Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Long term support over the journey / My wife isn't the least bit interested in sex and I am taking it personally. Should I?

Topic: My wife isn't the least bit interested in sex and I am taking it personally. Should I?

  1. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    13 April 2015

    Hey guys. I am hoping I am not the only guy in this boat... my wife never wants to have sex with me. We are still relatively young (I am 30 and she is 29) and we have been married 4 years, been together about ten. We used to have a pretty active sex life but it has gone dormant since we had kids about 3 years ago. She always says she is tired and makes excuses like she can't be bothered or other trivial things. And she never comes on to me. I always have to initiate it and I feel rejected and horrible when she knocks me back.

    Being depressed and having low self esteem probably makes it seem worse, but I take it pretty badly being knocked back and going without sex for months. I feel maybe she isn't attracted to me or in love with me anymore but she denies this. I don't know what to think anymore. Any thoughts anyone?

     

    5 people found this helpful
  2. CrashCoyote
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CrashCoyote avatar
    640 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven1,

    Your situation is difficult and it may be hard to get responses for fear of criticism. Lucky for me, I am addressing you, not every person with an opinion that can read this, so here goes.

    Such a situation happens to both men and women and can have many causes. It could be a form or depression. Women can be very critical of their bodies and can feel ugly after childbirth. Remember, we are talking about their perceptions, not their reality, and your interest in her may just feel like you are being patronising.

    Alternately, (although unlikely by the sound of it) she may really have lost interest in you or being seeing someone else. The possibilities are numerous and I do not have the information to make even an informed guess! You just do not know and she may not even know why she feels this way.

    The difficulty, I think, is that in relationships we tend to meet a number of needs of our partner. Some emotional, some physical, some financial et cetera. When that situation changes, two things happen. One is that it creates confusion for the other partner. The other is that the needs still exist.

    Can I suggest you tell you wife that the situation is causing emotional and physical difficulties for you and clearly you did not sign up to have no physical relationship for the rest of your life? Then ask her if the two of you can see a counsellor together to try and draw out the underlying issue, which obviously isn't the physical act but the emotion behind it?

    The reality is that this will continue to harm your relationship until it is addressed.

    Kind regards, John.

  3. Cymru
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Cymru avatar
    65 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to Steven1
    I wonder if you've read Bettina Arndt's The Sex Diaries. I found it helpful to hear how others thought about such situation. There isn't any simple answer ... I imagine you'll hear that "no one is obliged to have sex" and "its your role to make your partner feel sensual" or "you're responsible for your sex life."  "Oh, and there is the view that one ought to sexually fulfill their partner if they aren't to go elsewhere." The Passionate marriage is another good book. There is also that folk become ill or tired, but given support they'll eventually come through. I doubt that ... you do need to do something, but only you can decide. Relationships are constant work - at least in my experience. You at least need to talk about what you've said here.And at time without distraction or when she is tired. Creating such a time can be hard enough. Failing anything else; book a child minder and take her to the Japanese bath house of an afternoon... take the Shiatsu package and don't mention where you are going. This will either break or make the relationship ... you'll at least have a good laugh. 
  4. Pixie15
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Pixie15 avatar
    721 posts
    14 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven1,

    Thought I would just offer this one thought in response to your post. There is an old saying and I am not sure where I first heard it but it goes something like "men need to have sex to feel loved and women need to feel loved to have sex". I know these days it may seem like an old fashioned gender stereotype but it might help to think about ways to show her love rather than asking for sex. 

    thanks,

    Pixie.

    8 people found this helpful
  5. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13246 posts
    15 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    dear Steven, OK this is going to be a sensitive topic, but it's one that needs to be discussed, because the repercussions could easily lead to getting depression or adding to it, and it's NO slant on anybody who responds or who is a continual member on this site, so please it's not directed at anybody only from what Steven has said and those who reply back to him.

    I have written many paragraphs only to delete them all, so I'm proceeding slowly, but I too have heard what Pixie says "men need to have sex to feel loved and women need to feel loved to have sex", however I can really relate to what Steven has said.

    I have no answers for you Steven, I wish I did, because nothing I did could entice or encourage our sex life to be healthy, and amongst all the s****t that happened there were plenty of periods that we were happy, mostly to no avail. Geoff.

  6. BeingHuman
    BeingHuman avatar
    2 posts
    15 April 2015

    Hi Steven, as previously mentioned it's obviously a delicate, complex subject. Complex as it involves you, your wife and the way you interact...on top of your greater environment! Trying to provide accurate advice is very tricky. I'm 40, male and have been married for 6 years. I love my wife however I will not deny the sex life has dwindled away a fair bit...without yet having kids! :-/

    What actions have you taken to change things? Aside from your own vulnerabilities feeling depressed, how does your depression affect your relationship? Would she like more sex in the relationship? (she's not going after it but this doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't wish to be desiring it) If yes, can you work together on it? Maybe it's something else within your relationship she seeks that will follow through with a better sex life?

    Roll your sleeves up, sit down with her, get open and start communicating. Learn more about what she needs, learn more about what you need and what you guys as a team need. Let her know that you need her, express that vulnerability.

    All that said, I mean to pose those questions in the gentlest way and I have no idea just how much you communicate so forgive any pre judged sounding comments! I think you would have a huge percentage of the population out there relating in some way or another to your issue. You're not alone!! 

     

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    15 April 2015 in reply to BeingHuman

    Hello again everyone. Thanks to all of you that have replied and made useful comments, suggestions and some good advice.

    I am 99% sure that my wife is not having an affair. I trust her with my life and she has no male friends or even contact with any men (that I know of anyway). She also doesn't seem that interested in other men!

    I think the comments about her not liking her own body are on the mark. She has pretty low self esteem and thinks she is fat when she isn't. She never says anything positive about her body so I am thinking that must be contributing heavily to her loss of interest in sex. And more so especially after childbirth.

    She is pretty fragile at the moment and I am not pushing her. I don't want to feel selfish and I hope you that are reading are not getting a picture of someone that is only interested in sex. That isn't what I am saying. I just feel like we have drifted apart and the lack of physical contact doesn't help (it looks like I am a man that needs sex to feel loved)... I had never heard that saying before but I guess it makes sense.

    2 people found this helpful
  8. CrashCoyote
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CrashCoyote avatar
    640 posts
    15 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven1,

    I guess all of our well meaning theories are neither here nor there, really. The common thread is, as mentioned a few times, is communication. It is the one thing that will make or break any relationship.

    I understand that she is vulnerable but please don't let her shut you down when it comes to communication as in the meanwhile your relationship will deteriorate further.

    Maybe set yourself little goals or a timetable? Tell yourself you wish to at least discuss it with her within the next month and if the opportunity hasn't arisen or she has rejected your attempts at communication, you may need to be a little more insistent that you guys talk.

    I don't feel you are just interested in sex. There has been a massive shift in a relationship dynamic between you two and it will change things. Imagine if you left your job and stopped providing financially without giving a reason why or showing interest in getting income elsewhere. I'm not saying sex is the same as working, I am saying that a major and unexplained change has occurred in your relationship and you are allowed to ask why.

    You need to realise that if she is suffering depression or anxiety she will be reluctant to face it. No different to any other mental health issue. I think you should ask yourself where you expect to be in your relationship in, say, six months if some lines of communication haven't been opened by then?

    Kind regards, John.

  9. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    19 April 2015 in reply to CrashCoyote

    Hi again everyone. I had a talk with my wife about how I have been feeling and tried to express myself as best as I could but it didn't come out the way I wanted it to and she just fobbed it off again.

    She said sex isn't on her "list of priorities" at the moment. She minimised the fact that we have virtually no sex life, saying it has been due to the pregnancy and the birth, although it has been going on a lot longer than that. She said we will have sex again, when she is ready. I have no idea when that will be and by the sounds of it neither does she.

    I told her that I am not going to initiate anything because I don't like being rejected and I am going to wait for her. I think I might be waiting a long time.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. pipsy
    pipsy avatar
    2255 posts
    19 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven, another thought springs to mind re: your situation.  You've had 3 kids.  Did she have easy pregnancies each time.  What about the births?  Is it possible, she's 'sore' there.  Sometimes lack of Eostrogen can 'dry' a woman, making sex painful.  Embarrassment can lead to her not wanting or being able to discuss it.   Even discussing it with a G.P is difficult, especially if it's a male G.P.  Myself, I'm 64 and have no interest either, mainly due to being an incest victim/survivor, if your wife had  difficult pregnancies or birth, this will put her off like nothing else.  The thought of sex scares her.  Maybe she is just tired because having kids can wear you out.  How old are the kids?  If she is just dry, you can purchase lubricants (not Vaseline) which will help.  Again, a G.P is your best bet.  Maybe a Gyneacologist, you can get a referral through your G.P.

    Best of luck.

    Regards Pipsy.

  11. emdan
    emdan avatar
    2 posts
    19 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    I just wanted to say, "you're not alone"... I think this situation comes up a lot.  It still doesn't mean it's easy to deal with.

     My sex life is in the same boat.  I'm attracted to my wife, and would love to be intimate with her at least once a week.  But my wife would probably go 6-12 months or more without reaching towards me.

    Having to "make the move" every time, in a hundred different sensitive ways.. is exhausting.. and works away at your own self esteem.  You wonder what it is about you, that is fundamentally so unattractive.

    Dan Savage is worth looking up, his podcasts speak very frankly about sex and relationships.  He is very practical.  His point is generally that a relationship is an ongoing conversation, it doesn't have to be one type or the other, as long as it works.  But if its not working, it needs to be talked about.

    What I feel for you, is that your wife is neglecting a fundamental way that you gain acceptance and self-worth.  If your wife was complaining that you never compliment her, and you continued to refuse to do so... its a similar neglect.  

     What Dan Savage points out, and I think is a very good point, is it doesn't have to be about penis-vagina sex, I presume what you really want is a sexual kind of attention.. not just in-out thankyou mam.  That conversation is hard, and I'm certainly not there yet with my partner.

     Dan Savage even suggests that you might remain committed to the relationship, but agree to seek sex outside the marriage.  That seems a radical concept to me, but I understand where he is coming from.  It's a very practical idea that might just work if everyone agreed.

     I hope you find some of these thoughts useful.

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    24 April 2015 in reply to emdan

    Thanks emdan. I know I am not the only one in this situation but it is nice to actually hear that other people are going through the same thing.

    My wife would never agree to me having sex with other people. I mentioned it to her a long time ago and she shut it down. I understand why though.

    You are right, I am not just interested in quick "in and out" sex, but want the intimacy involved in actually making love. Lately we never even kiss, hold hands or anything.

    The other day she sent me an sms and called me her sexy hubby. I said to her that made me feel good and would love it if she would pay me compliments like that more often. She said she will but I guess I will just have to wait and see. She never says stuff like that normally. I think she is sensing that I am feeling lonely and unloved.

    Thanks for your post too Pipsy. We actually have 2 kids. We have two sons, aged 3 and 6 weeks. Yes she is tired and I understand that, however our sex issues have been going on far longer than during her pregnancy and since baby came along. Her first pregnancy was a natural birth and she recovered well. The most recent one was a caessarian. I understand that there is a period of recovery involved after a c section.

  13. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8003 posts
    24 April 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven,

    My husband had testicular cancer over 10 years ago. To cut a long story short, he never recovered his sex drive, even when using Viagra and all kinds of medications and aids.

    Our sex life stopped. He told me that if he was unable to have sex, then why should I have any pleasure! That is the way it has been. We don't even hold hands anymore, let alone kiss or cuddle. He doesn't even like me to sit next to him on the lounge.

    I have tried talking to him over the years, but he says there is nothing to discuss. I feel that he just pushes me away all of the time and then he wonders why I feel depressed and lonely.

    End of last year I had a breakdown and ended up in hospital for 2 weeks. I told him I wanted a divorce, that I wanted to leave. He told me we would work things out.

    We went to a couple's counsellor once and he thought that was enough. Nothing was really addressed. I am still here, because on my wage I can't afford to live alone. We are in a region where houses take years to sell so that isn't much of an option and neither of us can afford to pay each other out. So we are stuck. Well at least I feel like I am stuck.

    I know it is more than the sex and intimacy. We all need to feel like we are loved and wanted, respected and cared for.

    Maybe your wife needs some TLC as well. Compliment her, give her a little hug and a kiss on the cheek. Rest your hand on her leg while you are watching t.v. Have contact, but don't make it sexual and see how that goes.

    Cheers for now from Mrs Dools

     

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    6 May 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi again everyone. Nothing has changed and I am becoming more and more frustrated and depressed at just how plain and boring my relationship with my wife has become. I feel we are like two friends living together and looking after two small children. There is no intimacy at all. It has been about 5 months now since we have had sex and the longer it goes on the more isolated and lonely I feel. Don't know what to do.

     

  15. July
    July avatar
    218 posts
    6 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven,

    I can imagine the frustration you feel with your wife, yes she has just had a baby and the job of caring for two little ones is draining, and I think, as I am a mother to sometimes you feel that you are caring all day for others  and you just want to be left alone to relax, but her withdrawal of even affection is soul destroying, and of course you feel  rejected and unloved, thats a normal feeling, anyone would feel the same way.

    You guys are young  and should be enjoying a healthy active sex life , babies and all, if my husband and I wanted sex I would just put the baby in the cot, safe and sound  and enjoy ourselves ,if the baby started crying oh well.... they can wait a few minutes hey, sexual release makes you feel so much better and relaxed and its good for your mental and physical well being, so I made time for it , I didn't just do it for my husband I did it for myself.

    Maybe you could get someone to mind the kids, go out for dinner and relax and talk, sometimes the day to day problems get in the way and  we forget about ourselves and our relationship and just to be the two of you, to re connect as a couple, see how that goes, she might feel better to , some time out.

    I'm sure if you went outside your marriage for sex, yes you would get that pleasure but at what cost.... is it going to be worth it ? but thats up to you and how long you are willing to wait, I can understand if you did though we all have our breaking points.

    Its also the human connection we miss, the touch , the caress, the feeling of being wanted and desired  all completely natural,  the end result is just a bonus.

    I wish you good luck, don't blame yourself though, I'm sure she still loves you but has just forgotten how to get that feeling back ,so give her a few reminders .

    Take care

    July


  16. Jemimah
    Jemimah avatar
    1 posts
    6 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hey Steven1

    You sound like a really kind and caring person who really is unsure what the best thing to do is. I can only share my story.

    I am only now realising how hard it has been for my husband over our 22 year marriage. I love him now more than ever but I found things so hard when we had children - through absolutely no fault of his. My love for him never waned. I did not want him to touch me. There's a million reasons for this, the majority of which coming from me. I was resentful that his life hadn't changed much, but mine did. His career started to take off and mine had become terribly stagnant - it was my choice to stay at home and later return to work on a part time basis. I don't regret any of those decisions. I kind of felt used because I felt like I was doing something for someone else all day. I lost enjoyment in everything. And yes, years later depression was diagnosed and things are so much better now. I also read The 5 Love Languages which helped me realise that how I expressed my love for him was different to how he expressed his love for me. He read the book too.

    So in our case - it was no-one's fault. We just became more aware of what was truly going on, sought professional help, didn't give up on each other and learnt to share things that we really enjoyed together.

    It ain't easy being married, even when you love them, find them attractive, love your children.

    Good luck Steven1. The real world of marriage is the one you create - whatever that turns out to be.

    Sophie

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    10 May 2015 in reply to Jemimah
    Thanks July and Jemimah for your posts. I appreciate your support and advice. I am thinking that I might book in to see a counsellor. I get up to 6 free sessions through work. My past experience with counselling hasn't been great but I haven't got anything to lose so I may as well give it a go.
  18. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8003 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven1,

    Hopefully the counselling will be beneficial.

    I'm wondering how Mother's Day was in your house?

    Have you tried pampering your wife and making her feel like a princess? Is there any one who could take the children for a half day so you can have the time together?

    My husband has totally repelled me from his life and does not like any physical touch at all. It has shattered my heart to think our marriage has come to this, so I do understand a bit about how you are feeling.

    Let me know if the counsellor comes up with some hints and suggestions!

    Cheers from Mrs. Dools

  19. Alice in Wonderland
    Alice in Wonderland avatar
    6 posts
    11 May 2015

    Hi Steven1,

    I stumbled across your post and am so glad I did. You are definitely not alone! My husband is in the same boat as you and I am in a similar position to your wife (though we only have an 18 month old boy at this stage). We are the same age as you and have been married for 10 years, together for 12. The similarities were kind of freaky as I read through your original post. I had to finish reading it to make sure it wasn't my husband posting this! 

    I feel really sorry for you, just as I do for my husband. I don't have answers, but am hoping that by sharing my thoughts you might get the same kind of insight into your wife's perspective as I got into my husband's perspective through reading your post.

    I gather that in the last 5 months that you haven't had sex your wife has been heavily pregnant and in the postnatal period. I can say that it gets pretty uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy, apart from how absolutely exhausted she must be feeling chasing a toddler and now caring for a newborn as well. I can imagine your frustration, but she needs your support, understanding and patience to get her through this time with her sanity intact.

     

  20. Alice in Wonderland
    Alice in Wonderland avatar
    6 posts
    11 May 2015

    My husband is a fantastic support and gets up at night, shares chores whenever he's home etc., but I still felt absolutely exhausted until my baby was 10 months old and slept through most nights. We probably had sex once or twice a month in that time (and have only just started stepping it up further) because I knew how important it was in a relationship, not because I ever felt like it.

    I want to say that I absolutely love him and am so grateful that he is the father of my child, but I just don't feel like having sex most of the time since I've had my baby. We don't have time for it in the morning before our baby wakes up and by the time we get around to it at night I'm usually too exhausted and just want to crawl into bed to SLEEP. I find it hard to get myself in the mood because I'm just thinking about how soon I can get to bed and what I need to do to make that happen. I don't feel like being physically active when I'm that tired and I have constant lists running through my head about all the things I have to do as a mother and 'house keeper'.

    Being a mother in the early years can be all consuming and it's really hard to switch from being 'mum' to 'wife' and especially 'lover'. I'm not justifying it and I think if it goes on too long it will be extremely detrimental to the relationship, but I'm trying to explain how it feels to be wanted in so many different ways (physical, emotional, sexual, practical) by different people. Your 'me time' becomes showering and going to the toilet with the door closed if you're lucky! 

    I totally understand you feeling like you are just house mates looking after your kids because I often feel the same way. I just wasn't sure what to do about it because I really felt like the problem was with me. I wanted to change the dynamic and bring the romance back, but I honestly just didn't like him touching me, kissing me or giving me any physical affection. The exception was hugging, and especially snuggling in bed at night. This brought me comfort and helped me feel safe and loved without the pressure of sex or romance. 

     

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Alice in Wonderland
    Alice in Wonderland avatar
    6 posts
    11 May 2015

    So much of it is all in my head and I am trying really hard to work on myself and just do the physical affection thing sometimes, even when I don't feel like it. I have a suspicion that my low libido could also be hormone related (as a result of all the hormones of pregnancy, breastfeeding etc.) and will be talking to my GP about that soon.

    I spoke to my mother's group about this and many of them said they are too tired and hardly ever do it. One couple has started having sex as soon as they put their baby to bed at night so they are not too tired. I'm going to try that next. Another said that she doesn't miss sex unless they are having it regularly to begin with. I can definitely relate as I generally enjoy sex and never regret having it, but it's still not enough to make me want it the next time without really convincing myself that I will enjoy it. Lots of us also found that sex was a bit uncomfortable after having a baby and it took a long time to get better (largely hormone related). I will be talking to my GP about that too, though it's definitely better now than the first 6 months or so after birth.

    She probably knows it's a problem and probably feels really bad about it like I do, but there are so many demands of her at this stage, she might not have anything left in the tank for you at the end of the day, other than being civil and practically helping each other. It won't last forever or be an excuse forever, but can I reiterate that she needs your patience, comfort and affirmation (you are likely the only one in a position to comment on how good a job she is doing and your supportive words mean a lot) at this time. 

    I think talking to a counsellor is a great idea for you and hopefully they can give you some ideas about how you could approach this with your wife, and when the time might be right to do that, and what you could change about yourself in the meantime (though not blaming you at all).

    I really hope that you find a counsellor who can listen and offer some advice. It can be hard to find one who suits you, but it's definitely worth giving it a go.

    I hope this has been helpful and I will let you know if I think of anything else that might be useful to know. Hang in there and definitely don't have an affair in the meantime (can't believe people even suggested that!). 

    3 people found this helpful
  22. Jacko777
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jacko777 avatar
    781 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to Alice in Wonderland

    Hi Steven1,

    It is great you have started this thread, many will benefit. I don't have more to say except, I know exactly how you are feeling, I have experienced the same thing. It's a bit of a roller coaster, am I worthy, has she stopped loving me, it is a challenge to find some compromise.

    One thing I have learnt, you cannot control anyone else, only your self. In my case my partner had several events and mental health issues that combined to turn her off sex. So essentially, I'm not going to pressure a unwell person to do it, that would be very wrong. 

    So it has become a personal challenge, to be happy to be with my partner, without (much) sex. It's not her fault and it's not mine. I have had to take a look at myself to know that I am desirable and I constantly have to ensure I am doing the things that I know are right, like all the other forms of intimacy, without any expectation. It's not easy but you have to stay true to yourself. Try and shift your focus to the things that your wife will do, reassign some importance and value to these things.

    Did you get to the counseling sessions? A professional view will really help you right now. 

    Jacko

  23. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to Alice in Wonderland

    Thankyou so much for your posts Alice in Wonderland. You have given me a really good insight into the female perspective. I think that my wife is feeling very much the same way. I know she is definitely exhausted and has no time or energy for sex. What I need to do is to find a way of not beating myself up about it!

    I feel very guilty at the moment (about everything). For example, yesterday was mother's day and I really wanted to spoil my wife and have a nice day together and as a family but it didn't happen. I had to work.... I am a shift worker and work weekends and all kinds of hours. Yesterday I started work at 615 in the morning so I was up at 5am. Didn't get to get her brekky in bed or anything like that. Worked until half past one then had to swing by and see my own mother for mother's day. It was 4pm by the time I got home.

    She had been home all day with the kids and was exhausted and irritable by the time I got home (I don't blame her at all) as our 3 year old is being a little terror at the moment. We had planned to go to Fremantle for dinner and take the kids to the park but she was too tired and said it was too late. Then we planned to have a picnic at a local park but they were burning off yesterday and it was smoked out so we ended up staying home and having takeaway. It was such an ordinary day. And I blamed myself for it. By 8pm she had gone to bed. Think that answers your post Mrs Dools. It certainly wasn't the day I had in mind.

    I try and be as supportive and helpful as I can but feel guilty even going to work and leaving her. I know someone has to work and earn an income but I feel like she needs me at home to cope. I do a lot of housework - dishes, vacuuming, washing, the gardens, pool the pets and help with the kids. But I still feel like it isn't enough.

    We have had a few cuddles and kisses but I certainly don't make it sexual or put any pressure on her. I am pretty sensitive, even though it may sound like all I care about is sex. That is not the case.

    Jacko thanks for your post too. Haven't seen the counsellor yet. Which reminds me - I might ring and make an appointment. I think a professional's perspective might really help.

  24. pipsy
    pipsy avatar
    2255 posts
    12 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steve.  You poor thing.  You had it all planned so nicely then everything that could go wrong, did.  Talk about Murphy's Law.  I'm sure your wife doesn't blame you, if she does 'lash' out, it's probably just that she's worn out and needs to 'vent' and you just happened to be there.  My hubby was a shift worker too, so my heart goes out to you.  Could your or her mum help out with the kids, or won't they stay with anyone but you and mum.  Kids can be 'clingy' at such a young age.  Try not to feel guilty about circumstances beyond your control.  I'm a great believer that when things are meant to be, they'll be without any 'force', for lack of another word, on our part.  Some day you'll look back on these days and say 'remember when'.  3 year olds can be holy terrors, nothing seems to work when you're tired.  If your wife wants to cry from sheer frustration and tiredness, you're right to 'be there' and try to let her know she's loved.  You're a warm, supportive husband.  I'm sure she knows and appreciates this.  Even if she doesn't seem to acknowledge it, I know one day, she will.

    Best of luck with the counciling, too.

     

  25. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8003 posts
    12 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Hi Steven1,

    So Mother's Day didn't work out as you had hoped or as you had planned.

    Maybe you could do all of those things you had wanted to do on another day.

    I'm hoping your wife will appreciate it even if it is not happening on the dedicated "Mother's Day".

    It sounds like you are trying hard to help in any way you can.

    My husband worked shift work hours for decades so I know that can be disruptive to a "normal" life style.

    Try to make another occasion a special day. Tell your wife it is a  day just for her and she doesn't have to share it with any other mother.

    Hope it works for you.

    Cheers, from Mrs. Dools

  26. LostNotFound
    LostNotFound avatar
    5 posts
    16 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Steven1, wow that was like reading about my own situation. Like you, I understand the stresses that she is under, but it is so difficult when your needs are being placed on the waiting list.

    As you said, it's not so much the sexual activity, it's that need to feel desired. I'm glad I signed up, because if nothing else your story has made me realise that I'm not the only one going through that mental torment.

    It's a difficult road but we're not alone, without knowing you or your wife, one suggestion I have, as difficult as it may be, is tell her this is something you need.

    If you're like me then all of the other suggestions that have been made are things you just naturally do.

    Good luck with the counselling, maybe once you've been a couple times you can get your wife to join you.

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    17 May 2015 in reply to LostNotFound

    Thanks LostNotFound. And thanks to everyone that has posted. Has been good having you all here and being able to vent to people who understand and are supportive.

    I had another talk with my wife the other night while we were in bed. I did tell her that sex was important to me and not just about the act of it but nothing has changed. We still have opportunities come up with alone time and I think about sex but I can tell she isn't thinking about it. She gets on facebook or goes online shopping or researches baby stuff or plays with her phone. We kissed passionately the other day and I told her I missed her and wanted her. But when the kids went to bed she didn't do anything. I have given up initiating anything now because I don't want to be seen as desperate. I only want it if she does.

    I am booked in to see the counsellor on Wednesday. I am not expecting any ground breaking suggestions or advice but I just want to get it all off my chest and have someone to listen. My biggest criticism of counsellors in the past is that they don't listen. They seem to see you as just another person with a story they have heard before and start firing out suggestions like exercise more etc - they think they know your case and just tell you what to do.

    Anyway I will keep you posted. Thanks again guys (and girls)

    Steven

  28. GSPowner
    GSPowner  avatar
    2 posts
    19 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    Lack of sex can sometimes be a sign of the wife being down on herself/struggling with hormones but I think it can also be a sign of (fixable) relationship problems such as a lack of communication and lack of appreciation.

    I think the fact she's not given any timeline for sex or much of an explanation is a sign there might be some relationship issues at play. 

    I think it's really good you are working on the communication side of things by raising the sex issue with her, that is a difficult talk to have. I wonder though, perhaps you could start with neutral topics like the weather, news and your and her day instead?  

    Maybe in a while when you're a bit more reconnected, it might be natural to talk about heavier issues like how she is feeling emotionally, and sex. 

    From what you've said, it sounds like you  didn't see your wife on Mother's Day morning much/at all, and then you went straight to your mum's when you finished work, and stayed there for a few hours. I wonder how your wife felt about this?

    Obviously you can't help your shift work but is there any chance she expected/hoped that you'd come home to her straight away, to help her with the kids and to be there for mother's day? Her comment that it was "too late" for dinner makes me wonder. 

    I also wonder whether she might not have realised your plans for mother's day and needed to see something more concrete happen - for example, did you buy her some nice breakfast ingredients beforehand given you couldn't make her breakfast? Had you already bought and packed the picnic ingredients? Did you buy her flowers or a gift?

    I might be off the mark here but I just think its sometimes to easy to complicate things and it might be worth looking at the basics of your relationship first. 

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Steven1
    Steven1 avatar
    65 posts
    19 May 2015 in reply to GSPowner

    Hi gs powner. Thanks for your post. You make some good points there. I agree with you that we do have some relationship issues. I think there is a lot that is not being said by my wife.

    We do talk about everyday things like how our day is and the weather so I'm not sure what you are getting at there. We don't walk around not talking to one another. 

    In regards to mothers day you are right in saying I wasn't the best prepared. And I'm not very romantic so I'm guessing that didn't go down well. I'm not making excuses but with my depression I have found it very difficult to plan things and get organised. I should have put a lot more effort in than I did. I feel very guilty about seeing my mum too. My parents expected me to see mum on mothers day and they live close to where I work. It's half an hour drive plus from home and that is why I went there first. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have done that. I got really stressed in the lead up to mothers day with working out how I was going to juggle work, visiting my mum and spending time with my wife. I find it hard saying no and being assertive but I really should have nicely said to my parents I couldn't make it on mothers day.

    Thanks again for your post. Gives me a few things to think about and raise with the counsellor tmrw too. I may also apologize somehow to my wife tonight. 

     

  30. GSPowner
    GSPowner  avatar
    2 posts
    22 May 2015 in reply to Steven1

    I didn't mean to suggest you don't walk around not talking at all (although it's not so easy with kids around). Just that it seems she might not be talking so much about the things that are bothering her and that it might benefit to try and create more opportunities to generally talk more to see if that helps get things out.

    If it helps you to know, the Mother's Day mother vs wife dilemma plays out in a lot of households I think, so you are not alone in trying to balance it!  

    I think it's not easy to say no to parents because we do tend to assume their requests are reasonable because we believe parents always out their children first and would never act selfishly.

    I guess something to think about is, if you had been the parent here, and you were acting in the best interests of your son, what would you have told your son to do in these circumstances, knowing he was working and his wife was at home with young children? 

    I hope your discussion with your wife went well. 

     

     

     

     

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up