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Am I just expecting too much?

(21 Posts)
somethinglikethis Tue 18-Oct-16 16:04:15

I've started this thread countless times but never posted it. I've spent the last few months trawling this board for advice and tips but finally I'm at a point to where I think I need to just get this out.

Dh is brilliant. Brilliant with the dc, total 50/50 of household stuff, doesn't need asking to do stuff just does it, works hard but is supportive of my hobbies and has his own too. We rarely argue and it when it comes to day to day life feels like a team. He's kind and thoughtful and everyone generally looks at him as one of life's good guys.

But (and it's becoming a really big but) whilst that is all wonderful and marvellous we have virtually no physical side to our relationship at all. He never initiates any physical contact in terms of hugs or kisses or anything more. He never says I love you (it is always in response to me) and compliments just don't exist unless prompted. He just doesn't seem to want me in a physical way at all.

I've tried the superficial things - I've lost weight, toned up, taken a bit more pride in my appearance and nothing. We go out together without dc, go away for a weekend break and nothing unless I make the first move. I began to feel like I was pressuring him too much (and he had begun to reject me - he's too tired, doesn't feel like it etc) so I backed off and as a result we haven't had any sexual contact in 6 months. And now I'm at the point where I just don't want to make the first move because I don't want him to respond because he feels he has to. I want him to want to have a physical side to our relationship if that makes sense. I want to feel desired and loved in a way other than as dm.

Dont get me wrong - this is not an unhappy house - there is a lot of love and affection to the dc (they adore him) and there is warmth and friendship between us. But I can't help thinking that he just isn't interested in me beyond this anymore. The tipping point was i had a really radical change in appearance this week and he didn't even notice. Such a stupid, little, ultimately insignificant thing that really upset me because it just totally encompasses what we've become.

I can't suggest counselling because I know he will point blank refuse to go. (We can talk about anything but this) But that leaves me thinking is this it? Maybe I am expecting too much. The dc are little ish bit the sleepless nights are way behind us now . Is this just how marriages end up after 10 years? Maybe this is normal and what real life looks like.

adora1 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:12:01

This would not feel like a relationship to me, it would feel like two best friend co parenting together, not what I signed up for so no I would not be happy with that, some couples are but I would want a proper relationship and for me that involves intimacy and sex, it doesn't have to be every week but I want to be desired, wanted, admired, complimented, shown kindness and affection, that is what a marriage should be.

I'm afraid it's a big issue and unless he is willing to discuss and compromise and make an effort (because LTR need effort) then I'd honestly be wondering if separation is a better option.

I am in my fifties now and we have been together 14 years, without the physical side of it I'd feel very unwanted and unhappy.

TheNaze73 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:13:22

No, it's not how marriages end up after 10 years. Have you read the 5 Love Languages? I think you both need to read it.
Just because he doesn't say I love you every 5 minutes, doesn't mean he doesn't etc. Well worth a read.

somethinglikethis Tue 18-Oct-16 17:20:35

Thank you for your replies.

Don't get me wrong I'm not unrealistic - I know things change and life happens (and dc can be draining!) and I know actions often speak louder than words but just occasionally it would be nice to hear it.

I think I could manage without the words - the whole not feeling wanted/no sex is probably the thing I am most down about. I'd be lying if I hadn't wondered recently whether I could stay if nothing changes but then when everything is so good it seems a horribly selfish reason to split.

Part of me had hoped that this was perfectly normal but that really doesn't seem to be the case does it?

adora1 Tue 18-Oct-16 17:25:57

Horribly selfish? To want a normal intimate relationship with your partner is a basic need, you should never feel you have to settle for anything less.

Not being funny but how the hell do you both manage with no sex for six months?

adora1 Tue 18-Oct-16 17:26:49

It's normal if you are both happy with that and don't want regular sex and tbh unless there is a medical reason I don't understand why you are not both wanting it.

Cary2012 Tue 18-Oct-16 17:29:13

Have you been able to tell him what you've told us? Does he just shut down if you try to talk?

somethinglikethis Tue 18-Oct-16 17:59:45

adora honestly I don't know! I guess 1 week becomes 2 becomes a month and then suddenly you realise it's been what seems a really long time.

I have tried to talk to him in a gentle roundabout way - are you okay? Is everything alright? And I get just tired/dc wear me out/we've been busy/under the weather etc. And I haven't really massively pushed it because I don't want to completely alienate him and pressure him.

I guess we've always been a bit mismatched in that department but it seems to have hit a brick wall now.

Maybe I need to sit down and have a really straightforward talk to him.

somethinglikethis Tue 18-Oct-16 18:01:56

Or I guess work out whether this is something I can choose to accept

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Oct-16 18:05:49

I think there's nothing else to be done except to talk to him about it. He's happy otherwise, so presumably he won't want to leave the family/share time with the children. It's in his interest to have a happy life with you, too. I think this is what was behind that couple who decided to have sex every day for a year - it transformed their relationship.

leaveittothediva Tue 18-Oct-16 18:05:56

It seems like a great relationship, so therefore why the reluctance from him to go to therapy, maybe he hasn't t got a problem with it, maybe he's always had a low sex drive, but if not, something has to be done, unless he says he wants no more sex, and then you have your answer. No relationship is perfect, but if problems arise, both of you have to be willing to solve them together. You need to talk it through, him burying his head in the sand is no good. There may be a medical problem for his lack of interest.

Dadaist Thu 20-Oct-16 12:01:24

Hi somthinglikethis - you are absolutely not expecting too much, to feel wanted, to enjoy intimacy and a sexual relationship in your marriage. I wonder how much physical affection exists also?
It sounds as if you have tried being proactive and then tried backing off, and the result has been no intimacy for six months. I think that at least that demonstrates that there is definitely an issue here. Less than around ten times per year (unless that is preferred by both partners) is essentially a sexless marriage and it is not conducive to health and happiness long term.
So yes - YOU NEED TO TALK WITH HIM. I'm not shouting, just emphasising that you have stuffed in silence long enough and there is no other option.
I'm surprised you say he would point blank refuse counselling. I think he will have to recognise there is a problem and that it is coming from him. There may be things he needs from you that I'm sure you would consider if it helped improve intimacy. But counselling would be needed only if you can't find a place to see things objectively and resolve differences, and you haven't found that out yet.
You also don't mention whether things have always been this way or whether things were really great in the past and have deteriorated?
So don't pressure him, but do say exactly how it makes you feel (unattractive, unloved, lonely, sad, rejected etc) and that you and your relationship deserve more. He will know this and will need to consider what's blocking him, and discuss it with you.
If you can't discover a path to improvement, then counselling is the next best option.
You sound so caring, thoughtful and considerate and willing to make changes. So your man should count himself so lucky to have you and realise that he needs to make changes too. Good luck!

somethinglikethis Sat 10-Dec-16 02:08:10

Thank you for all the advice. I did read it and take note and we had a fairly serious heart to heart about 6 weeks ago (yes it took me a few weeks to do it after starting this thread)

It was a fairly serious cards on the table type talk. And he was sad and takenaback i felt like i did and things did improve bit it only lasted a short while.

I feel like I'm back at square 1. Where the hell do I go from here? Everything is really wonderful except this but I know it's a fairly big thing.

I don't know what I expect from posting this except ARGHHHHHH. it's nice to be able to write it down and get it out.

Eminado Sat 10-Dec-16 02:15:22

It was a fairly serious cards on the table type talk. And he was sad and takenaback i felt like i did and things did improve bit it only lasted a short while.

Could you expand on this? What did he actually say?

somethinglikethis Sat 10-Dec-16 02:28:30

I was honest. That actually I didn't think he loved me or desired me anymore. That even if he thought I knew I knew that (if that makes sense?) that actually I'd like to be told that and shown that. And that I thought it was important in terms of a relationship. And ultimately rightly or wrongly I would like more of a physical relationship.

He said he just assumed I knew this -but he loved me (first time he'd said it in months) and its just not in his nature but he would try harder.

somethinglikethis Sat 10-Dec-16 02:31:29

Thing is when I look back he's kind of right in that he's always been more of a reserved bloke. I should have seen this coming really but when you are younger you don't imagine in 10/11 years time that this it what it really means

DarkNanny Sat 10-Dec-16 02:39:26

I knew a family sounding similar to yours, dad came out in the end and the wife was gutted but they are both happier now might be worth considering...

Eminado Sat 10-Dec-16 02:51:51

Did you focus on the saying i love you bit only?

Did you come outright and say i want to have more sex?

I dont see how he can say he thought you knew when you havent had sex for half the year. So perhaps the chat was not as blunt as needed?

somethinglikethis Sat 10-Dec-16 03:08:59

Same old excuses - tired because of the kids, work, not feeling in the mood, just been busy.

I was pretty blunt though. And in fairness we are both pretty busy these days (i have a bit of a 2nd career taking off) My head is saying maybe I should maybe do less in an evening but he's been supportive and tbh it's my happy place. And it's not like we don't spend time together.

It's funny DarkNanny I have actually asked that question once before. I was told unequivocally No and I've not broached it again

Wandaful Sat 10-Dec-16 04:07:59

Hello, I am new to this page, I sense there could be more to this situation than you might realize, is there a need for topical application of zinc to boost his testosterone level, also keep clear plastics with biphenyls to a minimum or remove them completely, they are shocking, will destroy male libido. Even if the label says BPA free, there are other biphenyls.
And now on a lighter note, what I am about to offer, is a solution which may seem flippant, a solution in a game, to diffuse tension. I shared a house with a family friend who wanted my 10 year old to just behave! He is older, and his ideas would never work, so this game did help a lot, it forced us all to focus on what was right and good about everyone in the house.
This is a gratitude bomb session its called 'like, like, like, want'. About once a week, at a given time, everyone in the family sits at the table and says three things they like about every family member, and one thing they would like to see change. The focus is on showering everyone with gratitude, focusing on what is working. There are no put downs even in fun, and when one person talks everyone listens.

My marriage was abusive, he did not know how to create love. I escaped in 2009. The ending of a marriage is not a path to choose lightly, it can be a recipe for financial desolation. Congratulations on opening up the lines of communication, and I hope this message assists your journey.

DarkNanny Sat 10-Dec-16 13:13:08

check the browsing history and the junk

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