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Compromising on expectations for physical affection?

(48 Posts)
MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 19:29:01

DP doesn't see the point of it and is just not a touchy feely person in general. I do get that.

But cuddles, hand holding etc is really important to me, I feel held at arms length without it.

I've spent so long just dealing with the fact hat DP doesn't like it, and trying to come to terms with it not happening, but it's really getting me down. I realised last night that I can't remember the last time we had a little cuddle after going to bed, before going to sleep. Every night I suggest it and get told 'not tonight'.

We still have regular sex so it's not to do with that, it's just the little things.

How easy is this to deal with? Should I just accept that it's not going to happen or should I push the issue? It seems so petty to have such a serious talk about cuddles but it's really getting me down.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:02:22

How long have you been together? Personally I can't imagine a relationship and certainly not sex with someone who wasn't 'touchy feely'. Isn't it all very cold and impersonal?

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:17:11

I think that as well, I sometimes feel very distant from him, as if I could be anyone iykwim. But at the same time, when does my wanting cuddles trump his not wanting them? We are both entitled to our feeling on the matter and neither of us is 'wrong'

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:19:34

Neither of you are wrong but something like this is a pretty fundamental incompatibility that isn't going to get better over time. Tactile vs non-tactile means two people, neither of whom are comfortable. That's why I asked how long you've been together. Is he a recent DP? Live together? Kids?

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:20:30

Been together 2 years, no kids, but I'm close to his DSD.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Mar-14 20:20:31

OK, please bear in mind that neither of you is a bad person regarding liking/disliking physical affection. Some people are more touchy-feely than others.

However, what's the rest of the relationship like? Does he treat you with kindness and courtesy, does he pull his weight in terms of domestic work/leisure/finance?
If it's all good apart from your different levels of touchy-feeliness then you could work on a compromise eg if you want a hug you can ask for one and, unless he is totally in the middle of something else/feeling ill/angry about something then he can just give you a hug; it won't kill him to do so.

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:22:26

We have an agreement now where I ask if I can have a cuddle, it's just that most of the time he says no.

Aside from this issue we are happy, we seem compatible in all other ways, which is why I feel petty in focussing on this.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Mar-14 20:23:17

Actually, OP, you could think about it in terms of how couples deal with a libido mismatch - some people think that a compromise is worth working out, others feel that the low libido partner's right to not have/want sex always trumps the other partner's desire for sex.
Are you pestering for cuddles the way some people pester for sex? Is your DP someone who really doesn't like physical contact?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:23:59

I'm not sure preference for physical affection is something you can compromise on satisfactorily. In the blue corner there's the OP being rejected and feeling distant because she doesn't get so much as a cuddle. In the red corner there's 'Sheldon Cooper', recoiling at the idea of having to touch another human being... hmm Weirdo.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:24:51

You can ask????? confused Why not go the whole hog and book an appointment in the diary? OP he sounds like a head-fuck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:27:16

It occurs to me that his withholding of affection could be a control mechanism.... You say you seem compatible. Does that mean you agree on everything naturally or do you find yourself agreeing with him for a quiet life and the hope of a cuddle?

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:29:02

SolidGoldbrass I do acknowledge that it's maybe got to the point of me pestering him, because I get told no so much, so I do think I'm not helping the situation. Feeling insecure about not getting cuddles leads to me wanting a sign of security, eg a cuddle, and there is the cycle.

He is just someone that doesn't like physical contact, he isn't big on hugging his dd, says he tried to avoid that where possible too, although he obviously doesn't tell her know if she goes to cuddle him. Me and DSD have developed a relationship where we have lots of cuddles lol! But at least I know it's not just me he doesn't want physical contact with.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 02-Mar-14 20:30:26

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Lweji Sun 02-Mar-14 20:30:49

You're not wrong for wanting physical affection. He's not wrong to not want it.
The problem here is how it affects you and your relationship. Can you say that the affection and the love for him will last? That you won't become resentful?
Now is the time to make those decisions, because there's really no compromise on this.

Monetbyhimself Sun 02-Mar-14 20:31:10

What would actually happen if you walked ip to him and hugged him ?

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:31:15

It isn't just me agreeing with him for stuff, we talk about the future of stuff etc and I will voice my opinions so that we don't get to the point of raising children and finding ourselves completely with differencing opinions on how to do it. I know it would be easier to end this now rather than later, and I know we have similar opinions on the 'big' things.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Mar-14 20:31:45

Yes, actually, this could be a control thing. Was he always like this? Also, it could be a matter of scale - how many times a week do you want a cuddle, and how many times does he actually agree to cuddle you?
Because if you are asking 10 times a day and he's saying yes once or twice, then maybe you are being too needy... but if you ask once a week or so and he says yes once a year, then you're either hugely incompatible or he's enjoying the idea of using cuddles as a kind of doggy treat.

tumbletumble Sun 02-Mar-14 20:32:27

I agree that your DP is not 'wrong' in being less tactile but your current situation sounds awful for
you. I am much more touchy feely than my DH, but if I ask for a cuddle he will always give me one - it's just that he's much less likely thange me to do it spontaneously. You need to find a new compromise.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Mar-14 20:33:33

OK, he basically doesn't like cuddling. How kind is he to you otherwise? Does he speak to you politely, or put you down a lot? Do you live together, and if so, did you get a home together or one of you move in with the other?

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:33:55

If I walked up and hugged him he would be a bit bemused, hug me back, and then tell me not to take him by surprise.

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:35:41

there aren't any issues apart from this, he is thoughtful and loving in other ways, just not in this way. Iain's ask for a cuddle at least once a day, I ask every night when we go to
Bed. He maybe agrees half the time, so it could just be me hassling him...

HandragsNGladbags Sun 02-Mar-14 20:36:43

DH was/is much much more affectionate than me.

If I am pissed off I feel very crowded if he tries to cuddle me, if he is stressed he wants a hug. So we compromise, and I make an effort not to be such a cold fish. It's worked (been together 9 years) and we are far more similar now.

I wouldn't continually reject him though even if I don't need the affection the way he does.

I am very affectionate to the dc's though and always have been.

MsMarvel Sun 02-Mar-14 20:41:25

If I tell him I need a cuddle, he responds with 'nobody needs a cuddle'

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 02-Mar-14 20:41:36

Watching with interest. I have pretty much the opposite problem, I'm really not tactile at all and dh is. I have to remind myself regularly to squeeze/rub/cuddle him but it doesn't come naturally to me at all. We have a good relationship otherwise, equal give and take and things between us are fine. But I feel he'd always like more touchy feely than he gets. I'd like to address it as I want him to be happy but I don't know how to do more without setting a reminder on my phone every hour!!!

SolidGoldBrass Sun 02-Mar-14 20:44:24

TBH it's starting to sound a bit as though you need to reduce your expectations. There's nothing wrong with being less tactile if a person is kind in other ways.

My DS is very 'cuddly' and I sometimes say to him that he needs to remember that not everyone likes cuddles.

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