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.

Can it be fixed?

(11 Posts)
AnnaFender Sat 22-Oct-16 18:54:11

I really want to keep this as brief as possible. So apologies in advance if I add details later or miss anything out that later becomes relevant!

I always swore that I would never end up in a sexless relationship, but here I am, worries that that is exactly what I'm heading for.

For a bit of background DP and I have an 8 month old baby together, he is also a step parent and very involved with my 2 DC from a precious relationship. He stays at home with the baby and does a lot of care for the older DC, and I have recently started a new fairly high pressure professional job.

It's been a very rocky year for us, DP fucked up massively by telling some terrible lies (no cheating as far as I know) that has massive repurcussions financially for us, including lying about having lost his job. Twice. He is now being treated for depression.

Since late in my pregnancy he started becoming quite distance and spending a lot of time sleeping on the sofa instead of in the bed with me. The baby has turned out to be very clingy and sleeps in the bed with me. When she was tiny he felt nervous sharing the bed and remained on the sofa. Since she got bigger he is more okay with it , but since then has found excuse after excuse to not share a bed with me. We have had sex about 5 times since the baby was born nearly 8 months ago. Obviously it's somewhat of a logistical challenge anyway with a baby who won't be put down ever in the day and sleeps in the bed with us all night, but can be managed as we have a co sleeper crib that she will sleep in for about 15-20 mins (not great but sex is important to me so I'll take what I can get usually!).

The bigger problem however for me is that DPs constant refusal to sleep in bed with me feels like a rejection, and on top of the rocky patch we've been going through it's ended in a real lack of intimacy in all areas. We hardly kiss, hug or touch at all. There is hardly any sex, although he would be up for it I have little to no desire due to these problems and he doesn't ask anymore. And we argue. Constantly and about nearly everything. Talking to him feels like a massive uphill struggle and I'm feeling really miserable. I come home from work and feel so deflated. He doesn't feel like my best fried or partner anymore. We're constantly at loggerheads. I'm not sure if I even love him any more at times.

From lots of talking the only thing I feel sure of is that we both desperately want to fix it and go back to the way we were. But it just seems impossible. How do you fix something that feels so broken? Where do you start? Please someone tell me they went through a massive rough patch and came out the other side still together!!

(Gosh it's so long! Well done if you got this far!)

AnnaFender Sat 22-Oct-16 18:55:39

Haha *previous that relationship was in no way precious. Sorry about all the typos, wriggly baby on knee!!

NotTheFordType Sat 22-Oct-16 19:48:48

Is there any way you can get a baby free night (or few hours) at all or is baby too clingy? Honestly I'd find it hard to think about having sex if I knew I only had max 20 minutes! And I'm a big fan of sex!

AnnaFender Sat 22-Oct-16 23:40:21

Haha, I know what you mean, but she is that bad, and it's that or nothing! She won't go to anyone except me or DP at the moment, unfortunately.

Thanks for replying btw. Have been out this evening, was hoping to come back to lots of shared stories about how it'll be get better soon!!

HeddaGarbled Sun 23-Oct-16 00:02:46

Yes, this is fixable.

You have a newish baby who sleeps in your bed, you have a new high pressured job, he has been fired twice and kept this secret from you and is now a SAHP, he has depression.

Forget about the bloody sex. Expecting to fit sex into a 20 minute window to order is demeaning, like expecting him to behave like a prostitute. Especially since you are angry and he's depressed.

Get the baby sleeping separately (plenty of advice on here for that) and get some marriage counselling to address all the issues between you.

Lalunya85 Sun 23-Oct-16 00:12:31

Agree with PP. Fixable.

But only if there aren't other things going on. Is your DPs depression being medicated? Could that be having side effects affecting your intimacy? I wouldn't focus on trying to 'fix' the sex only, but working on getting more couple time on the whole. And that definitely involves sharing a bed whenever possible! It sounds like he's going through some major adjustments, which isn't unusual. Is this the first baby he is bringing up from birth?

Otherwise, you've had sex 5 times in the last 8 months?? Not too bad and a lot more than we managed after our babies were born... grin all back to normal now, baby is 12 months and still sleeping in our bed half the night.

AnnaFender Sun 23-Oct-16 00:22:22

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I'm demanding sex from him! I'm really not! Perhaps my post seems a bit hung up on ending up in a sexless relationship. The problem for me is the lack of intimacy across the board; not sharing a bed regularly and not hugging/cuddling/kissing at other, non sex related times.

But I appreciate what you both are saying, I suppose a bad year combined with the birth of the baby hasn't helped.

Yes he is medicated and also waiting for cbt. Yes, I suppose it could have a massive bearing on things. Maybe I need to give things more time?

AnnaFender Sun 23-Oct-16 00:23:42

And yes, this is the first baby he's bringing up from birth. He is a very good dad smile

Lalunya85 Sun 23-Oct-16 00:47:23

It sounds like he's going through a lot... I had a very low sex drive after my babies arrived for longer than most people I know. The thing I needed most was for my dp to understand that it was not about him, and that i still loved him just the same. Not saying that you don't show him that you love him, just wanted to say how it was for me and perhaps it can shed some light.

Try to find other ways to relate for now (humour? Films? Walking? Watching pictures of your baby and being all proud?) and always, always keep talking! Give it time.

Dadaist Sun 23-Oct-16 01:20:14

Hi OP - the answer is YES - you can fix this! It's in your post " From lots of talking the only thing I feel sure of is that we both desperately want to fix it and go back to the way we were."
When you're in the middle of something it's hard to see the obvious thing first. You have a young baby DD, and that means changes to your relationship - she will come before each other - and that's new and you need to adjust. On top of that it's worth reflecting that where you both are is probably just part of the dynamic - you are feeling unloved, undesirable, lacking confidence - and that will affect your relationship. Your DH seems depressed, possibly overwhelmed and also lacking in confidence. And this will drive a wedge between you both. And the lack of physical affection just makes things worse, because it is a source of reinforcing trust and understanding and bonding. When it's removed, things will begin to feel distant.
Please don't apologise for wanting sex either - it's a natural, and generally essential aspect of a healthy loving relationship.
Depression eats into sex drive, and your DH may well be fearful that he has lost it, and separates himself so as to just avoid the issue completely. And the effect on you will be to eat away at your self confidence, which will make DH even more fearful that together you are not coping or nurturing your relationship. It can get into a vicious cycle! But for what it's worth - new baby, relationship falters, sex life falls off a cliff...all normal!

You can take some practical small steps to rebuild things. You may have or have started on some of these - just suggestions. Lack of sex is a really big symptom, but sex happens after the trust, understanding, appreciation, affection, intimacy and happiness is in place. So you could start by trying to build on some of these. They are often all tied together so there is no particular order. You need to keep talking, and rebuild trust (that you care for one another, that you are committed to one another). Perhaps try to share how you can show you appreciate each other (for you it may be physical affection, or some more help? - for DH it may be words of encouragement, thanks, etc?) - talk it through.
When you can start to feel you are on the right track you can start to build in more intimacy. Try and reconnect with more physical affection. (I've read a great way is to agree you are going to sleep in the same bed naked - no sex, just together. You can still be affectionate but without pressure to perform or DTD. With the pressure off, things may return naturally.
You sound as though you could do with arranging some quality time together too. At 8 months is there anyone you would trust to babysit for a couple of hours?
And finally, try to have fun again! Find something to enjoy as a family. Try and laugh together, and be kind to each other. I'm sure it will work out if you both want it to. Good luck!

AnnaFender Sun 23-Oct-16 08:28:48

Thank you for such kind responses. It's really helpful to get an outsiders perspective, as as you say I am too in it.

I think that is basically spot on Dadaist and where I've been approaching things regarding building on the smaller things that have gotten lost first. The baby is definitely a tricky one, we left for an hour and a half last week (for a hospital appointnent- nothing fun, i might add!) and she screamed for the poor babysitter for the duration until back in our arms! I thought by DC number 3 I would be a pro at this but this baby has completely thrown me!

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