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.

Don't find DH attractive anymore. How to keep going?

(55 Posts)
jumanjane Fri 16-Sep-16 05:54:14

Due to my own health issues and several other factors, separating from DH would leave me very vulnerable just yet. I'm therefore looking for advice on how to keep going in this relationship with DH when I feel the way I do?

DH is a likeable person by nature, due to our age, we werent together a long time before we decided that marriage and children was on the cards. In the beginning, DH was attentive towards me and towards himself and his appearance.

As time went on, DH appeared disinterested in sex, his appearance and health and hygiene. I find it repulsive that he neglects himself so much and makes absolutely no effort in the clothes he wears or sometimes, how often he was not like this during the first year at all.

We've now been together for 5 years and have DCS and I am finding his behaviours and lack of care for himself completely unattractive. I spoke to him about washing everyday which had improved a lot, we're still working on taking pride in his appearance, but I just feel completely disappointed in him for living like this.

I spoke to his brother about it recently (who is not like this)as I was worried he may be depressed and he told me that DH was like this before I came along and that he appeared to make a lot more effort during the first year that we were dating.

Leaving DH would leave me very vulnerable, but I am struggling in relating to DH romantically at all. I've also discovered quite recently that DH was in fact a Virgin when we got together (in his mid-thirties) and had very little desire for sexual relations of any kind. This would explain his preferring to slob around watching TV than have sex.

I know that some people would tell me to leave him if I feel like this, but it really isn't an option for me at the moment. There is a lot of stress and upheaval in our lives and my health has been a problem.

How do I cope in this relationship when I feel the way I do?

HappyJanuary Fri 16-Sep-16 06:22:44

He doesn't sound like my cup of tea either but he deserves better than someone who finds him repulsive but won't leave because he provides practical/financial support.

I think there's a name for a man who stays with a woman in such circumstances.

The right thing to do would be a frank discussion to explain that the relationship is seriously at risk, with couples counselling if you both want to work things out, and separation if it can't be fixed.

jumanjane Fri 16-Sep-16 11:50:27

I do not need DH for financial support, as I pointed out on my thread, I have health issues and need support with DCS because of this. I work full time and can support myself actually should I leave, however DHs support makes this possible.

I have asked DH to accompany me to couples counselling to which he refuses, so that is not an option to us.

Heavens2Betsy Fri 16-Sep-16 11:55:05

It sounds like you are using him. If you don't find him attractive and he repulses you and he won't do anything about it (presumably you have told him exactly how you feel) then the marriage is over.
I don't get how you only discovered quite recently that he was a virgin - didn't you ever discuss this when you met?

DietCockBreak Fri 16-Sep-16 12:20:52

I agree it sounds like you're using him and that's not fair at all. You wouldn't be in this relationship if you didn't need his support/assistance. That's using. Be honest with him. He should be allowed to be with someone who wants to be with him, not be tricked into continuing a relationship with you because he thinks you love him but you just need to waste a few more years of his life for your own convenience. It's wrong. Tell him how you feel honestly and find a way to move on.

PushingThru Fri 16-Sep-16 12:38:49

Er, the OP has been tricked & trapped into a marriage & kids with a man who has put up a pretence of being interested in basic self care & decided that doesn't matter anymore now because he's married. Other posters' responses is: poor him, let him go & meet someone who loves the smell of BO & sweaty balls (which he'll no doubt hide until there's a commitment). Sheesh .

pallasathena Fri 16-Sep-16 16:56:32

You have to make a decision. If you stay, you lose yourself. If you go, you lose his help. If you co-parent in two different households, each taking responsibility for fifty percent of the childcare, that may work and is worth thinking about.

Vagabond Fri 16-Sep-16 17:01:22

How did you ever get with this guy in the first place? Did you ever fancy him? If so, talk to him seriously about what has gone wrong since then.

Fairylea Fri 16-Sep-16 17:08:16

Surely if you split you would both share contact with the children so support in terms of childcare provision etc would still be there, if not more so because there would be some days / nights you didn't have the children at all?

NotTheFordType Fri 16-Sep-16 19:16:40

Have you actually talked to him about all this? Have you explained how his lack of basic hygiene makes him unattractive? Have you asked him why he pretended to be interested in sex when you got together, but is now not?

If you've had all this out and he's refused counselling, it sounds like he'd rather you split. Glory days. "I would rather get divorced than have a shower every day" confused

Your other option of course is to tell him you'll be seeking sex elsewhere with men who know how to wash their cocks.

Anicechocolatecake Fri 16-Sep-16 19:21:55

I don't think you're using him. I think he rather tricked you. Being with someone with dreadful hygiene is almost impossible. It grinds you down and you feel so disrespected that your partner doesn't care enough to sort themselves out.

I think you have to sit down and say you're thinking of leaving. Give him a shock. Ultimately, though, it really doesn't sound like he's capable of changing. He's too set in his ways. Could you come to an arrangement where you remain living together but separated with a plan to raise the children together. It might work and might be a solution for now.

ErniesGhostlyGoldTops Fri 16-Sep-16 19:23:02

I agree 100% with Pushing he has married you under false pretences. I could put up with a lot but not poor personal hygiene. there is no future here OP. He may improve for a while if you bend his ear but his basic personality is a soap dodging lazy slob. You know that now and can't unknow it. LT smelly B

jumanjane Sat 17-Sep-16 23:00:04

I'm aware that DH isn't going to change.
I'm aware that we're probably not going to be able to be together forever.
However, leaving now is virtually impossible. Youngest DC is 4 months old, I'm not ready to leave him with DH 50% of the time, I'm also breastfeeding. Not an option.
With recent family illnesses and bereavements, young DCS and my own health, it is really not a time to begin striking up a divorce. I need to be in a stronger position for the sake of my children, particularly mentally! If this is deemed as "using" DH, so be it.
If anyone has some helpful advice on how to stay sane and emotionally healthy whilst preparing to eventually leave DH, whilst staying until things are a little more stable, it would be appreciated. I think that realistically, I will need to stay with DH for atleast another couple of years. Thanks to those who've provided helpful advice without judgement already.

jumanjane Sat 17-Sep-16 23:03:46

Also, to answer the question about DH'S virginity. I genuinely didn't have a clue. DH talked of 2 previous intimate relationships. I never questioned whether or not they had gone "all the way" of course I assumed that they had. It was only around 12 months ago that DH dropped into conversation that full sex had happened for the first time with me. I was very surprised. DH seemed like he knew what he had been doing too.

Mrstumbletap Sat 17-Sep-16 23:46:46

Firstly do you still love his personality? Does he make you laugh? Is he kind? If so, and its just the clothes and washing issue I think you can get through this.

Have you tried taking him shopping for different style of clothes? My DH was so clueless about fashion or dressing for his body type when we met, but I took him shopping and showed him the things about his body he could accentuate. I think clothes can really make all the difference.

He loves going shopping with me now and he looks fab and I fancy him so much more. With regard to washing more have you tried saying things in a funny light hearted way, like "why don't you nip in the shower so we can have some alone time tonight? Or get him to join you in the shower?

RealityCheque Sun 18-Sep-16 00:14:53

False pretences? PMSL

He's not the first person (man or woman) to 'let themselves go' after marriage but its up to the OP if she wants to put up with it.

She sounds like she's happy to use him for the time being due to circumstance. Is 'cuntlodger' a word?

SandyY2K Sun 18-Sep-16 00:25:45

Advice on how to remain and stay sane? Keep your distance from him and stop viewing him as a husband otherwise you'll just get more disappointed. See him as a man you live with. Who has poor hygiene, but helps out and is a father to your children and who you need right now.

You've said why you can't leave him,.so you just need to accept the situation for what it is and get a plan in motion for whenever you can make your move.

What is his response when you tell him you don't find him sexually attractive?

I just can't imagine living with a man who repulsed me like that.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 18-Sep-16 00:26:54

I think you've been tricked as well, what an awful situation.

I would have a very frank discussion about basic hygiene then bide your time and make a plan to leave.

Choceeclair123 Sun 18-Sep-16 00:31:02

Some odd responses on here confused sounds to me like you've been mis sold a husband OP. He's not sounding like many people's cup of tea from what you say. You're talked to him, suggested counselling, whey more can you do? I certainly wouldn't fancy getting up close and personal with someone like that! If I were you I'd start planning your future working on the basis you'll be going your own ways at some point, when YOU'RE ready. What else can you do when he's not willing to help save your marriage.

PickAChew Sun 18-Sep-16 00:32:12

Well, DH was a virgin until very late 20s and isn't exactly a style guru, but does pay some attention to his appearance, even if clothes don't excite him.

The personal hygiene is a dealbreaker, though. I divorced the fucker who thought that washing & celaning his teeth daily and bathing more than weekly was too much like hard work. <shudder>

I do think you need to work out your finances without him, though. By staying with him, he sees no reason to change. Unless you're willing to both live completely celebate lives within the relationship with a bedroom each (which I suspect you can't afford) that aint going to work.

PickAChew Sun 18-Sep-16 00:34:13

Formal chld contact arranements normally take into acocunt the role of an EBF mother of a small baby.

MyWineTime Sun 18-Sep-16 00:40:08

You haven't been tricked, he didn't set out to deceive you. His standards have slipped since getting married, something that sometimes happens.

Staying in the relationship because he supports you when you are not really in the relationship is pretty crap.
I do think you need to be honest with him about how you feel.
You haven't even been together that long, you will never last if this is how you feel now and nothing changes.

This isn't about apportioning blame, it's about deciding where to go from here.

HelenaDove Sun 18-Sep-16 01:30:17

I also think shes been missold a husband. He pretended to be something he isnt for a time to hook OP in.

RealityCheque. re your comment of ppl letting themselves go after marriage. ............they have only been together for 5 years. Thats hardly a lifetime. To put it in perspective we are only on the second Paralympics since then.

And whats with the cuntlodger comment.

The equivilant to cocklodger is gold digger as you well know. There is quite enough misogyny around without you adding more.

OPs DH has been disinterested in sex as time goes on. I wonder if hes neglecting his personal hygiene on purpose so OP wont initiate.

HappyJanuary Sun 18-Sep-16 04:11:08

I doubt he maliciously pretended to enjoy showering for the duration of their courtship and the first few years of the marriage, in the knowledge that at some point he would reveal his true colours.

Rather he realised that he had to change if he wanted to find love, but has sunk back into his old ways over time.

OP, if you are certain that his lack of personal care isn't a symptom of depression or a mental health issue, then the only fair thing is to make it clear to him that this is a deal breaker and that you are making plans to leave.

I doubt he wants to live apart from his DC either, but he deserves to know that it's on the cards before it is presented to him as a done deal after you have had the luxury of years to plan and prepare.

wayway13 Sun 18-Sep-16 04:55:09


I don't have any great advice but I am surprised at the "using" comments especially since such comments don't answer her question.

OP, you married someone and had children with them - including a 4-month-old baby - so yes, at this time, you are in a vulnerable position. You have your own health issues on top of that. It would be difficult to provide for yourself and your children without him right now. Staying with him isn't "using" him, it's sensible and women have always had to do it until very recently. It isn't like you are preventing him from meeting someone else as it doesn't sound like he would be interested anyway!

My opinion is not very forward thinking, I know that. My own DM stayed with my DF for a good 10 years more than she should have because she felt trapped. I'm lucky to be in a happy marriage at the moment and have the means to support myself and DC if need be. Not everyone has that and it is no one's place to judge. What would you have her do? Hastily leave, share the DC including baby, worry about finding somewhere to live when she probably can't easily work (bf baby, childcare, ill health) all so that she isn't classed as a "user"?! You'd probably come back to slag her off for scrounging benefits in that case. Leave the girl alone fgs.

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