Updated: May 4
As marriage coaches, we hear this from disappointed wives, "Why isn't my husband affectionate with me?" or "He will not hold my hand when we walk together, cuddle on the couch, or hug me just to be close to me!"
Have you ever felt this way in your relationship? If so, you will love this post!
The failure to communicate accurately is not how you build a happy marriage! It may be commonplace, but it does not need to be in your marriage! Here are 3 simple fixes to help you express your needs with your husband, so he understands you better.
These 3 ideas build upon each other and show your husband what you enjoy and why it is important to you.
1 - Your husband does not realize what thoughtful affection means to you, which is the reason to compassionately explain how to be more affectionate with you.
Since affection is an extension of your love, you need to help your husband appreciate what genuine love looks like. It may seem foreign to you, yet as a man, love is something he must see modeled for him to understand how to love. Not all men have been shown what authentic love looks like and it does not come natural for him.
Your husband is not equipped internally to appreciate love as are you. He does not appreciate your ability to express love in every direction. He cannot appreciate how to cope with love, which must be discovered since he was not born with this ability.
This is the most important single point I will make in this post - while you love unconditionally, from birth, your husband does not feel the same as he has a different internal nature which drives him, He craves your respect and admiration!
Men do not respond in love until they learn how to love.
Since appreciating who he is drives him, affection is not something he finds necessary. You have to teach him you have different desires. Since you yearn for the closeness of physical contact without a sexual connotation, he will only get this message when you talk his language.
Respect touches his male nature, as love does you as a woman. He would do anything to ensure you view him as a "real man".
Help your husband understand your need to feel loved when you express love to him through praising his accomplishments. That is the direction to his heart. Your husband then feels the need to completely trust and protect you when he knows you are 100% on his side, you "have his back", no matter the situation. He builds trust for you when he wraps his arms around you and tells you how beautiful you are to him. When you both receive honest praise, you feel whole.
Let me clear up a huge myth her for you: "No person, male nor female, will get a big ego or become conceited by receiving honest, sincere compliments." Somewhere it was incorrectly stated a person will get a "big head" if they receive too many compliments. This is NOT TRUE for either one of you!
He needs to feel you are his life-mate, extremely still glad you married him. As to showing him respect, it is essential your husband comes first in your life before your family or your children.
Your husband wants to be front and center in your mind. Seek out ways to convey to your husband how special he is to you. Honestly and openly praise him and he will become very receptive to your needs.
2 - Affection is different than foreplay or sexual touching, yet your
husband does not separate these two concepts, until you help him.
Non-sexual touching is a foreign concept to your husband, also he not know why you yearn for it. Men must be taught how to show kind touches to acknowledge he enjoys being close to you instead of every caress getting him sexually aroused.
When my wife and I coach a couple, I often ask the husband: "What is non-sexual touching, and does you wife like it?" Most times he begins to squirm a bit and feel put on the spot since this is a new concept for him. I reassure him and say something like, "As men, we do not understand this wonderful pleasure generating process for our wife." As I explain it to the husband, I get the wife involved so they can speak about this later as well.
For your husband to understand your need for this form of bonding, ask him the question I posed above to men (framed from you), "Honey, do you think I like non-sexual touching?" as he scrunches his face, and shrugs his shoulders, help him out by adding, "What I mean non-sexual touching is when you hold my hand while we drive or take a walk to be together. Or when you hug me when we first see each other during the day and cuddling on the couch just to be close to each other."
"I also like when we talk about our life, just sharing thoughts together, not really trying to solve the worlds problems or make a to-do list! These really make me feel important to you."
(That last sentence is critical since he wants to be first in your mind and heart.)
The second way to help him see your viewpoint of romance, is to assure him he is not deficient, less of a man or inadequate. Re-read point # 1, and notice he requires your respect and admiration as a man. We have found, men most often define romance as "SEX". That is not how you feel. Instead for you romance is a number of kind gestures he does for you, which is how he shows he loves you. You might give him your definition for romance which are simple caring and thoughtful gestures just to tell me you are glad to be my husband!
Assist your husband in learning what you desire to help you feel pleasure outside the bedroom. He does not need to feel your physical contact, to know you are close by. However, since gentle physical contact is important for you, share these ideas and continue to share why you need him to do them more often to you.
3 - You and your husband listen on different paths, you listen to
understand, he listens to create.
Men and women know the same words, yet too often they use different definitions which may not be apparent to each other. So far, I mentioned a few words: non-sexual touching; romance; love; and respect. You two have disjointed meanings for the same words since you are a man and a woman.
Another simple word which has difficult connotations is: listening.
When you say you want your husband to listen, he may agree and sit down with you. Often, he will bring a pad of paper and have his pen in hand. As you share your heart, he jots notes and begins to form a plan for solving your problems! In your mind you may be screaming NO! NO! NO!, I just want you to listen not fix my problems or give me some list of corrections.
To your husband, "listen" indicates your hunger for him to swoop to your aid and help you work out a complex situation. Not your view, is it? When you ask him to "listen" you have a female view in mind, of course!
The problem here, even though you might feel otherwise, he is listening intently to you, but with a man's concept for hearing, not a woman's perspective. For you, listening means having an open heart, open ears, and closed mouth by the listener, a nod or "aha" every now and then. To your husband, a set of plans for completion is the ultimate desired result. You may think I am exaggerating here, yet too many marriages have sever problems due to misunderstood duties on each side of the discussion.
Perhaps your husband has said to you, you do not understand him! What he means is you are not supportive and have not generated lots of solutions, written or verbal when he brings a problem to you. He tells some situation where he needs results to complete the task or manage the situation he has on his mind.
Listen to him how he needs you to tune into him. When you want him to listen, before you start sharing the situation on your heart, tell him his role straight out, "All I want is for you to sit and listen, agree or disagree, but simply hear my words with no lists or telling me how to correct my situation."
Express to him how you enjoy him as your husband, and it makes you feel like a woman to have him near you. Perhaps reach out and hold his hand while you look directly at him. Don't get defensive if he has difficulty looking into your eyes for an extended amount of time. Shoot me and email & ask me to explain why men do not stare intently into each other's eyes.
True communication is done by two people who care for each other and respect the other person. No topic is off the table and topics can be brought forth by either spouse.
These three ideas are not the end all for solving your issues, however, if applied to your relationship, you will see new open doors of understanding for constructive relationship bridge building!
Work to win his heart by applying these 3 suggestions.
If you have other specific needs, shoot me an email at PepUpYourMarriage@hotmail.com
Your friend and relationship coach - Jerry Stumpf
THE BEST IS YET TO BE!!!
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