Wanting More Affection In My Marriage

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Wanting More Affection In My Marriage
6
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 11:53am

So, now we hit the seven year mark and due to our many issues and disagreements, our intimacy and affection have hit an all time low. It's not on my part, it is my husband. He has over the years slowly began being less and less affectionate. We have had many talks about this and I even have brought it up in therapy. He got mad and said he is not to blame but the therapist pointed out he is the one who has made the choice to be less affectionate and our bedroom has suffered. I have tried talking it out with him telling him I miss his affection and that I am lonely and getting frustrated. He simply says that he is more like a woman and if emotionally he doesn't feel like we are connected because of our issues then he just can't and isn't willing. I am very sad and also I'm lonely and to be honest angry. We talked about intimacy before we got married and had a mutual agreement about it and what we liked and needed. I feel that for him to have made a decision without me, that is affecting our marriage is not right. I understand we have issues and he does have a point but I guess I am selfish actually thinking there should be romance and intimacy in a marriage. I am not a cheater nor am I a game player but if this is going to continue......one or twice a month at most...then I want out. Talking hasn't seemed to help. He says I'm pressuring him. Last night I was so upset I slept on the couch. Why should I sleep next to someone who isn't willing to give me any attention? I don't want to pull away but that is what I feel like doing. I want to go to therapy but he works all the time- like 15 hours days. Any therapists around at 2am? Very sad and lonely. He IS a very affectionate man....I guess that part of him has died. We have problems and issues that aren't going to go away overnight. I know I am part of the issue. Going through issues with my daughter who is bipolar plus going through a very rough menopause hasn't helped my mood at all lately. I want to fix things but I am at a loss at this point.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 8:27pm

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{DP}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

If/since he's too busy working/whatever right now---I think you should go to a marriage counselor by yourself right now.  

1.  He's unable to go to counselor right now because he's working all of the time,....so, it's not the same as he's "too busy' playing video games instead or something, KWIM?  If he's willing for whatever financial impact it is for you to start going, I'd consider that being supportive for right now, anyhow

2. Based on your other post re: the resentments re: household tasks, I think there is a whole lot of *stuff* that's been swept under the carpet, and now is starting to show up in other ways (your feelings of resentment, his feelings ---or, rather, lack of feelings--for intimacy, etc).  I think a good counselor can help both of you work through some of these issues to clear them up and get back to feeling good about each other.  

3.  You starting this on your own is not a bad thing---if one person changes the dance, then the other person is sort of forced into *some* sort of change......so, a good counselor would (hopefully) be able to help you with this start........

4.  If you go to counselor, and things DONT get better,,,,,,,,at least you'll feel you've done all you could have, KWIM?

PS:

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{TONS MORE HUGS!}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}with the menopause deal.....

I found myself MUCH *needier* during/after menopause-----eg, my SO really never gives me many compliments like "you look good/beautiful", whatever............and I guess it never phased me before, because I felt good enough about myself as it was.  AFTER menopause, with ucky feeling weight gain, wrinkly skin, etc----I have had ALOT of times of just feeling BAD re; times I think I've made myself look better (hair/clothes/whatever)---and him not to say a word about it, so then I'd feel even WORSE, like "why did I even bother TRYING to look nicer?"...............ugh.

Anyhow, from what you've said in this post added to the one on housework/kids weekends----I'm thinking your guy is probably one of these guys who eats up the "praise' and pouts/gets more sullen when feeling unappreciated, and I'm thinking with him working so many hours plus doing the "outside" work----he's feeling "unappreciated" for doing *so much*, plus just tired, so not paying attention to looking at things from your point of view.   I'm thinking that if somehow you just got him to spontaneously start "helping" you at (anything!) and you started laying on the "thank you's" and praise, he would start *helping* more.  And........YEAH, I completely *get* that you shouldnt *have* to "thank" him for taking a bigger responsibility for home stuff, esp since you work fulltime also........................

So, maybe a (good!) counselor can help you work through all of this!

((((((((((((((((((more hugs!!))))))))))))))))))))))

BEST WISHES, and Keep us Posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 11-14-2012 - 11:09am

I am wondering how you are acting toward him--do you act loving & affectionate or are you nagging & moody when he comes home from work?  I'm thinking that I wouldn't want intimacy with someone who wasn't nice to me--it would seem like another chore and maybe that's how he feels.  like "I can't do anything right.  She doesn't think I do enough around the house even though I work long days.  she doesn't like it when my kids come over.  then she complains that we don't have enough sex."  Why would that make him want to have sex?  I'd think a guy would want sex when his DW gives him a hug & kiss, asks him how his day was at work, asks if he's tired when he comes home, etc.  I've read where some advice people say that if you model to your DH how you would like him to treat you, then he might respond.  Maybe you could see if that works.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 1:56pm

Kind of like the others have touched on, I think you are both stuck in a vicious cycle. 

I struggle with balancing not being a door mat, but yet wanting to be a loving and giving partner.   Me and SO have actually been having similar struggles.  Details are a little different, but same frustration with differing perspectives. 

We are also approaching 7 years together and I am perimenapausal.  I am the one "not in the mood."

Aside from the great advice of maybe seeing a T on your own, maybe think about how he does show love or affection towards you, whether it be now or in the past.  How he shows love is how might then recongize it being given.  (the whole Love Language thing) 

I have found out in conversations with SO that things I do because I love him, don't necessarily carry any weight.  And of course, vice-versa.   I have spending more "time" with him the last few months.  It means that the bathroom is dirty, and our bedroom is a mess, but I made a choice, knowing how time is important to him, to spend more time with him and less on housework. 

I know it can be tough.  I hear him tell someone on the phone how it is my day off, etc. and I am thinking "please, go!  I have a ton of stuff to get done."  but instead, yesterday morning we spent the entire morning visiting until I had to get ready to meet someone for lunch. 

I don't know how this may look for you, but I do know that sleeping on the couch isn't going to help. 

Anyways, I got to go.  I hope something in there was helpful.  It has been up down for us this year, but after every disagreement we walk through, we become closer.  Hugs....

 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 6:40pm

For the record, yes much of the time I am loving and affectionate. Always have been. I give long backrubs, I give lots of hugs and kisses, we hold hands, walk arm in arm. I tell him thank you for all he does for us and I am supportive of his business. Much of this is years and years of issues that we really need to resolve. There are many occasions where we both argue and we both say mean things and we both hurt each other's feelings. I am not the type of wife who nags 24/7. I agree that when the other person is not nice why you want to have intimacy.

We are talking and working things out. I will go to counselling. I will do my best to try to be more positive and loving and hopefully he will follow suit. It takes two.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2007
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 6:41pm

For the record, yes much of the time I am loving and affectionate. Always have been. I give long backrubs, I give lots of hugs and kisses, we hold hands, walk arm in arm. I tell him thank you for all he does for us and I am supportive of his business. Much of this is years and years of issues that we really need to resolve. There are many occasions where we both argue and we both say mean things and we both hurt each other's feelings. I am not the type of wife who nags 24/7. I agree that when the other person is not nice why would you want to have intimacy. He has out and out told me that if I lost 20 pounds he would be more attracted to me. Ouch! I am the same weight I was when we married and he also needs to lose 20 pounds.

We are talking and working things out. I will go to counselling. I will do my best to try to be more positive and loving and hopefully he will follow suit. It takes two.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 7:19pm

Sounds like you both have a lot on your plate.   The bedroom stuff is so hard when one person is just not feeling it.   I have found with my SO it is all intertwined.   The one true issue often simply manifests itself in all areas of our life.  Never really been about the dirty dishes or your weight, KWIM? 

Good luck and let us know how things go.  

 

Serenity