Bad Signs

My husband and I have somehow managed to lose our physical connection. Although we are affectionate to each other in terms of giving each other hugs, cuddles and kisses, these are all platonic. He has appeared to lose his sexual desire for me although I still really fancy him. We just had out first wedding anniversary (have been together for 5 years) but it has been nearly 6 months since we had sex. And before that it was three months before. On the increasingly now rare occasions that we do have sex it is not that enjoyable and seems to be done on his part as a duty. I thought initially that it was because we had been trying to have kids and have had four failed pregnancies, three cycles of IVF and other gynaecological operations. He said that sex had become a science project. We are still without kids but the sex has disappeared and we no longer try naturally even, which also really upsets me.

The next thing he said was that we are affectionate in a way that does not make him feel sexual. Whatever the reasons I know that the connection has been lost.

The trouble is that for me the lack of sexual intimacy makes me feel low, un-desirable, un-attractive. Things have come to a head as we were at a party last night, had a few drinks and now this morning he says that I embarassed him by flirting with someone there. I don't really remember doing that but if I did then I think it must be my frustrations coming out to play. I am worried that if we don't get our sex life back, we will ultimately be un-faithful to each other and the marriage will end. Previous relationships for both of us have ended that way. The difference is that for us both this is our first marriage and we don't want it to end but we have reached an impasse. It is now difficult to talk about the lack of sex withough arguing about it and me becoming bitter and him being defensive.

The most painful thing is to think that he no longer finds me attractive but doesn't like to say. He would rather not talk about it and brush it under the carpet and pretend everything is fine. And when we do that, things are superficially fine. But then when we argue all my bitterness comes to play.  All in all, it makes me feel like the marriage is floundering. And that feels terrible after such a short period of time. It also feels like such a loss to not have what was once the strongest, most joyous part of our relationship.
ReenaSen ReenaSen 41-45 11 Responses Nov 27, 2011

Your Response


I think you need to put the brakes on trying to have a child! The best you can hope for the way things are is to raise a child in a family where the biggest single emotion is anger. Bad plan.

Also consider if your husband is in a depression, as this sounds as if that could be a factor.

Finally, you had no problem for five years, then got married, then there's an issue? Yep, something is wrong. And it may be that you and your husband are NOT on the same page with respect to kids. I'd suggest you have a heart to heart with him about this and you may find its a bigger issue than either of you thought. It would make perfect sense given the history you present.

Get out of this marriage. Went through it. ... It will ultimately end it for you..

Get out of this marriage. Went through it. ... It will ultimately end it for you..

His lack of interest in sex, and lack of solving this problem, is his to bear. He has the problem, not you. So he is the only one who could implement a solution. I am shocked that he would have the nerve to read you the riot act for flirting with another guy. Sounds pretty controlling. He is not taking care of your relationship and obviously he has no intentions to either. Maybe the platonic cuddles are just one more way he can remain comfortably in denial. Instead of wondering where your relationship went awry, or why he no longer is interested in sex, you might have a more productive time thinking about why you are attracted to this kind of relationship. From what you said it sounded like you've been in this situation with somebody else before. Maybe that is your ticket to avoiding this situation again in the future.

Having a baby is very dangerous at this juncture in the present case. But hey, one benefit to having a baby is that having regular romps drops very low in the todo list for both parties, far below catching up on sleep, nursing the sore back, cooking gruel, and picking up the toys.

You are right to be concerned that this has become an issue only 12 months into a marriage. However, the key to the issue is not the lack of sex but the unwillingness to communicate over this or other difficult or awkward subject matters. Classical avoidance techniques are all about conflict avoidance. How do you avoid conflict? Strictly walk away either literally or metaphorically as in your case.

If there is to be any hope at all you both need to learn to be able to discuss and negotiate over the most sensitive and undermining subject matters. I believe that it is a skill that has to be learnt, that it is not a natural skill. You also have to accept the possibility that your willingness to talk about it and his reluctance does not give you the higher moral ground. An ability to merely open one's mouth and let sounds utter forth in a way that may not be nuanced in a way to reflect the context and the sensitivities of any given situation is not much more of a move on from simply remaining schtum. One person maybe rants, raves, accuses, demands, the other stares back silently with a malevolent glare. I'm not saying that is you and your husband but it could so easily be. On that basis I would suggest that counselling for you both with a view to learning how to discuss sensitive matters between you and to negotiate and compromise without feeling that you are being backed into a psychological defence or that you are having psychological warfare declared on you. If you can cross that barrier it will serve you long into your life whether as an individual or as part of any sort of partnership.

I would further suggest that you park the pregnancy plans for the reasons others suggest here but also because it is not the main problem. You may feel under some sort of schedule pressure but the more you demonstrate that particular concern the worse the situation is just going to become.

Your husband feels that he has become part of a science project where he is required to simply make one ***** donation after another. He might as well hand it over in a jar. You possibly feel that you are part of that science project as well but that it has an important intrinsic purpose so that your husband has no valid reason to object to it any more than you. If you do think that you are wrong. The simple fact is that the putative process of both of you becoming parents has begun to alienate him in a big way, that he psychologically and emotionally can't objectively set to one side. It may well be that he feels that you are sending out signals that becoming pregnant and a mother is more important than being in a relationship with him and in being his partner. If that is the case, you have a serious problem on your hands.

This is all highly speculative but if you have not already examined the possibility I think it might well be overdue.

Good luck, whatever you do.

It seems the IVF coincides with the problems. Fertility treatments are very difficult and exhausting to go through for both parties involved. Emotional, draining, hormone upheavals. Might be time for a break?

Continued sexual rejection plays hell with your self esteem (more than you even suspect) and eventually this banging up of your self esteem invades your thinking and skews it into some pretty abnormal sruff.

You haven't quite taken on the whole thing as being "your fault" - - - yet. But that is what usually happens. And it is a looooong way back once you hit that point.

Your thinking at this stage seems pretty straight. You figure it is his issue (and you are right), that the issue threatens the marriage (right again), that you will seek sex beyond the marriage (correct again).

At this point it would seem smart to cease any further pregnancy attempts. Adding a kid into this dysfunctional situation would be disastrous (and do said kid no favours either). Hold well off on that until / unless this situation is sorted out.

Now, you need to challenge your thinking about whether 'sorting this out' is an achievable aim ? Particularly, keep in mind that you can only control YOUR part in any remedial action. You can't control HIS part in any way. The solution to HIS problems can only come from HIM. And HIM doing so willingly and enthusiastically - not by you hounding and chasing him.

Think long and hard on this. You know the dude, I don't.

On what you have written there are no signs whatsoever that he is likely to start acting differently than he has thus far done. That would indicate that the situation will not change.

Once you have thought this "is it salvagable" scenario through, then depending on the answer, you move on to another series of choices. That's a story for another day.

At this point, can you see him, honestly see him, being capable of the radical change of attitude / outlook / mindset that will be needed to pull this marriage out of the ditch ?? Can you see yourself waiting - in good faith without any resentment - if he decides to have a go ?? Can you see yourself having the ability to genuinely repress your needs and aspirations if he chooses not to try, or to not try very hard ??

Hard questions to ask yourself, and even harder choices to make.

This board might be able to shine a bit of light on the situation for you. It is there for the asking.

Tread your own path.

Bazz, I am impressed. I really really think you should start doing this professionally and help a lot of people.

He would have to go on the lecture circuit - he and enna together!

I know it is hard, but do not feel unattractive or undesireable because your husband refuses to have sex with you. This is his problem and not yours. So many of us have gone through the same feelings. What you need to do is figure out if this person was the right one for you. You are at the one year mark no kids to "force" you stay together for. That you made it to this board this early could be a huge help to you.

Read the stories here and see what your future holds should you not address this issue head on, and decide if you want this relationship to work. Unfortunately you are at an age where if you want kids you need to decide things rather quickly, and there was a story not too long ago where a women gave some insight into not pursuing having children and she regrets it. Do not let this happen to you.

Good luck.

Not that I've been through it, but I've heard many couples report that sex begins to feel like a science project once IVF is involved.

Still, it isn't nice, and not all couples experience that. I know me and hubs got a real kick out of making babies. It is even a joke, "Should we go make babies?" We found it exciting.

Nevertheless, I would stop what you are doing and take assessment before proceeding with children. This is a huge red flag, and good on you, that you got on this board to tell you story, so we can wave that big red flag in front of you!!!

I'm not even saying it isn't repairable, but with things like they are, with a communication break down is NO PLACE to start adding things like pregnancy or children to the mix. First order of business is get this communcation break down sorted, believe me as a mother of 2, you haven't even begun.

Take heed to the sign. Please. Don't become another statstic, with divorce, kids, and a story that begins with, I knew something was wrong in my frist year of marriage, but....

Don't go there. Just don't.

Be well with yourself.

Hi Rena, Sorry to hear such news. I hope you can reconnect with your husband.

I went through a phase like this with my soon to be wife, we have been together for 10 years now going on 11. For me sex/ love making became boring. Same same. For me I suspect if she was a little more adventurous I may have not lost interest. I think the sexiness of sex was lost. I did some soul searching just grew to accept it was the way it is with her.

I don't blame you looking although unintentionally accepting the advances or interest of other men, this is natural in the circumstances you've described. Be conscious of it when with your husband.

Good luck honey. I'm sure you're a beautiful woman that many a man would like to make love too.

Good luck.

You cannot lose love if you feel your love is lost then it was never there. It aeems thdat when you first try something and you find you like it...if you eat it everyday then it wont be such a pleasurable treat. That means change it...never take away buy add to it if not being turned on is his problem try something new if at all possible everu man has a fetish that many rarely get to act out ask him his. Take time to do something special something romantic or spontaneous and when or if you do let hime nbe the main event..

if your love candle has been blown out add some wax and a wick and set it on fire!