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Post Baby Sex Life
(or lack thereof)


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#1 AnonDad

Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:39 PM



Hi guys (though not sure how many guys are actually on here as this Dad's section isn't very active with posts),

Would like to hear from other guys about how successful they were in getting back into a healthy sex life after kids.  My wife and I have 2 children (one and a half, and two and a half years old).  I love my wife, she is beautiful, smart, caring, and a great Mum.  She is back to her pre-pregnancy weight, and though there are some changes (bigger boobs, thicker waist, slightly rearranged down there) She is still super sexy.  Actually I think she is more attractive now than before we had kids.  I tell her this nearly everyday.  

Sadly, her libido has never returned though.  We had been together 5 or 6 years before the children so were already well past the heady days of those first 6 to 12 months, and probably had sex 2-3 times a week leading up to falling pregnant.  Nowdays we would have sex maybe once a month, and that is mostly through a sense of obligation on her part.  I don't think she has initiated anything (even so much as a passionate kiss) in these last 3 years.
It's not even the sex I miss to be honest, more the intimacy, and wanting to feel desired (other than as just a paycheck and an extra pair of hands).  Everytime we have a serious talk about it, she cries and tells me how much she still loves me too, and that it's not me it's her, and lists the reasons we didn't have sex during the last month (too tired, kids were sick, not feeling well, dirty saucepan left in the sink, etc etc), she'll make an effort the next day and then nothing until we argue about it again.

She clearly has poor body image/self esteem issues post baby - but I don't know how to fix that or what to do about it.  I really don't want to be unfaithful to my wife but with this mismatched libido with no end in sight I can't see how this is going to end well.  Any help would be much appreciated...





#2 ubermum

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:09 PM

I know this is the dads section, but some of this may help you.

As a woman, I need my partner to be sensitive in the whole house, not just the bedroom if we are going to be intimate. All those little things that annoy me that he does he seems to forget about as he shuts the bedroom door. Sadly, it is the little things that add to my tiredness, my frustration and ultimately decrease my libido. That dirty saucepan he left in the sink is one of those things that would bug me, and would ultimately have put me off for the night. Similarly when I have cleaned the bathroom and he decides to do a major tidy up so as he can get a bit. He will shave and do his hair, but will leave whiskers in the sink, a towel on the floor, toothpaste on the mirror and water on the bench. It spoils it. While you may feel like you are often appreciated for not much more than your pay cheque, women at home can feel like what they do is expected, but they never get to leave work. Then someone comes home and not only contributes to our workload by not helping or cleaning up after themselves, but they also want their piece of you.

Try to spend a bit of time being intimate without sex. I would kill for a massage from my partner, but I know that is never going to happen unless he gets a happy ending or he will do it for 5 minutes and start massaging the bits he wants to touch rolleyes.gif . If he put more effort in with those types of things, I would want to put more effort into giving him what he wants. I want more intimacy, not necessarily sex. If we had more intimacy, I know that my body image and self esteem would be better and things would probably flow on from there. Maybe your wife is the same. To give you a sports analogy, you are focussing on the main game, without putting much effort into basic training drills. It's all important.

Try being intimate with your wife without having sex for a week or two. Do extra things to help her, give her a massage, all the things that you would normally do to try and turn her on when you want sex. Then when you would normally make your play, give her a kiss and just cuddle. I guarantee that after a week or two, she will probably be gagging for it.

#3 TwiceTheWoman

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:09 PM

Sorry OP, am not a male and don't mean to gate-crash your thread; just wanted to say that reading your post seems so sad as it comes across that neither of you want to be in this space, but soooooo many of us reading this would be able to relate to where you are right now.
No doubt there'll be lots of good suggestions here but I do think a good one is the book "The Five Languages of Love" by Gary Chapman.  It makes you realise that your partner may have a totally different benchmark for hearing and seeing the "I love you" signals in your everyday life.
My husband bought me a deluge of flowers and other gifts and told me what a great job I was doing (Words of Affirmation) but my love language by a long shot is "Acts of Service".  If only he could have used his initiative to do do things around the house and for the children without being constantly asked - that it itself was a massive libido dampener.
The book is by no means a be-all of post baby intimacy, but it is a great insight for any relationship.  Be reassured, many of us have seen the early "drought" years post babies and have lived to tell the tale still together and enjoy each other just as much - albeit in a different way, than B.C. (before children).
It's hard to explain that you can love your husband to pieces, yet not want him touching you sexually.  Honestly, with little ones all over your body all day, it's easy to feel all touched out by bedtime and feel that your partner is just another person wanting a bit of you.  It's a difficult time for both and it seems from your post that you're a loving, bring partner and probably get all that.

Having said all that, if there is any way you could organise a special weekend away for the two of you - somewhere you know she would love to go, would be a good start.  Give her a massage without venturing into personal territory or intimating that you want more.  Don't pressure her about intimacy but don't be stingy with your attention towards her....... you may be surprised what unfolds.  
Wishing you all the best, it has been a long and difficult phase for you both original.gif

Edited to add: sorry, didn't get a chance to see previous post before publishing mine - so it's interesting that several of the points overlap. Ubermum expresses so well how many women feel. The domestic blindness of males and the contribution towards domestic mess often kills the libido for many women as there is all too often a sense of living with yet another child.
A partner being domesticated + loving with no expectation of sex is great for any woman at any stage of life and can often free her up to feeling like she is living with another adult.

Edited by TwiceTheWoman, 25 April 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#4 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:23 PM

With two young kids a women can feel like all she's doing is giving physically and so sex can seem like a chore unless you make it all about her pleasure.
Also in my case my hormones killed my sex drive - my youngest is almost 2 years and I can actually feel my hormones changing (I presume it's for breeding reasons). This hormonal desire to breed, whether a women wants to or not, can play a huge part in her sex drive. It's not my self-esteem or anything my husband does (though little annoying things make me less likely to want any) it's mostly hormonal.
I feel bad for DH because before I got pregnant I had to beg him for sex and now after each child it's taken about 2 years before I even want to see pen!s

#5 *Ladybird*

Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:45 PM

Sorry another female viewpoint (wife & mother) here. All previous posts took the words right out of my mouth, they are so very, very true. If my domestic duties were lightened and I received attention from my DH more frequently unrelated to his sexual needs, I would have far more energy for sex.

When your a mother its not just having your husband desire you that will get your pulse racing, it is seeing that they are supporting you around the house, helping out, lightening your load, which leaves more time for ME time, to feel desired that her partner is putting in so much effort.

Remember we need to be nurtured, not just desired!

Also if possible free up time in the day for cuddling, not sure about others but I am too tired at night for any such activities, I have way more energy in the day.

#6 AnonDad

Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

Thanks for your responses.  I will definitely check out some of those books you have recommended.

QUOTE (TwiceTheWoman @ 25/04/2012, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
it comes across that neither of you want to be in this space


I think this is really true.  I know it upsets her too, I just can't seem to find a way out.

QUOTE (TwiceTheWoman @ 25/04/2012, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
there is any way you could organise a special weekend away for the two of you..


We have managed to get away twice.  First time I booked a quiet retreat - lovely old place out in the country for some quality time alone.  As luck would have it my wife got food poisining and spent the night throwing up, got a call from our babysitters at 5am to say both kids spent the night throwing up too, please hurry home.  Wife & kids spent the day in bed and I spent the day washing diahorrea or vomit off blankets, matresses, carpets, and walls. Spectacular fail.
Second time was more successful.  I got a hotel in the city and went to one of the best restaurants in town.  As good as the meal was she never relaxed and we mostly talked about the kids and how hard life was at the moment.  We actually had more fun sleeping in in the morning and at the hotel breakfast buffet the next morning.  I'd forgotton how much she liked that sort of thing.  We laughed, talked (not about the kids), and really connected again.  We left the hotel on Sunday morning holding hands - that was the best 2 hours I've had with my wife in 3 years.  Come Monday, back to reality, nothing has changed.
We certainly can't afford to do that every weekend, and with no family support it is not easy to get time away from the kids even to spend small amounts of time together.

#7 opethmum

Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:11 PM

Sorry another female.

But going against the grain here.

Life is hard and it gets in the way and as life gets in the way sometimes sex goes by the wayside. I think as much as you are making the effort, it should not be one sided, she needs to take some responsibility for what she is doing too. Sometimes we sweat the small stuff and that is very much to the detriment of our relationships. She also needs to make an effort too in restoring the balance at home as well.

Some women I know use often household chores and kids to  extricate themselves from intimacy because of underlying causes that they are not simply willing to address. I am not saying that your wife is doing that but it could be something deeper going on that your wife does not wish to admit to you.

I believe that as a couple, you both share equally in the sexual dynamic of your relationship and it is up to the person who has the problem to effectively communicate their needs. You are not a mind reader and it is unfair of your wife to not communicate her needs to you, she needs to come to the party and not expect you to play guess what is wrong.

It is all very well and good planning weekends away and dinners but if it continually ends in disappointment and there is next to no progress being made then that is a warning flag imo.

Maybe you need couples counselling and to really nut out the true nuts and bolts of what is wrong and get to a place that you and her are happy with.

No one deserves to live in a sexless/intimacy deprived marriage and it sounds like you need to ramp it up and have this situation redressed sooner rather than later.

Good luck and I wish you well in this and I hope your relationship can get to a better place and that you and her can come to a new understanding and that a harmonious balance is restored.

Edited by opethmum, 25 April 2012 - 05:12 PM.


#8 babycat

Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:14 PM

Sorry, another female response here! I agree with everything the PP's have said and the only suggestion I can add is to set aside a date night once a month.  We have no family support and due to a few behaviour issues (and lack of funds) don't do the babysitter thing at this stage.

We have set aside one Sat a month as date night, we don't go out but rather have a "theme" for the night. Once the boys are in bed we might have a nice home cooked meal (think candles, nice dessert, wine etc), we've done a DVD evening, board games, learnt to play poker. Other thoughts have been a picnic on the lounge room floor, a nice take away etc.  

The whole idea is just to concentrate on the two of us and not just fall into the nightly routine of sitting in front of the Tv or computer, we actually talk to each other (not just about the boys) and just reconnect that little bit. We also take it in turns deciding what we will do, who cooks etc.

Just make sure you set that one night aside, we mark it on the calendar and if something comes up we make sure we reschedule straight away.

#9 pappabear67

Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:14 AM

AnonDad, yes there are other dads who read this,!  Hopefully a different gender perspective won't be flamed down...
Firstly, thank you, opethmum, that was the best post I have read on this forum for a long time. No disrespect to the other posters here, but in a nutshell, this is the wife's problem. There is nothing the husband can do until she takes ownership of her own issues, and works out what can be done to address them.  The solutions may involve the housework /date night / massage suggestions put forward,but let's be real, the issues here go way beyond a dirty saucepan.

I am in the same boat, anon dad, and I am at tipping point myself. The importance of intimacy was the one thing I reinforced strongly at the beginning of my relationship with my wife, and has been brought up a number if times during our years together. It nearly broke us apart several years ago, and the only thing that" saved" our marriage was my wife falling pregnant unexpectedly after one of our once a month intimate moments.(yes, that was once a Month before kids...)
Frankly , when her default position getting into bed at night is with her back to me, or like this morning, I've just walked out of the shower and she's getting in and avoiding touching me, I have reached the point that I've lost the will to even try anymore.

Things may not have reached that stage for you hopefully,anondad.  But first and foremost,your wife needs to realise that this is a critical stage in your relationship. And that if she is not prepared to acknowledge HER problem so that you can both work on it, that relationship could be irreparably damaged. I wish you all the best, anon dad.

#10 Tonberry

Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE
Sorry another female viewpoint (wife & mother) here. All previous posts took the words right out of my mouth, they are so very, very true. If my domestic duties were lightened and I received attention from my DH more frequently unrelated to his sexual needs, I would have far more energy for sex.


omg, yes! A spontaneous cuddle/hug every now and then would be nice DP. Although he's never really been overly demonstrative.

For me, my lack of interest in sex has been about my self perception; I've had two kids and I struggle with the idea that it's NOT significantly different downstairs.
No matter how many times DP assures me that he's noticed no difference, I still can't get past the fact that two babies have come through there.

I also struggle with adventure; before the kids I was very adventurous in the bedroom, willing to try all sorts of different things; now I have kids, I sometimes feel like an imposter of sorts when DP wants to get out the bag of goodies and play with some of them. I feel odd with anything but the most vanilla sex.

What I found helped last month (we've barely even had time to sit down this month, let alone think about sex), was I just TOLD myself I wanted sex. I wasn't in the mood at all to begin with, but once I started pretending, I got in the mood pretty quickly. Then I just kept going each day, telling myself that I WAS in the mood and bothering DP about it. He's going away tomorrow for a few days, but once he gets back I'll be doing the same thing again.


Doubt this will be hepful in any way, but I just wanted to let you know that there may be other issues your wife may be dealing with that don't just involve how tired/busy she is (which also certainly contribute to our lack of intimacy, when DS doesn't go to sleep till 10pm some nights, I definitely don't feel like anything but sleeping)

#11 Tesseract

Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

QUOTE (AnonDad @ 25/04/2012, 04:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Second time was more successful.  I got a hotel in the city and went to one of the best restaurants in town.  As good as the meal was she never relaxed and we mostly talked about the kids and how hard life was at the moment.  We actually had more fun sleeping in in the morning and at the hotel breakfast buffet the next morning.  I'd forgotton how much she liked that sort of thing.  We laughed, talked (not about the kids), and really connected again.  We left the hotel on Sunday morning holding hands - that was the best 2 hours I've had with my wife in 3 years.  Come Monday, back to reality, nothing has changed.
We certainly can't afford to do that every weekend, and with no family support it is not easy to get time away from the kids even to spend small amounts of time together.


This really stood out for me. Notice how she didn't relax until you guys had had the time to talk about how hard life has been and the kids? (Also I'm sure the sleep and someone else cooking breakfast helped!). I find it very hard to be intimate with my partner when there is stuff between us that i need to articulate, like how hard things have been lately. As such sex doesnt happen until I feel like we've really connected through conversation and he's heard all about how I'm feeling at the time, and I've heard him. Sterotypically female of me, but that's how I feel.

Another thought: is she breastfeeding or on the pill? These really kill my libido. The pill especially, there is no point in being on it because I am so disinterested in sex! The thought of it makes me feel ill in fact, which is awful. DH and I can't wait until we finish our family so he can get the snip!

Your youngest is 1.5 and you're doing it once a month. Honestly I think that is a lot for many couples with young children (more than us at the moment that's for sure!). Your situatioin is pretty standard and I think a bit of patience would go a long way. It won't be like this forever. If its still like this when the kids are older then I would suggest taking further steps to address it, but for now I would just love her and be patient. Sure talk to her about how she's feeling so that you can communicate better and ascertain why she's feeling the way she is, but it might just be that she's not up for it right now and there ain't much you can do about it other than wait it out.

#12 harry000

Posted 19 June 2012 - 08:48 PM

Tell her to get some professional advice from trained experts (i.e. psychologists), especially those with expertise in post natal depression




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