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.

Wife doesn't like any kind of physical contact any more.

(23 Posts)
eyess Fri 02-Sep-16 00:48:32

Here's a bit of background: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/sex/2717456-Does-her-reading-cheat-stories-mean-she-wants-to-cheat

I think I was more shocked than anything when I saw the word "cheat" pop up on her iPad. Coupled with the fact she's been recoiling from my touch for a while, well, I jumped to conclusions but I'm pretty sure she's not actually having an affair. She's just not that type of person and definitely wouldn't have the time.

Anyway, my wife doesn't like physical contact any more. Not from me, and she's told me that she gets edgy when people from work try to go for a hug or whatever, but contact with DS and nephews is fine.

She feels she is subconsciously guarding against damaging her back or hip which have, in the past, popped out of place or jarred and made moving very difficult and painful. Last time this happened was before DS was born, so I guess she is doing a good job of that. I did say to her that I'm not going to spin her around or anything like that if we're just having a little stand-up cuddle with her head on my chest but she retorted with the fact she's popped her back out by bending over to spit after brushing her teeth. It does seem like it's only people touching her that makes her feel like this - she still jumps up and down and goes down slides and was even threatening to do cartwheels in the garden the other night - I persuaded her not to, but it did make me wonder how much of her not wanting me to touch her is actually self preservation. She's not done a cartwheel since having DC, and it could've gone quite wrong.

She told me that she is a Mum now, and that DS is her number one priority, and I totally agree - DS is my number one priority too - but does that mean she can't be a Wife too? She also added that DS is a child, and I am an adult, and that he needs physical affection more than I do right now, which is kinda baffling to me, as there's no real limit on how much affection you can dole out in one day is there? I'm not talking full on sex every day, but just little things like hugging me from behind while I'm washing up, or kissing my forehead.

I still find her amazingly sexy, even though she is a little over her usual weight, but she's the woman I love, it is no big deal to me at all. She does seem a little self-conscious about her boobs (won't just take tops/bra off while getting changed, always takes top off, puts nightie on, then takes bra off if you get me, she never used to do that), and I mentioned it one time and she said it was to keep the warm in, but it's been so hot recently, it'd be quite nice to let some air get to them, surely.

I asked her if she ever wanted to have sex with me again and after a long pause she let out a little yes that had a questioning inflection at the end, like "yes?". I'm in two minds about this all, like, am I making too much of a big deal out of it? Do I just go with the flow and hope she'll suddenly just enjoy physical affection again? Or is talking it through and working on re-establishing that bond the way to go?

BurningBridges Fri 02-Sep-16 01:03:21

OP you are making me feel a bit sick reading this - "nice to let some air to them" - is like you are reading a seedy comedy script. And yes, there is a limit to how much affection you can dole out in one day, especially to someone waiting for a cuddle or a kiss on the forehead when you have young DCs to look after.

What you are writing, and your previous post, feels wrong. Do you share housework and childcare? Maybe she's exhausted, and knows you are studying her intently, even to the point of monitoring her vibrator use, to see when you can get your share again? Yuk.

eyess Fri 02-Sep-16 01:08:57

Oh, forgot to mention this but it may not be related, she recently told me she doesn't want any more children. I always thought the plan was to have two, and that's why we were keeping all the baby stuff like the moses basket and his old cot and the perfect prep machine and all his old clothes that were still nice, but we were at a wedding recently and someone asked if we were having any more and I said "yeah, I'd like to, that's the plan", and then DW chimed in with "well, actually it'd take a whole lot of planning because DS was a very short labour and they say the second one is even quicker and I had strep and I was negative and he was positive", and I was just like "oh", and it took a while for me to process it all. Wouldn't it have been easier for her just to say "yeah, maybe" and then discuss all that in greater detail with me later? Rather than at the table while we were eating at a wedding? I went a bit quiet while I was thinking all this through and she slapped my arm and said "CHEER UP DEAR".

After we'd got home from the wedding we had a deeper chat about it and there were more reasons why she didn't want to have any more children, and the first was money related, we could be in the middle of a house move soon, depending on a lot of outside factors we have no control over, it'd be tough to juggle a move and a new baby.

The second reason was that she didn't think I'd cope with a toddler and a newborn. I suffered a little with PND after DS was born but to be honest it was more the shock of exactly how much time and care and devotion the little one needed at that young age, and how much I would have to give up. I am not bitter that I didn't have time for hobbies, as DS needed me so I just got on with it.

So, my mind was immediately racing with ideas of how to show her that I could do it, and telling her that between me and MIL, who we live with, it would be fine, we could do it.

But then, reason three, she just calmly said she was fine with just one child.

I'm not going to try and change her mind, I'm just going to slowly try and get over it, even though it still gives me a sickly feeling in my stomach and I genuinely feel like I am mourning for something I've never had. For our entire relationship, the plan was for four of us, and all of a sudden, three was fine.

I did suggest to her that she doesn't want physical affection just in case she gets pregnant but she insisted that was not the case.

MotherOfROC Fri 02-Sep-16 01:18:10

Was your intimacy the same before you had your child?

eyess Fri 02-Sep-16 01:24:11

I was just trying to keep it light-hearted with the "let the air get to them" line, I apologise if you thought it sounded seedy.

We both do exactly the same amount of housework (as much as housework can be evenly divided, she puts washing on the line, I hoover, it's swings and roundabouts), and we both work roughly the same amount of days/hours, and we both do the same amount of childcare.

Can I ask how you came to the conclusion that I monitor her vibrator use?

eyess Fri 02-Sep-16 01:34:01

MotherOfROC
We were definitely more intimate before we had our son.

MotherOfROC Fri 02-Sep-16 02:15:13

OP was pregnancy bad or traumatic ? I know I went right off sex following DS my first, awful pregnancy emergency section and pain from sex after for about 3 years until my second pregnancy . You will have to talk to her about it and how it makes you feel. If you managed before with her health complaints how is it different now ?

PushingThru Fri 02-Sep-16 02:24:47

You wrote: 'The second reason was that she didn't think I'd cope with a toddler and a newborn. I suffered a little with PND after DS was born but to be honest it was more the shock of exactly how much time and care and devotion the little one needed'. What happened & how did your PND manifest itself?

PitilessYank Fri 02-Sep-16 03:27:30

I don't think your joke about her breasts was inappropriate, necessarily-if my husband said that I would laugh! I certainly don't think it suggests you are harassing her.

In fact, you sound like you have been very patient with the situation.

TheNaze73 Fri 02-Sep-16 07:42:02

It sounds like you have been very patient OP as pitiless said.
Just don't do anything knee jerk or rash. Maybe get a child free night to be open & honest with her.

totty12mum Fri 02-Sep-16 10:42:03

I was never a particularly touchy feely person and now with a four year old and a nine month old I really struggle. Part of it is pregnancy where I feel like my body is not my own, then with the demands of children I feel 'touched out' and just want a bit of space, it does get better, my partner knows he needs to be patient and give me the space I need. Any pressure just intensifies the feeling. Maybe that's how she's feeling?

Sassypants82 Fri 02-Sep-16 11:27:14

My ds is 2.3 & the it's only in the last few months that we've been able for a regular sex life, like before he was born. Bit we've always been affectionate, so I don't think it's particularly normal that all affection has been withdrawn. Do you think she might think you're after sex if you're looking for a cuddle?. Fwiw it took us 4 months (I think) after he was born to have sex. I was starting to get worried. This was due to exhaustion, my breastfeeding my ds, feeling overweight, unsecured & unattractive & also healing from the birth which involved an episiotomy. Now he's older, we're back in track, however I'm pregnant again so know it could all change. I suggest taking her away for the night, both of you relaxing & talking it all out. I really feel for you, I'd find a lack of affection very difficult to swallow.

Sassypants82 Fri 02-Sep-16 11:28:12

Not unsecured.. Unsexy

IreallyKNOWiamright Fri 02-Sep-16 12:01:48

Reading your post it sounds like you have been used so she can have children. Yes your dc should be priority but so should you. I think maybe you need to perhaps suggest couples counselling. And maybe in the meantime can you arrange to go out and just be a couple. I know that I get annoyed If my dh just wants sex but can't be bothered with 'other ways' to interact with me first. It could be she just doesn't feel appreciated as a person perhaps?? You have got to appreciate each other and do other things as a couple before diving in with the intimacy. Esp after child birth and bringing up small children.

user1472504427 Fri 02-Sep-16 13:33:44

Op, I think you should seek counselling and work on yourself.

I may be wrong, but sounds like you are at rock bottom emotionally at the moment. Google is your friend! There are tons of resources for married men out there. You definitely need to work on yourself first and be in a better state emotionally.

HuskyLover1 Fri 02-Sep-16 13:39:11

I'm sorry, but this is absolutely no way to live. Just because she is now a mother, shouldn't mean that she gets to neglect you and your marriage. Totally unreasonable. I would split up in your shoes, sorry.

eyess Sat 03-Sep-16 23:23:49

MotherOfROC, DC's birth was quick but DW was torn and cut. Have asked her about it since and she says it's all ok now, no pain. Before DS was born or sex life was great, and she wouldn't find a reason why we couldn't stand and hug for three seconds.

Pushingthru, my PND manifested itself after my SIL tried to make my DS drink some wine at the dinner table when he was about six months old maybe? I forget exactly, but I shouted "no" as soon as i saw where the glass was going, SIL got in a strop and stormed upstairs and I was more upset that I had upset her and that I shouted because I rarely raise my voice. That night I felt so useless as a father and the thought of going out and walking in front of a bus was going through my mind. For the months before that i had felt that I didn't really know what I was doing but I bought a "babies first year for dummies" but MIL thought less of me for that for some reason. We were living with MIL and SIL at that point and they were always in the next room telling each other about the latest thing I had gotten wrong in their eyes. I didn't feel like i actually would go and walk out in front of a bus, but I did feel like despite trying really hard to be the best parent I could be, none would care if I wasn't there. Coupled with the naive shock of suddenly having no free time, I just felt hopeless. I was on anti depressants, now off them again as I didn't really feel they were making a difference, it was my wife who made the difference, making me feel like i was doing a good job, and that she and DS would miss me.

PitilessYank, thank you for seeing the light hearted side.

Naze73, I'm not going to do anything rash, just trying to consolidate my feelings and get straight in my head how to talk to her about it and not make her immediately go defensive. I think that's a problem, whenever I mention it, I feel like i am kinda saying she HAS to change and laying it all at her feet but I want to work with her to sort this out but other than asking her before I touch her, we can't seem to get any further.

A child free afternoon so we can have a chat would be ideal, It's just finding that afternoon though.

Mikkalina Sat 03-Sep-16 23:55:04

Op, you are so funny when you say you want your wife to hug you when you are doing washing up or plant a kiss on a forehead.

All I can suggest is not to speed up things with sex otherwise she may feel like you don't understand her. Libido often gets low for many women for many months after giving birth. It's just that you get so tired that in the evening all you want is to fall asleep and in the morning is all you want is to sleep without being woken up too early.

eyess Sun 04-Sep-16 00:35:19

totty12, I think that is the way forward. I just need to be patient and give her space, which I do anyway. Nothing rash. I asked her for a hug tonight and we actually did hug! I was on my back and she was on her side, facing me, thing is though, she had her thumb in her mouth and both hands up by her face and elbows near my face and her body was about two feet away from mine. She was asleep literally one minute after rolling over, so tiredness is definitely a factor.

Sassypants, that sounds similar to my DW with the episiotomy and breastfeeding and such. The more I read the more I think she is tired to the point of exhaustion, but why won't she admit it? I certainly wouldn't hold it against her. When either of us gets home after work all there is left to do housework wise is eat food, wash up, bath DS and bed DS, not sure how I could make her share easier apart from telling her not to do something in which case she'll do it anyway because that's what she's like. I think she may think that I'm after sex if I ask for a cuddle. Even when I phrase it "would you like a cuddle? Just a cuddle?". Anyway, It's reassuring to know that your sex life returned to normal after 2 years or so, I thought two years was too long a time.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sun 04-Sep-16 00:46:30

Maybe subconsciously she blames you for her getting pregnant and all that entailed - awful birth, change in her figure, your depression, etc. Maybe she is too scared to let you get close incase she gets pregnant and things change for the worse again? I currently have feelings of resentment for my dh and won't cuddle /kiss him or let myself really enjoy sex. Maybe it's not you personally she is keeping away it's the whole pregnancy /change thing?

pallasathena Sun 04-Sep-16 06:01:38

She's probably thinking about the future, the baby, you're living with in-laws too so not the best time for thinking about another baby.
Don't take this the wrong way, but you do come over as a bit immature and self absorbed. Its all about you, your needs, your wants, what your wife isn't giving you...are you perhaps part of the problem?

PitilessYank Sun 04-Sep-16 07:29:12

Eyess-when you describe her positioning in the bed, it sounds like very defensive posturing-thumb in mouth, hands to head, elbows out front...

It makes me think that she must be very overwhelmed or frightened.

It makes me quite sad hearing how you just want some hugs, but you have to ask for them.

There is clearly pain on both sides. I wish you two well; relationships can be reborn, but both parties have to want that.

flowersbrewcake

Thinkingblonde Sun 04-Sep-16 08:41:16

Is there any way you could all move out of your MIL's and find a place of your own, your in laws don't sound all that supportive.

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