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relationship troubles

(29 Posts)
curiousaboutthis Mon 17-Aug-09 11:01:36

I'm having a big problem in the relationship with my wife. We have 1 child, now three months old. Maybe people here could give me some tips or just another point of view. I feel like going crazy at the moment.

The problem is based around (the lack of) sex/physical love/attention. My wife thinks i treat her 'like a lump of meat with holes in' but I don't feel like that at all. She feels unatractive and is never in the mood for making love/giving eachother physical attention. I need that very badly and I believe it's very bad for our relationship that we don't have that. This is a problem we had before as well, having a child has enlarged it though. I constantly tell her how beautifull and attractive i find her. Do everything to get the right atmosphere, give her attention, etc. She only wants to computer, doesn't even want to kiss or anything. We make love once a month or something like that and I have to do all the work. She just lays there, says she can't relax. I have to do 200 tricks and hours of work to try an get her to relax. Sometimes i succeed and we have lovely sex. And we both feel a lot better.
It hurts me very much though that she never seems to make any effort whatsoever on this aspect of our relationship (on other aspects she definitely does). Never takes any initiative or anything. The sexiest thing she has done in 2 years time is laying a hand on my chest and stroking once or twice. I feel like I'm sleeping next to a 70 year old and feel hurt and angry. I know that these emotions are not good, try to talk about it/push them away. But everytime we lay in bed I feel like crying for having a wife that doesn't want to have any sex with me.

Ofcourse there are other things to life then sex, for me it's an important element of a relationship. When we talk about it she says she wants it as well. But still she never takes any initiative and when i ask her why she won't I'm accused of pressurising her.

am I doing something very stupid, am i selfish for wanting a sexlife while having children? Does anyone have any experience with problems like these?

ilove Mon 17-Aug-09 11:05:17

Good grief, you have a 3 month old baby! The poor should lay off nagging for sex totally, get yourself a copy of Playboy and show her she is loved and appreciated in other ways...get up in the night with the baby, make her cups of tea, buy her some Lush products and send her off for a hot, relaxing bath but right now forget about sex at all!!!

Supercherry Mon 17-Aug-09 11:08:36

Agree with ilove, it's too early after having the baby. Is she breastfeeding? That can, for some women, lower your libido.

Just be nice to her and eventually she will feel ready. There is nothing worse and more of a turn off than feeling pressurised.

beanieb Mon 17-Aug-09 11:25:03

If you are only having sex once a month does that mean that you have only recently started having sex again? I would hope so seeing as she has only very recently given birth!

Sorry but I think you are going to have to be a lot more patient and realise that sex is probably not the first thing on her mind at the moment. If you had trouble with sex before the birth then now is not the time to be trying to sort them out, give her some time and then deal with it.

slug Mon 17-Aug-09 11:27:51

Have you any idea just how painful and exhausting giving birth is? My sister prepared me for birth by pointing out it's like being kicked repeatedly between the legs by someone wearing steel capped boots, and she wasn't far off in her description. I couldn't walk straight for three months after giving birth. Add to that hormonal changes, the sleepless nights, the massive changes to your body and is it any wonder that she feels less than interested?

What she needs now is a partner, not another child who is nagging for their needs to be met. The more you pester her, the less likely she is to initiate sex. Give her time, take some of the (considerable) strain of looking after a 3 month old off her hands.

Here's a suggestion. After the first feed of the morning, take your child off your wife's hands. Change him/her, get your child dressed, maybe take them out of the house for a bit. Do not hand your child back until it is feeding time again. Let that time be her time to sleep/surf the net/have a bath etc. You may find once she has rested and feels a bit more like herself again, she may be more amenable to your advances.

Supercherry Mon 17-Aug-09 11:30:39

Also, I note you say you tell her she is attractive, but you're not talking about her here like she is attractive, you are referring to her lack of sexiness and saying it is like sleeping next to a 70yr old.

I have no doubt that she is very aware of you how you really feel despite what you say.

MamaLazarou Mon 17-Aug-09 11:38:38

Forget about your own sexual needs for a while and devote your time to making your wife happy and helping her with the baby as much as you can.

The poor woman has enough on her plate at the moment. If you ever want to have sex again, I would suggest you put her and the child's needs first until things are more settled and she begins to feel a bit better about herself.

Tell her she is beautiful, you love and cherish her and think she is a wonderful mother. Tell her this every day, and sound like you mean it.

HolyGuacamole Mon 17-Aug-09 11:43:32

Hey OP, I think you have articulated how you feel very well. OK, I know it is not long since your wife has given birth and what the other ladies are saying is very good advice.

I should think that the lack of sex is not about you and you should (hard though it is) try not to take it as a sign of any lack of love that your wife has for you. I don't have children (so therefor cannot imagine how I'd feel in her shoes - ouch!) but I do know that there is lots and lots of readjusting going on, coupled with your wifes hormones probably being all over the place, getting into a new routine, how she feels about her body, etc etc.

It might take a while to get back into the swing of things and the best thing you can do is be really patient and try not to let it upset you. I honestly think that the more you do to help her in the house, with the baby, the more time she will be able to have to herself and she can appreciate that she can do this because you are helping out so much. Plus I'd make sure you keep being affectionate - and affectionate in a way that is not expecting sex, little treats and hugs. Take the pressure of sex out of the relationship for now, give it time and see how you go.

Good luck.

MamaLazarou Mon 17-Aug-09 11:46:53

That is a much kinder and nicer way of putting it, well done HolyGuacamole!

(My excuse is that I am pregnant and hormonal)

sayithowitis Mon 17-Aug-09 11:59:46

Whilst I agree that the Op should try to give his DW more space at the moment as well as helping with the baby etc, he did say that this problem was there before the baby came along. He did say 'The sexiest thing she has done in 2 years time is laying a hand on my chest and stroking once or twice.' So clearly the wife has issues about sex other than the fact that at the moment she is understandably tired and not in the mood.

No, Op, I don't think you should feel guilty for wanting a sex life, whether there are children or not. As long as you understand that right now your DW is genuinely physically shattered and that sex isn't going to be top of her agenda after a day looking after the baby. I suggest you continue to make her feel loved by doing some of the things others have suggested. At some point though, she is not going to have the excuse of being so tired etc and at that point, she is going to have to acknowledge that you are equally as entitled to feel wanted and attractive as she is. She may have a problem that can be helped by counselling of some sort or it may be that she really doesn't enjoy sex and would be prepared to allow you to seek that outside of your marriage. ( I am hoping that SGB will be along with some of her advice on that) Though I know that would not suit everyone, me included, it apparantly works for some.

curiousaboutthis Mon 17-Aug-09 12:10:11

thanks HolyGuacamole. I understand what you say and think you're right. I'm trying to do that ofcourse as much as possible and will continue to do so. It can be very difficult though ... for both of us. And yes, I think i do understand how heavy giving birth is. I don't think i'm nagging about having sex, was hoping to hear from other people who have had similar problems with each other and of ways of coping with it/discussing it.
thanks for your opinions though.

curiousaboutthis Mon 17-Aug-09 12:17:31

i just have to be more patient an try to not take it personal. And yes, there were problems before: mainly has to do with different sexdrives: I would like to do it 3/4 times a week, she only once a month. We both do/did our best to find a middle-road. I don't feel like making love to other women: i am frightened that that would disturb our relationship to much and i really don't want that, i really love her a lot and want to stay together.

HolyGuacamole Mon 17-Aug-09 12:17:53

I also agree with sayithowitis though, that you should absolutely not feel guilty for wanting a sex life, not at all. It is a natural human thing and it is what makes our relationships different to that which we have with platonic friends.

SerendipitousHarlot Mon 17-Aug-09 12:25:09

The problem is, OP, that although you might not think that you're nagging - it comes across in other ways sometimes. When she wants a hug, do you grope her sexually? That kind of thing is a massive turn off.

Although I'd also like to say that I've had 2 children and haven't had any problems having sex afterwards at all.

iliketurquoise Mon 17-Aug-09 12:25:42

she might have low sex drive.
how was she at the beginning?
how old is she?

Lolabelle Mon 17-Aug-09 14:58:55

I've always had issues the same as your wife and rather than go in to those as they are personal there is usually a deep rooted reason but i know for a fact that once i feel my DH is well how do i put this, gagging for it I am scared to even touch him in case he lunges at me!! Seriously i would love to curl up with him and maybe even have a kiss without the added pressure of him thinking it was the prelude to something so i avoid that completely and in turn there is a physical void between us. I was advised once by a sex counsellor type to put a sex ban on through mutual agreement for at least 2 months but all kissing and cuddling much allowed and it was such a reliefe and so surprising how much i'd missed pressure free affection - ok things have turned bad again but thats a whole other story thats not related to this thread but maynbe she feels pressured which is not your fault per se but by recognising this you may be able to at least understand her a little more. Good luck.

norktasticninja Tue 18-Aug-09 10:22:18

My DP (the OP) showed me this thread last night, he knows I've had a lot of good advice on MN and after yet another sex argument he decided to try for himself. He's a wise chap!

Thanks for the advice and opinions so far. Lolabelle describes my feelings quite accurately.

I know it's somewhat unorthodox for DP and I to post on the same thread but this is something we'd both really like help with. We won't have on-line arguments, promise wink

DP was worried about me seeing this and recognising our situation before he had the chance to show it to me himself, so, he missed out some (IMHO) vital information. We actually have 2 DC, a DD of 20 months and a DS of 10 weeks. Hence his reference to two years of a lack of sexy behavior on my part, it's probably a bit longer TBH - I've been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since February 2007 (oh the joy hmm)

Our (lack of) sex life is really getting to both of us and we've reached something of an impasse: I feel pressurised and misunderstood. DP feels rejected and misunderstood. Neither of us wants the other to have to fee this way. However much we talk and argue about the situation we never get much further.

Our sex drives were a bit miss-matched before children but it's much worse since. Ideally he'd like sex every day and (theoretically) I'm more of a 2 or 3 times a week type person. We agree that 3 or 4 times a week is a fair compromise but I just can't manage it ATM. I'd love to have more sex but I just don't know how!

I'm a full time SAHM and DP works 50+ hours a week as he's still in the start-up phase with his company. We are both under a lot of stress and pressure what with 2 under 2 and a new bussiness, it makes DP want more sex and me want less...

Is there anyone out there who can give us any tips, tricks or strategies to try and sort this out?

BramblyHedge Tue 18-Aug-09 13:53:15

TBH - I think your situation is quite normal. It is only since my dc2 moved in with his brother and I cut down the breastfeeding (he is 1), and he started to sleep a bit better, that our sex life has got back on track. Other than forcing yourself I really do think that until you reduce bf (maybe at weaning time) and have a slightly older baby, he will have to be patient. I know it is hard but this is only a small period in your relationship.

mamas12 Tue 18-Aug-09 14:39:35

Wow I admire you both for really trying to sort and help each other out and through this.
I can only say if you really want your marriage and life together it sounds like you are on the way to a lifetime of happiness by thinking of each other in this way.
Step back and do nothing atm and just be love and be the new parents that you are and seek some kind of professional help as lolabelle suggested and I wish you well

Lolabelle Tue 18-Aug-09 15:01:58

I think the fact you are both on here and able to at least recognise the problems is bloody amazing and I really do think this is just a relationship blip. Recently I went through chemotherapy for Breast Cancer and we didn't have much sex at all for that reason as i was too shattered with the new baby etc as well and it made me realise that there will be times that it will suffer and my husband may have to please himself more so to speak wink but we are trying to get things back on track despite the fact i feel less feminine and all thoise other BC issues but I always remind him when the kids are sleeping through the nights properly and are old enoug to leave more overnight with relatives we can start having nights away etc and i do love him and want our marriage to work in every area. Harassing me and moaning about it is not the way to go as i feel cornered and sometimes just do it because i feel its about time as opposed to wanting to. Its interesting to note when he stopped even trying i was quite gutted after a while and found myself iniating cuddles and affection more and when he still didn't try i became really worried and I really enjoyed sex the next time it happpened!

Anyway like i said its great you both care enough to come on here and that says a hell of a lot, my friends with older children just laugh when i talk to them and tell me i'm worrying about nothing as young children zap all teh passion out of a relatiopnship so fingers crossed the best/most frequent sex stage is yet to come!

norktasticninja Tue 18-Aug-09 15:03:24

Thanks. I think it's pretty normal too but DP can't accept not having regular sex. He has a very high sex drive which we suspect is exacerbated by his ADHD... As far as 'forcing myself' goes, he wont have that, he insists I have to enjoy it too which is great and infuriating in equal measure.

It did get a bit better between the children when my cycle started up again but we were also TTC and, well, it worked. Poof when my sex drive.

Professional help would be fab, we'd both like it but simply don't have the time or anyone to look after the DC. My family are still in the UK and DPs live 1 1/2 hours away...

norktasticninja Tue 18-Aug-09 15:10:28

Poof went my sex drive...

Lolabelle Tue 18-Aug-09 15:17:02

Yeah professional help would be good, funny you should mention the ADHD - my DH is being tested soon for that so thats given me food for thought as he still harasses me despite our 'chats'. I guess we are still a work in progress too in that area, he starts counselling on Monday at my insistence (he wants it though) as hes been flipping out after drinking recently and being really nasty to me which is out of character an di think the pressure of his job combined with a lack of intimacy has made him turn against me when drunk whichis unacceptable and so needs sorting but i think he is keeping things bottled up and maybe when hes done we may seek couple counselling for our sex probs but i want him to get any issues dealt with first as i've had counselling for years and find it helps a lot. God knows if we will ever get to your aim of 3/4 times a week but i think your DH is right about you enjoying it, laying back and thinking of England is never going to be teh basis for a good sex life is it?!

Lolabelle Tue 18-Aug-09 15:18:39

Actualy thats the point isn't it? Its the 'want' thats gone not the love or anything, love'em but i do blame the stress of looking after small kids all day....

curiousaboutthis Tue 18-Aug-09 20:45:24

thanks for all the replies.

Lolabelle: I have outbursts of anger sometimes, that's not something I think of being caused by ADHD, but the uncontrolled nature of it (very primitive letting go of all ones fear's, frustrations, anger etc. like a child can do) definitely has to do with ADHD I think. Autistic people have regular agressive outbursts like this as well. At the moment I think that that's why regular sex is so important for me: a way of channeling and getting rid of that same primitive feeling. (And ofcourse because it's just great to have nice horny sex! ;-)

I've never been in therapy or taken any prescribed drugs for ADHD. I find it very hard to make a distinction between what's caused by my character (or lack of ;) and what's caused by ADHD or some other incredibly broadly defined psychological condition as PDD NOS. I'm from the Netherlands and it's a large problem here that more and more people are diagnosed with conditions that fit within those spectra.
Maybe it's more widespread nowadays or it's always been like this and people could cope better because society was more structured. I believe I should strive to find ways of coping with it by myself and think that taking therapy is the 'easy option' of being confirmed in 'i can't help it... i'm diagnosed...' But maybe that's just very megalomanic to think like that. I'm switching between those opposites...

Anyways enough ranting. Hope you or your man find any of these blatant 'insights from a fellow sufferer' helpful ;)

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