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.
Everything is getting better except sex(22 Posts)
I am a regular poster and quite regularly post in relationships, which makes me a complete hypocrite as my own marriage feels like a sham.
Background is married for 11 years, together for 20 and have 3 x DC. Lots of ups and downs particularly with DH's general state of 'being'. Although he works very hard and is the Director of a successful company, we have been though (his) drug addiction, drinking, depression, anger issues, family fallouts and all kinds of other difficulties that can put stress on the marriage. DH can be verbally unpleasant when he is one of his black and bleak periods, but I am no push over and he is mostly loyal, kind, hardworking and well meaning.
The problem is that whilst we seem to coming back into a much better place than we have for a long time, we have no sexual relationship and haven't for about 2 years. DH is very affectionate and we cuddle and kiss each other if one of us leaves the house etc, I am frightened that it has been too long and we can't go back to being sexual partners. I just cannot look at him as a sexual being and am pretty sure he feels the same.
He has been through so much and has been emotionally battered that sex became the last thing on his mind. For my part, I was so angry with him for so long that sex was the last thing I felt like when I was with him
I am no longer angry, and he is healing but I just can't imagine going back to a physical relationship with him - I can't really explain it except to say that I want to want to sleep with him but it feels almost un-natural - as if we have been through too much together?? I love him very much, I know he loves me and our children feel that they are in a much happier home than they have been for a long time but for me, a huge thing is missing.
It was ok for a while - we were talking and trying to fix things, but we are much further down the line now and I just feel exactly the same towards him but am becoming increasingly frustrated. I would never cheat but it's not a lack of sex drive, but just a lack of sex drive towards him. On the contrary I feel like I am going to scream with frustration if I don't have sex soon and I spend hours of my day thinking about sex.
I have tried talking to him, but he doesn't seem that bothered and says things like "we have a long way to go until we are really healed" and "don't rush things - let's just enjoy this new chapter in which we are not fighting". I actually think he would be happy to never have sex again and just bumble along.
I am 44. This can't be the end of my sex life, but equally I feel mad to throw away a marriage that's survived so much because I'm not 'getting any'.
I don't know where to go with this at all and am crying myself to sleep far too often.
Sorry this is muddled. I have put off writing it for months so it's a bit of a brain dump.
It must be a really frustrating time for you. It does sound like he has got to the point of being able to take it or leave it though with those comments. Has it ever been regular or always a bit sporadic? If it's the latter then it's unlikely to get much better I would have thought.
I think a Frank conversation is in order. Lay it on the line. Tell him you are happy in nearly all respects and you are so pleased that you have come so far. However, you are a sexual being and you are not happy to remain abstinent. I would push for couples counselling, particularly sexual counselling. If you want your marriage to work, you have to try to sort this out. If he isn't receptive then you have a horrible choice to make. Sorry you are in this position, but only you can decide if it's worth fighting for.
Thank you. I have, I think, always been more interested in sex apart from the very first few months of our relationship. In the past I have hinted towards things to gauge whether he in interested but nearly always got the feeling I was pushing him out if his comfort zone (nothing too outrageous - a quickie somewhere public but highly unlikely to be caught, sex toys - that kind of thing).
So we settled into a fairly dull but pleasant sexual pattern and I accepted that this was who he was and I could live with it. But I can't live with nothing and I am so reluctant to give him ultimatums as he has worked so hard on himself and this feels like I am finding a new mountain for him to climb.
But I am climbing walls and I can't even imagine ever feeling sexual towards him if I am the only one trying to engage and I find myself talking to all kinds of people and imagining what it would be like to have sex with them. I NEVER would but I don't want to feel this way.
Is he on medication that could reduce his sex drive?
It's a kind of apathy. He says it 'doesn't matter for now'. But how long is 'now'?
I feel like I have compromised sexually so much already. But it doesn't feel like something to throw a marriage away over. Particularly not as we've managed to get through things that others may well view as deal breakers.
On the flip side, I feel so secure in his loyalty which I know is lovely but there is a horrible/destructive/frustrated(?) part of me that wishes he would sometimes at least look admiringly at another woman so that I know he is still alive.
That's awful isn't it.
I find it interesting that your post mentions nothing about your care or anyone else's care of you?
The whole post is about him and his trials and tribulations, you were not just a passenger though we're you
He's been abusive and horrid and critical, he's spent family money on drugs mood swings and abusive behaviour and language. The one thing you fixate on is the lack of sex, on the other hand you no longer see him as a sexual being.
I'm not surprised you have been buffeted by his storm for years, letting someone share your body is deeply personal, and he has hurt and abused you for years
I wonder if it's time to take a step back from his stuff and see what you need for a change, you seem to be lost to his maelstrom.
It's not awful to want your partner to also be a sexual being. Nothing you have said is awful at all.
After a dry spell with dp due to problems, I had trouble seeing him in a sexual way for a while. the only thing that changed that was just going for it. Once we started kissing passionately again it quite easily went from there. The problem is that you need him to want it too. Dp hadn't stopped wanting it, it was me that had.
I really think counselling is the best option for you. Is it something you could talk about?
'It doesn't matter for now ' is quite telling /damning.
What would happen if you said ' it matters to me ' ?
You've clearly given him a lot of support over the years. But if you are not in a sexual relationship with each other you are friends rather than partners. A relationship with a partner is not unconditional.
I wonder if there's an element of 'sunk cost fallacy ' going on.
I agree with Guitypleasures.
Who is actually thinking about you?
The thing is, it's difficult to challenge him too much on it as I feel like a hypocrite. If I say "you are being selfish by denying me a sex life" and he responds "yes you're right, let's try tonight" I will feel worse because I don't actually want to have sex with him.
I WANT to want to have sex with him. And I want to stop spending my days fantasising about sex because it feels sleazy and a bit sad.
It's true to say I have been through the shit with him and truly hated him for a while, and I think that has made this feel like a smaller hurdle than if it were all that was ever wrong I out marriage - does that make sense?
I just don't know where to go with this. The thought improperly snogging him feels so wrong I can't even think of an analogy to compare it to. But it didn't used to.
So any stupid auto corrects. I hope you can make sense of it
Perhaps you have repressed all your anger about all the other stuff, but it's emerging as not wanting to have sex with him.
I think that happened to me in relation to my ex.
SecretSpy. You make a good point and there may well be an element of Sunk Cost Fallacy at play here. I have invested 20 years of my life, and the past 5/6 years have been really tough. It's hard though to separate that out and wonder how much of wanting to make this ok is because I love him and our family versus how much I've invested.
Would you consider an open marriage, so you can get your needs met elsewhere?
Question. Does he still see you semi naked/ in nice lingerie and if so what happens?
pocket If we couldn't resolve this, then yes, I would consider it. But I am not sure that we have the kind of marriage that could survive it. I am quite relaxed and open to ideas - and it did cross my mind as a solution that would work for some people, and possibly me, but DH is more closed and traditional in his views and I'm pretty sure he would be horrified at the idea.
TooSassy. Well yes in the morning when I am getting ready so hurried/on the move/practical with DC running about. And in the evening, when I go to bed. He might say "nice pants missus" but there is nothing sexual going on at all.
It is hard when it's been a while, but one of you have to rip the plaster off and take it to the next step. And not being able to think you can see him as sexual is hard when it's been a while. It's a 'use it or lose it' type thing. But it sounds like you have gone through so much together and said he has a load of good qualities, I think it's worth saving.
Could you have a few drinks to relax you? Are you ever completely naked in front of him? What about dropping a few innuendos/sexual hints, they will have to build up but getting the sexual language and chemistry building up that way. It will feel weird at first, but you said your self you are fantasising and are sexual, so you may have to be brave.
One of you can have a higher sex drive, that's normal and maybe he is just as scared to try it on because it's been so long and he doesn't know where to start. So if your sex drive is higher, it makes sense that it's you. Back in the start of your relationship what sort of things did he tell you turned him on? sexy undies, sexy messages, grabbing him etc what floated his boat then? Could you give it a go now?
Let me get this straight, you're sexually frustrated because you don't have sex with your husband, but even if he said "let's have sex tonight", you wouldn't because you're not sexually attracted to him anymore?
Yes Irish. Is that so hard to understand?
I posted because I am sad that I have no interest in my DH sexually, although I would like to find a way back as I love him.
I mentioned that I am sexually frustrated to illustrate that I have not lost my libido.
how about maybe having sex with him anyway, and see if that kick starts your desire for him once again. would it be worth try?
No advice here.
Reconciling here. Hubby has been almost unable to do things.
The 'reason' he had fling, etc, was because I was not interested. Trying to turn things around. But sex dept is not working well on his side, lol
Hope you can work things out.
Join the discussion
Please login first.