My husband doesn't find me attractive anymore

Request for help submitted by Julie in Canada

My husband and I have been together for 5 years. We have a child together and I have 2 from a previous relationship. I will be 35 this year and he is 30. We were a perfect match and were head over heels in love.

We got married (we lived together for a year prior) and everything began to change. I got pregnant on our honeymoon which we both planned to do but everything just became different.

He became distant and we got into a lot of arguments. The love he used to show me stopped. I began to overcompensate, thinking it would help, but it didn't

I began to ask a lot of questions which didn't help either. He became a different person.

He used to look at me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world then started looking at other women that way, while I stood next to him.

I finally blew up and was destroyed by what he told me. He told me that life and sex with me was boring, he told me he fantasized about what those women's sex lives were like, he told me if I lost weight I'd be more attractive and that he wanted me to dress differently and get all 'dolled up' as he put it.

I felt and still feel sick to my stomach about his confessions. To me it feels like I'm no longer good enough and he wants me to become someone else. I feel like I need to perform in the bedroom and I no longer feel good about myself.

He has tried to take back what he has said but the damage has been done and I am positive he still feels that way. I just don't know what to do.

Elly's reply

I am so sorry to know how you have been hurt by your husband's remarks, Julie.  I can totally understand that this has undermined your self-esteem.  I will be writing a page specifically on issues with self-esteem, as you are not the first person to write to me with this kind of problem.

For you personally, my advice is as follows.

  • Consider getting some good couple counselling. I am very concerned that this all started to go wrong in this way so soon after you got married. That is a very worrying sign.
  • Consider very calmly if indeed your weight is a problem to yourself, because of the way you feel about yourself.  See also my page on emotional eating.
  • Consider if your weight is such that it puts you at risk of health problems - after all, you need all your health and energy as a mum.
  • Your partner appears to have particularly 'blunt' and unkind - have there been any other signs that he is abusive/controlling? If so, it is important that you seek help.
  • Whilst he expressed himself very inconsiderately - he was honest. Many men deal with their often higher sex drive by accessing internet porn, having an affair or one-night stands.
  • (By the way - that counts for women as well. The statistics on cheating make appalling reading!) 
  • Consider if indeed your sexual relationship could do with a bit of spicing up and think about what is and what isn't acceptable to you.  Again a couple counsellor or indeed psychosexual therapist can help you with this too.
  • If you are having problems with your libido, have a look at my page on improving your sex drive.

The two of you need a very frank conversation about how important it is to treat each other with respect and kindness. However, I suspect that there are warning signs in other aspects of your relationship and I therefore also recommend you do my relationship test.

Do also take a look at the powerful blueprint for saving a marriage developed by Lee Baucom, PhD.. He gives you the tools to help turn your relationship around, even if at first your 'other half' does not appear interested. For further information see: How to save your relationship.

I do hope there is something in this list that is helpful to you and I wish you all the best for a happier future.

Elly

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