Letter to another Mother

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I wrote this post after reading this original article HERE

Dear Mum of young kids who doesn’t want to have sex…

I get you. I’m with you.

You’ve been sat on and climbed on, pawed at and kissed. All. Day. Long.
Of course you love those sloppy baby kisses and the over-zealous hugs from your toddler, but there comes a point you are just done in. You have given all the physical affection you can and you are officially touched out. Putting them to bed with one more squeeze and a bedtime kiss is about all you can manage.

Every evening I flop onto the sofa and am thankful to have my body back to myself. Yes, I’m thankful for each and every one of those hugs and kisses too, but I have four kids. There’s not a lot of the day I’m not being pawed at. Or breastfeeding. Or having my face sucked.

I just want to be.

So there is nothing I find more unappealing than being kissed and held and pawed by my other half.

There I said it! I said it for all of us.

Disclaimer: I don’t hate the guy. I love him all the world and all those other cliche’s.

But you know that, you know its nothing to do with your feelings for him. Its your feelings towards being touched in this small margin of the day you can be free. Because you won’t even get the night to cuddle into yourself and spread out and stretch your tired limbs.

You have the night to feed the baby multiple times, to rock him back to sleep, to soothe toddlers back to sleep after nightmares and to change wet sheets that smell like urine. You’ll snatch sleep with a tiny hand clutching your hair or a heavy arm slung around your neck. Those kids can’t get enough of you! So you give them all you can and I know, there’s nothing left for anyone else.

If you’re like me you might try to soften the blow, you might pretend you enjoy those cuddles and kisses the man in your life wants to give you. But do you really? Because if you are like me there is nothing you enjoy less at 9pm on a Tuesday night. Truth is those kisses and cuddles can make my skin crawl, never mind anything more. Again, this is nothing to do with the feelings I have for him, its my feelings towards being expected to surrender my body yet again, when I just got it back.

Good news though, there are things you can do.

You can take a long bath once all your kids are asleep and wash away those sticky fingers and the crumbs in strange places. You can tell your other half that no, he cannot join you. He cannot come into the bathroom and talk to you while you’re in there. You have shared everything all day and you are having this for you.

You can accept that as a Mum, sometimes we have to do things we’d rather not. Like getting up at 5AM and watching Waybuloo. Or being smooched to within an inch of your life. You kind of owe it to your kids to dance to the beat of their drum sometimes.

You don’t owe it to your husband or partner to have sex when you don’t want to. Nu uh huh.
You owe that to no one.
So frickin what if he doesn’t understand, tough shit. Come back when you’re no longer a sullen little boy if that’s okay pal.

I have heard it so often, ‘I feel so bad for John we rarely have sex’. Arggghhh.
I don’t feel bad for John and neither should you.
You might be married (you might not be, high five!) but you did not sign over the rights to your body. You did not enter into a contract whereby you are obliged to put aside your feelings to protect his.

Its the most absurd thing, imagine your 14 year old daughter coming to you and saying, ‘I had sex with Leyton, I didn’t really want to but he was disappointed and I felt bad’. You’d be livid she had given herself away like that. Protect yourself like you’d protect her, if you don’t want to you don’t have to.

I understand that sometimes he might try to bargain and cajole and convince you. But no is no, it is not an opening for a discussion. Its the end of the conversation.

You’re not alone, lots of women deal with the backward attitude that they should put up and shut up. Be patient and hang in there, maybe by the time our daughters are in relationships themselves we will have raised our sons to know they are not entitled to anyone’s body. And it will be glorious.

Sincerely,
A Mum who knows her worth.

 

Everything Mummy

 

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A Bit Of Everything

Nat Halfpenny

105 Comments

    • I agree. We have years and years as couples, these kids are tiny for such a short amount of time. Thanks for reading love x

  1. This is such a great post!! I would quit happily punch my husband when he comes a give me a kiss sometimes. I think he gets it though… It’s tough being a momma sometimes! X

    • Thank you so much. I guess it is hard for them to understand, being a parent is so demanding of a woman’s body from the very beginning and their part is over pretty quickly (in my experience..haha). Thanks so much for reading! xxx

  2. Bravo! I only have one child who is now five and my libido still hasn’t returned. But I have a husband who understands that. And I enjoy cuddling up to him far more and appreciate that he accepts that’s mostly as far as it goes now. Literally we’ve had sex a handful of times in the last year but we’ve never been more connected emotionally. The absolute last thing my husband wants is for me to just do it because he wants to, he gets little enjoyment out of me feeling I have to satisfy his desires.

    • Every relationship is different isn’t it, amazing how you have connected more almost removing that element from your life. Thanks for reading lovely x

  3. I actually love this post and quite agree with it! I was never one to expect sex myself. I would certainly agree with you about raising our boys to be respectful of a “no”! That’s exactly how I as a dad am making sure they fully understand that.

    • Thank you! Of course there are soooo many men out there that would never dream of pressurizing their partner into anything but I still think there is a way to go until all men accept they have no rights over womens bodies. There are so many different instances this is apparent and like you say it all starts with teaching our children. Thanks so much for reading and absolutely fabulous to get a male perspective. As above, I don’t hate men! xox

  4. Perfect! I read the other article quickly first mouth agape at her suggesting she would just put up with it to keep her husband happy even though she was replused by it!!! More than anything I think my partner would be mortified and disgusted if he ever thought, even for a second ,I’d had sex with him just to keep him quiet even though I felt completely repulsed by it.

    • Oh I know the ‘take one for the team’ attitude really upset me. In now way should we be getting on with it regardless! Thanks for reading xoxox

  5. So true you should never feel like you have to do anything, equally I think spending time with your partner is important doesn’t mean it has to involve bodily contact though haha! Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • Definitely! Luckily my other half has my sparkling personality as a consolation prize ahaha! Thanks for reading and thank you for hosting!

  6. Wise words and a truly great and important post. Every mum should read this post and ease her mind! It’s true things change after having children and tiredness definitely plays a big part in all this. Having said that, it is nice to know that my hubby still finds me attractive ; )

    Thank you for linking up to #SundayStars xx

    • Oh yes you said it, if there was no attempt to be intimate I’d be crying in the bathroom with my raging hormones pouring from my eyes insisting I must be some hideous beast. Thanks for reading and thanks for hosting! x

  7. I definitely agree with most of this – though I don’t actually kind affection from my husband. It’s more just being absolutely bone-shatteringly tired! A cuddle from him is fine as long as I don’t have to move! Great post #brilliantblogposts

    • That’s me now, the all encompassing tiredness. I’d be in bed only I can’t face the stairs! Thanks for reading lovely x

    • I think it’s something a lot of Mum’s go through from my experiences of talking to my own friends and the reaction to this! Thanks so much for the support x

  8. Such a fabulously written post. Thank you, while I logically know I’m not alone in the ‘moms who have no interest in sex’ pool, it’s nice to see it written in black and white. The only problem I have is, I *miss* enjoying sex. I don’t feel guilty, or badly for my husband… I feel sorry for myself. It used to be such an awesome thing (and still is, when I have the energy for it). I just wish there was a button I could push to put me in the mood after a long day, haha!

    • Ah really, that’s an interesting point. I don’t miss missing it so I guess its different. It won’t be forever lovely.

  9. This is brilliant and so true! I have 4 children and they get my everything. I need that touch free time especially as im not a touchy person anyway and I dont really enjoy physical contact although I could…and often do…hug my Kids all day and night. Great writing and I hope women (and men) feel able to say no. I will be reading more of your blog 🙂

  10. I wonder if you’ll feel the same way about this when you re read it after the inevitable divorce

    • That’s a silly comment. For the record, and from the other side I cannot imagine anything more gross than my wife having sex with me when she didn’t really want to.
      First – It’s my WIFE! You know, the person I love and admire more than anyone else? But you think I should want them to demean themselves by pretending to want to have sex?
      Second – I have some self-respect also. I don’t want pity-sex
      Third – I’m also fking tired. Let’s all just sleep.

    • Ah well we’re not married so no worries there, either of us are pretty free to walk away any time we please. But if we did part then yes, I would still feel the same. Thanks for reading.

    • Sex wouldn’t have been the cause of the divorce in that case. It would be that all there is is sex, and a lack of companionship and other values.

      People no longer get married TO have sex. A long term relationship deals with issues like health, work, or other stuff (e.g. working away for a while) meaning less sex sometimes. It’s long term. It’s much, much more than sex. And if it isn’t it isn’t a proper marriage/long term relationship.

      Would you post this to a man fighting in the army? He isn’t having sex with his wife?
      No.
      Why? Because he’s a ‘big man’ doing a ‘big man’s job’ so grateful woman should hang around?
      But a woman raising a kid should be her husband’s object.
      Disrespectful. Whether you look at it from a traditional family angle or a modern feminist angle it’s pure disrespect.

  11. Oh how I remember those early years. Exhausted and the last thing on my mind was sex. Sleep. yes! I think most women feel like this, I’m sure hormone changes account for a lot of the loss of libido too. #abitofeverything

  12. Oh I love this post! It is clever how you used the teenager daughter example and made me see it in a whole new different light! Brilliant and it made me nodding along as well. It’s not a physical rejection but a reclaiming of ourselves — thank you for sharing with #abitofeverything

  13. This is my favourite post i’ve read anywhere in a long time.
    It’s like someone just put all the words crashing around in my head, onto a page.

    You should be so proud of letting this all out.
    I agree with every single point.

    I just want to sit down when the children are in bed. I do not want to have to take care of anybody else.

    It actually made me feel a bit emotional to be honest, reading this. I thought it was just me. I thought there was something wrong with me.
    :'( So thank you. Thank you so much

    • Same here! My Husband and I argue about this all of the time. He just doesn’t get it. It’s all about him and his needs. Never mine!! It is so refreshing to see these words written down and know that I am normal!!

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so happy to know I’m not alone in this. My husband trying to kiss me and paw at me makes my skin crawl and I just want my body to myself! Having kids is physically demanding in ways they don’t even dream of. Now I know I’m not alone I feel so much better about this. Thank you x

  15. I think there are probably some Dads who feel the same way!
    The caveat I would add is that one should NEVER be pressured into having sex, but if you know your partner would like to have sex (and is politely and respectfully waiting for you to be ready) it might be a good idea for both partners to see if there is a way for you to become ready – would you want sex if you had a little time off, a little break, a little treat?
    In that case, (and so perhaps sex is something you want, you just need the stars to align and give you a bloody moment!) I would argue it is OK to talk through some of those options.
    Again, with no pressure and an understanding that nothing happens unless both parties truly want to engage.

    Thanks for the good read!

    • Yes- I agree! Finding a way to change up the routine so no one is maxed out by the end of the day is a good goal to strive for. Its not possible everyday but the honest communication and teamwork it requires builds an awesome bond in a relationship.

  16. Well said. I was really nodding my head while reading the original article until it said sometimes you should jut do it even if you don’t want to. What kind of backwards attitude is that? And what partner could enjoy it if he had any idea that was the deal?!
    My marriage is for life. If things get put on hold for a little while when I’m constantly being pawed at by kids and feeding in the night, then so be it. There are many many more years to come where we can make up for it. Your body is your own and no one else’so!

    • Yes I agree wholeheartedly, I did the same! In the grand scheme its really not that long.

  17. Soo tempted to show this to my Husband but I still don’t think he would understand. We argue about this every few weeks. I am soo upset sometimes as he makes me feel like an awful person. We have sex a few times a month and he says it’s not normal and there must be something wrong with me or our relationship. This goes on and on. Over and over… what he doesn’t get is the more he harasses me, the more repulsed I feel.
    🙁

    • Aaaah that sounds very hard. Show him this or write it in your own words? Its much harder to ignore written word and plus he can’t interrupt. Tell him you’re not trying to upset him, these are your feelings and he needs to respect that even if he can’t understand. Good luck lovely.

  18. Spot on! Brilliant post- and I wholeheartedly agree, even though my children are not so small the absolute LAST thing I want to do when I have finally got all four in bed is share the precious 15-30 mins left of the day. Because that’s all there usually is- and it’s mine.

  19. Brilliant Article. I have 2 kids, work part time. Worked full time after 1st child, I lost by sex drive after having my first 5 years ago. Then unexpectedly fell with my 2nd. Did not want to be pregnant, go through all the birth etc again and started to blame my husband and resent him. Think PND happened early for me. Long and short is that my husband, could not take my low sex drive, mood swings, resentfulness and low self esteem. We have been separated for 7 months now, most awful thing to ever happen to me. Blame myself so much, but this article and reading the posts has made me feel normal again!!! Thanks

    • Ah sorry to hear you have had a tough time, I think it is something lots of couples go through. Thanks for reading!

  20. What a load of old tosh! I have never felt like this and I had a baby and cancer at the same time. Women like this give the rest of us a bad name. Either the author doesn’t enjoy sex or is depressed. She should explore what is wrong with HER and not encourage others to think this is normal rather than realise they have problems. If your bloke is pawing our slobbering then why was it OK to be like that preconception and not post?

    • Firstly sorry to hear you were ill, I hope you are well now. I do think you have missed the point of the article regarding your last statement, and not quite sure why you have so much venom towards me but thanks for reading and sharing a different view point.

    • Must be nice up there on your high horse!!
      What a horrible comment to make. Why would you even read this article if you completely disagree and cannot relate?
      It’s women like you who are a part of the problem. Why don’t you be a part of the solution and stop with your ignorant comments?

  21. I love this – the line about how you’d react if your daughter came to you and said she’d given in to her boyfriend’s pestering really hit me. I do feel like it’s just another chore a lot of the time at the moment, which sounds awful but is true. I read the comment above but I don’t think it’s about not enjoying sex, it’s just about not *wanting* it right now. I mean, I like lots of things, but it doesn’t mean I’ll always want them at the same time someone else does. 🙂

  22. Gosh this. Just this!!!!!!!

    My husband has to cop a feel everytime he passes.
    He isn’t getting up 8 times a night, he snores right through the 2 tag teaming kids.
    He doesn’t get up in the morning with them either, nope that’s me at 5am after less than 3 hours broken sleep.

    He doesn’t do the school runs or any housework, he does no cooking and doesn’t even load a player into the dishwasher.
    He doesn’t then spend the evening when they are finally sleeping for those few hours before then play musical bed trying to cram his work into 3 hours max.

    Nope that’s me and I’m done in. I’ve physically no energy left for anything not even lying back and thinking of England!

  23. Thanks for taking the time to share your feelings with us, Nat. We all have hard days when things appear to get on top of us. I think that the key here is open communication, rather than enforced celibacy of one partner, or indeed, enforced sexual encounter of the other.
    In my eyes, a successful partnership should involve giving and taking, compromise, and a clear understanding of each other’s needs. Equality means that all parties are equal, not that one person’s needs should be more highly regarded than another’s, whatever their gender might be.
    Nat, I think your article is very well-written and I can see how clearly it resonates with your readers, but I would be interested in the findings of a simple exercise- How would you feel if the boot was on the other foot? For example, supposing a man had written your article, advocating his sexual needs and desires after a challenging day? I would be very interested to read the comments. I expect that he would be shot down in flames, labelled as misogynistic, chauvinist and blind to the feelings of his partner.
    Let me know what you think.

  24. I completely agree, no one should ever have to do anything that they don’t want to do. Your body is your own, and you should never feel forced to do anything.

    Personally, I love sex! I don’t really ever see it as a problem in our relationship, but then I only have one child and my daughter is now five. It probably helps that the partner I am with now makes me feel better about myself and more comfortable in my own skin than my ex did. I think though, when we choose to have a child together, there will be a break from being intimate, that’s going to happen but as it’s been said in the comments above we still have a lot of years (hopefully together!) for us to be intimate, to make time for each other and to enjoy sex 🙂

  25. Well said Nat! I think the same applies throughout our relationships and not only in the looking after youngsters stage. Just such an important thing that our bodies are our own. What we want matters just as much as what anybody else does – it can be easy to lose sight of that as a mother and as a woman in our society. Still a way to go yet I think before we have equality and full respect in relationships.

  26. I think that attitude is really damaging.

    Men view sex as emotional support.

    Next time you need emotional support and validation, how would you like it if your husband said

    Go away, I’m not giving it to you. Tough shit, come back when you’re not a snivelling little girl?

    It would be called abusive. And so is this attitude, if you don’t want to have sex at a particular time, fine, I can understand that, but if it’s last on your list of priorities then you’re simply showing how little your partners wants and needs mean to you. And how you’re willing to insult him and belittle him when he asks to share intimacy with you.

  27. No woman should feel pressured into sex and has the right to say no for any reason or no reason at all.

    Husbands/partners should without question respect their wife/partner’s wish to be left alone and not whine about sex. A man who is told often enough no you don’t want sex should get the message and stop asking. If he is a good man he will not whine and cajole. He will accept what you say without complaint. He will not guilt trip you, he will hide his feelings. He will learn to supress his natural desire for sex and be supportive and go to work and support his family without complaint and bath the kids and put them to bed and and tidy the house and iron teh clothes and wash up and give you a couple of hours to yourself in the evening. He will do that all that and he will express no desire for sex at all.

    That is what you wanted. If you don’t desire him he will eventually learn to stop desiring you. Then you wont feel guilty at all.

    That’s is what you wanted wasn’t it?

  28. This is brilliant! I have – 5yr old, 4 yr old and 5 month old who I breastfeed. And by the time I get into bed and get to snuggle down for all of an hour before I’m up again I can’t think of anything worse than his hand starting to wonder round my body. It really irritates me and I actually feel angry. Especially after he had said how tired I look. So why wake me at 1am for nookie and get annoyed when I say hell no!! Thanks for making me feel normal!

  29. Fab article. This was exactly how I felt after having my son….my husband left me when my boy was just two, with one reason apparently being the lack of intimacy. He just refused to understand. I harboured a lot of blame & guilt, so reading this, even 4 years later, has really helped reinforce to me that he wasn’t the right man for me and I was not at fault for feeling this way! Thank you!!

  30. So refreshing to read this. I got to a ridiculous point of having “oblisex” with my husband that the resentment was killing our marriage. Then I woke up and thought “no!, a healthy sex life is not how often you have sex but how often you enjoy sex together”. I slammed on the brakes and said no more! Yes it rocked the boat and yes he acts like a petulant 13 year old when I say no but guess what the world and our marriage does not end when I do say no. We now have a “healthy” sex life based on quality not quantity.

  31. Not sure I link teenage sex to a couple in a committed relationship with children.
    Yes women should not be pressured into sex. But be awsre if you plan to follow the rules of this article and say sex and romance is off the table, you have to accept the other side of that deal….and not then criticise men for sonething which is a symptom of the situation, not the cause.

    • At no point did I say sex and romance is off the table. Thanks for your thoughts though.

  32. Lol all of you have no idea sex is over rated I agree how ever what about the dad that deals with this stuff also? Where is my time? It’s not all about mums I’m affraid. Love passion and romance is how all this began. I work all day all week and still have the time for everyone when they are at school you do what? You have all the time you want just ask or just take 🙂 smile girls you have everything you need.

    • I struggled to understand some of this but enjoyed reading none the less, Thanks for your words.

  33. Dear Nat

    You said

    “You did not enter into a contract whereby you are obliged to put aside your feelings to protect his”

    So I hope you won’t mind if I take up a sexual relationship with another woman as I have a need for intimacy and sex, and since I’m not obliged to protect your feelings either then it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

    Love

    John

    • Dear John,

      When taking marriage vows you vowed to never lie with another, than signed a contract to that effect. I’m afraid this makes your point null and void.

  34. What a depressing post. He ‘makes your skin crawl’? You sound as though you despise the very thought of him. Your marriage is over, let the poor sap find someone who isn’t quite so repulsed by him.

    • Are you around at the weekend? I’m going away but you seem to know my relationship inside out so would be fab if you could nip over and take my place?

  35. I have used the words ‘touched out’ to friends before and thought it was only me that would feel this way. Mainly about being touched by my daughter again but it is the same thing. Fabulous post x

  36. nope dont agree after 5 years of my now ex partner not wanting sex at all i couldnt be with him any linger u need to feel the bond of the relationship and be a woman not a mother not saying all the time but once twice a week and do u know sex gives you endorphins which make you happy and for filled so think of how much you r damaging yourselves and your partners self esteem and worth also you just turn into friends think of how you made the children how connected you were never lose that connection because it kills relationship ls as it has my own

    • Sorry to hear that Paula. To clarify again, no where in this piece did I say we have no connection/don’t have sex, this is how I feel at some points. Thanks for your thoughts.

  37. Lord!you hit the nail on the head. Its so true but you forget that your body is actually your own and you shouldnt feel bad if you need to put yourself first.☺

  38. I completely understand the tiredness part 100% but to be repulsed by his touch I personally think there’s a lot more issues there then just (not in the mood) a simple date night here and there would surely be good for the relationship, a bit of adult time for some affection, attention, time alone(a break from the kids), followed by some intimacy, win win both sides are happy, surely a marriage or relationship without any intimacy is just wrong why bother getting g into a relationship in the first place. I know what the whole point was “I’m too tired, I haven’t got the time, I’m too exhausted” I get that but right timing and pre-planning should be able to give you BOTH the time needed

    • Absolutely! And when we have that time and I am less frazzled things are completely different as I’m sure is true for a lot of couples. To clarify, at no point did I say I was repulsed by OH. At this point in the evening if my own mother came in and attempted to stroke my head it’d be too much. Being touched sometimes makes my skin crawl clear off my skeleton, whether that’s a touch from my kids, my OH or Johnny Depp circa 1989. Thanks for your input, what you say is very true.

  39. Another take on this would be: Doing something for someone when there is nothing in it for you is a selfless act.
    Relationships in my opinion are based on give and take. What if every so often you asked your husband to do something for you and he replied with “I can’t be bothered”, “I don’t what to” or “no” each time? Why is sex different?

  40. My god, what an utterly depressing read; essentially your other half is a sperm donor to your four offspring whose services are now rendered obsolete, and the even sadder thing is you sound so utterly pleased with yourself about it ! Solipsism at its v worst.

  41. Gorgeous post even if I’m through to the other side of this issue and now that mine are 11, 9 and 6 I actually want sex again! It’s the other way around in my marriage! But great point about being livid if one’s daughter were to just give it away cos she felt bad for her partner! Seen your blog name bandied around on Twitter but first time I’ve visited and in the words of Arnie: I’ll be back.

  42. I have to say this blog is one of the most depressing things I have read for a while and I read a lot (I’m a writer)
    You are so disrespectful to your partner when you use terms like ‘pawing’. You suggest that he has no right to have any needs and that somehow showing affection is wrong; this attitude will inevitably, I’m afraid, lead to the breakdown of your relationship.
    Why do your needs trump his? And why is it that this society seems to view relationships with children as always more important than the one with your partner?
    The children will one day have gone into live their own lives and what will you be left with?
    I suggest you rethink your attitude and be less dismissive about the father of your children. I see that you are younger than me and I think in a few years you will see the wisdom of cherishing your husband

  43. Well written , guilt sex is something many parents have simply because they feel so bad about not being up for it for so long. Lack of sleep, lack of a decent body being left and lack of love for yourself I find are my own issues.

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