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Boyfriend - he's just not that into you?(55 Posts)
Hello all. Very new to this, I'm Jess. Looking for a bit of relationship advice really, as I'm in a situation which, although not dangerous, is causing me significant distress.
I have been in my current relationship for 9 years. OH is my only serious relationship, and the person I lost my virginity to, the only person I have slept with.
I grew up in an unstable, emotionally abusive and neglectful home, so when I met OH at 17, I was beyond happy to know a kind of love that was unconditional, kind and supportive.
To begin with, we were inseparable. We loved being in each others' company, went on long hikes just to talk to each other, and he showed interest in a lot of things that I like.
We have been through a lot of challenges together, divorces, deaths in the family, my own anxiety disorder, him losing his job.
We recently bought a house together, and everything seems perfect on the outside. We began to start thinking about starting a family.
The only problem is, I have this niggling doubt that it's not right. Although he's a very handsome chap, our sex life has never been fantastic. Nevertheless, at the start, with work, for the first 2/3 years we made it work, having sex once a week. I have a fairly strong sex drive, but his is very low. We now have sex once a month or less, and it is clear that he really doesn't enjoy it. I have tried many different ways, asking him what he likes and doing that (usually focusing on him). After he is done he rolls over and falls asleep and I am left frustrated.
Recently he confided that he only had sex with me at the start to 'keep me happy', and that he doesn't enjoy it and would be fine if we never had sex again.
This really shocked me, and had a big effect on my self-esteem. I wanted to find ways to make myself more attractive to him - more makeup, clothes, trying to inspire a little bit of jealousy by having an active social life. I feel like a terrible person for wanting to make love to my partner - when I try to initiate, (perhaps once a week) he says 'not again! Is that all you think about?' or tells me he's too tired or too stressed. He's fairly affectionate apart from this, cuddling (although he hates kissing).
It is a similar thing in other areas of our relationship too. He no longer 'fakes' interest in any of the things we used to do together, like hiking, and if I suggest going on a day out together he will sulk and say he hates doing things. He has said to me that he 'just wants an easy life' and wants to relax at home after a hard week, rather than doing things together. I understand this is because he has a stressful job (he's a teacher), but it has meant we have lost our connection as we never do anything together.
He hates going out, doesn't drink, and spends all of his free time on video games to unwind. I have talked to him and mentioned wanting to do more things together as I'm worried our relationship is in trouble, but he just says that this is how relationships go after a while, and that 'you shouldn't have to put in as much effort' as you do at the start.
I try to help him out with his stress as much as I can. I cook our dinner every night, do all of the washing and ironing etc, and other than that leave him to it. But I now feel resentful, like what he really wants is a mum or a housekeeper and not a girlfriend.
I have been going to counselling at Relate for a few months, and have asked him to come, but he has refused, saying 'he would rather split up'. A couple of months ago I told him that I needed to fulfil my desires for connection, not just sexually, but emotionally, and rather than working on it, he suggested we enter into an open relationship, and that I sleep with other guys, 'if sex is so important'.
I love my OH - what should I do? Utterly lost.
I'm surprised that you asking him to go to relate hasn't given him a wake up call. A lot of men do get lazy and complacent. But you sound very unhappy and if you ever have kids this will get worse and add to the stress. I would probably talk to him and say if he doesn't attend relate the relationship is over. To be brutal I would not want to live my life like this. And whilst there's no kids involve I'd leave whilst I had the chance.
Thanks. The only problem is, I'm sure he'd make a fantastic dad. Having had such a terrible childhood, I feel like I'd be giving up a potential fantastic father to my children for the sake of my own happiness.
Sounds like you have come to the natural end of the relationship. You are older, have more of an idea of what you want out of life and a relationship and have realised that you won't get it from each other.
Nothing wrong with that. Most people on this board have been through it.
Time to end it and see what life is like being single.
He's actually telling you he would rather split up with you than work on the relationship. I'm sorry I don't think he is that into you!! It's possible he's either gay or totally asexual.
A fantastic dad is also a fantastic husband.
If a dad makes the mother of his children miserable ... He is NOT a fantastic dad.
And he is teaching his daughters how to expect to be treated and teaching his sons how to treat their wives.
He won't be a fantastic father. You know why? Because he's selfish and lazy. You'd be run ragged trying to look after him and the house as well as the child, while he does half an hour a day of Disney parenting, sticks some photos on FB then goes back on his computer games for the rest of the evening.
And he's wrong that this is how relationships get after a while. If it's this bad now, when you're both young and child free, it's going to be a bloody nightmare after kids and when you're both getting older and more tired.
Hes not going to be a good dad. A good dad teaches his daughters how they should be treated through his relationship with their mother. Someone who does t treat his wife well is treating his daughters to expect the same, or his sons to follow in his footsteps. Plus how will you have children if he won't have sex with you?
Sounded like my ex. All fun at first but then over the years what he actually wanted was for me to be at home staring at the wall if i wasnt at work and would act unbearably miserable if I ever wanted to do anything nice.
Note the 'ex' rather than OH im much happier and freer now, im sure you will be too x
Why do you think he would be a fantastic father? He'd be playing on video games while you raise them. You'll be coming up with nice ideas about where to take the children & he won't want to participate. Imagine your life with him as it is now, with the extra responsibility for children all on your shoulders. He's offering you nothing.
Thanks all for the fantastic advice. I just wanted a bit of perspective on whether I was over reacting, and if all guys are like this or not, as I know nothing else.
I thought, well if he doesn't like sex, at least he'll never cheat on me. So many of my friends have been cheated on, I felt lucky that I hadn't.
Another big sticking point is the fact I want to get married, and he doesn't.
I waited and waited, and after 4/5 years I hinted at getting engaged, but he spent the next 3 years evading. When I finally asked him directly, he said 'why? If something's not broken, don't try to fix it'. I got upset and said it meant an incredible amount to me, but I would accept his decision if he could give me a good reason for not getting married, like he doesn't believe in it.
He said he believes in marriage but doesn't see the point in us getting married, and that 'he wouldn't like all of the attention on him on the day'.
It's dead as a doornail, love.
You're only in your mid twenties and you're living with a boring old fart who acts like his life is over.
Life is waaaaay too short. Time to think about calling it a day before you waste another year.
Btw, I can translate that to "I don't want to get married to YOU".
You're his mate and he's fond of you. But no way is he in love with you. Not that it matters to him, as he's comfortable on his rut anyway. All is rosy until you start actually bugging him about anything.
He's telling you loudly and clearly that he doesn't want to have sex with you and isn't interested in saving the relationship your just not (understandably) listening to him. I'm surprised that the Relate counsellor isn't helping you to understand this. Time to move on.
You're not overreacting, love, you're underreacting.
I'm glad you're in counselling and I think you should continue until you're free of this mill stone of a relationship and also free of the feelings of low self worth that have contributed to keeping you in it for so long.
A fantastic father doesn't mean you will bea happy partner. And you need to be happy.
You can find happiness and a fantastic father with someone else.
Your happiness is important too. In fact right now it is more important then the hypothetical happiness of non-existant children. I don't know why you would think children would be happy with a miserable mother anyway. You have many years to find someone lovely. Go forth and find them!
Sex is really only one issue of many here. Relationships are meant to be about so much more than this - a shaky start in life can have such a profound effect on the standards we accept & expect from others in later life, e.g. a good relationship is simply one with no shouting or violence if that's what we experienced when we were young. I'd recommend that you move on from this relationship & get proper therapy to thoroughly sift through your early experience & the effect it may still be having now X
Well, what you have is a rather useless housemate. I can't imagine why you think he would be a good father, nothing in your posts indicates that.
re your comment:-
"I just wanted a bit of perspective on whether I was over reacting, and if all guys are like this or not, as I know nothing else".
You are right in one respect; you do know nothing else. It was no real surprise to me at all that you were yourself brought up in an abusive household. You have recreated a similar sort of problematic dynamic with this man because no-one ever bothered to show you what a mutually respectful relationship is like. Meeting any man would have been great after what you endured growing up in your family of origin. You were targeted by this person really, he saw something in you he could and has indeed exploited to his own ends. I would argue that he is not too dissimilar to your parents. I also do not think you can say you love him because you do not know what love is yourself. I am also wondering if you have confused love here with co-dependency.
It is time that you properly started to unlearn all the crap that your parents taught you about relationships along the way. Love your own self for a change and do not embark on another relationship until you have properly expunged your own ghosts that have and will keep coming back to haunt you otherwise.
Re counselling find a proper therapist to work with rather than Relate; you need more specialist counselling than what they can provide.
Op are there any other issues he has? Does he have any friends?
Op I wouldn't be happy in your marriage either. Without any emotional/physical bond it isn't even a relationship.
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