Any advice for HANDling awkward touching?
Laughing at myself over that pun!
Okay, first I wanted to say hello after a long time away! I check in now and then but haven’t had very much opportunity to post. Might sound a little cheesy but I’ve missed you all.
HG – great post and questions…and for a moment, I thought my wife had posted the question overnight. 😳😂
I do some of the same things to my wife so you’re not alone, including coping a feel and looking down her shirt before I left for a wedding rehearsal yesterday…and yes, at 53, I’m still enamored like a JH boy with DW’s boobies and call them such in a JH manner/voice. Many times she is more than willing to let my infatuation with them play out and all the while, she doesn’t understand my love of them and constantly asks if I’ll ever get tired of them, NOPE!!! NEVER!!!
On the other hand , DW has also made it abundantly clear to me that when talking, I need to be careful about listening, engaging her eyes, and not touching her, especially in irritating ways in the moment. I know that if she puts her hand(s) up on my chest to not allow me to close the gap or try to hug and kiss her when talking, she doesn’t feel I’m listening well or she wants me to stop and pay attention to what she wants to communicate. Poking at her breasts or coping a feel at such a time would invoke the hands up and her ire at me, which would need to be addressed as well. TBH, I don’t think any woman wants to be poked at.
DW needs other NON-SEXUAL touches so I know I need to give her plenty of those as well so that she feels loved for more than her body and sexuality. Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s part of the key for women, to feel loved, valued and important for more than being a man’s pleasure palace & sex object. Women want to be cherished for who they are and apparently, (newsflash guys) poking or copping feels all the time do not conjure up those emotions, right?
HG- yes, an honest conversation is certainly in order telling him how you fell and communicating to him how and why it bothers you. I would suggest setting up a time to do it rather than as a response to him irritating you. This way it may be less emotional for both of you vs. a moment when you’ll be upset and he may be embarrassed by your anger and telling him he’s been irritating you for 10 yrs. Also, you might consider starting the conversation by taking his hands and saying, “Hon, I want to respect you and I want your respect”. This communicates respect for your husband and how you do not feel respected as a women and his bride when he touches you that way all the time. Then maybe apologize for not sharing this earlier in your marriage, owning your responsibility for full transparency in your marriage, and that you want to share something now to help move your relationship forward, then let him know what is bothering you and what you need from him moving forward. End by communicating and reassuring your love and respect for him and thank & praise him for something. That phrase and the apology might help soften the blow for him and ending with appreciation, especially if he is love language is words of affirmation. If touch is one of his LL’s, then taking his hands when having the conversation will help too.
This may be painful but it has the potential to change your marriage, how you communicate and relate to one another and bring greater intimacy to your marriage.
@69 – While it is understandable to try and make comparisons, is it really fair to compare and have the same expectations of responses from different people, personalities and sexes? My wife and I have different ideas about cleaning and organization, taste in decorating, landscaping, food, entertainment, where to live and what the house should look like. It’s a wonder we don’t fight more or just kill each other but we’ve been working at trying to understand and respect the other’s personality and choices out of love and service to each other in Christ.
I don’t mind and actually desire my wife to cop a feel or drop her hand down my pants every time she thinks about it and when I come home but she wants to be touched in many other ways before I touch her sexually. She could send me naked pics all day long and I’d be happy but if I sent her a pic of Mr Wiggly it’d do NOTHING for her. It’s not about equality or treatment in action, it’s about serving the other in the spirit of selflessness and sacrifice.
I’d submit that what bothers many women is that it’s not about a loving touch, it’s about selfish taking for the man’s sexual pleasure/gratification (which is part of what oldbear was talking about before marriage) and therefore, women feel used, rather than cherished & treasured. Women? Touch their heart & mind, get their body. Men? Touch their body, get their heart and mind. It’s the way God designed us.
Thanks @HG for this excellent topic. Many husbands (and boyfriend) handle physical touch clumsily.
As a testosterone filled late teenager and young man my mis-handling of Ms. Youngbear’s/Mrs. Oldbear‘s delightful, alluring, and beautiful breasts painfully (physically, emotionally, relationally) affected our sexual joy, generosity, and freedom.
My incessant pawing of Ms. Youngbear’s breasts required her to push me away. Foolishly, I persisted until I ‘got it’ that ‘no means no!’ My pushiness led to other ‘stop signs’ without which would have taken her virginity away before our wedding day. I am forever grateful for her firmness and unconditional love.
For many years in our early marriage, Mrs. Youngbear struggled to freely enjoy the sexuality of her breasts. The hurtful behavior and lack of respect for physical and emotional boundaries had taken its toll. Thankfully I realized that doing what your husband does was not only annoying, it was hurtful to Mrs. Youngbear. Messing around – poking, grabbing, etc. – with her breasts was not romantic, sexy, nor loving. Candidly, I longed for breast intimacy and knew that my lack of awareness and sensitivity and respect required healing for her and me. Thankfully, that dream and desire has been realized!
Last, evening, Mrs. Oldbear snuggled next to me, adjusting her breasts to fit comfortably against my side. She pulled my left leg between her legs and soothingly whispered her love for me. We couldn’t get enough of the close intimacy as she pressed her breasts against me. This cuddling routine is the prelude to our evening prayer time together – our list is long and if I forget someone or something, she whispers it. Afterward we relished a time of closeness, sensing that the energy to bring each other to heights of ecstasy was trumped by the exquisite joy of holding each other.
After awhile, Mrs. Oldbear rolled over to her sleeping spot and we held hands for awhile. Then I whispered, “Would your girls enjoy some loving?“ She sweetly and eagerly pulled my head to her breast. As I gently touched, cupped, and mouthed them she contentedly murmured her delight.
@HG, your DH needs to know how you feel. Yes, there is a chance that he will be hurt – probably angry with himself and embarrassed. How you and he talk this through is so important. Pray and trust the Lord and look for the right time to talk with him.
You have been given much good advice. Yes, in a gentle and loving way, you need to have a discussion about what you want and don’t want, how you want it and how you don’t want it. Etc.
But, if I may, I strongly urge you to do this as well. Be sure you try to learn from him why he does this and what it means to him, what needs are being fulfilled by it (or unmet needs are crying out), etc. Your assumptions or conclusions about him may or may not be accurate.
Do you see, as much as he needs to understand you and how his actions are coming across to you, as his spouse you need to understand him as well? In fact, understanding him first may help you share your perspective in more of a loving, constructive manner. Just a thought.
Sorry to be late to the conversation, but I did want to contribute to the discussion.
I very much was your husband earlier in our marriage. It took me forever to figure out how to touch Zelda appropriately. I can certainly remember roughly 7 yr into our marriage when Zelda tried to teach me how she wanted to be touched. It was so foreign to me that I couldn’t really process and accept it. She tried various methods, including asking me how/where I wanted to be touched (my penis, obviously 😆 ), grabbing my hand and showing me, and other things. It really didn’t sink in until years later (about 12 yr into marriage) when our physical relationship hit rock bottom. One thing that helped me beyond Zelda’s own words to me was reading other women online saying not-so-nice things about their husbands’ poor touching approach. I don’t have any links for that, as I remember it being comments on blog articles.
The thing is, the touch that my wife needs/needed was like a complete other language for me. It made no sense, and it’s certainly not what is shown in porn or even mainstream TV/movies. And it’s clearly not what feels good for me. Also, it wasn’t so necessary in the first couple years of our relationship (pre-kids). However, once I finally understood it, the rewards are awesome…though even that took a while because she was relatively freshly postpartum and I was aiming at a moving target. And once DW is aroused, she does respond positively to the touches I naturally want to give (this is where your DH understanding responsive desire can be beneficial).
So my suggestion is to convey to your husband (when you talk to him) that you understand that this is like a foreign language to him, but it indeed is real. Tell him there will almost certainly be benefits for him too if he learns! And convey that this is completely normal for women (and their confused husband) and it’s not some sort of failure on his part. 🙂
I think the best way is to take his hand and show him how you like to be touched and tell him gently you are not crazy about being poked or grabbed. And if he warms up to that, throw in the fact you would like to finish what you are talking about before he touches you in seductive manner. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings if my wife did that, I am open to learning, even after 30 years!
“one reason I’ve been quiet about it is because I believe as a married couple, our bodies belong to each other, and I don’t like the idea of telling him he can’t touch me a certain way. “
Yes, HG, that’s true. Your body is his and his body is yours under Scripture. HOWEVER, I don’t hear you saying, “don’t touch me”. What I heard you saying is, “when you touch me here in this way/manner, I don’t like it.” You’re not telling him no, you’re telling him how you want to be treated and that’s a fair thing to do.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts @oldbear + @newwifenewlife.
I fully agree on what you both say. But I still think that sometimes there is some bias, that when men touch, or think about sex if for their own pleasure/gratification, in some way there is a readiness to think that the man is using the woman as an object of pleasure only. But in similar situations that are coming from the other side (woman to man) we don’t do that assumption.
Is kind of saying:
– it is OK for women to touch their man whenever they feel like, as we ‘assume’ they do it with heart and mind.
– but when men go for some touching, we ‘assume’ they are doing it for self gratification first, without putting their heart at it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts