Sex & Romance
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Need perspective on sex issue

My husband and I have been together 11 years, married for 4. We have never had a fantastic sex life, but it was always decent / okay. Around 3 years ago, our sex life just died. Between June 06 and May 09 we had sex a total of three times. (Yes, you read that correctly.) I wasn't really okay with this, and would bring it up frequently. He would apologize, say he would fix it, go to the dr, etc, but he never did anything about it. I got tired of constantly being rejected by my husband, so I stopped bringing it up. We just didn't have sex anymore and never talked about it.

Things were far from perfect in the rest of our marriage, and all problems were just swept under the rug. Everything kinda exploded in the past month or so, we are seeing a counselor to work with our other issues, and he has taken total responsibility for the majority of the problems in our relationship (including the sex issue, which he attributes to severe performance anxiety and general laziness about maintaining our relationship).

We are trying to work out our problems, but now I find that, due to the constant rejection and lack of any kind of sexual relationship with my husband for the past several years, I no longer have any sexual attraction toward him. I care about him, he is my best friend, and now he is trying to initiate sex with me and I am SO not into it. I am going along with it, but I feel dread when I know it is coming, and I have to think about anything and everything else to get through it. It's like having sex with a total plutonic friend...no sparks or desire or anything.

I guess the major thing I am wondering is...is this feeling something I can get back? Is it possible for me to feel sexual attraction for my husband again after the wall that has been built up over the past few years?

And also...do you feel deep sexual attraction toward your husband, even after years and years of being together?

Any insight will be much appreciated. TIA.

Re: Need perspective on sex issue

  • From what I've seen and been around it is very difficult to get the spark back. It will take time and if you're wanting to make the effort- and he is ALSO seeking a sex-oriented therapist is usually most helpful. There are some products that you can try in private. Adam and eve dot com has a few intimate games to arouse each other, also some couples find exploring porn together can arouse them both.

    First I would choose conventional therapy and seek out why he's lost his interest sexually. Try to get some romantic-themed dinners, try to re-enter the intimate emotional state. 

    Best of luck.

  • I would assume that, because you are interested in counseling, you are not ready to give up. That asserts that there must be a deeper connection than just friendship, which is the main emotion you're getting right now. Remember, emotions are what we feel but not always are they TRUE. Just because we feel fat, stupid, like people are watching us, etc. doesn't mean that they actually are. Keep that in mind when working through this difficult time: just because you may not FEEL attracted RIGHT NOW (or even for a while in the past) does not mean it's GONE...it means it's lost at the present time. If you do still love him, which it sounds like you just might, I absolutely believe there is hope for you without porn or other techniques such as this. Some exercises might be useful, but don't allow any counselor to force you to do something you absolutely are against. Just be willing to slowly allow yourself to recognize something that you thought was gone.

    Jen (completing my MA in counseling - could you tell? :) )

  • I'm guessing (no MA degree in counselling here :-) that you built the wall to defend yourself from getting hurt during those years of rejection. The wall wasn't built overnight, so it may take just as long to bring it down.

    I'd advise you to keep having sex with your husband. Focus on the act and not the man for now. I think that with time, and continued professional help, you'll get some of your attraction back.

    I wouldn't expect red-hot lust. That tends to fade over time anyway. You know, the law of diminishing returns, and all. But I think it's reasonable to expect that you'll look forward to/initiate sex with him again.

    Good luck and kudos to you and your H for trying to work things out. I'm curious, though, did he ever see a physician?

    image

    I wrote this! 
  • Thanks for the insight, ladies.

    Yes, he did see a dr. Nothing is wrong with him physically...it's all been in his head. He says he feels like he was having performance issues (which, also, were all in his head, because I never had any problems with him), and then thinking about them so much and psyching himself out. Then he was just being lazy in maintaining our relationship all the way around, so he took on the "I'll worry about it tomorrow" attitude...and tomorrow never came.

    I am making every effort right now to be as excited about my man as possible, and giving it a lot of effort. I don't want to give up, but at the same time, I don't want to resign myself to a future with a man I love in every way, but feel no sexual attraction toward.

  • I agree with the PPs, that what you are feeling is a coping mechanism. You need to admit to yourself and your husband that you felt rejected. Your repsonse to that rejection was to turn off the emotional/sexual connection to husband. For most women, sexuality is deeply tied to both emotions and self-esteem. You need to be more assertive with how you feel. From your posts (I know I don't know how you live in real life) you seem passive. Get in touch with how you really feel about this. Then you can pinpoint the area in which YOU need to work on to bring the spark back. I think it can come back, but you need to put in the effort to examine yourself and you feelings about what has happened in your marriage. Not just "get through it". It seems like for three years when he didnt want sex you said "oh well HE doesnt want it, i guess I will give up". Now three years later, he has taken responsibility for his part, and you haven't responsbility for your part (ie, letting it go so long without addressing your needs). And you are expecting that those feeling that you kept bottled up will just dissipate. You need to address your feelings then I think that you can move closer to your husband.
  • KSKimKSKim member
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Comments Combo Breaker

    I don't want to rub salt in your wound but I want to be honest.  My DH and I have been together for 13 years (I'm only 28 so you do the math) and married for 3.  We have only been with each other.  We still have the passion and attraction.  Yeah, it's not as hot as it was 10 years ago but I still want to have sex with him and he with me.  We have never gone more than a week without sex. 

    It is possible to get that back.  I did get in a rut where I didn't really want to but I did anyway because I knew it was important to him.  Then I found out the more you have sex, the more you want it.  It's your hormones and his.  He will build up a level of testosterone and keep it high and so will you.  I know it is hard but do like someone else said, have sex for sex and worry about the man afterward. 

  • Is he doing anything to romance you? That's one of the things in the beginning of a relationship that produces such strong attraction. Let him know he needs to show his love to you with small romantic gestures. I think the real reason you don't feel any sexual desire is that you aren't secure emotionally. It will take time and effort on his part to build that back up.
  • To bring spark back to your bedroom, bond outside of your bedroom too! Part of what makes me excited to have sex with my DH is going on a real date, trying something new together, or watching him do something in which he excels. He was a hockey player while we were in school, so watching him skate while I fumble along really makes him more attractive. I agree with the other Nesties, continue to have sex with your husband but also initiate more intimate interactions that aren't sexual.

    ?

    I hope everything works out.?

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