‘My husband and I just had a baby. What he’s doing at midnight while I sleep has me upset.’

husband masturbates when im asleep

Warning: This post is NSFW.

There’s nothing like having a baby to slow down your sex life. Whether it is the sleep deprivation, the breastfeeding or just the lack of time; most couples go through an adjustment phase when it comes to intimacy in those early months, and even years, of raising tiny humans.

One very upset mum currently in that adjustment phase, published a deeply personal post to an online parenting group, after discovering her partner had been masturbating while she was asleep. The breastfeeding mum of a one-year-old, explained that while she often felt too tired for sex, she had tried to instigate it with her partner who also said that he was ‘too tired’. His confession of secret midnight masturbation sessions therefore, really hurt her self-esteem.

As soon as her post went live, the responses started coming in and while most were ambivalent, telling the mum that it was ’100% normal’, a few were helpful and a few unkind, getting one particularly unsympathetic mum, kicked out of the group.

Mamamia spoke directly to the mum, who wanted to remain anonymous, to see how she felt after sharing her honest thoughts on post-baby couple-sex dilemmas.

“After reading hundreds of comments from other mums, the overwhelming majority reassured me that his actions were completely normal. I understand that men in relationships masturbate privately for many reasons, and perhaps it increases after having a baby, as like me, many of the women spoke of being ‘too knackered’, ‘too busy’ or ‘too sore’ for sex.

“What many of the women didn’t seem to understand however, that regardless of whether this is the case in other partnerships, I still felt shocked and upset. Especially because he had rejected me on many of the occasions I tried to initiate sex after our little one was in bed.”

The mum described to Mamamia how she went away for a few days for personal reasons and returned home, excited to be reunited with her partner and baby.

“It was my first time away from my little family and I was feeling emotional as I missed them both very much. We were just catching up and chatting generally when I asked my partner jokingly if he had ‘had a wank’ while I was away, to which he replied ‘yes’.

“After this revelation he went on to admit that since having our child he had been watching porn and masturbating for stress relief purposes a couple of times a week, while I was in bed.

“I felt hurt because I thought it could be the first step for him looking to find sex elsewhere, but he told me he would never cheat on me. He was embarrassed and I was upset because not only had he had kept it secret, but also because of the times he had rejected my advances, saying that he was ‘too tired’ for sex with me.”

Shortly after their brief discussion that night in bed, the ‘anonymum’ posted her plea for help to the online group. As she read through the raft of comments, she was heartened to receive many responses and messages from mums who felt the same way.

“I am quite new to the town we live in and don’t have a support group of mums around me, so I didn’t know who else to turn to. Some of the online advice was really helpful and supportive, just knowing I wasn’t the only one who felt this way was great.

“It took courage to post something so personal and upsetting, but since then, I have felt more able to discuss the issue more openly with my partner. He has admitted that sometimes he feels inadequate because I don’t always orgasm during penetrative sex, and I told him how after having a baby I lost a lot of self-confidence.”

“Our relationship is clearly not perfect, but we love our baby and each other very much. We agreed that while masturbating is normal in long-term relationships, we need to improve our communication and try to make more time for each other. We are looking into getting a regular babysitter so we can go on dates and spend more quality time together. Right now, we feel strong and hopeful for our future as a family.”

Do you or your partner quarrel over the number of times you have sex or should be having sex? How do you feel about your partner masturbating as stress relief? Tell us in the comments. 

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