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How to talk to oversensitive hubby about sex

(41 Posts)
hdh74 Sun 04-Nov-18 05:49:54

My hubby and I were both brought up to not talk about sex, and we still don't really. I actually feel quite comfortable about doing so now, but he doesn't. He tries to be a considerate lover but there are a few things I would change. A few things I might like, small things, mostly. One thing is I would like it if he would occasioonally call it 'making love' - now that might sound old fashioned too, but I would just find it a turn on if he offered to make love to me, wheras he can only call it sex or a shag, which I get it doesn't always have to be 'romantic' but it would be nice sometimes. It's not as though there's no tenderness in the sex, he can do different moods, he just can't talk about them.
I bought the book mars and venus in the bedroom, and I rather liked what I read but when I suggested reading it together he was very upset - he clearly felt I was suggesting he needed a manual to set him right.
Any discussion is taken as criticism, and maybe I'm not the best at wording it, I don't know.
It's not that our sex life is awful, it's actually more the lack of freedom to talk about it and to try to convey what I want without words all the time, and he can 'get it' when I do, but talking is important to me too. And yes I do try to bring it up outside the bedroom as more of a chat but he almost runs out the door...

Madgran77 Wed 07-Nov-18 19:18:11

hdh74 I feel for you I really do!

If he gets it when you convey without words, does it really matter if he can't cope with talking? Or is it that he only sort of gets it and there is more you want to convey but can't?

westerlywind Thu 08-Nov-18 00:56:21

How long have you been with your husband? If he has been like this for a lot of time I don't know how much luck you will have in changing him.
I also wonder about if it could be an age/generation thing. There is no talk of sex or "heaven help us" shag! Its a major no no to say shag here. There is the must not talk about things attitude.
If DH is ahem cough cough providing a good service why try to change things.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Nov-18 01:04:10

Maybe you could each write down something you would enjoy, then give them a go?
You might surprise each other (hopefully in good way!) and have a lot of fun in the process. blush

Luckylegs9 Thu 08-Nov-18 07:35:36

How long have you been together? I would worry more about not being able to talk with each other and the terminology used, than performance.

hdh74 Thu 08-Nov-18 08:25:02

I like the writing idea, I'll mull that one over. We've been together over 30 years and it is a generational thing, that and his catholic upbringing, which incidently I had too. I think it's not such much a dissatisfaction thing as the fact that I feel a lot freer and more-enpowered in myself than I was brought up to be but feel that verbally I can be a bit stifled by his attitude and that I believe he would be happier too if he could also sling off his shackles of the past as it were.
I know that sounds a bit presumptuous but I have seen him grow in confidence as he has loosened up in other areas, many of them quite recently, so I don't believe he's too old to change his spots as it were. I do sense he wants to, I just need to work out how to help.

Luckygirl Thu 08-Nov-18 08:54:06

I can quite see why this man finds it difficult - it has been OK for 30 years and now suddenly you want a change of direction. He is at an age when change is not easy.

He is considerate and presumably giving satisfaction. You can alter your language and wait and see if he follows suit. It is you who wants the change so maybe it is you who should just do it. I can't see him going into purdah just because you do this!

Or you could just be happy with what you have!

Teetime Thu 08-Nov-18 09:09:38

I found it easier to talk to my DH is very clinical language associated with changes my body has decided to make post menopause- he does call it 'making love' though and I found I needed to make it 'third person' and objective so he wouldnt feel criticised. It worked. Good Luck with it.

hdh74 Fri 09-Nov-18 10:36:47

Thank you for all your points and suggestions. And yes, I think post menopausal changes are part of the picture too. I will mull it all over.

holdingontometeeth Thu 20-Dec-18 17:04:30

Good advice westerlywind wink]

Jalima1108 Thu 20-Dec-18 17:44:28

You could worry him and make him anxious which may not end up with a good result for either of you.
A Catholic upbringing may well have made him more inhibited in discussing sex - it could be too late to change that now.

Cabbie21 Sat 22-Dec-18 08:47:56

I could have written this several years ago, but nothing changed so have given up. I once bought a book, having browsed in the bookshop, and thought this might be a good way to introduce the topic as he is an avid reader. I gave it to him, suggested we consider a chapter at a time together. But he wanted to read the whole thing, individually. It was never seen or discussed again. Grr.

kircubbin2000 Sat 22-Dec-18 09:53:32

You could look for a friend with benefits. You might be surprised to find how many men might be interested on the odd afternoon!

Grampie Sat 22-Dec-18 10:15:32

Write him a love letter to discuss your feelings and to express your love for him in a different way.

Luckygirl Sat 22-Dec-18 10:44:50

he can do different moods, he just can't talk about them - maybe actions speak louder than words.

He may being doing his best - it sounds that way.

Men are very sensitive about any criticism of their "performance" and can be put off very quickly and retreat to lick their wounds. TBH I feel a bit sorry for this poor chap. We can't all have everything we want, and by pursuing this you may finish up worse off than you were in the first place.

I have an OH with PD - enough said.

David1968 Sat 22-Dec-18 11:03:25

The key to any good relationship - regarding anything at all - is communication. You need to talk. The timing & location (for talking) need to be right; somewhere that you both feel comfortable and private, and where you'll have time to talk, with no interruptions. Maybe just your own living room. (Turn off all phones, TVs, radios, and computers.) Start by making it clear that there's no criticism, but that you're worried about something and that you really need to talk it over. Ask him to listen to you - properly. Perhaps start by mentioning all the good things about your relationship, (e.g. "we get on well, we laught a lot together....") Then take it from there.... be honest, but phrase your concerns carefully and clearly.... Try to focus on what YOU think and would like. Then give hime time to respond. At the very least you will have started the communication process.....

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Dec-18 11:27:46

I've always been pretty 'worry and my ex, also being from the North, was on the same wavelength, so we never had any problems with vocalising our wishes in terms acceptable to both of us.
My current OH (who does not live with me) is 23 years younger and has no inhibitions about the language of 'love' or problems accepting that there are certain things that I will never consider, such as only food, drink and toothbrushes going in a certain place and although Hollywood is out, Brazilian is ok. grinhmmblush

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Dec-18 11:29:13

* wordy, not worry. blush

sarahellenwhitney Sat 22-Dec-18 12:13:54

hdh74 Do you need words ? Not wishing to be personal do you ever 'initiate' or wait for H to make the first move ?Think back to your 'first experience with H did you need to ''communicate'' have words then.? The bedroom is for many the 'usual' place for intimacy but can in time become a 'wake me when its over '.Unless there are others around why wait for the bedroom ? You can of course obtain professional advice and it HAS, for starters , to be on your own .Nothing worse than making another feel inadequate. Don't give up hope.

Jalima1108 Sat 22-Dec-18 12:15:35

he can do different moods, he just can't talk about them
The strong, silent type?

As Luckygirl says maybe actions speak louder than words.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 22-Dec-18 12:32:26

This is very tricky - I feel it's almost impossible to talk to men about their love making techniques without them feeling that you are criticising them in some way. I think it strikes at their very being and causes huge hurt. Tread very carefully indeed or you will destroy his confidence.

rizlett Sat 22-Dec-18 12:33:09

Even though understandably your husband felt upset about you wanting to read the Men are from Mars book I bet he'd really like to find out whats in it.

Is there a way you could not mention it again but leave it lying around {for example in the bathroom} where he might just pick it up and read a bit - especially if you fold over the corners of significant pages.

A change by stealth approach!

HannahLoisLuke Sat 22-Dec-18 12:45:28

My ex also had a strict Catholic upbringing. Boarding school and taught by monks and although non practising since becoming an adult he never shook off that sex is sinful thing.
His way of dealing with it was to make a joke of it "fancy a shag?" being his way of broaching the subject.
Naturally that was a bit of a turn off, but It was so ingrained he couldn't change.
Just one reason he's now the ex although still a friend.

blueskies Sat 22-Dec-18 13:01:08

Have you thought that some men have been abused as young boys and have kept that secret. Lots of issues there and a need for sensitivity.

inishowen Sat 22-Dec-18 14:17:03

My husband can only say things in a jokey way. i.e. he will say "get up those stairs now". I have said to him I wish he could suggest a cuddle rather than a blatant request for sex. I know he won't change. We've been together 44 years.