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Too tactile

(28 Posts)
thisisnotmyusername Sat 01-Nov-14 16:58:23

I'm keeping this vague because I'm paranoid about someone working out who this is about. I've name-changed too.

Basically, someone in my husband's family is just far too tactile with me. Normally it's just a bit annoying and doesn't bother me too much, but recently it has become a bit more. He has always given me very firm hugs, put his hands on my shoulders and waist when 'guiding' me etc. For example, if I show him the time on my watch he will hold my arm to look at the watch. Normal physical contact for some people I guess, but feels a bit weird to me as I don't like anyone to touch me except my husband and family (except hugging friends on greeting etc)

But the other day it went a bit further. Again, keeping it vague, under the excuse of showing me how something works he touched my legs. I am sure he meant it innocently - he has never been inappropriate and is really not that sort of person - but it felt far too intimate just made me want to cry. I was really not happy with it. Other people were there at the time and don't think they noticed anything - as I say, it probably didn't look that dodgy but I know it was a totally unnecessary thing to do.

There is no way to confront or discuss this. I can't mention it to my husband, as it would look like I was making some kind of accusation. I am just not happy with this level of physical contact.

MadeMan Sat 01-Nov-14 17:06:45

Touchy feelly people are creepy. I also hate those men that go around vibrato whistling in public; it's not happy and cheery, it's creepy and annoying!

Twinklestein Sat 01-Nov-14 17:11:33

Some guys are just like that, it may not get any worse, but it's really annoying. I can't see why you can't tell your husband though.

Joysmum Sat 01-Nov-14 17:22:59

Paddington bear stare had worked for me in the past wink

TheLyingOldBitchAndHerWardrobe Sat 01-Nov-14 17:24:57

The person I knew who used to do this to everybody ended up assaulting me horribly.

No boundaries at all.

patronisingbitchinthewardrobe Sat 01-Nov-14 17:25:10

"Please don't touch me." Loudly, every time he does it, no matter who else is there.
If anyone questions you, say "I'm not comfortable with it. I don't want it to happen."

patronisingbitchinthewardrobe Sat 01-Nov-14 17:25:51

Actually, you could leave out the 'Please'. You're not asking, you're telling.

sykadelic Sat 01-Nov-14 17:34:55

You should tell your DH something like: "You know I'm not a very huggy person and that I don't like people to touch me... can you think of a way for me to tell X that? I'm sure they don't mean anything by it, they're obviously just a touchy-feely person but it's making me uncomfortable".

Another way would be to mention it (you not liking being touched/hugged) in conversation with people, that's how I do it. It's pretty common knowledge that I'm not a huggy person (probably pretty standoff-ish for a lot of people :S).

thisisnotmyusername Sat 01-Nov-14 18:17:12

It would be different if it were not a member of the family. Then I could do all this 'don't touch me'/Paddington hard stare stuff. But that will just make things incredibly awkward and make me look like a paranoid lunatic.

It has really upset me. I was in a previous relationship which was sexually abusive and caused me to develop anorexia. Any unwanted contact just makes me scared and furious.

Suckitup Sat 01-Nov-14 18:20:48

I would say, did you know you just touched my legs? half-joking, half-serious. Call him on it every time. Especially in front of other people.

I think you should say it more assertively but that might be difficult.

Ouroboros Sat 01-Nov-14 18:36:20

If your DH knows about your past relationship surely he would understand how you feel and not think you were making an accusation? Then you can work out a unified strategy. I'm not that great with uninvited and unexpected physical contact and tend to stiffen up and look surprised, if you do that quite obviously and he notices then he might think twice if he realises it makes you uncomfortable.

thisisnotmyusername Sat 01-Nov-14 18:45:01

H doesn't know about the previous relationship.

I really do not know how I can even insinuate that he is touching me when he shouldn't be. It's just such a big thing to say. It is probably completely unintentional and he would be mortified and upset.

Meerka Sat 01-Nov-14 19:04:26

I think the idea of saying something has grown into a giant thing in your brain becuase you've been uncomfortable with it for a while and not said anything, so it has grown bigger and bigger in your mind.

If you say "heh, it's nice that you're so huggy but I'm not. Can we cut it down please?" in a kind but firm way that's actually a reasonable thing to say. Move away at the same time.

You don't have to insinuate. You can just politely but firmly say it, family member or no.

if you don't either this will become a giant deal and you mgiht explode one day or end up avoiding family situations, or it will start affecting your mental health. Touch is incredibly powerful and unwanted touch is unnerving and tends to repulse.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 01-Nov-14 19:37:35

Forget being nice and standing on ceremony, this is a time to stand up and be counted. Just slap the creepy bastard hard on whatever bit of his anatomy comes into contact with you. Add something assertive like 'get your bloody hands off!' Make sure other people hear.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 01-Nov-14 19:40:07

Adding,,,, don't assume this is all innocent and unintentional. That's what this type say when you challenge them. 'Just being friendly... no need to be touchy'. They know exactly what they're doing

Velvetbee Sat 01-Nov-14 19:43:35

I'm also saying, don't assume it's unintentional.

Twinklestein Sat 01-Nov-14 19:44:41

My FIL's like this, I don't get why you can't tell your husband. My husband is the one who protects me from him.

I like Sykadelic's ruse if you feel you really can't say it straight:

You should tell your DH something like: "You know I'm not a very huggy person and that I don't like people to touch me... can you think of a way for me to tell X that? I'm sure they don't mean anything by it, they're obviously just a touchy-feely person but it's making me uncomfortable"

Or you could say to the guy: 'Sorry I'm not comfortable with touchy feely stuff'.

KillDeathMaimTronic Sat 01-Nov-14 19:49:28

This has upset you very much. You don't like it. You are entitled not to be touched. You can say 'Don't touch me, I don't like it, and I don't want you to do it.' Calmly, definitely, in full confidence that you are in charge of your body, and you are the person who gets to decide who touches it. Because it's yours, and you do.

thisisnotmyusername Sat 01-Nov-14 20:22:58

It has actually really upset me, KillMaim, this one incident. I feel tearful and have totally lost my appetite. I am completely confused. I am still sure it was not intentional, but not 100% because it was so unnecessary. If it had been anyone else I would have just felt like I was being touched up.

I can't tell my husband because I really don't think he will get it. I would just worry too much that it would sound like an accusation. He is very close to the person. I might try dropping into the conversation that I don't like people hugging me etc. and see if it makes a difference.

Riverland Sat 01-Nov-14 20:28:05

You have permission to tell someone what you want, and what you don't want.

This is your right. It is normal and healthy to do so.

Your preferences will be respected by people that care about you.

You deserve to be listened to and respected.

Twinklestein Sat 01-Nov-14 20:53:34

An accusation of what though OP? All you're 'accusing' this guy of is being a it overly touchy feeling. It's not a massive deal.

I would frame it as asking advice from your husband as to how to deal with it rather than making 'accusations' as such.

It's probably not personal to you he's probably like that with women general.

KillDeathMaimTronic Sat 01-Nov-14 22:48:25

And if your husband doesn't 'get it', what will happen then? Do you fear his reaction more than you fear this person touching you again? It doesn't sound like you have all that great a relationship with your husband either.

Either way, being in fear is no good for you. You should not be fearful of exercising bodily autonomy. No-one should.

I think you should get real life help with this one, as well as here. Is there a friend you can talk to about this? Contact a supportive organisation for women maybe? Did you have support in the past when you were suffering anorexia - can that be a route towards assistance for you?

There is more going on here for you than this one issue, which is bad enough as it is.

happyyonisleepyyoni Sat 01-Nov-14 23:00:54

OP you need to take a stand on this.he is relying on you being too embarrassed to say anything.

Next time it happens, you need to say loudly "ooh! Oh my god (name) you gave me a fright there! What are you doing?"

Or words to that effect, to make it clear this is UNEXPECTED and UNWANTED contact.

trust me-he will not do it again!

patronisingbitchinthewardrobe Sun 02-Nov-14 08:55:55

Will you believe me, please?

No-one, relative or otherwise, has the right to touch you when you don't want to be touched.

Practise saying "Don't touch me!" in front of a mirror. It can be said lots of ways. Quietly, with menace. Loud and shouty. Just don't smile when saying it or he'll think you don't mean it.

TheLyingOldBitchAndHerWardrobe Sun 02-Nov-14 11:09:39

Omg at excellent name weirdness.

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