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.
my brother's wife just told him she hates sex!(56 Posts)
Not sure where to start with this but thought I'd get some sane opinions from MN. Going thru my own marriage breakdown, I am leaning on family members and although I used to be very close to my bro, what with kids etc we have drifted apart. Anyway recently he has been a total rock of support to me. A couple of nights ago he confided in me that he was unhappy, he said he loves his wife (hes been pretty much infatuated with her since they first met and she knows he adores her) but she has always been physically very cold. She hates being touched by him. She is a warm and lovely person in every other way but even I have noted over the years when he goes to hug her she stiffens up. Anyway she has told him apparently several times that she finds sex a chore and a duty, something to tick off the to do list. I said well after so many years of marriage we all can feel like that, but he says that she doesn't even pretend to like it and when they do have sex its routine and bad. he was very open, they haven't French kissed for over 5 years, just peck on the lips/cheek, she doesn't let him do anything intimate except straight sex and its all about her and not him, so he says and she often has to get drunk before sex. He says the relationship works otherwise, they have kids and he is hands on and adores them and he earns the money, she doesn't work, and they have good friends. They never do anything just the two of them though, only with friends or as a family. He wants her and doesn't want to leave but feels so sad all the time. Again the other night she actually said that she hates sex full stop. I don't know if I am the right person to give advice as I am separating from a partner that cheated on me! I suggested counselling but she says she doesn't think they have a problem and she's happy as things are.
It sounds like perhaps she's just not in love with him anymore? She's probably happy to stay in the marriage/family unit, but maybe doesn't feel the intimacy because those feelings have gone. If she was crazy about him still she'd want to be all over him, it's difficult to fake that if you're just not feeling it
I've never had so many personal revelations from other people as when I was going through my divorce. It can be eye opening and horrifying! Sorry you're having a tough time.
They need to be talking to each other and not to you.... It's great you're all able to confide in each other but it sounds like while they each want to talk they're struggling to do so with each other.
No advice apart from try and move them away from leaning on you about this particular issue, and point them in the direction of marriage counselling. Tell them you wish you and your ex had been able to go to counselling together (even if it's not true) and here's the number of a nice looking counsellor near by? Or tell them someone you know found counselling really helpful?
Your brother needs to seek counselling on his own I think. It sounds like he's going to get his heart broken either excruciatingly slowly, bit by bit, over the years or in the short term, if the relationship ends.
I do not understand anyone who would make their partner slowly disappear in a sexless marriage because it suited them just fine. It destroys you. Male or female. I am female and in a sexless marriage, I'm in my thirties, sometimes I don't really recognise my life compared to how it was before I met my now dh. It's difficult to maintain a marriage if there is an imbalance in needs. If one person would quite happily never have sex and the other person does not share that, then that person will end up unhappy. I am.
I love MN you put a query out and immed replies. Yes I did suggest counselling but she just doesn't think its an issue, well it isn't for her as long as he doesn't ask for sex too often! And yes I have had lots of people tell me their troubles, It's so weird how many people come up to me at school gates that I barely know asking if Im ok and telling about their DH DP etc! My sister-in-law idea if spending time with him is putting on a film. He's suggested going out or away but she always makes excuses not to go or cancels it at last minute saying kids need her or too expensive etc. I feel for him as he says she has all the control, if they split he'd not see his kids every day and he said that would break his heart. Ive tried to tell him, look at me! being in a sad shit marriage with a partner that clearly doesn't respect you is undermining your self esteem. But Im his sister, what do I know!
didleavethegason so what makes you stay with your DH if you don't mind me asking??
Chilly, gosh. My kids, our family home. Fear of being alone and not being able to do all of this on my own. Significantly reduced self esteem after being rejected by my husband for many years. Had to get my head around the fact that it's a myth that men always want sex and women reluctantly do it, that's not true at all, people have different libidos. But as in my case, a sex life is important to me, so at some point I'm going to have to make a choice. I feel like it's such a massive risk and there's an undercurrent of humiliation there. 'My spouse won't have sex with me, so we are divorcing.' I'm not even sure that's a valid reason for divorce, I might be forced to stay married to him and sexless forever. Good lord.
Does she know that he is not 'just fine' about it though?
They need counselling.
She could have had an awful past experience that he doesn't know about.
It could be she just doesn't fancy him anymore.
But it's a horrible to way to the live the next 20-30+ years of his life.
He will stray at some point.
Does he say what life would look like if they separated?
I think he needs to tell her straight that he is NOT happy with the situation and that if she won't address it or at least try to then they need to think about separation.
Or even an open relationship?
As she is so cold about things and literally hates sex, she may be OK with him getting a bit elsewhere?
I'm sorry you are going through shit as well. It's a feckin' awful time.
I was going to say, would he be able to talk to her about an open marriage. I wish I had the balls to suggest this to my husband (not sure if pun intended or not...)
She's being selfish and unkind (presuming there are no medical reasons why sex would be difficult?) If she won't go to counselling, your brother should go on his own.
She's being selfish and unkind
Why should she have sex if she doesn't like it
no, no medical reasons and he has known her since teenagers so there is no awful past experience. And yes he has told her that he is unhappy and she just gets really angry with him and tells him that its not her fault its just the way she is! They are young in their thirties too. And no way to open marriage, weirdly if anyone flirts with him she gets really jealous. She even has an app on her phone so she can see where he is any time of day and calls him if he is out to check where he is. But he loves her, so its up to him but I think its a case of I don't want you but I'm damned if anyone else is going to have you until she finds some other mug to pay the mortgage for her! Sorry that was bit ranty , she can be very kind too but just not very kind to him emotionally.
Didleavethegason there is life being single, I am so much happier than I was with my cheating ex and can do what I like now, of course there are low times but on the whole the world is my oyster, think about it?
Oh dear, this is sad for both of them. It's said that men need sex in order to feel loved and it's supposed to be vice versa for women.
Does she absolutely hate sex no matter what? Or just with him? Does she have no libido whatsoever? Does she feel like she never wants to have sex ever again?
Marriage is meant to be give and take - if she loves him could she really not be bothered to make an effort for the sake of his happiness and the long term future of their marriage? He's in a horrible situation and I suspect it's not that rare either. for you both.
Maybe she's frigid rather than isn't attracted to your brother any more
Blimey - she's sounds a bit deranged and very controlling.
Your poor DB.
I'd be out of there!
What does he love about her?
I really don't know where he goes with this, or her for that matter. It actually sounds almost like rape to be quite honest. I know it's not because she is technically consenting but it's not really consent in spirit. It's more a case of I don't want to do it and I don't like it but I won't stop you if you insist. I don't know how they resolve this but to me he either should accept that she doesn't want sex and stop asking for it or leave and find someone else.
NoYoUDontKnowItAll and Morning , when she wants sex she gets sex, ie when she is feeling horny or so he says,so def not off sex altogether just sex with him and as I said the tell tale for me was the no touching or kissing. Otherwise he has to ask her for sex and then she will book it one night in the next week or so for him! Its rather odd as I've never had any relationships like that but its what they do, maybe others do too?? He says he loves her and also loves the kids and family life which apart from sex is good and guess he has gotten used to her ways. He'd never stray so he says he doesn't mind her checking up on him.
What @HerOtherHalf said! There's no way I could have sex with someone if I knew they were only doing it to shut me up. It is akin to rape (I know this might be hard to hear cos he's your brother and he's lovely but it is.).
Maybe she has been having sex she dosnt want ,for years ,to keep him happy,because it's expected.thats what partners do..now she's cringing when he comes near her,coz when you spend years forcing your body to have sex you don't want ,it tends to rebell after a while
Herotherhalf, yes I think now having sex with her for him is a nono as knowing how much she hates it makes him feel like shit frankly so he hasn't even bothered and when she tries it on coz she's drunk and feeling up for it he feels shit again as he is being used to fuifill her need and she might as well get a dildo in that case! Anyway I'm def knowing a lot more about my DB than I ever wanted to but its a great distraction from my own problems. I will suggest he goes to counselling just for himself so he can work out what he wants
When did the loss of intimacy begin?
After children? If so, maybe there's issues around birth trauma or maybe she has lost her confidence?
Or perhaps she doesn't feel the passion for her man anymore? They should try and spend time together like a date night every so often to try and rekindle any kind of spark but a deep level of intimacy require communication and understanding. It must be hard for your brother not understanding why this is happening.
A sex therapist might be able to support the couple, your brother should communicate to her how much it is troubling him
In his place I wouldn't push for sex at all. It is odd that he's happy to have sex with her when she's drunk, but I realise that she hadn't told him before. Still, it doesn't sound like he respects her wishes in that area. He needs to back off.
It could be a problem:
with her and her libido - which she could address by going to the GP
with him - he could be a sex pest or their relationship be at breaking point, which he should address
with her, and she might not be straight - and if so, then she should be honest, but she may not have realised yet.
Does anyone else think it's wrong to be discussing a couples relationship and sex life without either their knowledge or permission?
OP Google asexuality and show the results to your brother. Ask him if it sounds possible (especially as you say she has always been like this).
If she is asexual she will find it very difficult to change, and he may have some serious thinking to do. On the other hand, if she is it may help him to realise that it really is about her and not a rejection of him personally.
Does she appear to love him?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.