Talk

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.

help living with little sex.

(127 Posts)
Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 11:45:18

We're 10 years into a relationship, kids, and I'm really struggling with our sex-life or lack of.

I dont know what to do anymore. We are so badly matched. I have a high sex drive and an underlying interest in kink (all those years ago I naiively thought it was one of the other. Internet was different then. I wasn't interested in just "playing" or one night stands. I wanted a relationship and kids...) I can't work him out at all.

About a year or so ago he went to the doctors for a testosterone test (which was normal). He's not adverse to help in and of itself. He's so bloody passive that I'd have to book and arrange anything but we can't really afford therapy and his work shifts are irregular.

I think I need to know how to live with it. I've considered asking the Dr for antidepressants hoping they'd kill my drive.

It's hard to explain the emotions but I feel so disconnected and so rejected. I know I can't force him to want me/sex I just wish he desired me. I can see for him love and sex aren't connected. He's an amazing person and dad, truly. Very hands on, cooks, never criticises me at all. Loves me very much. Doesn't seem to be attracted to anyone else.

About once every 6-10 weeks I try and initiative a discussion about what I can do differently/what would work and I just end up feeling so frustrated and worse/hopeless. Mayve I just need to give up. I feel like if only I could work out what his problem is I could sold it.

I love the times we have been intimate and connected. He says he does too and wishes we were more like it.

It feels like double speak -
He says he fancies me, likes my body and so I say why does he never act on it then.
I say it would be easier if he just told me he had no drive and wasn't interested/is gay. He says he is interested /only wants me and just doesn't understand why he's the way he is.... But with no guidance as to what would work for him.

I used to try initiating more but just felt so rejected when he'd say he was tired/not interested.
I could honestly give him oral for ages and he'd say "that's really nice" as if it was just a pleasant massage and not want any more.

It feels like he's not interested in my arousal or turning me on. (He claims he is, but does nothing)

It's a mess isn't it. Any ideas?!

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 11:45:43

Sorry just seen that's far too long and I can't edit. sad

Pebbles1989 Sun 14-May-17 11:50:51

I wish I could help but I'm in the same boat.

TheNaze73 Sun 14-May-17 11:51:04

He's not interested in you or your happiness & it won't get any better. What's the point of a sexless relationship?
Bin him off

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 11:55:46

Pebbles - really? I wonder if there's more of us that I think as people just don't talk about it. Why do you think it is? How do you manage (feelings in particular,l?!)

TheNaze. I do love him, he certainly loves me. I have 2 small children and don't want to start again. I would certainly be thinking about it if I wasn't in the situation Im in.

I dont want to leave I want to see if there's something I haven't considered/how people love with it. He's not abusive, anything but, he's considerate etc and does so much. He is so incredibly passive. I almost think if someone gave him an instruction manual he'd follow it, but then he doesn't seem to listen to anu suggestions I make.

It's just not as important to him or on his agenda I don't think. In an ideal world I'd be with someone with a high drive, but we're not in an ideal world!!

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 11:57:23

He'd do anything to make me happy day to day. He really is amazing - it's just like he has a mental block with sex and tried to ignore it and hope it will go away. Or tells me it will be different, or that well try xyz, but nothing changes.

SherlockHolmes Sun 14-May-17 12:01:26

After the testosterone test did the doctor offer any other solutions, or give any indication of other potential physical problems?

As you say, you don't want to break up an otherwise-good relationship, so you do need to get to the bottom of it.

I'd suggest going back to the doctor for more help, as you have a long life ahead of you, and you need to be happy in it.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 14-May-17 12:09:06

I could write your post. I'm 5 years with DP, no kids yet, sex just isn't as high priority to him. We were done to roughly 5 times a year, with work we're now at once every 4-5 weeks. I'd love once a week. I think he's frustrated he doesn't want it more to be honest, it's difficult. He definitely loves and fancies me, we have a great relationship, I know he's not gay! We're only late twenties. It's been a real struggle, I've felt unattractive and unloved. It's made me seriously consider leaving. Luckily we are still very physically affectionate, it just doesn't often turn into sex. But over time of the sameness problem occurring so much anxiety was built up around it it compounded the issue. We're working on reducing the anxiety about initiating, on both sides. It's so hard to talk about because there's still this huge perception that all men want sex all the time, and they have to persuade women. It's really sexist and unhelpful.

He's recently been to the doctor though and they've tested him for testosterone, thyroid and a few other things and we're waiting for the results. So might be a solution there. He's a type one diabetic and apparently there can be a correlation. But I've accepted this is who he is to an extent, and I'd rather less sex and him to lots of sex with someone else.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 14-May-17 12:12:04

Sorry for all the typos!

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:15:22

Thanks sherlock. She offered viagra (or some variant) but that wasn't really his problem as such. I suspect it's in his head. Or maybe he just has low need/desire for sex. Or mayve his passivity means he just doesn't try.

I dont know. My head spins ever now and then with frustration at trying to work it out.
Whewb first child was a year old (a miracle I'd got pregnant really. He seems to be very fertile given how rarely we have sex!) just thinking I'd leave if I didn't now have a child and feeling so trapped.

I've got a lot fatter. It's cyclical though it's really affected my self esteem, I comfort eat (other issues too) and in the last 5 years have put on a lot of weight. I have difficult family and our lack of connection really makes me low.

But telling him how upset I am every few months just adds pressure to him doesn't it. Oh I don't know the answer. If I stopped needing/wanting it maybe I could sort my life out more.

I imagine if we went to a Dr now they'd point to my weight, he says it's not a problem. But certainly that's newish and his attitude has stayed the same, not just started since I've been big.

Other school mums see us as this ideal couple. He's so considerate etc but I ache inside sad

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:18:13

Paperdoll sounds such a similar situation! I honestly would tell my younger self to find someone else as this is breaking me thinking this is it. My younger self probably wouldn't have listened as we do love each other....

I think my husband is frustrated he's not just different/ wired with more desire too. But then he doesn't do anything different.

It definitely raises the stakes and makes sex harder to initiate etx when we've not had sex in ages.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:19:21

I suspect he'd respond to me telling him exactly what to do, in.advance, at say 9pm every Saturday. Micromanaging like sorting the kids. But i want him to want me...

Wormulonian Sun 14-May-17 12:20:34

Was it always like this? or did he go off sex after the kids/ _ sees you in the mother role? I know you say you have no money for therapy but if you did would he go for it? Could you buy a few books on it to get more insight into the techniques they might suggest (slow massage etc).

The hardest part is that he isn't interested in trying to work on his libido or think about giving you pleasure - that for me is the saddest part and the bit that would be most difficult to accept as I get the impression is the roles were reversed that you would be pulling out all the stops to try to recover your libido.

If he still gets erections then the problem is more likely to be psychological than physical - the GP might be able to help with a referral for therapy ( but there might be a long wait) if he is a passive person do you think he just wants to "stick his head in the sand." about it and for you to just stop bringing it up?

DidILeaveTheGasOn Sun 14-May-17 12:25:50

I am in a sexless marriage, so am in the same boat. I wanted to say, firstly, people have varying sex drives. It's a myth that men need more sex than women. I'm not sure I like the sound of the idea of men being frogmarched to the doctors because they're not interested in sex. What if that was happening to women?

Ultimately, I think if something in a relationship is really important to one person, but not at all important to the other, then I think the relationship should eventually come to an end. Even if there are kids involved. With regards to a sexless marriage, it is as corrosive as acid to not be desired, to find oneself lacking, to comfort eat and to have vital resources like self esteem and self love whittled away in the face of continued rejection. I say this as someone in a sexless marriage who comfort eats and has no self esteem left.

I think the only answer is to leave, before your sense of self and self worth totally disappears. I need to leave. This morning I forced myself to imagine what it would be like to be with someone who initiated sex and seemed to find me desirable, and the idea was almost painful. It's been 8 years and I've never got used to it, and he's never been able to adjust his sex drive to match mine. It must be basic biology. He's otherwise fit and well. It's just... Life.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:29:25

He didn't have a high drive when we got together at all. We were never at it like rabbits but he'd never had a relationship before and I liked him and naiively assumed it would come. I wasn't on mn/Internet as much 12 years ago so didn't really think about it.

I dont think he gets erections often, like he doesn't when we kis or cuddle, but if I were to offer oral it would become erect. He just doesn't want any more. I offer sometimes in the hope it would arouse him.... He doesn't get erect me being close to him in bed or anything. He has to be actively thinking about sex.

I think he heads in the sand about it. He doesn't seem to actively Google basic "how to please your wife" or say "how about we try xyz" tonight or any of the ideas I sometimes suggest. He gets in a cycle of thinking it's something he's rubbish at I guess and then doesn't try. I dont know.

He could have done with a semester at uni on pleasing ones partner and he'd probably have followed the recommendations!!

It's hard to explain. He seems to want it to be different but never actively does anything different. I really don't know sad it would almost be easier to accept if he was gay but he really isn't.

DadWasHere Sun 14-May-17 12:33:59

There is quite probably nothing to 'get to the bottom' of. When I had low libido I had enough empathy to realise that being desired and sexually fulfilled was fundamentally important to my wife in how she valued her self and our relationship. But only a very small percentage of low libido people of either gender feel that way. They can find their partner 'desirable' but in an abstract way, like thinking a person on a stage is great actor... but without any desire to act beside them, hence the weird 'doublespeak/doublethink' things they say that breaks the minds of high libido partners. I spent over a year faking my desire and enjoyment. Getting an erection worked OK but felt disconnected and mechanical to me. After two years my libido recovered. Still dont know why it left in the first place.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:34:44

Oh Didl. You sound so much like me. I crave just being wanted occasionally! I have self esteem issues from childhood but it's got so much worse living in this strange not-a-couple state. Interesting you're comfort eating too sad sorry to hear it.

I want to believe in another option than leave. I even said to him once (which I know didn't help), "do I just wait another 13 years til kids are grown up, I have no career/money behind me and then try to find someone who will be interested in me?!"

I want it to work. I want him to want me, to want to learn how to please me, to be excited by the thought of turning me on/having sex with me. Id be unbelievably available and up for most things tbh.

I feel it's somehow my fault and if I just knew what to do/how to be different I would.

josuk Sun 14-May-17 12:36:19

I know what you want - him desiring you and being more proactive.
But, given that, not really an option at this point - and you wishing it - won't just make it happen, have you tried other ways?

Not so much to make him into a different person, but involving him in another way?
Get some toys, tell him in a loving (not demanding - why don't you want to have sex with me) tone -
tell him you got some solutions for your higher drive and want him to see - IF he wants to....
Play with yourself. Maybe he'll watch, maybe you ask him to give you a hand....
Something like that.
It could be fun for you. And, who knows, he may get into it.

At this point your dynamic only makes him more anxious and under pressure. If there is a way to deal with that - it is to take that pressure and guilt away. And let him be your play partner w/o being under the gun.

There are, of course, other solutions many men and women in your situation go for. But MN is a place where mentioning those get one crucified. So, I won't...

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:37:44

Dadwas I think that's it in the "doublespeak" is true for him its all abstract.

I wish he could at least try to please me (I know we'd never say this to a womab in a relationship who had low libido so mayve I'm unreasonable.) Once I orgasm he's often turned on and enjoys sex. But this happens so rarely and I have to be already super turned on already so his 5minute fumble works. If that makes sense. I want so much more.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:41:35

Josuk I've suggested we just play/explore without any pressure. I've even suggested ideas, but he never follows up.

I've considered whether long term I'd need to find someone else just fir sex (maybe in the bdsm world where it's not so unusual) but to be honest I'd fall for them and it would break us.

There has to be something we can do. I think it's why I end up so depressed as each time we chat it feels so futile and ending it seems the only option. But it's not an option I want. My life would not be better single. We make a great family, it's just the sex....

PickledLilly Sun 14-May-17 12:42:42

I'm in the same boat, We were In a long standing cycle of me getting very upset about the rejection and him offering some sort of pity fuck to placate me roughly quarterly. I read some threads on MN where it was the other way around and people were saying 'if he didn't pressure you, I bet you'd feel more inclined' etc so I tried that. I haven't even mentioned our sex life, no pressure. So it's coming up to 18 months without sex now. He's never mentioned it. I know I should just leave as I don't want to live like this forever but we've got two small children so it's not that simple is it? I don't think anything will ever change. I didn't bother with contraception after our youngest child (under 1) and he hasn't even noticed hmm

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:42:52

I wish it didn't always feel my responsibility to sort/ come up with ideas. If only he'd take it by the horns and suggest something/read up on sex/ have a gameplan.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:43:52

Pickled. That's it exactly, I read the threads on here. Decided not to try to initiate/pressure and we've had sex once this year I think. He never initiates.

Ginandpanic Sun 14-May-17 12:47:24

Same here. Discussed it many times. A councillor Suggested we ' make a date' but dh needs reminding to do anything and I know that sex with me would end up something I have to remind him to do. I don't want to be an item on a to do list that just gets put to the bottom. I honestly dont know what the answer is. In our case I'm almost sure it's his a/d's supressing his libido but he can't function without them. It seems tragic to throw away a marriage over this, and I now feel like such an utterly revolting creature that I can't even begin to imagine the terrifying prospect of sex with anyone else. blush. He says he wants to sort it, he's embarrassed about it, but that hasn't translated into any effort to actually do anything about it.

Percytheparkkeeper Sun 14-May-17 12:50:33

Gin almost word for word here (he's not on anti depressants but our life is stressful) right down to me feeling revolting, him saying he wants to sort it but not doing anything at all and me not wanting to be on a to do list. Sigh.

Is there really no answer. There must be lots of us that within a couple of hours there's already those of us on this thread. Surely throwing away marriages isn't the only option.

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