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My husband does not know how to be affectionate to me

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Question - (10 May 2010) 8 Answers - (Newest, 11 May 2010)
A female age 51-59, anonymous writes:

My biggest problem is that my husband does not know how to be affectionate to me. He tells me, "you don't accept the love I have for you." He thinks that because he feels love for me, that should be enough. He doesn't understand how much I need him to show me his love with physical attention.

But I know now, more than ever, what I need from my husband.. What I do fear is that my husband will never be affectionate to me. His parents rarely showed physical attention to anyone in their family, whereas, my parents always caressed and verbally showed us love. He says he knew he was loved without their affection. Does his upbringing have anything to do with his inability to show me love? I look forward to your response

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A female reader, Laura1318 Malaysia +, writes (11 May 2010):

Laura1318 agony auntHe was brought up in that kind of culture or environment and it is not easy for him to express his love for you outwardly.

Men and women talk in different love languages. You should not expect him to talk your love language but it would be advantages to him to learn the woman's love language for better communications.

If he has no interest to learn , there is nothing you can do about it except to show him until he assimilates or some of your ways rubbed into his lifestyle.

As most men would say,"If I did not love you I would not have married you ." Do not expect me to say ,'I love you or show loving affections everyday.' Some men have those mentalities and you cannot do much about these type of men.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 May 2010):

I think,when a man loves a woman,he wants her in bed too. I think,when it is not the case,there is something very wrong is going on. Sex is a pillar of marriage,and no matter what anybody says ,without that,it is very sad/. I think ,sometimes we just have to be selfish.I hope you will know what to do,if it wont change/Take care!

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A female reader, hpoco Switzerland +, writes (10 May 2010):

hpoco agony auntGreat advice so far, and also I want to add that you should be physically affectionate with him first, even if its awkward. If you initiate it often enough, he will eventually naturally reciprocate. Good Luck!

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A female reader, RNMeritt United States +, writes (10 May 2010):

Absolutely yes, his upbringing has to do with him not showing you physical affection. He brought into your marriage everything from his life growing up with his family.

Every family is different and usually a person goes into a marriage expecting the norm to be what they grew up with. Your family showed affection so you want affection. Your husband's family did not show affection so your husband does not understand why showing you affection is so important, much less how to show you affection.

Your husband has to learn to show you affection. Do not get angry at him for not showing you affection. It does not mean he does not love you. He cannot be held responsible for what he was taught. However, he can be held responsible for not learning how to give physical affection to you.

As your husband, he has to teach himself to be comfortable with providing you with the love language you require to feel loved by him. Show affection to your husband and treat him the way you want him to treat you. He is a lucky man to have a wife who wants him to touch her! By the same token, you must also figure out what makes him feel loved by you and you must do that for him as well.

Marriage is a constant process of learning and adjusting to each other over a lifetime of changes in feelings, desires, and circumstances.

My own experience with my husband is that he is never going to change for me, no matter if that is what it takes for me to feel loved by him. We have been married for 25 years and around the 18th year of marriage I FINALLY accepted the fact that he was not going to learn how to love me in the way that makes me feel loved. So, I finally stopped trying to teach him what I needed. I realized that marriage to my husband meant accepting the reality that he did not love me enough to do for me what I needed. And, he doesn't love me enough to care whether I feel loved or not -- although he would never think of it in this way.

Hopefully, your husband loves you enough to love you the way you need him to in order for you to FEEL loved by him. If he doesn't, then you have to decide if you are willing to live with your husband forever, being content with what he will do for you.

I knew what my husband was like before I married him. You knew your husband did not show physical attention before you married him. In marriage, we often have to adjust to circumstances beyond our control and accept it and live on, being content without our every need and/or desire being met.

No one person can be for us every single thing we need in life. For example, when you have children, you will be able to show your children all the affection you want and they will return your affection. Or, you can get a dogt that you can love affectionately and that dog will return that love and affection back to you.

Good luck. I hope your husband will learn to love you with affection. But, if he doesn't, accept it and adjust to find other ways to feel loved by him. Don't let it ruin your marriage. Love him just as he is.

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A male reader, TimmD United States +, writes (10 May 2010):

TimmD agony auntIn addition to what Emily said, I suggest just being honest with him and tell him what you need. It's not going to be an overnight thing, but bringing it up to him over and over to make him see what you need.

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A female reader, purple_butterfly Canada +, writes (10 May 2010):

It also depends on upbringing and a person's personality. Some people have a really hard time expressing themselves and opening up about their feelings.

Your husband probably really loves you and when you ask him to show love, he probably thinks why does not feel my love?

My bf is like that. He will want me to jut understand that he loves me without him telling me all the time.

I realise it can get really annoying. But you need to understnd that thats how some people are. Dont throw tantrums and do things that would annnoy your husban because I used to do that, thinking my bf will show more attention but he simply found it annoying. You continue to be how you are and I am sure you will just feel his love.

You could always hug him in the night and when you are talking in bed. be like you love him and get him to tell you things u wanna hear.

Not everything in life is perfect. Just appreciate his love despite him not expressing it all the time.

I hope it helps

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A female reader, Emilysanswers United Kingdom +, writes (10 May 2010):


Didn't you notice he was like this before you married him?

You just have to reach a compromise. Tell him you need him to make effort and you will make effort to do something HE wants and needs.

You can't marry a duck and complain when it quacks. This is just the way he is and you may need to find alternative ways to get your fix of affection.

Good Luck!! xx

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 May 2010):

Hello if he was always this way having trouble displaying affection then you surely need to express that its important to you.

In my opinion yes I believe our upbringing has a lot to do with how we behave as adults in many cases.

He says he does love you and feels as though that's enough. You need to make him understand that you'd like him to try and be more expressive with his affection

Good luck


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