Posted by: A | 2004/10/11

What is wrong with me?

I have this problem where I cannot show my husband affection - in that way I mean kissing him, holding his hand, being affectionate etc. We have been married 8 years now and every now and again this issue crops up and he gets mad with me and I always say I will make an effort - its just not in me to be like that. I was wondering if its because my mom and dad never showed us affection or between themselves when we were young and living together? My husband says his parents were also like that but it didnt affect him at all.

I want to solve this problem urgently as I am scared of losing him altogether. I have told him I will start counselling to get to the root of the problem but have to wait until 1st Jan until our new medical aid cover starts.

any suggestions on what to do in the meantime? Any books I can read or web pages of interest?

I really know that I am the problem and he has been sympathetic for the past 8 years but our time is running out if I dont sort this out - he will probably look elsewhere for it. I have 2 daughters and the last thing I want to do is to bring them up in an affectionless home. My love towards them is fine - I can shower them with hugs and kisses but not him.

I am really depressed about this as I am making his life miserable.

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Our expert says:
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Some people just as unskilled at showing affection physically, and it may well have much to do with whether they ever saw such affection shown in their family as they grew up. But, as your husband points out, some of us are just much more affectionate naturally, whatever we saw or didnt see our parents do. Marriage counselling, could indeed help a lot, and it should help him, having waited for 8 years for such a solution, to wait until January !
When you mention sexual issues relating to your father, we don't need to climb into that as you don't wish to, but it could well be relevant, as such experiences can lead to one feeling, quite deeply, that physical affection is necessarily linked ( though it isn't ) to more sinister and sexual activities.
And mindful's suggestion is a good one --- move towards the state you want to reach, by small steps.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Josh | 2004/10/11

If it didn't bother your husband he would not talk about it. If you do not kiss your husband the way lovers do. then he might think that you do not love him. Everybody needs to feel loved and that you have to show him by kissing him passionately and holding his hand.

Reply to Josh
Posted by: A | 2004/10/11

It would work except most nights I fall asleep before him!

Thanks for the tip though - might give it a try - even if it means subconsciously saying it over and over again until I can voice it to him.

Have a good day.

Reply to A
Posted by: Mindful | 2004/10/11

Hi A,

You are definitely not alone! I have no advice for you, as I am also not one to express my emotions, neither am I touchy-feely...Perhaps you can tell your husband that you admire how easily he does it, and that you can learn from him?
hehe, I am actually thinking about a friend that went through the same thing, and she said that one night she waited until he was asleep, and told him she loved him then. She did it every night, until she was able to say it in the dark while he was awake. They're happily married now, and are expecting their first child.
Worth a try?

Reply to Mindful
Posted by: A | 2004/10/11

Thanks - it is really re-assuring that I am not the only one.

My sister also has her fair share of "problems" in that department so I can only assume its from our family history - besides the fact that there were also sexual issues relating to my father that I am not ready to confront.
Thanks for your input though.

Reply to A
Posted by: Sweety | 2004/10/11


I find that my brother and i suffer the same kind of set back. Its not that we don't love our spouses but for some reason we are never able to initiate affection although we can respond to our spouses affection. This might indeed be because of our upbringing. Our parents were never openly affectionate, infact they had a rather troublesome marriage. Fortunately for me my hubby does not make it an issues. He just continues being affectionate whenever he is around me. My sis-in-law on the other hand is not able to accept that that is the way my bro is.

I don't think everybody is comfortable with displaying affection and that just has to be accepted.

Reply to Sweety
Posted by: A | 2004/10/11

Thanks BT. Didnt reply to your post earlier as I dont quite know what to say - havent been in a situation like that before either.

Just keep strong.

Reply to A
Posted by: Beyond Tired | 2004/10/11

Hi A,
The sooner you get the root cause the better, pity you have to wait to the 1st of January. I don't have any real advice for you on this except to say, I hope you will manage to resolve it and find out what is holding you back.
Good luck

Reply to Beyond Tired

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