Spouse not wanting to be touched?
I understand we are having glitches right now but couldn’t help asking…
I feel like the roles are reversed in my relationship, generalizing. We have a lot to unpack as far as things to work through, and we are both motivated to improve so that is a positive. I think (&DH would agree) most of the problems stem from DH’s GAD, PTSD, LD prob due to ED, performance anxiety. We are beginning to talk about them which is a huge step. DH does say he feels intimidated by my drive(which I think isn’t extremely high to be honest, it’s just that his is so low).
This question is about non-foreplay fondling. We hug daily as frequently as we are able, and sometimes he reaches for my breasts and rear which I encourage, but his parts are off limits. If I gently reach down for a quick “hi there” during a hug my hand gets pulled away, or he stiffens up and turns away. His package is only available to me when he has an erection, and so it’s been for our 16 years of marriage.
I understand that the issues that I mentioned above are probably causing this specific problem and I am trying to get past my own feelings of “not fair!” to try and build trust, work through this, etc.
It seems like not a very big deal compared to the big picture problems, though we spoke a little bit about it last night and I told him that it hurt me, but I do understand he isn’t trying to hurt me.
Have any of you worked through something like this with your spouse? Have any of you had to just accept it?
Clearly I’m a dude, so the roles are reversed, but I think it is common for both genders to be a little touchy about having their non-aroused genitals spontaneously touched.
You mention your breasts and butt, but how you would you feel if he did that with your vulva, or more specifically, your clitoris? Even as a HD male who loves having his flaccid genitals touched by his DW most of the time, an uninvited/unexpected visit can be rather shocking.
Likewise, how does your DH respond to you grabbing his butt? That is much less intrusive, and starting there may yield better results. If he doesn’t even want that, then I’d start your conversation there, especially considering that he is grabbing yours. Also, it seems that LD individuals (or who knows, maybe all drives) tend to touch their partner the way they want to be touched.
I wonder if he equates touching his penis with some expectation of it getting aroused and hard. He may take that as pressure because of his ED? I would maybe communicate that your touch comes with no expectations and it’s just an expression of the love of his body/parts. I’m a dude, so that’s a total shot in the dark answer. Lol
I don’t have any great solutions but I will gently disagree that “it’s not a very big deal compared to the big picture problems.” It’s one aspect of the bigger problems. My wife and I have a variation of this problem. It is painful and feels like rejection from your spouse every time. I’m sorry it is happening to you.
A question (well, series of questions): You say you hug frequently. Does he initiate that? Is he generally comfortable with touch otherwise? Is it a love language for him at all? Does he spontaneously touch you (and your kids if you have them) and/or receive spontaneous touch easily? If he isn’t really that comfortable with touch overall, he will be even less amenable to casual intimate touching.
Regardless, remember he is not rejecting you, even though it hurts.
Does he pull back when you initiate or become too aggressive? Sometimes a man can get intimidated and it causes him to ‘clutch-up.’ If you have a HD than he does, it may take more equal footing for him to be ready for action. Just another thought!
@MrsNerd, I understand, to a certain extent, what you are talking about. Is your DH a quieter, more reserved person? Mine is. We will hug and kiss during the day, but it’s always initiated by me. He is so on edge that someone will see, if I try and touch his package. I’ve also hugged him many times, where it wasn’t reciprocated. When I finally asked him how he could keep his hands stiffly by his sides, or crossed over his chest, while his wife hugged him, he didn’t know. He didn’t know what he was thinking. He also takes his job of making a living, very seriously and if things aren’t going quite right, it stresses him greatly and he becomes preoccupied. I have gotten to the point, that I tell him he can gladly put his arms around me when I am hugging him. It has improved, though.
DH also had some sexual trauma in his teen years. However, he never talked about it much, nor thought it affected him. But, I can sure see it now, once it was explained to me, how much damage was done, and how it has affected his perception of some sexual things, and of course, our whole marriage bed. Things that are normal for other males, that he simply doesn’t/can’t enjoy like they can. I believe some healing has happened and I like to believe more will happen, yet.
DH doesn’t like it if I initiate too much. I believe it makes him pull back. He says thats not my job, since my sexual desire is mostly responsive. I am also careful not to spring any sexual surprises on him. It just doesn’t go over well. He doesn’t even like it if I touch his package while he is sitting in the living room. Too on edge that someone might see! I tell him I have my eye on the doorway and I will notice, but that isn’t good enough for him!
I could write a lot more, but I will stop there. I hope everything works out for you and know that I am praying!
No, I haven’t experienced anything like that. In fact, I love to touch and be touched by DW.
Like SC, I wondered if SA was part of his history and a concern over not being able to perform well enough for you.
How does it go when you guys try to talk about these things? How about counseling?
It seems he is on guard. (a bit like Brynna’s DH seems to be) Have there been times where he has let his guard down? or when your exuberance or sexiness helped him get carried away?
Have there been times in your 16 years – like in the early years – where he was more open to your touching? Or certain times? Like when he was getting horny?
As a man, I get that this sort of response is much more common from wives than husbands, but then again, when you have the higher drive, most of the conventional wisdom is reversed. All that said, in addition to not being super crazy about me fondling her, my DW used to be super reserved about any touch that could be perceived by me as sexual except when she was pursuing sex. A boyfriend in high school (the guy before me) had told her that it’s not nice to start something you don’t intend to finish. This came out in conversation between us last year, and we really spent time processing its impact on her. I’ve made clear that I enjoy some sexual touch even when it’s not leading anywhere right now—it keeps the fires burning (and builds tension leading to our next sexual interaction). It’s taken her some time, but she’s become more willing to engage me in that way (and let me touch her that way too).
That may or may not help, but I do believe that talking it through, in a safe time and place without judgement or criticism of you DH could be helpful. However, sexual conversations are far more effective when you have regular intimate (deep/vulnerable, not specifically sexual) conversations in your marriage. Keep working the communication angle, even if you pursue other approaches.