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lovely but unaffectionate DP

(101 Posts)
zookeeper Thu 06-Dec-12 12:28:34

That's it really; I have been with my lovely DP for two years. We don't live together but we see each other three or four times a week. He is thoughtful, unselfish, caring, funny, kind to my dcs etc but physically unaffectionate.

The only time he shows any affection is when we're in bed and he wants sex. Otherwise it's a peck on the lips when we meet and another peck when he leaves. He wouldn't think to hold hands with me when we're walking along or snuggle up to me when we're on the sofa or anything like that. If I hold his hand when we're out (or in for that matter) it just doesn't feel right because he clearly isn't comfortable.

As he's so lovely in other ways I've overlooked it but recently it's become more and more of an issue with me as I love handholding, hugging and all that stuff. I've mentioned it a couple of times and he says he loves me ;it's just the way he is and that he does "try" confused but he's just not affectionate.

I don't want to make a huge issue of it because I think then it would all become a bit forced and I wouldn't want to hurt him. However I am beginning to feel very resentful and almost tearful about it because I don't think he'll change and I wouldn't want to separate

Has anyone any experience of this/suggestions? I've never had unaffectionate dps/boyfriends and I've no idea how to deal with it tbh.

zookeeper Mon 10-Dec-12 13:45:19

Thanks Abit; I have spoken clearly now so I will have to see what happens next. I think if he can't meet my needs then we will have to separate, just as we would if I couln't meet his. At least he knows what they are.

Abitwobblynow Mon 10-Dec-12 05:23:01

So it's Ok to try to change his behaviour in bed but not out of it??

No, but it is very OK to speak clearly and communicate what you like and don't like.
It is NOT OK to keep quiet out of embarrassment or shame, or to expect him to mind-read, and it is not OK to go along with something that doesn't do it for you.

Here is the huge huge risk of all of the above: if you speak clearly, and he won't hear you or respond, then your real problem is out in the open.

And that is the risk women take - to hear and accept a very real rejection and lack of care about us and face that it is his limitations and not something we can change or control. And then, choose to live with it or choose to leave.

I just think we all need to take that risk, and NOT put up with not being heard, and teach our daughters the same. If all of us refused to enable immature behaviour, they would either have to change, or be single!

It took an affair for me to wake up to how little I am cared about, so I hope you hear that I am not talking 'at' you Zoo...

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 19:54:04

I guess that's what I'm gonna have to try to. Last night I got drunk too drunk to try to give me some dutch courage to be a bit more assertive but it didn't work really.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 19:43:32

I do too, Flojo; maybe that's part of the problem, about sex at least. I don't know why it's hard to talk about when we can talk about most other things.

I said that it would be nice if he just touched me more and we kissed more and slowed down a bit . That helped as did me telling him I liked what he was doing (which seems obvious but I hadn't said it before to him). Sex wasn't earth shattering but it was better

FlojoHoHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 19:18:21

OP did u manage to speak to him about in bed? I'd love to do this with my DP but he's so hard to talk to I end up embarrassed and saying oh it doesn't matter.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 18:36:53

So it's Ok to try to change his behaviour in bed but not out of it?? hmm

That's not logical at all.

I am happy to hear all answers which is why I posted; the patronising tone irks though.,

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 18:16:30

Sun 09-Dec-12 16:46:06 Wtf??!! So we all have to be going round like licky dogs draped over our partners in order not to be considered people who will erode our partners confidence and reject them sexually? Sorry but...what a load of pants.

Taking this a little personally perchance?

The OP hasn't said she wants "licky dog" behaviour. Why are so many people talking this way, like there's no middle ground.

Also, if someone isn't getting the affection they want then yes, their confidence is likely to be eroded.

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 17:57:53

How so? Do you just not want to hear certain answers?
You posted about how your DH, who according to you is lovely in other respects, is not affectionate enough for you and how you've said it repeatedly and he isn't changing. You also said he wasn't great in bed. The latter can be worked on... and may even change but if you've never said what you wanted in bed, how is he supposed to know?
The former may not change, and I think it's reasonable for someone to make the point that if he's not affectionate by nature, that's the way it is, and you have two choices: accept the things you like about him and stop trying to change him or else find someone else who delivers what you want.

The poster above hadn't read the full thread and ime her point does not relate to your DH, from what you've said about him.

Sorry if my answer doesn't please you, but it's not an invalid opinion.

Good luck with everything OP smile

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 17:21:22

Sorry you're spoiling for a fight Heli; problem is I can't be arsed to deal with you..

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 16:46:06

Wtf??!! So we all have to be going round like licky dogs draped over our partners in order not to be considered people who will erode our partners confidence and reject them sexually? Sorry but...what a load of pants.

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 16:43:55

Sorry, I didn't see p2 before posting

orchidee Sun 09-Dec-12 16:38:02

Don't expect him to change. Don't ask him to. Tell him clearly what you'd like and let him respond. Actions speak louder than words.
E.g. if he didn't think you liked cuddles (etc) or weren't keen on him or whatever but you then tell him that in fact you do want cuddles, you like him, blah blah see what happens next. It'll be clear if he sees this as green light for cuddles or if in fact he's just grasping at any excuse instead of saying "I don't like any more affection that I currently give. And I won't change."

Read up on alexithymia

Decide if this is enough for you.

Watch out for your self-confidence plummeting as you are rejected sexually and never complimented.

Decide if you'd be better off as friends. As least then there's no expectations so you won't be disappointed that he doesn't give you the affection you'd like.

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 16:26:58

Well call it what you like, the bottom line is you're wanting him to be something he isn't.. Why not let him find someone who accepts him as he is and you find someone who meets your needs? Staying with him for fear of being alone isn't really fair.

zookeeper Sun 09-Dec-12 15:43:01

Checklists??? WTF?

Helltotheno Sun 09-Dec-12 01:03:35

I feel sorry for him OP sad I think you should just let him go and find someone who fits your needs and stop giving him checklists of what he has to do to meet your expectations...sorry to be blunt...

blueshoes Sat 08-Dec-12 23:46:08

Did he go to full boarding school from a young age? <long shot>

Pickles77 Sat 08-Dec-12 19:24:34

Glad your getting there zoo, pleased for you

ClippedPhoenix Sat 08-Dec-12 18:50:47

here's hoping you're a bit bandy tomorrow zoo wink

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Sat 08-Dec-12 12:55:20

Abit is right. If you want to improve your sex life, you do need to very specific about the things you like/don't like (and vice versa of course)

For some reason, I don't get the idea you will have a problem with that, though smile

Abitwobblynow Sat 08-Dec-12 12:49:42

Zoo, are you taking responsibility for this too? Are you speaking and telling him directly 'touch me like there, like this, harder, softer, more fluttery'...

it takes two!

zookeeper Sat 08-Dec-12 12:09:15

quick update; I sent him a text (very grown up and communicative soul that I am) saying that whilst I appreciate how lovely he is his lack of affection was making me really uhappy.

He phoned back about an hour later. He was very open; he said that he didn't feel he was naturally affectionate, but that he hadn't realised it was so important for me. He said that it wasn't that he doesn't love me; that he does and that he would try to be more openly loving. He said he was sorry that he forgot to tell me he loved me and show it.

I think for a reserved man he was very open and was quite touched (no pun intended)

Whilst I was on a roll (and I'm not known for my tact or diplomacy) I said that I didn't think sex with him was that great either.. That seemed to floor him and , after a looong silence he said that we'd talk about that tonight.

So he is coming over tonight. Knowing my luck he'll start trying to ravage me at the start of "Strictly..."

janelikesjam Fri 07-Dec-12 19:16:08

Truly, such sweet wisdom in many of the posts. I just found some of it simultaneously slightly humerous - e.g. "I can't be doing with people ^on me^"just made me smile.

Yes, drunken posts that seemed so on-the-money at the time, but later looks like arbitrary shrapnel, been there - but ClippedPhoenix you seemed aware so soon! The weird thing is nothing you said makes sense, but I think I understood you perfectly hmm.

Sorry, I have nothing to add OP to your problem and dilemma, but I think you got alot of ideas and wisom here which I am sure will help. p.s. Did you really query your OH's attitude/response in bed. I am just a bit shock about your chutzpaz on that! Genuinely, how did that pan out, can be a sensitive issue?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 18:29:18


ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 18:21:17

It was fine thanks AF. I was all tucked up in bed with a huge glass of water shortly after my wonderfully eloquent and descriptive post grin

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 07-Dec-12 18:10:19

how was your head this morning, CP ?

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