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.
Male on mumsnet but I need your help!(76 Posts)
Evening - advice and suggestions welcome 😀
I have been married to my wife for 2 1/2 years and I love her to pieces. 6 months ago my wife gave birth to my first beautiful daughter who I am very proud of. My wife already has 2 children (11yr old girl and 3yr boy) from a different relationship but their dad decided not to have any contact with them. I have been supporting my wife and the children since the start of our relationship. I treat the two children as I would my own and they call me dad.
I am a working dad (teacher) so I lead a very busy life whilst my wife stays at home being mum. I would say that I am a good husband and father as I am the sole provider, I regularly clean the house, cook all meals, clean up, hoovering, washing, ironing, being taxi man whilst balancing my job!
My problem is - I do not feel as if I'm valued within my household and feel neglected by my wife. I know during the daytime she looks after the younger children but I'm currently working part time so she's only on her own for 3 hours each day!
Whenever I want to be close with my wife or intimate she ALWAYS turns me away. I ask her why but she cannot provide me with a reason and I've tried on numerous occasions to sit and talk about it.
This has been going on for nearly a year now and she doesn't understand or realise how it makes me feel. Again I have told her this but it has no affect on her.
What can I do?
So, your wife gave birth 6 months ago, is possibly still breastfeeding (you don't mention feeding) possibly still waking up in the night to tend to baby, a 6mo will usually be teething, not sleeping through, needs constant attention during the day and may be weaning around this time too. It's not easy!
Managing a blended family is a difficult thing too.
You are dissatisfied with a lack of physical imtimacy, is this what you mean? Your wife might not be interested in sex for a while what with a 6mo and the other young children. Try being more considerate in an emotional sense. You mention your househelp but do you ask how she's feeling?
do you appreciate everyrhing she is doing in the house? That might be a start. Mutual appreciation amd respect. She might start feeling more desirable if you show her that its not something she owes you. 3 hours a day alkme is still hard!!
Firstly, I would say that 6 months after the birth isn't really all that long. Childbirth and the early months after are exhausting, especially if she has a 3 year old as well. She may just need some space and time without you constantly badgering her for sex. Would you consider leaving her alone for a month and then broaching the subject again once she's had some time off from being hassled for sex?
How on earth are you managing to support them all financially when you are only working a couple of hours a day? Is this actually true?
Even if her 3yo is almost 4, if you've been married for 2.5 years then you married within 18 months of marrying. Which is pretty quick for someone who had not long had a baby and who (I'm guessing from the disappearing act of her ex) was previously in a bad relationship. I'm sorry to be harsh, but it's possible you've both moved too quickly and made a mistake in getting married / starting a family. Sadly I think you need to keep that in mind.
Some women lose their libido in pregnancy, and when the baby is young - especially if breastfeeding. Literally, zapp, no libido temporarily. That's even without the added issue of time and tiredness.
I would try to be understanding of that, if it is the case. But I would expect her to talk to me (and probably have marital counselling depending on how the talking went). It's OK (if frustrating!) to have a dip in sex drive. It's not OK to shut your partner out and refuse to talk.
However right from the start of your post I thought "when is he going to complain he's not getting any sex?". And lo and behold... which makes me wonder if her reluctance to engage is because instead of hearing:
"I love you and feel that our relationship is strained"
she is hearing:
"when can I have sex?"
Sex is great, it's an important part of a relationship. I'm all for sex. But if you come across as just pestering her for sex, I can see why she won't engage in conversation.
I think couples counselling could help you both work out whether she doesn't want sex because of a temporary libido drop, or because she's now in a position where she feels pestered for it, or another reason (like missing emotional intimacy through lack of time together) or simply that it all moved too fast and this is not what she wants any more.
Thanks for your responses,
As I mentioned this started around year ago. This feeling of neglect and not valued. The whole lack of sex hasn't been an issue as I knew this would be the case leading up to birth and after (I had done lots of reading about pregnancy to prepare myself). I know because of all the hormones/ chemicals and yes she breastfeeding would have an affect.
It's difficult to explain and my wife doesn't gets this, it's the feeling of ntn been valued. I feel I do lots around the house and for the family but there's nothing coming back from my wife (I don't mean sex)!
I get a rather a lot of abuse from our eldest child and its constant. There's no support from my wife with that area . My wife doesn't have to do much work around the house even before she was pregnant as I do it.
I don't want a pat on the back all of the time but there just seems to be no thanks for all I do? All I want is for my wife to come a give me a kiss and a hug once in s while.
I struggle how to write my thoughts...
She has a six month old baby...
So she went off sex when she was pregnant, you don't think she's had rather a lot on her plate for the last year?
Why are you only working 3 hours a day?
She has a six month old baby, stop pestering her for sex/physical affection.
I was still bleeding 6 months after having my twins. Your body doesn't recover fully from birth for a year (if at all).
Encourage her to talk, she should talk to you. That should be the starting point.
Do you show that you value and appreciate everything she does?
Did she work before having this baby?
I wonder if she feels like 'her'? Takes a while to get your mojo back. Could she be bored? Overwhelmed? Feeling like half a person because life at home isn't stimulating? God knows child-rearing and housewifery is boing shit.
AyeAmrok - that's not really relevant and not really your place to wake surely?
OP- you could go down one of two routes- either try being intimate other ways - give her a back rub, have a bath together (if you have a big bath) and setting up some boundaries with the eldest so that the abuse stops. Or you could hold on tight and hope things change.
I hear you OP. You say you don't feel valued. It sounds as though you're doing an awful lot to keep the house going and shouldering all the responsibility of cooking and cleaning when you're probably tired from strains of working. You would like some closeness with you DW and acknowledgement.
Would I be right that DW is the stronger personality? Her daughter following suit? You may need to assert yourself slightly here. I don't mean rant and rave but find the way to get everyone pulling in the same direction and appreciating each other. It's important that ALL family members consider each other. Why not suggest cooking together (you and DW, you and DSD), tackling a household chore together maybe - it could be reorganising a room which involves clearing it up. Can you get DSD on board now before she gets more teenagerish and find a mutual interest which will harbour more respect for you?
Yes your DW has had a a baby and of course it will be tough. For the sake of other posters, the OP has made this clear that he understands that!
You seem to be getting a hard time here so you may want to think about continuing this post....?
I wish you all the best. Work out your way of getting what you need and keeping everyone happy though. Above all, it must be fair on all parties. But you realise that already.
Op posts - I get a rather a lot of abuse from our eldest child and its constant. There's no support from my wife with that area
The power of MN responds with the usual cliche So she went off sex when she was pregnant, you don't think she's had rather a lot on her plate for the last year?
Do you have these responses ready to cut & paste?
Sorry Op seems you will not get much support here also, because although your post mentions lots of issues. You made the mistake of also mentioning "lack of sex". Those three words cancelled out anything else you wrote.
See, you say it's about not being valued, not sex.
But then you immediately default to saying "I want a kiss and a hug once in a while".
Which is not wrong to want!
But it is physical - and frankly, I'm sure you do want sex and I'm sure she knows that and I'm sure she thinks any hug/kiss would soon escalate to you wanting sex to follow it!
Have a google of "five love languages" and think about those - different people express love in different ways - for some it's the "pay on the back" and for some it's more physical.
If I were you I'd forget about sex for a couple of months as there are other issues you should address.
- what's going on with the 11yo? How can you fix that in a united way
- why do you have an imbalance on the housework? Sounds like that's been going on longer than the pregnancy.
If she don't talk to you about those issues, then you should try couples counselling.
I agree with Cabrinha, it sounds as though things have moved very fast.
If the children's father isn't in contact, presumably the previous situation was bad. However, unless he left before the 3 year old was born, the 11 year old has moved from one father to another plus new baby within the space of about 3 years.
I think the pace of change would challenge any family.
I agree that counselling would be a good idea.
A six month old baby shouldn't be used solely as a reason for a lack of affection, physical or otherwise. There can be many reasons, traumatic birth, PND, colicky child, but I would hope in a stable relationship that by 6 months any issues had been discussed to avoid them building up.
I don't get that the OP was definitely wanting to broach the subject of sex, or lack of it, he doesn't even mention it in his post. Intimacy is more than sex and I get the feeling it's a connection he's missing more.
OP, as suggested before, talk to her. Do you have any time alone when she can be rested and ready to talk openly away from the children?
You've been married 2 1/2 years and she has a 3 year old? So you met and married straight away? Does the fact the relationship moved so fast affect things? You must have taken on two dc straight away.
Yes of course you have a busy life if you have a young family including a baby. If you are only out of the house three hours a day then obviously you will be doing more of the household stuff than if you worked full-time. So based on what you say there, it sounds completely normal.
As for the intimacy, I would definitely give it time.
right from the start of your post I thought "when is he going to complain he's not getting any sex?".
So for the last 6 months of pregnancy and the first 6 months of breastfeeding a newborn, your wife hasn't wanted sex.
This is normal. And not something you should ever, EVER make her feel bad about.
Sex during pregnancy and breastfeeding can be uncomfortable and even painful due to hormonal and body shape changes. It's certainly rarely ever pleasurable. Add to that the broken sleep of pregnancy and having a newborn, and a moaning husband, and no wonder she's not feeling into it.
I would be willing to bet she's shrinking from affection because she thinks that it is a precursor to sex.
Every time you guilt her about this, or put her in a position where she has to actively avoid sex, the idea of having sex with you will become more and more unattractive.
Oh and you only work 3 hours a day? You bloody should be doing most of the housework when your wife is looking after the baby.
I'm absolutely bloody fed up of these posts where men seem to think that doing most of the housework (ie, something most non post-partum women do EVERY FUCKING DAY) is something you need a massive round of applause for. It's not.
Also worth remembering - doing normal household jobs does not mean your wife owes you sex.
And as to this -
I am a working dad (teacher) so I lead a very busy life whilst my wife stays at home being mum.
You work THREE FUCKING HOURS ON WEEKDAYS ONLY.
Get. A. Grip.
DrMorbius you reading the same thread here?
People are not just replying about the lack of sex - and the information about the older child issues isn't in the first post!
It's effect, not affect. Are you really a teacher?
I think the OP is getting an unnecessarily hard time here.
Feeling unappreciated is a gloomy place to be and a tricky thing to tackle.
Does the 3 year old go to nursery?
Is there anyone who could have the baby for a few hours while 3 year old is at nursery and 11 year old at school?
I think you and your wife need to go and have some fun together for a few hours (not sex )
Do you think either of you are depressed?
Men get a form of PND too.
I think OP is getting a hard time too. He's supporting partner and 3 kids out of part time wage, 2 of the kids aren't his but he's treating them like his own and he's doing all/most of the housework. And he's getting no recognition, thanks or affection. I'm rarely on the side of the man in these posts but in this case wondering what he gets out of the relationship. It doesn't sound like a very equal partnership. His partner needs to start doing her share.
His partner has just had a baby, already has a 3 and 11 year old, and is living with a man who seems to think that working 15 hours a week and picking up the slack with the housework makes him some kind of demi-god.
OP appears to think that he's doing something amazing, when actually he's doing much less than most women in the UK
world do with minimal thanks - yanno, all those women who work full time and run a house. Yet when a man does his fair share, we should all bow down with eternal thanks and appreciation
I think most teachers will tell you that if he teaches for three hours a day that's not the same as "working" for three hours a day (unless he does supply in which case maybe you can just drop in, teach the kids and leave it at the door, I dunno).
Sure, but she's not working either or doing the housework. She's not working full time and running a house - she's got a bloke who isn't even the father running around after her and her kids, paying for it all and getting no thanks.
OP - run, now! As fast as you can. (From this thread I mean)
Join the discussion
Please login first.