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My husband won't have sex with me(31 Posts)
Hi all, I appreciate this is quite a deep first post haha, I've joined this forum as I've read threads on here a few times and I've always been pleasantly surprised at how helpful and nice everyone seems to be, so I'm hoping someone can give me some much needed advice.
I've been with my husband now for 11 years. We've got a great relationship, I married my best friend, and he's a truly fantastic guy, apart from one problem.
Put simply, we just don't have sex any more. He wasn't always like this - although he's never been adventurous in the bedroom, he used to have a pretty normal sex drive, but over around the last 7 years this has gradually reduced more and more. He never makes the first move (and when I do, more often than not it's rebuffed). He's also stopped doing oral, we only ever do it in one position. Put simply, it's also got boring. I'm really sorry if that's too much information, I'm just trying to be as honest as I can.
We've had multiple conversations about it, and on the few occasions he's opened up to me, he says he simply doesn't think about sex any more. He says the urge is gone. He's got massive confidence issues and says he doesn't know how to make the first move any more and he 'doesn't feel like a man'. He's had a few other problems and was consequently diagnosed with depression a couple of years ago and has been on anti-depressants since then. The tablets seemed to have helped with everything else but the sex. We've been back to the doctors a couple of times, but they don't seem to take it seriously at all.
I'm at my wits end - I love him dearly, but at 30 years old I feel like what should be the best years of our lives are being destroyed by this. I used to be a confident person but I'm really becoming a shadow of that after so long. I feel unattractive and unwanted even though he assures me time and time again it's not me.
I really want to know if anyone has ever had anything similar to this and if they got through it and how? We've been looking into sex therapy through relate - has anyone done this? Did it work? What does it entail?
Really would appreciate any help.
I'm on antidepressants and I have no libido at all. It's one of the side effects I'm afraid.
It's almost certainly his anti depressants. They are very very well known for killing sex drive. Were you aware of that? Could he try a different class of ads to what he's on at present? Buproprion (Wellbutrin) is supposed to be less impactful on sex drive for example.
Has he ever tried counselling and exercise for his depression? Depending on the situation that can be more effective than ads (something to consider if changing ads doesn't help).
Does he exercise regularly? What's his self care like in general?
I'd look into those areas v thoroughly before doing specialized sex therapy tbh.
For you as well - what's your self care like? Do you spend a lot of time doing your own hobbies / seeing friends? Or are you both sitting at home quite a lot?
Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a read on the broader context of the problem x
Get his testosterone levels measured with a blood test. Low levels can mean lack of sex drive. That goes for women too!
I don't mind answering questions, thanks for helping.
OK, firstly, his low libido has been going on far longer than he's been on antidepressants. He started to lose interest in sex around 7-8 years ago, and has been on antidepressants for about 2 years.
He did counselling and didn't find it helped - the problem is he finds it very hard to open up to people.
His general care to be honest is appalling. He doesn't exercise, eats a lot of junk food and is quite overweight. He takes very little interest in his wellbeing and more recently (the last year or so), his personal hygiene is starting to slip as well. This is something we speak about a lot, he's aware he needs to change but struggles with it - the problem is it's a massive vicious circle - he eats crap because he feels rubbish in himself, his energy levels are low because he eats crap and doesn't exercise but that only makes him eat more.
My self care is pretty normal, I eat well, I go to the gym 3 times a week, I try and look after myself.
We tend to stay in during the week aside from an occasional cinema trip, but at the weekend we are normally out - we do a lot of things together but also have time apart with friends - he's an avid fisherman, which happens to be the only thing I really see him get excited about.
His testosterone was tested a few years back and came out slightly low but nothing to worry about apparently. It was then retested about 2 years ago and was normal.
Not had antidepressants myself but stress completed kills my libido.
I’m sorry your GP doesn’t seem to be taking it seriously.
I would actually suggest going to a therapist who specialises in offering advice for sexual problems as a couple. It seems that your have a good relationship and are able to talk about issues so this would be a huge benefit in being able to make the most use of the sessions and advice. I appreciate your husband may be reluctant given he finds it hard to open up but if he can take that first step it is likely he would be reassured as loss of libido in long term relationships is literally the most common problem they see in men and women.
Ok, in that case I'd encourage him to improve his self care. A lot! His sex drive is never going to be high if he isn't exercising - especially if he's also eating poorly to the extent that he's overweight. Exercise has a massive massive impact on sex drive and confidence.
Not sure sex counselling will help much if he won't open up. You could try.
I will say though... You can't do this for him. You can tell him you aren't happy with seeing him not care for himself, and with not being intimate. And you can tell him that if he doesn't take accountability for addressing the issue, you're going to need to split eventually / you're going to get chronically unhappy. But at the end of the day he is the only one who can take control of this - you can't do it for him.
You've basically got 3 choices here.
1. You split up. It doesn't sound like you have children so this is probably the easiest solution.
2. He attends therapy, sees the gp, or otherwise tries to reverse his diminishing libido.
3. You both accept that his libido is gone for good and agree that you will seek a discreet FWB set up to allow you to stay sane and married.
My best friend had this about 10yrs ago when her husband developed diabetes and told her straight "I'm not interested in having sex with you or anyone else." They ended up going full on poly but other relationship models are available.
“I married my best friend”
This may be a problem too. Best friends don’t always make best lovers. You marry for security and safety and familiarity and it can end up going like this.
He may have been able to keep up the pretence for so long but it’s impossible to do so forever.
His desire for you probably went 7 years ago and you can go to the docs as much as you like but it’s not likely to change.
At 30 and if you don’t have kids, I would leave.
You are 30.
This will be your life for the next 30+ years if you stay.
Life is too short for this.
In your 30's you should have a really good and healthy sex life.
Anti-D's do hit your libido massively though.
But he's doing nothing else to help himself.
You cannot save him from himself.
Time to put YOU first!!???
The best friend thing isn't how it is being interpreted here - he is my best friend in that I tell him everything, we get on great and rarely argue, we really enjoy each others company, but at the same time there's a lot of affection, we kiss and cuddle a lot (and this is actually normally instigated by him), he'll grab my bum and things like that, it just very rarely goes to the next stage. It doesn't strike me as an attraction issue - at least, I really hope not.
The idea of an 'open' relationship has come up before but he'd be devastated and tbh it's not really my thing either. The only person I want to sleep with is my husband.
As for leaving him, that really is a last resort for me. I don't want to leave him but I am starting to reluctantly come to the realisation that this has been making me miserable for a long time, and more recently its starting to affect my mental health too. But I want to exhaust all other avenues before we go down the divorce route.
I have for the time being given him an ultimatum in that he needs to try and sort himself out by the end of the year - and by that I don't mean that all is well and he's fit and healthy. I just want to see some effort being put into him changing. If that doesn't happen, then there's no choice but to leave.
You're giving him eight months!!! Given his general lethargy, eight months is just prolonging the agony.
You can not fix this because he doesn't want to. Sex wise, he prefers the status quo and will happily bumble along until you make it an issue again. Where upon he'll make the usual placating noises but make no changes and the cycle will be reset.
It's ok not to be ready to end the relationship but use your time wisely and get support for yourself.
Would he agree to a sex therapist?
He won't just miraculously change by the end of the year.
Things need to happen in between time to get there.
He's agreed to a sex therapist and has contacted them this morning to make an appointment.
That's a good step and he did it.
I hope it has a positive impact on your relationship.
In the mean-time, concentrate on being nice to each other without the end goal being sex.
Going to bed together.
Hugs and kisses.
Good luck OP.
I know what you mean, OP, my DH is my best friend, but we never have sex, in fact we haven't had any for at least 5 years. This is mainly because of it was always triggering for me, leading to it being painful, and I'm now facing up to my childhood SA. My DH has been lovely about it, although sometimes I actually wish he would tell me how he really feels about it. I can take it. Communicating his feelings really isn't his strong point.
So I would say, you should make it clear to your DH how his lack of libido makes you feel, which it sounds like you have done. With a therapist, though, sometimes it's easier to say things as it's a controlled environment.
I'm glad he made the call, @Lemmon3101 good luck.
Can I suggest that you read the book "Mating in Captivity"? Alarm bells always ring for me when folk say their partner is their best friend and especially when they say they tell their partner everything...
Why should it alarm you, @PrizeOik ? I really don't get why that would be. DH and I have been through so much. His dad being killed in a car crash, infertility, IVF, adopting our DDs, my issues with past SA. It creates a close bond, and helps us to deal with the lack of sexual intimacy now.
We also have a DD with Attachment Disorder so we've had to work closely together.
Good luck and hope the therapy works. Having said that he still needs to sort out his diet and exercise; as another poster says, he won't feel like sex if he is overweight with a poor diet.
If it doesn't help, I'm afraid you may not want to divorce, but I don't hear of many marriages that last the course without at least some modicum of a decent sex life as intimacy is such an integral part of it..and please 30 is no age and to see a future without it must be dire
@Lizzie48 the book I mentioned explains my alarm bells. They are specific to maintaining an erotic bond.
When partners become less separate / don't maintain any private inner life, then the relationship generally becomes sexless over time.
If your relationship is already sexless and you are OK with that, then the alarm bells need not alarm you, as it were
Personally I would not be able to be stay in a monogamous relationship that was sexless, so to me, maintaining that separateness between me and my partner is extremely important to my long term happiness.
Also, the knowledge that all relationships are temporary (including happiest ones - the best case scenario is that you love each other until one of you dies, which still makes the relationship temporary!) would also be an important motivator to ensure you have a rich, well connected, full life outside of your partner. I would never want to be completely enmeshed with only my partner. It just seems a recipe for misery in the longer term.
If his libido dropped before the anti-depressants and he says he no longer feels like a man (and from the sound of it is quite unhappy about it) I think a testosterone test might be a good idea.
There I do agree with you, @PrizeOik and I have a clear example of that with my MIL. She suddenly lost her DH and she had been totally dependent on him emotionally. It became draining for my DH and BIL, because she was so needy.
I have great friends who I love dearly and I'm close to my DSis, not surprisingly after our traumatic childhood.
And my DH is very committed to his job and to being a dad. So I'm not going to let myself become dependent on him emotionally.
PrizeOik, haha, I can see why you would think that. When I say I tell him everything, it's a figure of speech really. I mean I tell him everything that I'd tell my closest girlfriends, hence the best friend comparison, but I still have little secrets, nothing dark though lol. I think there's a lot of thought on the best friend comment I made which I think was probably the wrong thing to say.
Thank you to everyone for your help and lovely comments.
OP - ED can also be a sign of clogged arteries...it starts 10-15 years before a heart attack.
Have him get a TMT. I know it sounds simplistic, but if this is the case it can be a good reason for the situation.
If its just the way he is - you will really regret dragging this out. Leave now when its easier to rebuild.
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