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I need help reconnecting with DH(24 Posts)
I've namechanged for this because I'm embarrassed. DH and I have been married for 6 years, together for 9. Before children I used to be madly in love with him, very affectionate, playful etc.
Since children, I just don't feel that way anymore. I know that the 'in love' feeling does die away, but I am concerned that there is a big barrier between us - and I know it comes from me. I don't know what it is. It started with the usual thing when you have small babies arguing about who has the tougher life/who's more tired etc. I didn't want to be affectionate with him in any way - I didn't know why. I just thought it was because I was tired and sick of having a child hanging on me so wanted some space.
But now my children are 3 and almost 5 and I shouldn't feel the same way. I don't have the same problems. I'm not as tired. We don't have the same arguments.
He has lost 5 stone since easter. He looks really, really fab. I should want to shag him till his eyeballs drop out. But we don't. We've had sex twice this year.
I know that the reason we don't is because we're not affectionate. Or rather, I'm not affectionate. He tries to be and I sort of force myself to be. And I can't just morph from being busy mum to sex goddess, we need to hold hands, touch, kiss etc first. But I don't really enjoy doing that. I don't understand why I don't. I used to. I still think he's attractive. I still love him. He's a good husband. Yet I just don't seem to naturally want to hold him or touch him.
There are times when I do actually want to have sex, but it seems like there's such a gulf between us that I don't know how to bridge the gap. I feel as though we are drifting apart as a result, we each lead our own busy separate lifes and come together under what on the surface looks like a happy family but we're just not connecting. And I don't know where to start.
I have to go pick up the kids now but I'd really appreciate any thoughts anyone has on this as I feel wretched.
Couldn't read and not post but I really don't know what to suggest here.
Do you get much time as a couple? Do you want to spend more time alone with him?
I'm guessing you're seeing him more as a friend/soulmate and not necessarily a lover anymore.
It's great that you recognise the problem and want to do something about it before it's too late. No idea what to suggest though.
I hope someone wiser than me will be along soon...
It's good that you're acknowledging this problem - can you talk to him about it? That would be a good start, tbh.
1. Do you ever get time to yourself? Do you have any hobbies or interests? Time/money to be just yourself?
2. Do you still masturbate?
3. Do you do anything together?
4. Cuddling up and watching TV (Or whatever) might help.
5. Massage etc might help.
6. Does he want more sex/cuddling/affection?
7. What was your parents' sexual relationship like - or how did it seem to you, as a child?
Have you thought about relate or some sort of marriage counselling as it sounds like ultimately you still want to be with him?
Thanks for responding. I very much want to still be with him. I couldn't have a better husband, honestly. I just seem to have a real problem with being affectionate with him.
To answer your questions NQC:
- I get very little time for myself. And we get very, very little time together as a couple. I find it quite hard to spend time with him alone now when we just go out for an evening as it's hard to know what to talk about. But give us more than one evening (which we've had on 3 occassions since kids were born) and we start to remember what it was like. I know we need more of that - just don't know how to get it. We have no family we can turn to for babysitting so it means leaving the kids with strangers for a weekend and paying a fortune to do so.
- yes I still masturbate so I must still have a libido in there somewhere
- we do household chores together if that counts. We do watch TV together but we sit on different sofas. He always asks me to come sit with him, but I don't want to. I find it physically uncomfortable. I hate myself for not wanting to actually snuggle up with him.
- I used to spend hours tickling his back because he loves it. Now I barely do it and it almost feels foreign to do it.
- my parents got divorced when I was 10 so can't remember what they were like. They both remarried and both sets were affectionate with each other. My mother is very unaffectionate - never kisses us and can barely bring herself to kiss her grandchildren (admittedly she lives in a different country)
I don't know what the problem is. I sit here, wishing he was home. I even occassionally (like today) sent him an email suggesting he get home soon so we can 'cuddle' and I want that now, but when he comes in there's something that stops me from wanting to touch him. And I don't understand why - because he is tall, lean and gorgeous. What is my problem????
Maybe you've just fallen out of the habit? Maybe if you get back in the habit it will be fine?
you're probably right. The question is how to get back into the habit. It just feels awkward.
I'd recommend talking to him, and maybe making a real effort to have sex at least once a week?
Alternatively, you can agree to not have sex, so that's off the table, and just try to cuddle or touch each other more?
you are in a rut and need to get out....
when you do have sex do you enjoy it?
if so i think you should make a real effort to have sex more often.... if the sex is good you may well find that the more sex you have the more sex you want to have.... and the more sex you have the closer and more connected you will feel...
Is there something you are angry with him about but you don't even realise? I felt distanced from my DH because of some things he did early in our relationship which hurt me and I hadn't been able to let go of it. I didn't realise it was this that was causing the distance til recently. I mentioned it to Therapist in between seeing him for other reasons and he helped me rationalise it and get over it. Now things are getting better between us.
What about watching a feelgood film together? That can be a good prelude to sex.
I know exactly what you mean about feeling like having sex but when it actually comes down to it the feeling fades away... A good fantasy always helps
NTFIL -I could have written your post. It is us almost exactly, tho our children are a bit younger. I shall watch replies with interest since just like in your situation DH is a good bloke, but I just dont want to cuddle/hug etc him any more. I actually have to try not to cringe if he tries to cuddle me. For me its not so much about being tired as to do with all that giving/caring/nurturing I do all day with 2 small children. I just feel I have none left over at the end of the day. I just need some space, not to have someone else on me/near me/holding me. DH is ok about it (he has virtually no sex drive anyway, which is sort of good and bad when Im off it too like this)but every now and then we say that we need to work on the relationship but nothing changes. But I cant be arsed. That is the sad thing. I just feel I have too much to do keeping up with life at the mo, so I guess I have the relationship on hold in effect.
On a more positive note a friend of mine has described a similar thing with her DH...her kids are a couple of years older than yours and she says the relationship did eventually come back, really for her it was when she started to get back to life after being a SAHM ie going out with her own mates etc. She took up dancing and loved it, it made her feel sexy again I think. That then had a positive effect on her and her DHs relationship.
So sorry for no fab advice etc but you're not alone in this at least.
Agree with time thing DD since me and DH get no time at all and I think if we did we might remember that actually we quite like each other!
THanks everyone. Sorry - have been missing for a bit. Just busy.
To answer some of the questions:
Actingnormal: I do think there is some latent anger that I feel towards him since becoming parents. It is completely irrational but was to do with me doing everything with the kids while he worked. I now run my own business so have to juggle that and the kids and the home and I feel all he has to do is work. But his work pays our mortgage. Then again, I've been paying more and more of the bills and sort of resent that. I do need to work on this and just come to terms with our respective roles.
Dwaynedibbley: Yes I work but from home and not fulltime. I do feel as though I've got more time without kids hanging on me though than I did when I was a fulltime SAHM.
Oldernotwiser: sorry you're going through this too but glad I'm not alone in feeling like this.
Since posting this initially, we still haven't had sex or even done much touching. That's because he's been incredibly busy at work and works most nights on his pc. Sigh. We just need to make time for each other but it's so hard.
NTFIL, have you talked to your H about this? I so recognise all you say. I come from the experience of feeling like this, and it having partly caused the breakdown of my marriage. Please talk to H, tell him how you feel (maybe not all at once!) while reassuring him that you do want to get that loving playful relationship back, seek some help together - marriage counselling, even sex therapy - to help you start to regain that intimacy which is so easily lost with small people around. I know it will be hard, but please be brave. I wish I had been braver.
DH and I have had several discussions about this. We've had at least two that got really to the heart of it and both times I came away feeling better for having spoken about how I feel and he came away feeling worse and thoroughly gutted, convinced that I no longer love him.
I almost feel as though by talking about it, it makes it worse because he grows more distant from me, instead of it just being me that's distant - if that makes sense.
I was so certain at the start of this week that we could have a chat, make love, try to get close. But it's now Friday and I'm angrier than I was at the start of the week.
I am angry with him for working non stop and leaving me to handle everything else in our lives. And if I didn't work, I'd think fine, that's my job. But I do work and I do every single other thing that makes our lives operate.
And I think it's this constant feeling of resentment that is driving the wedge. We have discussed this issue a million times and everytime he tries to help more for a few days but then his job overtakes him and I can see that he is just dog tired and by me putting me pressure on him to be more involved in our lives, it just makes him more tired.
I am hoping that when we go on holiday in two weeks time that we will get to spend some time together just relaxing with neither of us working.
If not, then I think it's time for some kind of counselling, even if it's just for me to help me move past my feelings of resentment. How do you go about finding a therapist?
Hi NTFIL, you sound so like me it's scary, except that you have seen the problems before it is too late I hope. I think it is definitely time to think about a counsellor. You could see if your GP can refer you, or contact Relate, but they can have a long waiting list. Or there are private counsellors - do a google search on couples counsellors in your area. It is worth checking if H's work provide any free counselling as a benefit - that's how I found my counsellor. I never thought I'd be someone who had therapy, but it is really great having an independent third party who can facilitate discussion, and help you to manage your discussions productively and hopefully to help you and H see that this is you trying to strengthen your relationship, not hurt it.
I think you are doing the right things. I wish I had your opportunity
Thanks UC for the advice. You sound so sad.
I'm going to go google now and have a think about this.
You both sound exhausted. If you are both working, is there any way you can free up a bit of cash for extra help in the house? It might help with the resentment you're feeling about doing it all yourself, plus you could use the time freed up to do something for you.
it sounds like you need to work on yourself
so sorry to read this but i need to be on this thread as i could have written op. am feeling more and more like this, i love him, he's a good father, we are thinking abt no2, but the affection is lost and i seem to have a load of resentment
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