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Struggling with intimacy(10 Posts)
I’ve posted before about my loss of libido since having DD and heard from quite a few posters who had similar but picked up again as their children got older. DD is now 16 months and I still have zero interest in sex. Weeks go by without it happening and when it does it’s because I make a special effort, not because I really want to.
It’s actually any intimacy that I struggle with. So I don’t like DH kissing me or cuddling up to me in bed. When he does so I stiffen up and can’t bear it.
I love DH so don’t understand why I feel this way. He is so good and patient but I know this must be really hard for him.
I think ahead to our future and worry about how things will be for the rest of or lives. We can’t continue like this forever.
Any experiences or advice?
I wish you’d had loads of interesting replies to this because I struggle in the same way. Have you considered your birth control? My libido runs for the hills whenever I’m on the pill.
How's your communication with your DH? Is the relationship strained?
I always go off sex when DP and I are iffy. The loss of libido is a symptom of a strained relationship imo.
When DP and I work out our issue, the sex falls back into place.
I would say this was still very much what things were like for us at 16 months. We could easily go two months between having sex. We both still were so exhausted with multiple nights wakings. We were co sleeping so sex literally had to happen somewhere else in the house (we had no guest room or anything like that) sandwiched between wake ups. Also a lot of it was just feeling touched out. The last thing I wanted when I felt like I was constantly having a toddler attached to me all day was to have another person touching me in the 2-3 hours a day I had to myself. I just wanted to sit down and relax.
I would say definitely by 2 years it started to get a bit easier and much more so after 3 years (corresponding to when our daughter was more independent and I was back to work full time and feeling I had more time to myself). We’re having another now (dd is 5), but I would say our sex life was back to what it was before I got pregnant with her. Having regular date nights and even a few weekends away alone also helped tremendously.
Thanks for the replies. I’m not on birth control other than condoms - don’t really have enough need for it and I don’t fancy going back into anything hormonal.
for those who feel the same. It’s definitely to do with being touched out. I’m an introvert and having that attentive relationship with my daughter takes it out of me.
For the poster who asked if our relationship is off - I would say it isn’t ideal but that’s partly because of my intimacy issues. But it’s not at a point where I am worried about it per se. Certainly between work and parenting we don’t have much quality time together. Whenever we manage an evening out alone it does us the world of good but of course that doesn’t happen very often!
Are you breastfeeding?
I've learnt over the years that my libido is ruled entirely by my hormone levels at any given time. I spent twenty years on some hormonal treatment or other for endometriosis. One of them put me into temporary menopause and my libido vanished for several years - and it wasn't just not wanting sex, just like you I couldn't stand to be touched at all. It was horrendous all round.
In the end I came off all hormones and it took about six months for things to improve. After I had my twins I pumped for seven months. Again, it's taken about six months of natural cycles for it to return. It's still a bit all or nothing (we were having sex every day then it went away again completely and a couple of days later my period started so again it seems to be hormonal).
I completely understand how distressing it is, but take it from me - don't go along with it to make him happy if you feel like you can't even stand to be touched or kissed. That will only lead to very negative feelings towards your husband even if he's not aware you don't want it. It will make things worse.
This will get better, your body just needs to adjust. You say you feel touched out so I'm guessing you may still be bfing. Obviously not everyone reacts to hormones during pregnancy and bfing this way, but there are lot as of women who do. Bfing is stopping them from ovulating and keeping their body in a certain hormonal state. I think it may be an evolutionary thing, to ensure you focus on the baby you have while they're still reliant on you so you won't have another, but that's just speculation on my part.
I promise there's light at the end of the tunnel. It will pass. I was starting to think I was in for more years of no intimacy but honestly when it improves it's like a light switch going on.
I should say it did come back once before, about 3 months after I stopped pumping but vanished again after 48 hours. It does feel to me like when my hormones reach a certain level it flicks the switch and when they drop it turns it off again. Sounds bizarre but that seems to be how it works, and I go from flinching any time I'm touched to wanting sex all the time, just like that.
Hang in there x
Thank you so much for that message, it’s really helpful. I am still BFing, only twice a day but I guess that still affects hormones. And I’m only on cycle 5 since my period came back. I really hope it is hormonal as otherwise I am frightened for what will happen to my marriage.
I think I should have a frank conversation with DH - I’ve been trying not to hurt his feelings but it’s no good to keep things from him.
It’s really encouraging to hear that you felt the same but came through it. Thanks again for sharing your experience.
Go on iplayer and listen again to woman hours for today and yesterday. Sounds exactly the same as your situation.
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