True confession

Go right ahead, love

He looked shocked at my suggestion, but I was deadly serious

Elaine, 44, Christchurch, NZ.

My husband Rob placed his hands under my nighty and I felt the familiar shudder of revulsion.
“Not tonight,” I sighed, rolling over. “Head hurts.”
Rob sat upright in a huff.
“You don’t have a headache, you just don’t want to have sex with me,” he said.
This moment had been a long time coming.
“It’s nothing personal, I just… these days the thought of sex leaves me cold,” I admitted.
Rob and I had been married for sixteen years.
When we’d first started dating we couldn’t keep our hands off each other but then I fell pregnant and everything changed.
As my belly grew, my libido faded.
“I don’t like the idea of us doing it while our baby is growing inside me,” I told him and he reluctantly backed off.
Lucy was born and motherhood hit me like a freight train: the cracked nipples, the sleepless nights.
Rob didn’t make any advances until Lucy was six months but even then my libido was non-existent.
Sometimes I let him have sex with me but I didn’t enjoy it.
It must’ve been like doing it with a corpse, the poor bloke!
When Lucy was a year, Rob’s eyes lit up because I allowed us to have sex again but it was only because I wanted another baby.
During my second pregnancy I was closed for business once more.
Now the kids were five and three but my sex drive seemed to have shipped out for good.
I looked over at Rob.
He was a wonderful father, a devoted husband and I still found him attractive.
I just didn’t want to sleep with him.
I didn’t want to sleep with anyone but Rob, understandably, felt differently.
“I still want to have sex,” he said now. “I need it.”
I took a deep breath.
“Well, maybe you should have sex with other women,” I said.
Rob’s jaw literally dropped open.
“You can’t be serious,” he said.
But the more I thought about my idea, the more I liked it.
“I am,” I said. “It’s not fair on you that I no longer have a sex drive. As long as you use protection and don’t have sex with someone I know, I’ll be ok with it.”
We spoke about it several times more and that weekend Rob went out to a bar in town.
It felt weird kissing him goodbye, knowing he might hook up with someone.
He came home at 3am and had a shower before snuggling up next to me in bed.
The next morning he had a spring in his step.
I didn’t ask him what had happened. I didn’t want to know.
Soon it happened frequently.
Some weekends, he went out on a Friday and didn’t come back until Saturday lunchtime and I was totally fine with it.
They’re just one-night stands to him and it’s me he comes home to.
He appreciates me and I love that the guilt I felt at not wanting to have sex with him has now totally gone.
Our parents would never understand but I think I’ve saved our marriage by being open minded.