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I'm ruining my relationship(12 Posts)
New bod here although I've lurked for a fair while.
I'm in a bit of a muddle. I'm late 30's, married for 8 years with a couple of small children.
My relationship is taking a nose dive and I don't know how to fix it. It's my issue as my sex drive has pretty much vanished since we had our second child a couple of years ago.
My husband has taken my lack of drive for disinterest which isn't quite right. I want to want sex but I can't quite get in the right space for it and I can't get back there. I still love him and find him attractive but it just isn't quite there if you see what I mean.
We used to have a great sex life but after our first it dwindled significantly which my husband struggled with as he felt rejected. After the second it pretty much stopped - I think we've done it twice in two years. He's stopped trying to initiate now as he knows nothing is going to happen - when we go to bed it's just "good night", a hug, then sleep.
We still get on fine in every other way and although I'm happily going without, I can see it's really affecting him and is driving us apart. We've talked about it and he desparately wants intimacy in our relationship but doesn't want to do anything I don't want or am not happy with/ready for.
It's got to the stage where he's withdrawing further and further and I'm worried he's going to have had enough and call it a day but at the same time I can't magic my sex drive back. I simply don't know what to do.
Maybe you are stuck in a Mumsy nurturing mode, it's tricky to flip into a sexual being after you have spent all day with the kids. Do you and DH get time on your own together? Do you work also? The life you are leading can reflect on your libido.
Do you look after the children all day? Quite often, if you do, by the end of the day you just feel 'touched out' and need personal space more than more contact. So it really helps if the other person is hands on with the DC (play/bath/bed etc)
Does DH do 'house/kid' stuff in the evenings, or does he do his own thing while you're clearing up/doing laundry/etc?
Thise things have a huge impact in your sex live, far more than anything the other side of the bedroom door!
However, I think sometimes the 'thought' of sex and the effort it takes can be off putting, whereas if you just start touching each other you find you're in the mood' pretty quickly. How about you don't think about 'making an effort' (whatever that's entails for you personally) and just 'make a move' on him tonight or invite him to do the same to you.
I think when you haven't had much/any sex for ages it can just seem a much bigger hurdle than it needs to be and you can end up thinking it needs to be a 'big deal/special event' whereas just getting on with it actually means it happens.
I think it's quite addictive too ~ the more you have, the more you want...(as long as it's consensual etc).
Well do you get any time to yourselves for bonding? Being with little kids all day, the last thing to want is to be touched by a third person. Touched out is definitely a thing.
Id start right at the beginning, what was dating like? Getting to know each other intimately again type of stuff.
Thanks for the replies.
He's a hands on dad and does everything with them when he's home. He does a good share of the mundane tasks such as cooking and cleaning and also the house maintenance when it needs doing (which is quite often).
I recently lost my job due to Covid so I'm home alone two days a week so I do get some time to myself but I use some of this time to job hunt.
We're a good distance from family so don't really get any time to ourselves for "dates".
We had another talk last night and he was quite blunt about everything. He said he feels very distant from me and is sad because the only woman he wants is the one he can't have. He also said that he doesn't like it when I take out my frustrations on him which is true, I do get angry with him when I'm having a rough time.
I wonder whether it's time to face reality and let him go so he can be happy again even though it's really not what I want.
I think you are a bit away from that.
I wonder is hormonal contraception deadening your libido? Could you use barrier methods?
It sounds like you need to find a constructive way to vent your frustrations.
He sounds like a great husband and I'd want to work at keeping him. Get the kids to bed early and have a nice bath and some wine and dinner and see if you can rekindle things.
Are you on the pill ? I found I didn’t have much of a sex drive when I was on it.
Losing your job and having to find another isn’t going to be great for your sex drive, you need to be relaxed.
Do you do any exercise ? It’s great to get rid of frustrations that way instead of directing it at him.
Have you tried having sex when you’re not really bothered ? I don’t mean being forced to do it, I mean not really feeling like it. Because sometimes I’ve found that I’m not really that bothered, but I’ve enjoyed it when I did.
I think that getting away for a night on your own, no kids/washing/dishwasher etc to get in the way, would be good for you but I can see that it probably can’t happen at the moment.
I think you need time together when you’re not mum and dad.
There's no need to let him go, especially if you both love each other so much still. You just need to make some changes in order to find time for the sex side to get back in.
First of all, how much sleep are you getting? Lack of sleep is the number one killer of sex drive. See if there's any way you can get extra hours first (eg over the week).
Second, you need to find some extra support to give you time off together to reconnect as people rather then parents. If you don't have family/friends who can do this, see you if you can find a trusted babysitter eg someone who works at the kids nursery? Someone you can build a longer term relationship with and trust to care for your children so you feel relaxed. Just one day or two evenings a month will make a huge difference to how connected you feel.
Finally, forget the idea of spontenaiety and schedule sex. Sex doesnt have to be PIV penetrative sex. I'm pregnant and DH and I had pretty much stopped being sexual with each other as I've been so ill, and it's been months, but then I realised that I was still interested if I didn't feel pressured into classic PIV sex and now things are much better. Once you've scheduled a time just try to commit to it and follow his lead even if you're not exactly gagging at the bit to start with - once you get started you'll be more in the mood.
Sex begets sex. Once you stop having it you don't want it (we went 7 or 8mmonths after the birth of DD1 as I couldn't face it at all) but when you do it more regularly desire does return.
You should never feel pressured into anything, of course, but if you still love your husband it's definitely worth putting the work in together in this area. Your kids will only be little for a short while and your energy and sex life will return. You don't want to lose him over this short period. Sounds like he's being understanding, and that he cares v much, so time alone together and better communication will definitely help. Good luck!!!
I think you've had some really good advice on here, OP.
The only thing that strikes me is that you sound quite blasé about letting him go to find someone else. Is that right? Or are you really keen to save your marriage?
If it were purely a libido issue I'd say have a word with your GP about any medicine or contraception you're on as a first port of call. It's really amazing the difference a different contraceptive can make sometimes.
But I do wonder if there's something else going on here that you haven't quite put your finger on. You seem to think he pulls his weight at home and with the children so perhaps not that. What else do you feel about him? Do you like him? Do you think he's a good man? Does he test you well? How do you feel about your life generally? What would you change if you could?
All probing questions, but as others have said, absent a hormonal issue, a missing libido often has its roots somewhere totally outside the bedroom.
*treat you well!
Also, what do you 'take out on him'? Where are those frustrations coming from?
I agree there’s something that’s holding you back. Do you like him? Would you date him if you met him now? Are there any resentments festering away at the back of your mind about your relationship in the past?
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