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Help! Don't know what to do!(51 Posts)
Thanks very much for any help in advance. I am confused, fed up and angry and have no where else to turn!
I have been with my wife for 15 years since we were 17. She went on the pill after six months or so (relevant later on) and her libido went down. For then next 14 years we got in the same pattern, I would pester and she would be willing and around we go, sort of happy with everything. We have three gorgeous kids and have generally a good life, particularly recently, and are best friends.
In September of last year she came off the pill (she had only come off it to get pregnant and then back on it in the past).
This is where the problems started.
I didn't notice anything at first but then I noticed the bag she kept lingerie and some sex toys (which I bought for us) started to be moved around. This happened for about a couple of weeks. Given our history of it just being ok and her never masturbating I was instantly suspicious. I brought it up with her and asked what was going on and she said she started to feel a lot different and was doing things by herself. Great I thought maybe we could benefit from this, and we did, our sex life was dramatically improved.
Over New Year we spoke about how we wanted our lives to be better and start to do more adult things now the kids are older. Going out, better sex, meeting new people etc etc, nothing crazy.
She initially started by going out with her friends (which she did) a few times and didn't organise anything for us. At this point things had started to get a little weird and distant. We were meant to be trying and she wasn't. On one night out her friends husband brought her back home. In the night when she was asleep I looked at her phone. She had a WhatsApp message from the guy which was simply '😶'. There was no other previous messages. When I asked her about it in the morning she said that she was drunk and probably apologies for chatting in the car too much.
My wife and this man tended to drop the children off at the same time and when I used to go it used to be very awkward which she put down to her being nervous because of how I am. To make matters more complicated our daughters shared a birthday party and he was very weird with both of us, as he was another time during another school event.
To finish it off, even after me saying I was uncomfortable with the situation, she sent a Happy Birthday message on FB. She claimed she always did it but she didn't, and then liked a post of his knowing it would cause problems. Quite unbelievably, I suggested, as we were meant to be moving forward she put a post on Facebook to celebrate our wedding anniversary. She hid the post from this man and his wife.
There were other strange things to happen during the period also:-
- She bought more sex toys and hid them in our house. Very 'exotic' things such as a gag, a leather dress and a toy to wear out and about, plus a missive dildo.
- After I found them she then used to lie about using them when it was obvious she did, nearly every week day.
- She shaved her pubic hair every day which she never used to do.
- She had 'burn' marks on her wrist and when I joked about them she went bright red.
- Changed her passcode on her phone.
- Was always on her phone at night.
- Went to sleep in my daughters room one night because my daughter 'wanted her to', then came back after an hour.
All the while she kept saying she wanted us to be good and she never put any effort. She says now that coming off the pill had sent her a bit wacky and gets annoyed when we talk about what happened.
That is the first half of the story. Since then those things have not happened and she has quite clearly changed. She stupidly went back on the pill and then came off it straight away, got pregnant and had an abortion and had has panic attacks and anxiety since.
She had, up until recently, continued to masturbate but I was the only one who used to initiate sex and try to move us forward. She kept saying she wanted us to be better and then never doing anything.
We are now left in a position where she has no libido (by her own admission) and we don't have sex or really do anything. I have now come to the end of my tether when all we do it try again, then argue, try again, then argue. I cause the argument because I tell her she isn't trying and she agrees she hasn't.
I don't know what to do.
Did she have an affair?
Why has she not tried to make us better?
What do I do from here?
Sorry for the long post but this year has been quite eventful. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Can you calmly ask her if the two of you can talk (when the kids are not around) and then put all this to her? Depending on her age, it may be a mid-life crisis or something? Or maybe she was just looking for excitement as she is bored (it happens). Something may or may not have happened with this guy, but it's looking like she may have wanted it to. All this needs talking about honestly before you can move forward.
I don't know if your wife had an affair or just a crush/flirtation with that man. It's hard to say. It appears as though she's going through a mid-life crisis and is really struggling with herself, never mind your relationship. What is clear is that the two of you are not being successful at communicating, which makes it impossible to work through your issues. Would she be open to couple's therapy? I think you really need it.
Thanks for your message.
We have talked about it all and she denies anything happened and just said that she went 'wacky'.
Now she says she is just 'struggling' so doesn't do anything.
So we end up going around in circles.
Whether she had an affair or not, it dosn't sound like she has ever wanted to change your current setup. However much her libido has fluctuated, she's only ever made any active effort to have more fun on her own (and maybe someone else) - never with you. Actions speak louder than words.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. If she isn't going to change anything and you are unhappy then you will have to change something.
as Aquamarine suggested, I also think that some sort of counselling may help, you may have to insist that she goes though.
Thank you for your feedback.
We have spoken a lot about all the issues and communicated very well about it. We end by saying right come on lets really try and move forward and be good. She then does absolutely nothing.
So then it leads me back to think that she did have an affair and is unhappy in our marriage.
Yes she had an affair.
So what now for you?
Do you want to keep doing this?
You can keep going around in circles or maybe a trial separation would work?
See how you both get on, apart.
Or couples counselling or sex therapy?
How old are the DC?
I don't know what now to be honest. We are both quite firm that we do not want to get divorced or even separate. We have seen what it does to children. The kids (9,8,4) have no idea, we are generally a very happy family. The only problem we have is our relationship side, which we keep away from them quite well.
Where does the abortion fit into the story? Why was an abortion necessary? What support did you give? You say she hss felt anxious and upset about it. I feel like this is a bit one sided.
Not sure now it works giving yourself a burn mark anyway I would think counselling is the best way forward. Saying I went a bit whacky is just another way of glossing over things.
Clearly things havnt been right for a long time, did you both want an abortion? Do you think she had an affair?
If you dont want to divorce or separate and she wont do anything, your options are limited. I'd suggest asking her how she feels about a more open marriage, it might even prompt her to own up to her affair, but tbh its not a pain free solution.
Thanks for your comments,
HadronCollider - The abortion fits in because it is a major event for her, to be fair. I was trying to show that it isn't all one sided. Yes, we both felt the abortion was necessary and were 'happy' we made the right choice. I have tried to be supportive throughout the year, but she does shut me off sometimes. I am not perfect by any stretch, and wouldn't claim to be and I am very honest with her about my flaws.
Wherearemymarbles - As above, we both wanted the abortion, and dealt with it quite well considering. She isn't the type of person who you would say has affairs but looking at the evidence it doesn't look great.
Thanks for explaining. I guess for some reason, could just be me, I'm not really picking up much emotion in your posts in terms of how you describe your relationship. I get your frustration over the lukewarm sex, her libido being affected by the pill and your suspiciions regarding her cheating but I don't get a sense of the emotional side. For example you mentioned the abortion and her feeling anxiety afterwards, but then you seem to concentrate on the sex side again. What does she say when you talk to her? I'm assuming there is some sort of emotional mis-communication going on as opposed to purely verbal. That coukd be the crux.
I think there might be some skipping over the emotional side because she isn't interested in that side either.
When we speak she asks me to be better at certain things, say cuddling and being there for her. I then try to really do it for her and it doesn't make a difference.
I then bring it up and she moves on to other points she wants me to do.
Of course she uad an affair. You dont get burn marks from masturbating. Shes taking the piss massively.
May sound harsh but could the pestering for sex have finally worn her down and pushed her away?
I was uncomfortable about the pestering bit too.
I think it's blatantly obvious she had an affair. She sounds just like I felt in my first marriage. She doesn't fancy you but its easier and cheaper to stay put. I feel for both of you to be honest.
I know what you mean about pestering. That may have sounded a bit excessive. It was more that I wanted it a bit more than than she did so it always seemed like I was pestering.
I think she would admit that she was happy with the way it was while we were in that position.
If she refuses to be more emotionally and physically engaged, what do you feel your options are?
She doesn't refuse to do it she says she wants to do it. But then doesn't do it.
I don't know what my options apart from divorce, counselling or for me to change what I class as happiness.
That's just a passive way of refusing ...
Will she go to counselling if you organise it? Or can you go by yourself to talk about, as you say, if you can redefine happiness, or your expectations, or the parameters of the marriage
Ultimately, you only have control over yourself and your reactions, sad though that can be
I think she had an affair, either that or engaged in some SM behaviour. You don't get burn marks on your wrists by yourself?
What is the friendship like with "the other man" now?
I think,you need to sit down with her and be very frank about your suspicions, address the abortion, sex life etc and both lay,your cards on the table. Coming off the pill shouldn't make her wacky!
Would you consider a vasectomy?
She would get counselling if I absolutely insisted. She did go but I think she gave up half way through.
She says the burn marks are from cooking.
I had a vesectomy a few months ago.
The children (ours and his) have fallen out and don't speak anymore. The mum acts weird with everyone in the class now but a month or so ago was still trying to be buddies with my wife.
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