Post # 1
Hello Ladies! I am in a bind and can use your help….
My husband and I have been TTC for about 3-4 months now, and married since 9/28/12. We’ve known each other for more than 10 years and we have a fantastic, loving, fun relationship. But….Last night my husband said the something to me that I guess is kind of common when TTC: that he “feels used.”
I have a history that includes sexual abuse and an early miscarriage (with DH a few years back while we were dating), so it has been a hurdle just getting to the point where I am comfortable enough to want to have children and pursue pregnancy wholeheartedly. Because of the things I mentioned, physical intimacy has been an issue that I’m continuing to work to integrate into my daily life & relationship…and I can see progress, but sometimes I think DH is quick to see the negatives and not the positives.
Now that we’re actively TTC #1, and having sex more often than before (probably 6-9 times per month, as compared to 2-5 times per month previously), I am being criticized for this — isn’t it the whole goal to have more sex?! That is when he says that he feels used and forecasts that I will not want to have sex once I get a positive pregnancy test, which I obviously rebuke.
When we first started TTC I tried to help him understand fertile windows and ovulation, but after the first month, I gave up — I realized it was probably freaking him out. The point is, there is effort that goes in to conceiving and I think that a lot of guys just expect it to happen magically on its own…and for most women, it’s not going to.
Going forward, I am going to make an even more serious effort not to mention any positive OPKs or ovulation days. If anyone has other ideas about how to keep things interesting, please advise! I do wear lingerie for DH from time to time 😉 which he loves, but because of our schedules sometimes a “quickie” is all there’s time for (plus, when you’re in your fertile window, if you wear lingerie everyday, it tends to become something like an awkward fashion show lol). Anyone with encouragement or tips — your feedback is greatly appreciated. I’m feeling like I’m the “Bad Guy” or something. 🙁
Thanks in advance!
Post # 4
First and foremost, I think you would benefit from counseling for your past sexual experiences. I can understand what your DH is feeling. For the past 10 years, you’ve only wanted sex 2/month, and now you want it all the time. It’s a pretty logical conclusion for him to draw that you are using him for a baby and won’t be interested once you are pregnant. I think you need help being comfortable with intimacy and working with your husband to make your sex life enjoyable before you introduce a baby into the equation.
Beyond that, I don’t have great advice for you except to do what you’ve already suggested above (don’t tell him when you’re in your fertile window, try to keep sex fun….)
I do know that my DH was nervous about TTC, and he would have “performance anxiety” if he knew that I was fertile. So I would make an effort to initiate sex more often during the whole month so he wouldn’t think “she must be ovulating because that’s the only time she wants it.”
I also have been trying to make an effort to change things up instead of the usual “wham, bam”. Little things let him know that I am into him, not just his “seed”. Things like starting things off with a backrub, jumping in the shower with him, lighting candles…etc. Anything to make it seem less sterile and “job like”.
Post # 5
Thank you for your reply. I have been in therapy and I am well-versed in psychological issues (it is what I do for a living). As I said, I’ve known DH since we were young, and he’s been committed to standing by me through thick and thin, even though he knew this was a struggle for me. He’s incredibly supportive. We have made serious progress in our relationship, and if you have any experience with sexual abuse, you may know that it often has life-long effects on intimacy and relational issues. For a very significant portion of my adult life, sex and physical intimacy felt very unnatural to me. I have put a lot of effort into therapy and intrapersonal examination, to get where I am now — able to enjoy sex with my husband.
That said, it is typical for couples who are TTC to increase the number of times they have intercourse on a weekly/monthly basis in order to achieve maximal potential for conception. I guess that is where I am struggling here. As I said, we were averaging 2-5 times/month before (mostly because of our schedule differences; now we both have new jobs and are on the same schedule). But according to national studies, this is hardly below average. So I feel like I should be congratulating myself, compared to a couple years ago….but instead I feel like an a**hole.
Post # 6
@bd9720: My DH and I have low sex drives, so I have to chart to even have a chance of getting pregnant. Like you guys, we have more sex now than when we’re TTC. My DH has never had a problem with having sex specifically during my fertile window, but I know it’s a common feeling for men to feel like they’re being used for a baby. I’m actually the one who struggles having sex to make a baby if I’m not in the mood. It just doesn’t feel special to me, and I want it to be special when we finally conceive. So this last cycle, I decided we should try the seven-day sex challenge to hopefully give a little boost to our sex lives. Fortunately, the seven days happened to be during my fertile window. Even though I wasn’t always in the mood, knowing I was having sex to help our relationship, so to speak, instead of to just have a baby helped me a lot. Maybe something like that would help your DH. You don’t have to do the seven-day challenge, but maybe just surprise him with sex at times that are outside your fertile window. Don’t mention anything about babies, just try to make him feel wanted and special. Then maybe he’ll stop worrying about a lack of sex after you get that positive. Of course, during your fertile window, you could use lingerie (you already mentioned that), use toys/porn if you’re comfortable with them, try out new positions, send him flirty texts during the day, etc. Anything to make it seem more like sex for good ol’ sex than sex for baby-making 🙂
Post # 7
the best i can say (without experience in your past happenings) would be to try to initiate some sex outside of your fertile time.
my husband also says he feels like i’m only having sex with him for the baby and not because i actually want him. so i try to make sure to initiate during times he knows i’m not fertile…. during the TWW or right after AF.
Post # 8
@twofortheshow and @rosworms — thank you both for your kind and thoughtful replies! It certainly helps to have an outlet where I can vent and receive some positive words of encouragement when I’m having an “iffy” moment. We have decided not to disclose to our families that we are TTC, and very few of our friends have children, so sometimes I feel a little alone without many ladies in my life tHat I can talk to at this point. Internet communities have been so helpful! It’s so nice to know that there are other women out there (somewhere!) who’ve thought/felt/struggled with things the same way I have. 🙂 Thanks ladies! Have a wonderful week.
P.S. Hubs and I had a good talk last night and worked it all out. Chalk most of it up to poor communication. 😉