

brunetteandproud Mon 19-Oct-15 11:26:32

I agree libidos can be mismatched but this is half a story here...she enjoys sex once into it but doesn't desire it. that tells me there might not be enough build up,by that I mean kisses,random texts,passing glances the things that build arousal. Married women with children are often labelled by their husbands as frigid and things like Fifty shades of grey prove that wrong! Put your wives in a room with Mr grey and you might be surprised! Talk to her honestly and find out if she's happy as things are, it may be a hormonal issue or problems with periods but you won't know if you don't ask.

Boobz Mon 19-Oct-15 11:34:59

I reckon you are my DH - everything you've described sounds like us. Been married 10 years, small children, still very much in love but I just don't have as a high a libido as him, and although I do enjoy sex when I get into it, I rarely feel the desire to have sex (with anyone!) This is in stark contrast to pre-children (when I was a bit sex mad), so poor DH is very miffed.

We used to have a talk about it every 10-12 months or so (since the DC came along) where he would express his upset and I would try and push it under the carpet and ignore. I would always say I would try harder to be more loving and sexual, but in the end, life got in the way again (2 full time jobs, 3 children under 6 etc.,) and then we would be back to a 15 minute session once a week. I started to really pull away from his touches as I always felt he was angling for more, so I know it felt even colder for him than just the not enough sex thing, it was also the lack of every day affection.

So we had another Big Talk in Feb this year, and I really started to analyse what it was which has changed in me, and to try and see it more from his POV, rather than just thinking a) we are still having loving sex 4-5 times a month after 10 years and with 3 small kids, so he should be happy and b) my libido is just not as high as his and he should accept that. So we set out some rather big changes to see if we could improve my libido (as he too does his 50/50 share around the house and is very kind and thoughtful, so it wasn't about him making me happier per se):

1) Remove contraceptive implant - maybe it was extra hormones lowering libido?
2) Get a boob job (I hate my breasts post breast feeding and never had sex with bra off - needed to address that self image issue)
3) Sex 3 x a week, whether either of us wanted to or not - the theory being the more you have it the more you want it
4) 2 x day nights a week - one which is a No Sex after we get back in date night, so there is no pressure... and both nights about talking and reconnecting and not watching crap telly like we have got into the habit of doing
5) More everyday physical affection (kisses, cuddles, holding hands etc., which are NOT linked to what we do in the evening - again to relieve the pressure I felt all around us - especially during those "eggshell moments" that you descibe

Once I had accepted that it was a joint problem, not just him being over-sexed and expecting too much, I looked at ways to try and fix the problem and so we came up with the plan above!

And it was really working but I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 6 weeks after the Big Talk so we've taken a break which I am on chemo, but I am looking forward to getting back on it once treatment has finished!

Just wanted to present some possible solutions which you could talk to your wife about... but she may still be in that place where she doesn't WANT to try to change things... it took me nearly 6 years to get to the point where I wanted to make things different in the bedroom department, and it was mainly because DH was so sad that I wouldn't even want to touch him in the kitchen with the fear he would want to move it to the bedroom... when I realised I had started to cut off this side of things too, I knew I had to address it and get it all out in a big conversation with some ideas as to how to improve things!

Good luck - I don't know either of you at all, but if she is anything like me (and she sounds like she is) then she still loves and desires you massively, but just isn't motivated by sex as much/any more, but she can try to change this, if she wants to....

Boobz Mon 19-Oct-15 11:35:13

OMG that was massive!

Boobz Mon 19-Oct-15 11:37:09

*date nights not day nights

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: