M.H. asks from Frankfort, IL on January 23, 2008
Hi ladies - I am writing out of desparation. My husband and I have been married for 9 years and I thought things were going pretty good. However, my husband has told me that he is getting tired of the lack of affection in our marriage and that this may be the area of our marriage that ends us. I never thought this was a problem as I am normally a non-affectionate person. However, it is a HUGE deal to him and he most definitely needs more of it. I am not talking about sex so much as just affection throughout the normal course of a day. Can anyone give me some pointers on how to be more affectionate. It just doesn't come naturally for me. We have discussed this problem in counseling and things were better for a while, but it seems to have gone back to the old routine of things. Any tips would be appreciated.
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
A BIG THANKYOU to everyone who gave me their input. I have already put lots of your tips into action. Some of you have mentioned the book "The Five Love Languages". I have already read that book and know that my husbands love language is touch and quality time so I really need to step it up. I did, just last night, give him more random kisses and when we went to bed I made sure to lay so our bodies were touching. Then this morning I put a note in his lunch. He loved the note and he really appreciated me touching him more yesterday. I am most definitely going to leave myself reminders because otherwise I will do good for about a week and then I will start to let it go by the wayside. I do think that after I keep up with this for a while that it is only fair that I ask him to speak to me with my love language (gifts and acts of service). I don't want to ask him to do that yet because I know he will feel like I am trying to turn this around so it is about me. I don't want it to be like that. I want him to see that I am genuinely making an effort and that it is only fair that he make an effort too. Wish me luck and thank you all for so many wonderful tips!!!
F.P. answers from South Bend on January 24, 2008
This is problem that I think all of us have to deal at one point or another. Some things I do, is sending my husband SMS in the middle of the day with lovey/cheesy messages, song lyrics are valid and helpful. Also when I am at the grocery store, look for a card to mail to his office. Buy a something special for him that is just a "I thought of you today" like his favorite candy bar. remember is the little things that count. I hope it helps.
D.C. answers from Fort Wayne on January 24, 2008
I am glad to hear someone else is like that it is also causing trouble in my marriage I feel so bad at times but I also have a hard time with affection. I would like some pointers I am a mother of 4 children all older and my first marriage was ended for that reason and my new husband of 7 years is starting to get upset about me not being a affectionate enough but even though my children are alittle older I am always affectionate with them and it does not bother me. Good Luck M. can anyone help?
D.M. answers from Chicago on January 24, 2008
A great place to start is just through simple compliments, especially when they are said sincerely and not meant to be "lovey dovey". In my marriage, nothing makes me feel better than to acknowledge the things my husband does. Sometimes its the extraordinary things like when he goes above and beyond with housework or helping with our son. Sometimes its the normal stuff like calling him at work and saying how much I appreciate the fact that he works a job he doesn't love so that we can have all that we have. I've found that appreciation of the small stuff can mean even more than the big things. And even though you are not looking for compliments in return, its likely that he'll respond in kind if you begin addressing him this way....
The best of luck to you....
1 mom found this helpful
B.W. answers from Chicago on January 23, 2008
I would ask him what HE thinks is nice ways of showing attention. You may knock yourself out trying to be more affectionate and it may not be what HE wants. Ask him for clear, specific ways to be more specific and then work on doing those things. Good luck.
1 mom found this helpful
K.M. answers from Indianapolis on January 24, 2008
I can't really offer advice, but I am in the same boat as you. I have three kids under 4 and am a SAHM. My husband works long hours, so the bulk of our responsibilities (except the very important and much-appreciated resposibility of earning money so we can live)I take care of. My way of showing my husband affection is to make meals he likes, start his car on cold days, pull it into the garage at night so he doesn't have to scrape the windows, always answering the phone when he calls and tslking about whatever he needs to talk about, buying the gifts for people in his family so he doesn't have to worry about it, putting the kids to bed so he can have some time to himself to relax, leaving him notes, etc. None of that counts to him. He wants me to physically touch him. I get irritated because he pouts when I can't hug him for 10 minutes when he comes home at 6 because I'm getting dinner on the table so we can eat as a family, and usually have the baby in a sling so I can nurse her WHILE I make dinner! I feel like I can't win. If I devote an entire night to sitting with him, hugging, holding hands, etc. while we watch what he likes on tv, he complains when I don't do the same thing the next night, too. As is, he goes to bed 2 hours before I do and sleeps in at least an hour longer than I do in the monring. I have so much to get done around here (and believe me, I am not a neatnik. I'm barely keeping my head above water with basic housekeeping:), how can I fit it all in and sleep at least 4 hours a night??
The only thing I can suggest is to try putting a hand on him when he walks by, pointing out the ways you show affection (in case he doesn't realize some of the things you are doing are your way of showing affection), and asking him for specifics on what he would like. Good luck. You are not alone.
1 mom found this helpful
A.H. answers from Chicago on January 24, 2008
I am an affectionate person by nature, and I know what you mean when you say it isn't all about sex... sometimes it's more about simply paying attention to your husband (which is really tough some busy days!) and reminding him that he is a priority to you. You don't need to be hugging on him all the time, but basic things like a random peck on the cheek with a smile and a quick hug from out of the blue work wonders. If you need to, leave yourself little reminders (on your cell phone, blackberry, post-it note in the laundry room, whatever) so that you force yourself to remember to do one little thing a couple times a day, so you won't slip back into your old routine.
Try surprising him with a greeting card (and stock up if he responds well to that, so whenever you feel you need one, you can grab one from your stash), or making his favorite dinner or a special dessert - I find that little gestures go a long way. Tell him how good he looks when he's off to work, or how much you love watching him play with your kids - things that make him feel good about himself and important to you.
You can really get creative with your ideas, but in your case I would go back to the basics and start with the little reminders to yourself, so that it becomes a habit. Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.C. answers from Kokomo on January 24, 2008
You had better force yourself and figure out how to change! I am a somewhat non affectionate person myself. I am on my second marriage, my first husband also said I failed him in that area and trust me he wasn't talking about sex either. He wanted me to drop everything and meet him at the door at the end of the day with a glass of tea.. and a kiss. He wanted me to have my hands on him or be close and touching him most all the time, and yes in public. I had so many kids I had my hands and attention on them that I didn't realize his needs until it was too late. He never voiced these things until the end when we were trying to work things out but we didn't. My friend who he ended up marrying does keep her hands on him and does the things he wants................... start today!
J.G. answers from Chicago on January 23, 2008
I have been married 20 years today, my hubby and I have gone through this same situation that you have M.. Forcing yourself or hiding sticky notes is not the way.
Just to hold his had on the couch, or a walk. To tweek or pinch his bottom when you walk past him. Inquire about his day. Forcing this will only make you resent it all the more.
We all have affection within ourselves. You just have to make abit more effort for your to show through.
As the other ladies have mentioned, stroke or fix his hair, hold hands, pinch his bottom, ear lobes. Affection can be in many ways.
I have made it 20 years with 3 girls, you will be ok.
H.E. answers from Chicago on January 24, 2008
Let me explain from you hub's point of view, if he hasn't already he may be too proud to. I am someone who lives for affection indefinitely. I will start by saying, if you have to ask for it, you feel like it takes away from it and theres no point in it. You want your spouse to WANT to touch you, and that you shouldn't have to ask for a hug,kiss,etc.
It probably started w/ me as a kid. I was always hugged and kissed and held, even as I got older. I learned to expect this from my husband who is somewhat affectionate, but not as much as I feel like I want him to be. There are times when I'm sitting in bed or on the couch and am desperate for affection. If he pushed me away I would be devestated and thank god thats never happened b/c I wouldn't know what or how to react. He's really good about recognizing when I need it most. I am not an overly touchy feely type either, I just need a small sign.
There are times when he is seeking it and I know I've been wrapped up in daily stuff and have ignored his needs too. You have to take the time to recognize his, and your needs when it comes to affection. Its the thing about love that reassures the other person you still have it. Humans by nature seek love and if they don't have it and can't get it, well I would imagine it would get pretty darn frustrating and spill over into other parts of their lives. It relieves stress and overcomes sadness. There is something healing and powerful in just a hug.
I would suppose after years of not getting it and knowing you don't want to give it, well than they may not want it from you anymore b/c they feel as though its not genuine. I don't know if that makes any sense.
Men LOVE being doted on. Hold his hand in the car, or even a hand on the knee. Give him a smile and a hug when he walks in the door from work. Play with his hair (if he has any). Do something you know will make him happy and feel special like bake his fave cookies. A kiss on the cheek before bedtime, a two minute neck massage, get creative. Obviously he should be doing some reaching out too, it can't be all you giving and not receiving.
If my hub wansnt affectnte, I wouldn't be able to survive a marriage to him for long. It would be like being married to a lazy guy that didn't work, its that important to me. Its probably that serious if he's said to you out loud it could end your marriage. He means it!!
G.B. answers from Chicago on January 24, 2008
first of all, don't put your feelings into catigories. labeling them will make them too specific and then make them too hard to live up to. don't let some self help book tell u how to feel or how to react to the man of your dreams. labels limit u. if u are not good at the physical affection, send him notes in his jacket or lunch. if it is possible, call him at work just to say hi. leave small trinkets where he can find them. take the time to just say i luv u and really mean it. maybe if u let him show u affection first, u will better understand what he wants. if he is truly the man of your dreams, close your eyes and find that emotion in u, and let it manifest into the world. (a kiss on the cheek and a hug never hurts!!) affection is not something u should have to work at. it is effortless when u genuinely feel that luv. maybe u and your husband should take some time alone and reconnect. date each other again!!! find your luv!! it's inside u waiting for u to call on it! good luck and bright blessings!