Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Is affection important in a relationship??

I'm hoping that I can get some reader input here... from both males AND females.

Let me give you a little background.. as I've mentioned before, my husband and I are currently in marriage counseling. We have been separated two times now and got back together at the end of the summer. Although most things are going well, my biggest complaint right now is no affection. When we first got back together there was a little bit of affection but really not much. When I asked my husband about it he said at first it was because we had just gotten back together and things were a little awkward.. and to just give him time. Well, I gave him time, lots of it.. but the affection became less instead of more! When we started to go to counseling I talked to the therapist about it. At first he told me that I should just ASK for affection. If i want a hug or a kiss.. just ask. I told him that it was a bit uncomfortable for me to ask after getting NO affection from him but he told me that sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable.. or else the problem wont change! Soo, I did that. Even though it was a bit uncomfortable after everything, I started to ask him for a hug or a kiss. He obliged.. but only when I asked. I finally realized that I only got any kind of affection when I asked. If I didnt ask, I got nothing.. I finally gave up. Why should I put all of the effort into it and he put nothing into it?? I mean I get NO affection. I get no, "i love you", i get no goodbye kiss, no hugs, no cuddles, no flirts, NADA! I feel like I have a room mate, not a husband!... At our last counseling sesson, the counselor was more or less taking HIS side.. saying that back in the 1950's men didn't show their wives affection. Going to work and supporting the family was enough showing of "love".. and that him going to work every day should be enough for me.. Well, I work, too.. and he would still work even if I wasn't here!!.. and it's 2009 not 1950!

Now, I realize that some people are just not affectionate people. My husband has always been very affectionate with me. I never had to ASK.. he just was! He always wanted to cuddle with me.. always held my hand when we were out somewhere, wouldn't leave without telling me he loves me and giving me a kiss goodbye. I just don't understand the sudden change. Now he tries to say that he is just "not an affectionate person".. but he always has been! He says he loves me and he wants me to stay but he doesn't even act like he is the slightest bit attracted to me! I feel invisible here.. feel like I'm just here to be the maid and take care of the kids while he is at work! I asked him, how am I supposed to feel secure in our marriage after everything that has happened when he doesn't even act like he is attracted to me? He knows how much this is hurting me but he is not making any kind of effort. He says he doesn't know WHY he doesn't feel that affection is important any more. I know he has his own issues as I've mentioned before. I think he has some attachment issues. So far, none of HIS problems have been addressed.. it's all been about ME.. and I've been made to feel like I am over reacting to the no affection thing. However, everyone I have talked to feels the same as me. I even did some online research on how important affection is and everything I've read states that affection is important. Hell, I've watched 65 yr old married couples be more affection than my husband is! It hurts.. a lot. I'm not happy here. I don't feel loved here... but yet he still begs me to say? I just don't understand it...

So anyway, my question to all of you is: "Do you think affection is important in a relationship?". Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!!


  1. Oh hell yes, I think it's important! Trust and affection are the two most important elements in a relationship. Without them, what do you have? Like you said -- just a couple of people who happen to be sharing a living space together.

    ... Is that what you want?

    It sounds like your husband is emotionally starving you. If he's not willing to address that issue -- and if affection from YOU isn't something that he desires -- then it sounds like you might have some hard choices in front of you.

    You might want to talk to another counselor for a second opinion, too. The one you're seeing now sounds like a bit of a dimwit. Just because some men were emotionally stunted zombies in the 50s, that doens't mean you should put up with it now. I mean, seriously. That was 50 freakin' years ago. May as well say that just because women never wore pants in 1908, we shouldn't be doing so now.


  2. Thanks for the comment! I really dont know what the deal is.. he used to be very affectionate with me.. now it has just stopped. He knows how much it is hurting me but is making no attempt to change! If something doesnt change soon then I only have on choice.. and this time it will be for GOOD.

  3. Everything matters in a relationship. Save it before it is too late. I'm totally for love... I keep my marriage vows...til death do we part!

  4. I'm a male and definitely think an affectionate relationship is a healthy one. You say that your husband used to be affectionate, but has now stopped.... Perhaps he has some issues lately that he's afraid to discuss with you. Just let him know you support him no matter what and try and talk about both your needs and why things have changed. Lol I don't mean to sound so paternal!

  5. thanks everyone for the new comments.. I love hearing other people's opinions. Nothing has changed.. Ive tried asking him WHY he doesnt want to be affectionate with me.. but he has no answer. He knows how much this is hurting me but he's not even making an EFFORT. He knows how it makes me feel about myself and our marriage.. but he just doesnt seem to care. I really dont know what to do.

  6. Affection is essential. I was the starved one in my last relationship. Subsequently, I tired of asking for it and became the "roommate". You shouldn't have to ask for it. If he can't give it freely, he's no longer in love with you. He was me.

  7. Yes, I believe it is...There can be no relationship without affection...even in case of a one-night stand, you wouldn't sleep with that person if you did not feel something nice about them, would you?

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  8. Affection is very important in a marriage Indeed hugging, kissing and holding hands are quoted as signs of a good relationship. When these things stop, it can be a sign of other problems.

    You said you needed the affection and also that your husband used to be affectionate but is not currently. Look to see what other things have changed between you. It is often hard to meet someone else's needs if your own needs are not being met. Which of his needs are not being met? As you said, it is hard to ask for these things.

    Sometimes if one spouse makes an effort it can make the other more comfortable to reciprocate.

  9. Something I learned when my ex husband and I were in cousnseling...I being much more affectionate it then he....was that some people just do not "need" it the way others do. Personally I need it. It makes me feel connected to my partner and it brings me closer to them. Some people are just not programmed to be affectionate, and usually has to do with how they are raised. And like Matthew stated here - sometimes their are underlying problems as to why the affection is no longer their. I know their are times when I am sad or angry and the last thing I want to do is send out a hug or a touch, or even a kiss for that matter.

    That being said, if you in counseling and you have a top notch counseler, they should be able to get to the root of the problem and help the two of you out.

  10. Oops, and I forgot, funny you are talking about this because I am in the middle of writing an article about it!