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.

unrelenting attempts at intimacy/affection

(14 Posts)
TheEntWife Mon 06-Jun-16 14:23:18

I told DH 2 weeks ago i wanted a divorce. 20 year relationship, 15 years married, 3 kids under 10.

Our relationship has dwindled for a long time. We have tried to revive it a few times, which results in changes for a little while and then a reversion to the former state. I feel like we are flogging a dead horse and i cant (and dont want to) take it anymore. Fundamentally i don't love him anymore and have been "faking it until you make it" for a couple of years hoping it will come back. It hasnt and i dont think it will. I have started to imagine my life without him and frankly it makes my heart sing.

He has begged me to do a course of marriage counseling with him as he thinks we can save the relationship. I have reluctantly agreed because 1. i feel like i need to tick all the boxes before i can walk away.
2. I kind of hope the counselor will help him see the impossibility of the situation so we can move through the process of divorce as amicably as possible.

The counseling is going to start next week. In the mean time we are both living in the house with the kids. He tells me that he loves me and is openly affectionate and makes sexual overtures towards me often. to the point that sometime i feel positively hunted in the house. We dont have a spare bedroom that one of us could go into so we are sharing the same room. I find i cant get out of the shower without finding him in the bedroom waiting for me in the hope we might have sex. He has tried waking me up early in the morning before the kids wake in the hope of intimacy. i cant sit on the sofa without finding him sitting next to me with his hand on my thigh.

I understand why he is doing it. He is hoping to rekindle something in me but i really do feel done. I have been disengaging and refusing his advances which is upsetting him. Sometimes, i just pretend to be asleep or oblivious cause i cant deal with an emotional confrontation at that time. He is not stopping.

I feel like engaging in romantic and sexual affection is just giving him the wrong message (i dont love you, i want a divorce but lets have sex?) and frankly it messes with my head. I am a people pleaser by nature and am really struggling to keep my wishes a priority.

I feel like i need to maintain this boundry for both our sanity but i find i am getting quite resentful of his behavior.

I would love to know how other, if they have experienced a similar situation, got through this. I don't want to continue to fake it as it comes at a cost to me that i don't want to pay anymore.

ElspethFlashman Mon 06-Jun-16 14:27:45

Tbh you need to tell him that the sole purpose of counselling for you is to enable the two of you to end the marriage courteously.

I suspect you are leaving it a bit ambiguous. You say you want a divorce but agree to marriage guidance. I suspect sex does occasionally happen if he's still trying it on so much.

Could you clarify things with him a bit?

SolidGoldBrass Mon 06-Jun-16 14:29:06

No wonder you are divorcing him, he sounds ghastly. I don't think this constant pawing and slobbering at you is because he actually wants sex from you - it's more about distressing you. He is punishing you for not being a compliant, obediant possession.
Counselling can be helpful when it comes to ending a marriage amicably, or at least as amicably as possible, but not when there is abuse and manipulation which sounds like the case here.

TheEntWife Mon 06-Jun-16 14:53:26

thanks for the replies.

Elspeth - It has happened once and i immediately regretted it. Perhaps i have been too ambiguous. I guess i need to have another awful talk.

The problem is i guess there is no middle ground. If i am companionable (i dont hate him and we do have to get along as in the same house) he takes it as a green light to try it on. If i am cold or unresponsive, he falls apart at the seams and i writhe with guilt.

That is the real problem right there, my feeling guilty for saying no so perhaps being less than clear trying to avoid the fall out.

SGB - he is quite dominating but i don't get the sense that he is doing this to reestablish authority etc. I think he truly is trying to re-establish an emotional intimacy with me by re-establishing a physical one.

pocketsaviour Mon 06-Jun-16 16:01:28

It's irrelevant why he's doing it; he's deliberately doing things he know you don't welcome and won't respond to, because he thinks he can.

You need to set clear boundaries now. "Stop touching me. We are splitting up so it is no longer appropriate."

Make him sleep on the settee.

Tell him if he tries to touch you intimately you will report him for sexual assault.

I know it's really hard (sometimes feels impossible) when you're a people pleaser to actually stand up for yourself. But your marriage is already over. You have nothing to lose here by being clear that he cannot continue pawing at you. You have everything to gain.

Just1945 Mon 06-Jun-16 16:04:22

I can relate to this in a manner of speaking, however we are not yet at the stage of having had "the talk" as such. It has seemed to me any minor show of normalcy (mainly for the sake of DC who are 4 and 7) is a red light for him to try it on, although he is very predictable in that it's usually an attempt either at 5am before he goes to work or on Friday/Saturday when I have usually had a glass of wine (which he also sees as an invitation!)

I have resorting to sleeping in DD's bed, much to her annoyance, on the weekend. This doesn't seem odd to the children as she didn't independently sleep regularly until recently, and so that much is covered. I have told DH the reason, being that I feel I am being hounded in my own house and that I simply don't want him touching me (much huffing and puffing ensues after this). Then, on the weekend when I try to maintain a nice atmosphere for the DC he assumes I am "fine" again and the whole rigmarole continues.

Sorry you're having to deal with this too. You're braving than I for telling him outright what you want, good for you. Positive that you have agreed to counselling as it will act as closure and hopefully make him see your view of things.

Why are men stupid hmm

Just1945 Mon 06-Jun-16 16:08:39

Sorry for many typos, I am an old duffer with a new phone grin

HandyWoman Mon 06-Jun-16 16:11:16

I think if men could 'get' this there would be fewer marriages going off the rails!

OP if you are still keeping marriage options officially open out of politeness to him, can you not say simply: 'I don't want physical contact with you at the moment'? Just be clear and assertive. Is that possible?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 06-Jun-16 16:31:41

Pretending to be asleep or oblivious is not mature adult behaviour. Same for cold and unresponsive.

Surely honesty is better "I don't want to have sex. We are splitting up, trying it on is not appropriate."

Although that approach won't work if you intend to stick to your cunning plan of lying and pretending you are going into marriage counselling in good faith. The plan where the marriage counsellor realises that you don't actually want marriage counselling, you lied about that, you actually want him/her to tell your husband for you that you really do want a divorce. Because that will be easier and less hurtful for everyone involved, obviously.

"Please stop trying it on until after the marriage counselling is finished. I need the marriage to be good before the sex will start again."

TheEntWife Mon 06-Jun-16 16:45:38

Runrabbitrunrabbit- harsh but fair words. I need to "women up" and spell it out in words of less than one syllable.

I have told him I want a divorce. The marriage counselling is his idea that he begged me to agree to. We did discuss that it may be exit counselling but since I agreed to it he has been trying to play mummies and daddies.

But you are right, it's not mature adult behavior.

99redballoons67 Mon 06-Jun-16 16:56:43

You don't have to agree to marriage counselling and I think you know you are done so it's a waste of time too. It's sometimes better to just end it and deal with the break up. He needs to know this is it, you won't be staying with him and you won't be sleeping with him. It has to be a clear message because he obviously can't take the hint.

Having said that, lots of people who are going through a split do end up having sex. It's a weird thing really. I have been in that position before and my head was cabbaged afterwards.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 06-Jun-16 16:58:26

Yes, please do spell it out.

False hope is a terrible thing. It hurts more in the end. And leads to awful resentment of the people that knowingly gave you false hope.

The sooner he knows there is no hope of staying married to you, but every chance of an easy divorce and successful co-parenting, the sooner he will be on his own path to a happier life. It is actually the kindest thing.

Can you imagine how cringe-making it will be for him when he realises he was making a tit of himself? I'd be so embarrassed if I were him. Then it would probably turn to anger and resentment.

The sooner you come clean the better it will be for the both of you.

SandyY2K Mon 06-Jun-16 17:05:37

Don't give him false hope with the counselling if he can never do anything to get you back. That's just stringing him along and no matter how much he begs it's wrong to give him that false hope.

Don't make it a tick box exercise. He has feelings just as you do.

Just stick to your guns and say counselling is pointless if his hope is saving the marriage.

Go for divorce counselling instead.

He's trying to win you back but your heart isn't in it. He has to understand that and you have to make him.

Counselling is a waste of time and money in your situation.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 06-Jun-16 17:05:47

Remember that you don't need his permission or his co-operation to end the marriage. You are not property. You don't owe it to him to continue a marriage that no longer makes you happy; you don't owe it to him to 'try everything' given than he clearly isn't trying.

Do you think it will be safe to be upfront with him? Some controlling men can become dangerous when they are made to understand that their partner is going to leave and won't be obeying them. If you think he might get aggressive then don't feel guilty about lying to him.

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