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Not had sex with husband for five years(43 Posts)
I do not know where to start but I just need to tell someone.
I have been married for ten years. Happy marriage. We do not have a physical relationship and have not since the birth of our daughter six years ago.
I have no sexual feelings towards him, or towards anyone.
I have not spoken to anyone about this as I am simply too embarrassed and ashamed.
We do not talk about it, however on occasions he will try to initiate it and I feel awful but I never reciprocate his advances.
He is a good husband and father, probably the most respectful and kind man I have ever had a relationship with.
I cannot name any faults he has and he is a very hands on father.
I could live the rest of my days this way though and that makes me sad.
There is little affection on a day to day basis, he does try but I just don't feel anything physically towards him.
All previous relationships I had a healthy sex drive, in fact a high sex drive in one relationship so why do I feel this way?
I am early forties and do not think I am peri menopausal. I do not use any contraceptive so no issues with hormonal interference.
Am I really abnormal?
Please do not tell me to leave as that is not what I want.
You're not abnormal at all. There's some info here from the NHS on low sex drive. As you can see, there are a load of possible reasons, some of which such as heart disease, need medical attention.
I would go and see your GP who has heard this a thousand times before, so there's no need to feel embarrassed. Go and get some checks to see if there's any medical reason and take it from there.
Do you want to want to have sex? Do you anticipate ever doing it again? No shagging is one thing but why no affection at all? Do you never kiss or hug or hold hands?
No sex and no intimacy isn’t a marriage unless it’s mutually agreed celibacy and even then some sort of intimacy must be what holds the unit together.
After 5 years he’s either not that bothered or he’s feeling so miserable and rejected he’s nearly given up. Enforced celibacy is soul destroying.
What changed for you?
Do you love him? I don't think you have said in your post.
I don’t think sex has to be part of a marriage, although do agree with PP that no affection at all is a little questionable, but don’t think that means it’s wrong if it works for you. But I do worry that you don’t talk to your husband about it... do you not worry he doesn’t feel the same way? By not talking about it you’re not having a physical relationship or an effective emotional relationship.
Have a full and frank discussion with him about it?
How do you feel about yourself OP? Do you fancy yourself/find yourself attractive at all?
Do you not worry he might leave you though?
How was your birth? There must have been a trigger for this and clearly you find it difficult
Start with getting help - physical check and some counselling. But firstly what was the trigger
I do love him. I don't feel that excited way about him though. We do kiss a hello and good bye daily but it's a habit as opposed to a genuine affection.
We have small children and it's been hard coping with their demands, we both work. We have no outside support so we never go out as a couple, everything we do is as a family or individually with our friends.
We do enjoy shared hobbies, we laugh, we enjoy each other's company but it almost feels like the elephant in the room that we do not talk about our non sex drive.
Prior to our youngest daughter being born we had some pregnancy losses and I feel like I just shut down emotionally and physically.
We have spoken about this but not for quite a long time. We made promises to make more effort but then life gets in the way!
You just need to try to talk to him about it. Having an elephant in the room is very hard on a relationship
I'm so sorry for your losses - do you think your thoughts on sex go straight to babies rather than fun? Would you like to have this part of your life and marriage back?
You really do need to talk about it .
You are more friends than partners now and it’s not fair on him to receive no intimacy .
You could hire a babysitter and make tine for you as a couple if you really wanted to.
I look after myself as in I'm slim and I exercise a lot.
I think I'm attractive, I do get attention from men and I feel confident in who I am,
He does tell me I'm beautiful etc and I believe he is attracted to me.
I do think about what if he left me but actually I would be okay being single.
I am independent and have never relied on anyone.
The losses were very traumatic and I think have left me with emotional scars, I am very lucky to have two beautiful and healthy children but I feel anger at my body for letting me down.
Pregnancy was very stressful s I was high risk and I worried all the time.
Sex or the thought of sex just fills me with dread, it's not personal to him it's just how I feel.
I should see a doctor to discuss but I feel ashamed!
Sorry I do not know how to tag people in response to their questions but I do appreciate the time people have taken to reply.
Do you actually love him? Are you physically attracted to him in any way?
Oh, OP, this sounds hard. Since you say it's sex in general that you have a problem with, that's all the more reason to talk frankly to your husband and try to find a way through this together - if he loves you and is attracted to you he will likely be glad that you are willing to acknowledge this issue, however long it takes. You've been through a lot and I'm not surprised that you have some really negative feelings bound up with your body.
Do speak to the GP. I'm sure they can direct you towards help. It's time to take your head out of the sand and start figuring out what you really need and want.
Everything you’ve written makes perfect sense. You’ve reacted in a normal way to a traumatic experience.
My ex and I completely stopped having sex and lived together affection-free. Once I shut down that side, I could not reopen ... but there had been some poor treatment of me by him and I lost my trust and sexual love. Since your issue isn’t because of your DH, I think there’s hope for you both.
We do enjoy shared hobbies, we laugh, we enjoy each other's company but it almost feels like the elephant in the room that we do not talk about our non sex drive
You sound like best friends and the friendship side is amazingly still in tact. That’s great!
Prior to our youngest daughter being born we had some pregnancy losses and I feel like I just shut down emotionally and physically
This makes such sense. Would you consider going straight to a therapist who specialises in bereavement to discuss this?
I wish you luck and love.
Ok so it’s clearly caught up with the losses and the trauma there (condolences) and presumably after them it became about conception and getting your daughter
Now your family is complete it’s not needed for that and caught up in trauma
Please don’t be embarrassed to seek help
OP- As you've had such loss and stress about pregnancy, part of it could be fear of pregnancy, even though at our age it's not that likely we'll get pregnant. You could get on some contraception that suits you such as a hormone-free coil or something.
You say you've been left scarred by your experiences. How do you tend to feel in yourself? It might be worth having therapy if you feel the need, and it might have a knock-on effect on your sex drive.
I lived with my husband like this for years until he eventually left as I couldn’t get those feelings back. I loved him, I still do I guess but have realised it’s as a friend. It wasn’t a proper relationship. To be honest I’m happier now apart and am starting to feel I could meet someone else I truly love and feel passionate about. I had just shut that part of me down.
Sorry to hear this OP - just posted a message on a similar thread that also active on the same subject.
I am in a similar situation - ‘happy’ marriage, but no sex.
I appreciate some of your experiences that have put you off sex and I know you say you’re healthy, but have you had your thyroid levels checked or auto immune deficiency?
I think the big question is whether you do want to change things...I think some talking therapy would help, individually and as a couple. You can’t carry on as you are because a lack of intimacy will eventually kill your relationship.
Sorry but this isn't fair on either of you. To do this to the 'Kindest most respectful man you have ever met' because you're embarassed? Because you 'don't want' to see a doctor? Have you thought about how he feels? He must be devastated. He must feel totally rejected. And you haven't even cared enough to talk to anyone about this in 5 years!
See a GP and rule out the physical. Go to a private menopause clinic and get your hormones profiled. And go and find a therapist who specialises in this. Maybe emdr if you feel there's traumatic memories.
And have a fucking conversation with your poor husband. Sink a gallon of wine first if you have to but just do it and tell him what steps you are taking to resolve this.
Obviously this has caused other problems which will need resolving too. A lack of trust, and closeness. Resentment probably. But this has to come first. And you have to accept that underneath he may well be very angry,
Many men would have divorced you or had affairs by now. Sorry if this sounds harsh but you have been grossly unfair,
If you love him and want a future Together you need to speak, go to the GP for advice. My husband and I have been together for 20 years, married for 12 and the sex dwindled to nothing for the last 5 years. Same as you, we were busy with work and the children. We were very happy and had a brilliant friendship, however that wasn’t enough and he left me three weeks ago. I wished to God we’d have done more to address the lack of intimacy as it’s now too late and he’s gone.
Dear OP, it sounds like you love you husband and I believe you should have a conversation about it. Did you ever enjoy it before? I also believe because it's been so long that it is almost strange for you two but you could try to rekindle it if you did enjoy it before but you need to talk to him about it as I believe you're basically strangers in bed.
Have you convinced yourself over the years that you feel like this? Maybe you should talk to a doctor about this.
You shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed. I hate this in our society. We should be able to address the problems we face without judgement. Don't be embarrassed, well done for speaking up and having identified that something is not quite right.
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