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.

If I say no to sex, H shouldn't sulk. Right?

(27 Posts)
MrsMcBoatface Mon 06-Jun-16 08:24:21

I'm struggling to see what my part was in this. I'm trying to take a balanced view but the fact is he wants sex more than me like all the time and for years I went along with it but these days I think I shouldn't have to go along with it just to keep the peace. He thinks that I should be flattered that he still finds me attractive, we are, on the surface, a good team but that's only when I don't assert myself too much.

I had one counselling session last week, on my own, I talked with the counsellor about setting boundaries in the relationship and I've been thinking (hoping) that I could define what was acceptable to me then H and I could stay married. BTW We've been married for 25+ years and kids have left home.

Anyway, here's the point: H wanted sex this morning, I said no. In my politest boundary-defining way I said no, let's just stay in bed and chat. He went into an almighty strop and stomped out of the room. Then he got ready for work and left in a huff.

I'll add, the last time we had sex (at his insistence) wouldn't be more than a week ago so it's not like it's been months. H has, in the past, asked me to 'liven myself up' and get HRT or 'female viagra' off the internet, to be fair I did tell him where to go with that idea. It might be partly ageing or hormones but I don't see any point in pursuing that. If he would suddenly become a nice person I might make an effort but for now I just want some opinions here on what happened this morning...he shouldn't have responded like that, right?

AnyFucker Mon 06-Jun-16 08:26:38


SoThatHappened Mon 06-Jun-16 08:26:56


I am usually the one craving it all the time and sulked if I didnt get it.

A week is a while imo.

expatinscotland Mon 06-Jun-16 08:27:23

I think you've been conditioned by him to have sex you don't want for decades now. But no, he shouldn't sulk. He will, though. He's not used to not getting his own way.

SoThatHappened Mon 06-Jun-16 08:27:47

But.....i never behaved the way he did. Just felt a little rejected.

He sounds like an arse

teablanket Mon 06-Jun-16 08:29:46

You absolutely have te right to say no, and while there's nothing wrong with him being disappointed with that, basic human decency should stop him stropping around like an insolent child.

I will say, though, that to me it sounds like sex isn't the problem here, but rather him not being a nice person (in your eyes! I don't know him from Adam, obv.) -- has he been this way for your entire marriage?

TheNaze73 Mon 06-Jun-16 08:30:38

A week is a long time, I think but, every relationship is different.

You are of course, totally right but, think this is going to take time to sort out, as he's been used to getting his own way for years.

Motherfuckers Mon 06-Jun-16 08:31:05

No he shouldn't sulk.
But I never get these threads where people say if he was nicer/more helpful/etc I may have more sex. If you don't want sex, you don't want sex.

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Mon 06-Jun-16 08:33:00

If he would suddenly become a nice person

So it goes deeper than this incident. No, he shouldn't sulk if you say no. But if you are regularly rejecting him, then his feeling hurt and upset is understandable. Most people find sexual rejection deeply wounding.

But it seems there are issues in your relationship that perhaps are best dealt with in couples counselling.

teablanket Mon 06-Jun-16 08:34:00

mother, generally, I only want to have sex with nice people who treat me well. If my partner acted like a brat, it would extinguish my desire in a flash!

ivykaty44 Mon 06-Jun-16 08:37:35

You can refuse sex it is your prerogative.

It is your dh choice how he behaves, if he wants to sulk then although a silly way to behave it is his choice.

You can point out his action is pretty awful behaviour - again your choice to say something

Motherfuckers Mon 06-Jun-16 08:37:53

Absolutely, teablanket, but there is often the implication that women would "put up" with more sex if their husbands did more housework etc. Women do like sex too. I bloody love sex and can't get enough if it, however if I don't want it, bleaching the kitchen floor and bringing me a cup of tea will not change my mind.

MrsMcBoatface Mon 06-Jun-16 08:38:06

I tried wondering what it would be like if it were reversed. Yes I think I'd feel rejected but if it's clearly just sex as I did want to chat with him and I said it in a nice way he could go off and have a wank, I'd do if it were me sorry perhaps tmi going off in a huff isn't acceptable. I'm trying not to feel responsible for the situation. But I am!

SandyY2K Mon 06-Jun-16 08:49:52

My DH seems to like morning sex, but that's not the time I want it. He sometimes gets a bit hurt when I say no and if I've said no a few times, I'll cave.

It's your right to say no. It's his right to sulk, but the problem goes deeper. You said if he was nicer...

So that's the issue. And do you get satisfaction with the sex or is it all about him and his pleasure? That makes a big difference.

He has a higher drive than you and it's the same with my DH.

MrsMcBoatface Mon 06-Jun-16 08:51:37

Thanks for all the input! As I said I'm trying to see both sides, I'm sure there are two issues, one with sex and my lack of desire, and the other with how i see our relationship.

Mother I used to get insane little crushes on men who treated me nicely, like flattered me and held doors open for me (something H never does) then get annoyed with myself for being so un-feminist as I wanted to be in an equal society. Not sure where H fits into this.

blue2014 Mon 06-Jun-16 09:00:17

It's not unreasonable to want a man to be nice to you before you have sex with him, it's not un-feminist either! If he's not nice no wonder you don't want to have sex with him!

MysteriesOfTheOrganism Mon 06-Jun-16 09:12:17

You really cannot examine sexual behaviour outside of the context of the relationship as a whole. Of course few people want sex with someone who doesn't treat them how they wish to be treated. But if your partner doesn't treat you how you wish fix the relationship or bloody well get out.

People who don't deal with the real problem often end up using sexual favours as a form of reward or punishment. That really isn't healthy for anyone.

FinallyHere Mon 06-Jun-16 09:13:23

For me, its not about him 'playing nice' in order to lure you to bed. Its about being a decent person and an enjoyable partner day in day out, and not sulking when he doesn't get his own way. Your comment about being a great couple [only] when you 'let him have his own way' rings loud alarm bells for me.

How very dare he suggest you take 'female viagra' to make you interested in spite of his behaviour.

No wonder you are not interested in being intimate. Seems like he isn't interested in anything but what he wants. I never say LTB but this is what it came down to, when I was in a similar position. Didn't expect to ever have another relationship but have been very pleasantly surprised. Hope you find what works for you.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 06-Jun-16 09:31:14

No, he shouldn't sulk, but I can understand him getting frustrated if you're not regularly intimate.

Speaking from experience, it does hurt being rejected all the time, especially if your sex life has previously (in his eyes) been really good and there's no obvious reasons for it going downhill (newborn, work stress, illness, for example). You went along with having sex loads for years - he assumed you were happy as you never said otherwise, and suddenly you've decided you're not happy with that. That's probably given his confidence/ego a pretty big kick.

But if someone told me "I don't want sex, I just want to talk to you, go have a wank if you're horny" I'd be pretty pissed off, tbh. When you want intimacy, having a quick wank in the shower isn't the same.

LadyReuleaux Mon 06-Jun-16 09:38:43

Exactly finally. I went off sex with ExP because I didn't feel respected, listened to, cared about or that I had an equal partner in general. It's not that I didn't want it and ta-daa, he did the dishes and then I did want it (or agreed to it when I didn't really). It's more that being a nice person in general, and someone who you can trust to treat you well, kindly and respectfully, is more of a turn-on and makes you feel closer to someone.

It sounds to me like there is a general issue here OP in that he doesn't like/expect you to have your own needs and preferences, assert yourself etc. Stropping off and huffing is a way to make you feel bad and try to get his own way – i.e. you'll want to avoid the sulking and stropping so you'll just do what he wants. So no he shouldn't behave like that.

One of the best things about finally telling my ex it was over was not feeling guilty any more about not wanting sex. I shouldn't have felt guilty really, but I did.

glassgarden Mon 06-Jun-16 09:40:14

Sulking is about punishing you for not doing what he wants, not a very constructive approach to the problem!

There isn't a mutually acceptable compromise though is there?
Why should the lower libido person have sex when they don't want to?
Why should the higher libido person put up with feeling sexually unsatisfied?

fundamentally the problem is one of incompatibility

LadyReuleaux Mon 06-Jun-16 09:42:47

for years I went along with it but these days I think I shouldn't have to go along with it just to keep the peace

I can see what others are saying, you have let him think it was all fine because he got loads of sex. However that doesn't mean you can't change your mind and listen to how you really feel - why shouldn't you? He's spent all this time somehow making you feel like you might as well go along with having sex "just to keep the peace". It's OK to say "actually what do I want?".

I have been wondering if there's something about the time around menopause when something changes for many women and they realise they have just been doing what other people want for years and years and it's time to be true to themselves. Do you know what I mean?

DrMorbius Mon 06-Jun-16 09:48:58

I'm with hermione ^^,
For years your DH has thought everything is hunky dory and then you go to a councilling session and suddenly things are changing (dramatically).

Perhaps his strop is a demonstration of his confusion at the change in his environment.

glassgarden Mon 06-Jun-16 09:49:59

I have been wondering if there's something about the time around menopause when something changes for many women and they realise they have just been doing what other people want for years and years and it's time to be true to themselves. Do you know what I mean?

I have wondered similarly if oestrogens influence behavior such as to make women more compliant, more people pleasing?

Whereas previously sex was high on my list post menopause I'm really not all that bothered about sex.
Kind of a relief tbh

VinoTime Mon 06-Jun-16 09:51:21

He doesn't sound like a particularly nice man, OP. sad I wouldn't want to be intimate with a man like that, either.

Are you happy to continue the relationship? Have you spoken to him about how he's making you feel?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now