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Are personal remarks ever OK?

(23 Posts)
DifficultLemonDifficult Wed 24-Aug-16 22:42:12

I have been with by husband for 8 years, married for 3. From around the sixth month in to our relationship (when we moved in together) our sex life dwindled. One child later and it's non-existent. Maybe four times a year.

We have been having the same fight about this for the duration of our relationship. It's got to the point where I realise I am not so much angry about the lack of physical intimacy, but am frustrated at the not being "heard". He knows how deeply this flaw in our relationship hurts me, makes all the right noises when we discuss it, but chooses to do nothing about it.

I am not good at expressing myself honestly and in a timely fashion because he basically shuts me down when we talk about us. As such, I avoid conversations, because they always become confrontations.I have taken on responsibility for the things that make us unhappy. I have taken anti-depressants, I am in therapy and am working on my astonishing lack of self-esteem. I am trying to be less needy.

However, tonight, whilst trying to express to him that I find the lack of ANY form of intimacy in our relationship difficult (and it takes me days to work up to these conversations), he basically said that he loves me, fancies me, but finds my body "off-putting". His actual words were "When I'm going down on you, I wish I could see your face over your belly."

He is by no means an adonis, but I love him anyway, find him sexy and accept that as he ages, his body changes. Since having a baby, I have gained weight, and I accept that he is allowed to not feel attracted my larger body. But I found the way that he expressed that so cruel.

I am completely confused - do I accept his opinion and do my best to make myself sexier for him, according to what he finds sexy? Is he reasonable? Is it my responsibility to be "fit"? I am some two stone heavier than when we met and am not overtly keen on my own physique.

Or do I go with the inner voice that is telling me that if he loved me, he couldn't knowingly make a remark like that.

To be honest, I feel pretty crushed. I already lack confidence and have long suspected that he didn't really fancy me.

I am struggling to see a future with a man that makes me hate my body so much. But does he have a point?

chocoLit Wed 24-Aug-16 22:49:38

He's a total shit. I wouldn't let him me with that attitude. Very cross on your behalf angry

Onlyonce Wed 24-Aug-16 23:08:58

Only you can know if such comments are acceptable to you. I get similar from my dp on a regular basis and it does hurt but only you can be the judge of how it affects your relationship. I have told my dp many times how hurting his comments can be but it makes not one iota of difference to him. He actually gets annoyed with me for being hurt.

Sorry this isn't really helpful. But I dont think you are alone

0hCrepe Wed 24-Aug-16 23:13:56

That's a horrible thing to say to someone you're supposed to love, even if that's how you feel, you don't say it.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 02:17:28

I think he is annoyed at me for bing hurt. I don't understand how he thinks I'm ever going to be able to go near him again. I feel like our whole relationship has been based on my ridiculous belief that you love the person, not the body, and that this has been a naive mistake. I think my perception of him as a good man might now have been permanently skewed and If I lose the weight "for" him, where will it stop? Will he always be trying to change things about me? And dressing it up as "Well, you did ask". I just don't understand how he thinks I can carry on as normal and not hate him.

avamiah Thu 25-Aug-16 02:36:59

OP I think you know the answer.
He does not love you or even care about you.
How could he.
A man would never say this to a woman he loved and too be honest I don't think there are that many men that would say that to a woman they didn't love.
Let's be honest even if it was a one night stand, you may think it but you wouldn't say something like that.
In my opinion there could be more to this than you might know, could he be seeing someone else ?
Why would he want to be so cruel to you, it doesn't add up.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 02:52:30

I have wondered whether he has been seeing someone else, but this has been going on for a really long time and he is also pretty lazy and unsociable, so I'm not sure whether he could be bothered. I'm just baffled at how casually he could hurt me. He says he loves me, knows I am pretty insecure about my appearance and says this stuff anyway. I feel like I'm being tricked into dumping him.

Apologies for drip-feeding, but he is also aware I have a history of eating disorders, which were under control by the time I met him, but still, becoming pregnant was pretty frightening thing from that perspective. I really feared the changes to my body because of his lack of interest in me physically. Now he has the child he wanted and a good excuse not to fuck me.

Sorry - I'm so angry and bewildered.

Trifleorbust Thu 25-Aug-16 03:05:06

That's wanton cruelty, OP. Get the hell away from this guy and find someone who wants you for you and would never, ever speak to you like that.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 03:12:49

I fell like my life has just collapsed under me.

Trifleorbust Thu 25-Aug-16 03:17:19


Of course you do and I'm so sorry. Do you have a RL friend or close family you could confide in? Will you cope financially? Start looking into what you are entitled to. You deserve better than this.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 03:25:42

I don't really have anyone to talk to about this, hence being on Mumsnet in the early hours. I had a bit of a breakdown last year and feel like I've maxed out my shoulder-to-cry-on goodwill. Not sure I want to make this real yet, either. God, he's such a shit - I've been struggling with mental health/self-esteem issues which he let me think were all in my head. He's watched me try to medicate myself and make my feelings/behaviours more "acceptable". I've been seeing a therapist to try and understand why I feel so insecure and it's all because I was fucking RIGHT all along. I'm not mad - he's just a liar, who doesn't want to be a part-time Dad, so he's kept stringing me along.

Trifleorbust Thu 25-Aug-16 03:29:10

It isn't you, it's him. My advice would be to ask him to leave, explaining that you don't deserve or wish to be spoken to like that. You will be fine, and you will feel better for losing 12 or so stone!

sykadelic Thu 25-Aug-16 04:10:09

There is nothing wrong with someone liking certain things about the opposite sex and finding certain features sexier than others.

What I fail to understand though is how someone can love someone and hurt them on purpose (because it WAS on purpose). It's no surprise to him that you have low self esteem, are on antidepressants and are an eating disorder survivor who found pregnancy (and your body changes) very hard. He knows that your body image is one of your biggest problems and he preyed on that knowledge. He knew that you were feeling vulnerable by asking and it didn't stop him from saying something that he knew would be one of the worst things he could have said.

YOU have been the one to got help for what you considered to be your issues and he never has, so I'd be willing to bet he thought by saying that you'd jump to "fix it" by losing weight... and he'd have found more and more issues to "fix". Instead I hope you "fix it" by realising that he's been the real problem all along and that you CAN be happier without him.

"You did ask". What exactly DID you ask? Because you said you were trying to express that you found the lack of ANY intimacy difficult. I'm not sure how that translates to "well because I can't see your face I struggle to find your hand, kiss you, treat you well, and show you how much I love you".

Whatever you asked, and whatever he actually said, the only conceivable meaning behind those words (esp in the face of your past and insecurities) is that he doesn't love you enough, that he doesn't like you, he doesn't respect you and that YOU DESERVE BETTER. Because yes, someone who loves you, loves YOU.

My mum, many moons ago, lost a lot of weight, over half her body size. Looking at old photos I still remember my dad saying to her (because she said something about how enormous she was) "I never saw you as being big" and that to me, is real love. He only ever saw "Her", not her physical flaws.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 04:16:01

Skyadelic - thank you for sharing that about your parents. It's incredibly touching and really underlines what I feel is missing for me. He doesn't express love to me in any form. I mean, he says "I love you", but I've somehow never believed it. I assumed this was because I felt unworthy. I suppose it was gut instinct, really.

PirateFairy45 Thu 25-Aug-16 05:13:23

What an ass

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 05:26:54

He's going to get up this morning, pretend that nothing's wrong and that I am unreasonable in not letting it go.

The idea of ending it is too overwhelming right now. I need to find a way to manage my short-term emotions, enforce some boundaries and get my head together.

Trifleorbust Thu 25-Aug-16 05:38:27

He needs to understand that you are not being unreasonable, and that he was being cruel. Take a step back from him if you aren't ready to end it - don't get angry or upset, just ignore him. He will want to know why you aren't bringing it up but don't engage with him. He knows what he has said and why it is unacceptable. That will give you time to clear your head without feeling like you have to make overtures towards him or sort it out in any way. You don't. This is his fuck up, not yours.

DifficultLemonDifficult Thu 25-Aug-16 05:45:07

Thank you Trifleorbust (and everyone else who has taken the time to post) - I appreciate your kind words and support. Things like this always seem worse at night. I'm supposed to be getting up for work in five minutes. I guess that's not happening.

PirateFairy45 Thu 25-Aug-16 08:25:49

Write him a letter, telling him that although it was an "off the cuff' comment for him, it really hurt you.

PirateFairy45 Thu 25-Aug-16 08:26:27

I say a letter because talking to him doesn't appear to be getting through to him. Sort of like my DH

Shayelle Thu 25-Aug-16 08:28:11

Get rid of him, difficult. He sounds like a complete arsehole!

PollyPerky Thu 25-Aug-16 09:29:33

I don't think your DH was right to say what he did because it was hurtful,. but at the same time I think you have a responsibility to yourself to look after your health which includes losing weight.

sykadelic Thu 25-Aug-16 21:23:50

PollyPerky and if she loses weight now I'll be with the knowledge it's what he wants, and that makes it less about her and what she wants right now (though she never said she wouldn't lose weight). Doesn't change the fact he took something about a lack of intimacy (not just sex, intimacy) and made it about her weight, which given her history is extremely insensitive and cruel.

Also, just to point out in the OP she wrote that they've been together for 8 years and the sex dropped off 6 months in. She then said she gained weight after having their child (though doesn't say how old the child is or how long into the relationship that was) which means that she was "fine" weight wise to him until after the child and yet intimacy still dropped off... so it's obviously NOT actually about the weight.

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