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The sheer tedium of being in a sexless marriage

(112 Posts)
nosexisnofun Mon 02-Nov-15 15:00:02

By sexless I mean we might sleep together once roughly every 6 weeks, normally initiated by me. H shows me little affection and rarely puts his arms around me in bed - he is all elbows while I have my arm around him. Except why should I carry on being the one to extend a hand to him which he will only occasionally squeeze or hold?

He is older than me and very tired through work but it has been like this for a long time. Do I have to accept that my "physical love life" is more or less over at 46 sad?

Leaving over this would be worse as we have dc, but honestly the sheer tedium of never flirting with anybody as am probably viewed as "too old" when out and about, is getting to me. I feel asexual! Help!

Anyway just wondering if anyone relates.

nosexisnofun Mon 02-Nov-15 15:02:42

Not that I am out there looking to flirt with other people but not sure that H would even care if I did!

scatterthenuns Mon 02-Nov-15 15:06:08

Has he always been this way? If not, what has changed?

Happyinthehills Mon 02-Nov-15 15:07:03

Was he ever properly into sex?

StillDrSethHazlittMD Mon 02-Nov-15 15:07:18

Every 6 weeks is not yet sexless. Try lying in bed next to your partner for 5 years with no sex at all. THAT's sexless.

I was 36 when I left her. She was 47. She'd always had a low sex drive but basically it dwindled to nothing. She was happy about it, I wasn't. We had no kids. She says she had always been very low sex drive and wasn't really fussed, nothing to do with me. She insisted she loved me, plenty of kisses, hand holding, but nothing more.

So I eventually left her. Been single over 5 years. Only had sex three times in those 5 years, but that's still better than the previous 5 years.

I would never, ever, do that again. It's soul destroying and makes you feel unwanted. Unless BOTH partners are happy with that situation, get out.

Jan45 Mon 02-Nov-15 15:09:15

Couldn't stand that kind of relationship, kids or no kids, I'd be moving on, that's soul destroying and I'd find it chipped away at my self confidence, I'd rather be single and not have sex than have that but we all have different levels of tolerance, and I'm older than you btw.

claraschu Mon 02-Nov-15 15:10:51

Has he always been like this? Does he have problems having or keeping an erection? Do you think he is content not to have sex, or is he upset about not having the desire for sex, but feels impotent and unable to change that? Can you discuss these things with him, or is he too defensive or antagonistic to talk them over with you?

I don't mean to ask lots of abrupt questions, so sorry if it comes across that way. I am uncomfortable talking about my own marriage, even on an anonymous forum, but it occurred to me that thinking and talking about the questions I asked might clarify things for you, or give other posters (who might be more helpful than I am) more of an understanding of your situation.

I am sorry you are struggling with this-

FredaMayor Mon 02-Nov-15 15:11:09

46??? [spurts out tea in horror]

Aside from illness, if you think that your sex life ought to be over you are quite mad. You are with the wrong person, that's all.

tiredmedic Mon 02-Nov-15 21:28:44

I am 56 and have not had sex with my DW for...... 12 years. This due to DW starting the menopause about 13 years ago and sex becoming too painful for her and a considerable, well TBH, practically total loss of libido. Not too surprising really, bearing in mind my profession, I am fairly well clued up on such things and have access to consultants in the field, so plenty of info available to me. As it happens, I take my marriage seriously and love her very much. We have in almost all other respects, a good marriage and she's been very good for me (I have ADHD and co-morbid Aspergers) and she's stuck with me for 23 years and married 21 of them, so it's possible (though not much fun sometimes) to work through these things.

Kessy2 Mon 02-Nov-15 21:30:59

For me that is ideal, every 6 weeks. Everyone's needs are different and he prob just has a lower sex drive than you.

Talk to him about it?

Win15 Mon 02-Nov-15 21:36:38

I am 27 with one DD, my partner is 35 and the EXACT same thing is happening to me sad I feel for you

magiccatlitter Tue 03-Nov-15 03:19:32

First thing would be a health check up.

Differing drives is a difficult thing to work out as one person might feel like it was a chore.

I had a very rough time with menopause and lost all my drive plus pain etc. DH acts like a child about it. Him being lazy in bed certainly did nothing to help.

So I finally have a tiny bit back and he's decided to punish me saying he is no longer interested and he'll stick to porn as it is easier and he doesn't have the trouble of trying to please someone else. Yeah I am leaving him.

blushingbelinda Tue 03-Nov-15 04:55:47

Nosexisnofun I'm a year younger than you & went without any sex whatsoever for 12.5yrs. For me all sex stopped at 32! Quite how I managed that I have no idea but it is soul destroying. My ex was older than me too. I fear that this may be the beginning of the end for you. Without sex it's so easy to lose intimacy & then what have you left? I thought I could do it, that there would be other compensations & that marriage was for life. In the end it destroyed us & we split. If he's willing to work with you then you have half a chance.

nosexisnofun Tue 03-Nov-15 13:54:06

Thanks for your answers and I am sorry if you are going / have been through the same thing.

Dh was much more interested in sex at the beginning and it then settled (after 4 or 5 years) down in to him having a lower libido than me. It has been me initiating things for a long time now but somehow it has now gone a step further where I get the feeling that he really wouldn't care if I never showed any interest again.

I have tried to talk to him about this and yes he couldn't do it (talk). Started squirming and being embarrassed and got annoyed and defensive. I once asked him (quite recently) if he could please put his arm around me while we were lying in bed. That took A LOT of courage, but he got annoyed and said "when I feel like it". I agree that people have to do things if they want to but what if, for lots of reasons, they never feel like it?

We have been together for almost 20 years so maybe it is just difficult to sustain a sexual interest in someone over this length of time?

I agree that 46 is too young to give up on sex but what if your partner is older and is the one who is driving this (or seems to be)? I sometimes lie there thinking that I won't make a move towards him any more and see how long it takes him to show me any affection. Then I bargain with myself thinking that if we get to a year, then I have my cue to leave.

In reality though I would find this very difficult to do and h knows this, which is why he can afford to ignore any need for intimacy / affection that I have.

I think dh is hormonally different to how he was yes, and is much more tired, but he can still "perform" blush. It's just soul destroying to feel that you are almost "mauling" someone so then I think I am just going to give up. It takes him ages to put both arms around me or any arm around me in fact and I think bloody hell am I that unattractive. I think he could take me (no pun intended!) or leave me basically.

Maybe if I stop obsessing about it for a bit - lying in bed getting cross because yet again he has got in and is lying all scrunched in on himself on his side of the bed - the pressure will be off and he will feel more like being close. I am not holding my breath however.

He can be cuddly at times (not often) in bed, but only ever if I engineer it and drape myself round him - it gets tiring to be the one to do this all the time. He as good as told me that he doesn't care in the conversation where he started to cringe - he said something about not caring about not being "fertile" (euphemism for having sex basically) and I said that that "not caring" involves me as well. He is quite self centred though so I think he thinks things just are how they are at the moment, and that's that. He said "everything is ok" - I was thinking no it's not - not when he is able to give the dcs hugs but never touches me.

Maybe our relationship is essentially over but we are just living together looking after the same kids??

nosexisnofun Tue 03-Nov-15 14:01:46

(Maybe I am that unattractive blush).

claraschu Tue 03-Nov-15 14:11:42

Oh OP I am so sorry. This sounds really sad and difficult. Please don't feel unattractive: this is not your fault, not anybody's fault really, though it does sound like he could try harder to talk and to be affectionate.

Do you feel that he still loves you, just not in a physical way?

nosexisnofun Tue 03-Nov-15 14:18:00

We have been through massive downs which have taken their toll I think. He is quite detached in general I think so it is hard to tell. I think on a good day he might feel reasonably OK about me. He is quite intent on being "in charge" so I don't think he is ever going to open up and be vulnerable. At some point he uses anger to keep others in their place. For my part, I would like a whole relationship. H is very defensive about lots of things.

I know that I am very lucky in lots of ways - is it greedy to want to be thought of as "sexually attractive" throughout ones adult life?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Nov-15 14:47:40

"Maybe our relationship is essentially over but we are just living together looking after the same kids"

I think this is what you are both doing now.

Its not you, its him. He also being defensive and in charge as well are too not very good qualities.

On a wider level what do you think your children are learning about relationships from the two of you here?. They likely all too clearly see their dad's overall lack of affection towards you as their mum and that can affect them deeply. Would you want them to have a similar model of a relationship as adults; you are also showing them that currently at least this is acceptable to you.

If anyone is unattractive here it is he. He is ugly on the inside.

Shinyhappypeople9 Tue 03-Nov-15 14:49:50

I think some men really struggle with intimacy and a lot of it is deep rooted from when they were kids. It's something that will be very hard to change in him. I also think some do lose the attraction they once had for you. My ex told me this after admitting sleeping with others! He hadnt just lost his sex drive as he told me and I thought, he had just lost it with me. It kills your confidence though.

It's not compulsory to stay. You do have options.

wondering105 Tue 03-Nov-15 17:40:28

I think he struggles with intimacy too. It has also got to the stage where being sexual kind of feels embarrassing. I guess this is what people mean when they say their partner feels more like a brother or sister.

He could be having affairs I suppose but he is completely tired out by work and there aren't really any signs. Never say never though.

WitchWay Tue 03-Nov-15 17:47:39

There is lots wrong in my marriage & we haven't had sex for 14 months, sporadic for a long time before that before that. I struggle to fancy a man I no longer respect. The booze doesn't help with performance - the last few times I remember he didn't even come & there has always been porn.

I wank. smile blush sad

wondering105 Tue 03-Nov-15 17:51:43

Sorry changed my user name to wondering 105. Will change it back.

Jan45 Tue 03-Nov-15 18:13:10

No you are not greedy for wanting love and affection, it's the whole reason we look for a partner no, to share the love and show each other, doesn't matter if you have been together 20 years or more it should still be there, you should make the effort at times but be happy to do so.

I think you are stuck with a bit of a control freak who knows you won't do anything about the situation, I really think it's time you gave him a wake up call and actually take some kind of action.

You are not resigned to a loveless relationship for the rest of your life, you do actually have choices.

ILiveAtTheBeach Tue 03-Nov-15 18:19:21

I would sit him down for a very serious talk. Get it all on the table, just as you have here. Ask him whether he would prefer that you seek a FWB, because you don't feel fancied. See what he says. I have a feeling that may give him a shock and maybe spur him into action. He may suddenly realise what he has and not want to lose it.

Secondtimeround75 Tue 03-Nov-15 18:36:29

I could have written your post.

I'm 40, he is 47.
It's miserable
I'm always the one trying to keep our relationship going.
I think now if it's going to die of neglect so be it.

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