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Please help - sex dilemma

(13 Posts)
tempnewname Sun 28-Jun-09 21:36:54

My dh has been ill for many years and is slowly deteriorating. We have had a very limited sex life for the last 5 years dwindling to its current state of being virtually non-existent. I love my dh desperately and believe that its mutual, and in all possible respects we have a wonderful relationship. I consider myself honoured to be loved by, and to love, such a wonderful man, and in fact, even having to write a post like this, is making me cry. I in no way want to be unfaithful to him, but over the last 2 years I have found myself missing sex more than I ever thought I would. I would never have described our sex life as anything other than normal (in terms of frequency), and when he became ill, it didn't bother me in the slightest, I was certain I could do without for the rest of my life. But just recently I have found myself missing it desperately - not the intimacy that comes from closeness, cuddling, kissing etc, because (when he's not hospitalised) that is all wonderful. Its the actual full on act itself. I dont know what to do really other than to resign myself to the fact, I don't even know what I hope to achieve by this post, may be just to rant. Is there anyone out there in a similar situation?

GentlyDoingIt Sun 28-Jun-09 21:44:16

I felt so sad for you reading your post, you clearly love one another so much. Don't beat yourself up about missing sex, I think that's perfectly natural and you sound like such a supportive partner, you really do.

A good friend of mine (female) is in very advanced stages of MS and has virtually no mobility remaining and very little stamina - she and her partner have found that sex toys help out a lot.

tempnewname Sun 28-Jun-09 21:55:39

Thank you for that Gently, I do love him so much and try to be supportive, his life has so not been what it should have been for such a truly good person. I'm sorry about your friend too, and glad that her and her partner have found ways round their difficulties. Sometimes it seems like such a cruel world. Sorry for sounding maudlin, I'm not usually like this but the dcs are in bed and, hey, its Sunday night! x

noddyholder Sun 28-Jun-09 21:57:27

Is there any treatment for him or hope of any in the future?

GentlyDoingIt Sun 28-Jun-09 22:16:43

Aw I think it's completely understandable, you sound like someone who normally counts their blessings so please don't be down on yourself.

I don't wish to pry, but since you've asked and seem to have name-changed... What is preventing you both from having a fuller sex life? Does he have difficulty maintaining an erection, or does he lack the mobility (or both?)

There are probably loads of things you could try and adapt. Maybe it will never be the same again, but there could be new ways for you to be satisfied with the physical aspect of your lovelife that you haven't discovered yet. Hope that's not horribly patronising - I'm sure by now you will have thought of/tried everything.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 28-Jun-09 22:26:58

It depends a lot what is wrong with him... is the problem mainly physical (that he can't get or sustain an erection or can't move well enough) or is it that his illness and/or the treatment he is receiving mean he has little or no libido?

tearinghairout Sun 28-Jun-09 22:36:35

Sorry that you sound so sad. Definately try sex toys, while cuddling him. Good luck.

tempnewname Sun 28-Jun-09 22:47:47

Its a bit of everything really but mainly the inability to sustain an erection (even with the help of viagra).

We have tried loads of things Gently (don't mind you asking in the slightest) and up to a point everything was fine. But now I miss the actual sexual act itself - I was never much of a one for foreplay, I used to like to get on with the job (as it were - bit like loads of men really!).

I would never ever tell him I feel like this now because he has so much else to contend with and, in the grand scheme of things, if he can live his life without sex, then I certainly can too. I know there are no magic answers, and I appreciate all of your replies, even knowing someone else spares just a few minutes to think about my situation touches me. And, yes, I have namechanged!

SolidGoldBrass Sun 28-Jun-09 22:52:59

Presumably you have tried cock rings? And dildos? If not, try some. And do remember that 'sex' isn't all about penetration, there are so many things you can do with each other that are loving, erotic, playful, enjoyable...

GentlyDoingIt Sun 28-Jun-09 22:58:23

It must be saddening, but keep trying new things and re-visiting old things, too - what didn't work last month, might work this month.

Keep talking to him, though - perhaps he feels he would like more intimacy too and would love to talk it over in detail with you? Don't feel that you wanting sex is a secret you have to keep from him - if the situation were reversed, I'm sure you'd want to hear from your husband about what it means to him.

Very best wishes to you both.

ABetaDad Sun 28-Jun-09 23:13:14

tempnewname - this is a pretty heart rending story because until fairly recently I was very ill, could hardly walk at times and in constant pain. I had difficulty maintaining an erection and just basically exhausted. As a result, I found penetrative sex very difficult and after a while tried to avoid sex completely with DW.

She was incredibly kind and patient but I know she felt as you do now.

I did eventually realise that there was still a lot of things I was still capable of doing and focussed on being intimate and giving her pleasure rather than myself. I explained to her I might not be able to have an erection and as long as she knew that and was not upset by that I wanted to try and make her happy. That was a huge breakthrough for me and her.

Have you told DH exactly how you feel? You sound still very much in love so would a conversation like that should be too hard to broach? Is DH still capable of physical movement and still in love with you but now simply psychologically withdrawn from sex like I did?

Obviously, I do not know what your DH is still physically capable of and do not want to say too much but would it help if you were very frank with DH and explain how you feel and just ask him if he is willing to try new ways of giving you those particular feelings you miss from full sex but in a way that he is physically capable of delivering?

As others have said, I am sure you have already tried many things so I apologise if I am saying stuff you have already gone through.

ABetaDad Sun 28-Jun-09 23:15:01

x-posted with you at 22.47.

Please do not keep your feelings a secret from him.

tempnewname Mon 29-Jun-09 01:22:17

ABetaDad - thank you so much for your frank and thoughtful reply, and I'm glad to see that you have overcome your difficulties. We are still as intimate as we are able to be and I do cherish the physical relationship we are still able to have, but the situation we are in is only likely to deteriorate due to the simultaneous deterioration in dh's health.

He has limited mobility at the moment, but this will become worse due to circulatory problems, resulting in amputations due to lack of blood supply etc. Sadly, mobility problems are just part of the whole picture, his health as a whole is dire and just getting worse.

I can't tell him how I feel about wanting penetrative sex, he has so much to cope with already and I know he already feels overwhelming guilt at what he sees as the situation he has landed me in. These days, he is spending more and more time in hospital (has been in for the last 4 weeks)and I know he worries constantly about how we are coping. He is a wonderful father and husband, and really, when I look at the bigger picture, sex is such a small part of it. I almost feel ashamed of myself for this need I feel, I think just airing it all on here has helped in itself.

On a lighter note, about 2 years ago, when dh's prognosis became certain, we were "counselled" re our sex life by a very young doctor (actually, I'm still not convinced he wasn't a fifth former who had managed to nick a white coat). It did seem surreal to be given some helpful hints from someone who didn't look old enough to be legally sexually active and dh was merciless in his asking of very explicit questions.

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