Unaffectionate Wife

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2003
Unaffectionate Wife
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 11:55am

Is it hopeless?

My wife is very unaffectionate. I have tried most everything. I have talked to her about it and how I need her to show me her affection. I am not even talking about sex. I told her a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the butt. Anything would be great.

I have been very affectionate towards her. I give her hugs when we pass in the hall. I tell her I love her and how beautiful I think she is. I don't feel I am smothering in my affection and am not possesive either. I have spoken to her about it and told her how I feel but nothing ever changes. I find myself not wanting to help her around the house because I say what the heck for she doesn't give me a hug and kiss every now and then. I feel bad that I feel that way and it is a subconcious thought but it is there. She says she loves me and there are no signs of an affair. All I get for an explaination is I am not a very affectionate person. That I don't understand. It is a basic human desire to love and be loved. She sometimes blames it on her parents bad marriage. But she is very affectionate toward our children and her parents were not very affectionate toward her. We do have sex on a regular basis and she appears to enjoy it. But I just want a wife that I can hold hands with and acts like she loves me.

By most standards we have a very good marriage. We do not have money issues or other common marriage problems. The only thing lacking is a physical display of affection.

Any ideas?


Edited 11/1/2005 1:18 pm ET by mluvs2w
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 12:09pm
Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman - read it with her.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2004
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 1:04pm

I wonder how long you two have been married. You say you have children--was the situation the same before then? If not, that may have a big role in this. Otherwise, I'm not sure...

In any case, I'm so sorry you are going through this. I just separated from my husband back in April after only several months of marriage, in part due to issues like this. He, however, was not very interested in sex, either. He would occasionally hug and kiss me, unlike your situation, but overall I felt very physically neglected. I voiced this to him on multiple occasions, and we went to counseling for a short while (but were dealing with other relationship problems as well, so the physical part didn't get as much focus) but things never changed.

I assumed the worst--infidelity, lack of interest in me, or also whether or not he might even be gay--and actually confronted him about all of these suspicions, to no avail. I never did get an answer. I know he was not having an affair. I am a thin, attractive woman, and so I know that wasn't it. I also know he isn't gay, either, but he could never provide an answer. And ultimately, unfortunately, I couldn't continue in our relationship. I felt so alone. Actually, I felt like his roommate, not his wife, and told him that on more than one occasion, hoping to get my point across, but nothing changed.

I can only empathize, here, as I never got an answer from my husband, to this day. He just says he "doesn't know why" he didn't show me affection. My only thought is to suggest counseling to your wife, in an effort to have an objective, third party offer help. I think counseling is always a good choice--it can never hurt.

I hope things improve for you both.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2005
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 1:58pm

You know I am just like you wife, my husband would kiss me, hold hands, tell me I was beautiful and I didnt know how to react? No one had ever done that for me.

My first marraige was horrible, my husband told me I useless, ugly, fat, no-one would ever love etc. and to this day I have issues with holding hands, kissing, sometimes I think i'm not worth it.

Another point is, I never saw my folks being affectionate, nor did I see my grandparents. I think it started with my granny who was an orphan and no-one loved her as a child. She NEVER showed emotion wether it be happy, sad, excited. etc. maybe it was passed down thru my mom then to me. Just an insight, maybe your wife had something that happened in her past, maybe not.

Keep kissing her, and hugging your wife, I love it when my husband used to do it to me even tho I didnt show it back,

Avatar for drshoshanna
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 2:28pm

Well, if affection is so deeply important to you, then she needs to really be made to understand it. Just saying I'm not an affectionate person isn't enough. In a relationship we all need to grow in different ways if our partner has a need that is strong. She needs help in breaking through her lack of affection, and help in learning how to open up and warm up to you. Let her know that the lack of affection is causing you to feel upset and even distance yourself from her.

Part of marriage is being respectful of your partners needs, and, if they are not unreasonable,

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2005
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 4:02pm
Has she always been like this, or this lack of affection a recent change?
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2003
Tue, 11-01-2005 - 4:18pm

Was she ever affectionate with you?