Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Am I worrying about nothing?

I'm not to sure where to start but I have been with my partner for 7years he is my second ever sexual partner I don't remember much of being with my first even though we where together 5years most of it was a drunken haze as I was in a bad place at the time.

Anyway as I've said I've been with my current partner 7years (also been sober that long too). I've been friends with him for much longer than that and I am his first. He was very into porn before we started going out and as I wasn't ready to have sex for just over a month he used to get really snappy with me saying I should do it or I obviously feel nothing but being as stubborn as I am I didn't give in. Anyway when we did start a sexual relationship it was clear he expected a lot more than I had even heard of (being with him was the first time I'd ever heard of someone cumming over your face ect) I was quite naive to the world of porn ect and my ex never seemed to want anything like that. He also expected sex all the time which he found out wasn't going to happen.

Moving on we now have three children and obviously sex is the last thing on either of our minds half the time well maybe mine more than his but sometimes he will try to instigate sex and I won't want to but he will just pester and guilt trip me until I finally give in and I hate it. I know I'm probably just being selfish or a prude or something but it's really effecting the way I look at him. We get on great with everything else and he always seems to think in his words "I want it but am just playing hard to get". I also wake up some mornings with his hands down my pants even though I've said I don't like it. Don't get me wrong I do enjoy sex but I don't like being made to feel like I have to do it.

Reading this back it all sounds so stupid I know I'm probably making a big deal about nothing and at the end of the day it's my fault for giving in but after a hard day with the kids I just don't have the energy to keep saying no.


We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.

Comments are currently closed.

15 thoughts on “Am I worrying about nothing?

  • Hello, It doesn’t sound like you’re making a big deal out of nothing and it doesn’t sound stupid. Pestering someone into sex isn’t a sign of a healthy sexual relationship. You should be able to say no and have your husband respect your wishes without pestering you or making you feel guilty about saying no.

    This isn’t your fault. You have every right to say no and to have your no respected. You shouldn’t have to keep saying no and you shouldn’t ever feel as though you have to say yes because you’re too tired to argue.

    You have every right to wake up in the morning without being groped. Your husband’s behaviour is not acceptable. Coercing someone, through pestering and guilt tripping, is sexual assault.

    It is a big deal and I’m so very sorry this is happening to you. x

  • Sue Veneer says:

    Firstly, I would like to reassure you that you are not being prudish or selfish and what you have described is not silly, in fact it is very serious. It sounds to me that your partner is being sexually abusive, despite other areas in your relationship being fine.

    Unwanted sexual contact is abusive and it doesn’t matter that you are married. You have a right to set boundaries and to have those boundaries respected. It also sounds as if you are being coerced and bullied into sex, which is a very serious issue.

    You do not mention wanting to leave him so I am assuming this is not a possibility. Is couple counselling something that you would both consider? He needs to be made aware that his behaviour is abusive and unacceptable and that it must stop. You need support in coming to understand your right to have boundaries and to live free from abuse.

    If counselling isn’t an option, I think you may need to think about whether you really want to remain in a situation in which your wants and needs are being ignored.

    I hope you find a solution soon and I wish you lots of luck.

  • Hi Bumblebut, I can only concur with the posters above. Alarm bells started to ring for me when you said he was heavily into porn I’m afraid.

    He seems to be constantly crossing the boundaries you set out for him and having no respect for them. This is a big deal.

    You may want to consider counselling by yourself rather than as a couple too. And as others have said consider what you are getting out of the relationship at the moment and how long can it continue like this?

    Best of luck and your feelings are valid.

  • Kerry says:

    You are absolutely not worrying over nothing.

    It doesnt sound like you have ever experienced a healthy respectful sexual relationship with someone, and this is making it hard for you to realise just what is currently wrong now.

    your husband got all of his sexual know how from porn which is as far removed from reality as it is possible to get, and is therefore expecting you to enjoy what women in porn do, and for you to always want it.

    Being touched without consent or pestered for sex is wrong without question. If my husband did this to me I would not want to have sex with him. Being married makes no difference to this.

    If you want things to change I guess the first step would be to access couples counselling, and if your husband wont participate go alone to hep clarify your thoughts. Bear in mind however that counselling in relationships where there is emotional abuse is absolutely not a good idea as the perpetrator can often twist things, and any good counsellor will not take someone on in these circumstances. Given his inability to respect your boundaries I would have a long think if I was you if there is anything else you are not comfortable with in your relationship before embarking on counselling.

    Good luck, you sound lovely and I hope you can work it out.

  • Zak Jane Keir says:

    Hi, you are not making a fuss about nothing and your partner is a shit. Sorry to be so blunt, but he most definitely is sexually abusive, and probably abusive in other ways, as well. You do not deserve to be treated like this and you have done nothing wrong. You are not his possession and you do not ‘owe’ him sex. Not ever.
    I don’t recommend couple-counselling as that DOES NOT WORK when one partner is abusive. Counselling for you alone may be helpful. Unfortunately abusive men like your partner often select women who have previously been abused, as they are attracted to vulnerability and aware that you may be easier to manipulate and be grateful to them for not abusing you in the same way that your previous partner did.
    I wish you lots of luck in getting away from this horrible, selfish, misogynistic rapist.

  • Sara Wilde says:

    I don‘t find porn to be a red flag, since I know and have known many men who can distinguish between its fictional fantasies and real-life sex relationships. Unfortunately your husband doesn‘t seem to be one of them, and I‘m sorry to say his behaviour is abusive.

    You get to say no to whatever you don‘t want, whenever you don‘t want it, and you deserve to have him knock it off once you say it. The idea that women “say no when they really want it“ is really common in our culture, and a lot of men use it as an excuse to keep badgering a woman whose answer wasn‘t what they wanted. It‘s probably a pretty successful strategy a lot of the time, but that doesn‘t make it okay.

    I stand with whoever recommended couples‘ counselling. One caution, though: not all counsellors are created equal, and I‘ve encountered some with skewed perspectives or poor understandings of control dynamics who don‘t clearly recognize a woman‘s right to refuse sex even in marriage. To be clear: when you don‘t feel like you‘re able to say no, that‘s RAPE. It‘s serious. A couple‘s counsellor who hesitates to emphasize this probably isn‘t going to help the situation.

    Good luck. I hope it works out well for you and your family. Don‘t forget, you are probably stronger than you know and you are going to be okay. And no, you‘re not making a big deal about nothing.

  • wornwoman says:

    Hi Bumblebut, you could look at the little bit I wrote http://everydayvictimblaming.com/submissions/i-was-sexually-assaulted-by-my-partner/ just to help you see you are not alone. This happens more frequently than most people think. It is rape/sexual assault if he is grabbing you without asking or you even being awake, coercing you into sex etc.

    But I understand how difficult it is to deal with in a relationship. Hugs and maybe see a counselor yourself to help you decide what to do? I don’t mean you are mad, quite the opposite, I just mean it can help to have someone supporting you xxxxxxx

  • Admin says:


    We agree that your husband’s behaviour is not appropriate. We would label it sexual assault because your husband refuses to respect your boundaries. Pestering or guilt-tripping someone into sex isn’t consent. It’s coercion and coercion is illegal.

    We do not support couples counselling at this point as we never recommend couples counselling in situations of domestic and sexual abuse. We do recommend that you attend counselling yourself. It is very important that you discuss these issues in a safe space.

    We absolutely believe you and we do not think you are over-reacting. This is a big deal and you have our full support. x

  • HerbsandHags says:

    You’re not being silly. Your body belongs to you, not your husband or anyone else and you have the right to set any boundaries you want. Your husband doesn’t respect your boundaries because he doesn’t respect you. Like many men, he actually doesn’t think women are quite as human as he is and so he sees the one he “owns” as there for his use.

    You have the right to assert your humanity. And to have your boundaries respected.

  • D says:

    I can really relate to what you’re saying. This happened to me, and what started out as nagging and guilt tripping and coersion eventually turned more forceful and violent when i continued to resist being forced into sex. Eventually i found i was just freezing and ‘letting it happen’ because I was scared and i just shut down. I did leave, and I left too late as i’m still suffering anxiety, panic attacks and flashbacks. Try not to miminise what you’re going through, it’s so damaging to be forced into sex, it’s changed everything in my life and it’s taking me a lot to try and get back to who i was. Speak to people, go to counselling, talk to friends and try to remember that it’s not your fault and you’ve done nothing wrong. x

  • bumblebut says:

    Thank you everyone for your replies! We are not married and i know there is no way he would go to counselling. I do think about leaving but then things seem to get better for a while and i feel like i would be ripping my children’s lives apart because of it. The rest of the time we are together he is nice to the point it drives me mad sometimes. Like if in reading or doing something and not smiling like a crazy person i get “what’s wrong?” “its us isn’t it?” “in meant to make you happy and i don’t” this happens alot btw. Im not sure if this is related but i have developed depersonalization over the years and just feel like im not real anymore maybe that’s what the problem is im just to inward and maybe i do give off the wrong signs im not sure. Its all so confusing. Like i said thank you all again x

    • Lovely, I’m so very sorry that you are in this situation.

      What your partner is doing is classic behaviour for an abuser. Coercing you into sex that you do not want is sexual assault. The change in behaviour is a deliberate choice he makes to keep you off-balance. It’s called gas lighting and it is psychological abuse.

      If you make the choice to leave, you will not be ripping your children’s lives apart. If you end your relationship, it will be because of the choices your partner made. He made the choice to sexually abuse you. He made the choice to gaslight you. The decisions you make now are a direct consequence of his choices.

      This is NOT your fault. You have done nothing to deserve this. And, you are NOT over-reacting. His behaviour is abusive. The depersonalisation you refer is a survival tactic because of his abuse. You do NOT give off the wrong signs. You have every right to say no to sex and to have that no respected.

      The problems in your relationship are not because of anything you have done. They are because your partner has made a choice to commit sexual and psychological abuse.

      Women’s Aid have developed an excellent resource here: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors-handbook.asp?section=0001000100080001&sectionTitle=The+Survivor%27s+Handbook

      Dee Graham’s Loving to Survive is available for free online and is really helpful: http://radfem.org/stockholm/

      Lundy Bancroft’s Why does he that? Insides the minds of angry and controlling men is a great book to help you recognise the patterns of abusive behaviour.

      Individual counselling can be really beneficial. Women’s Aid, and other organisations in the sector, do NOT recommend joint counselling when one partner is being abusive.

      You deserve to live a life in safety with your children. Your husband is the problem in your relationship – not you.

      • bumblebut says:

        The thing is i feel like im making a big deal out of nothing as he’s not exactly forceful he just goes on and on and on about why don’t you want me don’t you fancy me anymore ect ect until i give in. He did used to grab me really hard on the bum or underneath when we where out but has stopped since i told him for the millionth time i didn’t like it but have a feeling it was more to do with the fact our two boys (3&6) started copying to me and their older sister (9). He used to not work and has finally after me saying if things dont change im gone he got back to work with encouragement from me and now says if it wasn’t for me he wouldn’t be able to do it ect. I know that’s not a bad thing to say but always feel like its a thing to make me stay. Sorry to keep on ive just never said all of this before because everyone says how great he is with the kids and bringing up my oldest as his own ect. I don’t have many friends either as all my friends where from the days i used to drink all the time. When i get days to myself he always gets his mum to come round for shopping i know he’s thinking he’s being nice but i don’t want to spend all my spare time with his mum. Sorry rambling again thanks again x

        • You aren’t making a big deal out of nothing. What he is doing is coercion. It is sexual assault. He is absolutely abusing your trust and your body.

          He changes his behaviour from abusive to nice in order to manipulate you. It is called gas lighting. And, having his mother with you when he can’t be isn’t him being “nice”. It’s him finding another way to control your movements. He’s deliberately created a situation in which you have no time for yourself – to be yourself.

          this is NOT your fault and you are NOT over-reacting. This behaviour is abusive. x

          • bumblebut says:

            Thanks again for your replies i know in my heart things aren’t right and i should have gone at the beggining but then i was pregnant. Hopefully i will get the nerve to make leave eventually but the idea of being a single mother is terrifying. Thanks again x