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Is it normal for men not to be affectionate?


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I think that if I were more fulfilled in that sense, I would feel more emotionally connected to him and I would be More willing to accept the amount of physical affection (or lack thereof) outside of the bedroom.

 

Then deal with the actual issue.

Also, he would think everything is fine, because you have never spoken up or expressed your desires. Communication is critical in relationships and you have something that's rare - a partner who is willing to listen instead of getting defensive and running away from the issues.

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I did and he told me he thought everything was fine.

 

Frankly, it seems like a much ado over nothing. He's a good person, loving, kind, affectionate in his own way, thinks things are fine and you aren't happy. What are you willing to do, really, to fix this or see that your relationship is a bit less dysfunctional on your end? If you're prone to drama or need something to nitpick this is a good way to sabotage your relationship. Practice a little patience and be more demonstrative in the way you practice your love for each other. I'm not a fan of overanalyzing. It's either working or it's not. Make it work or don't make it work. Usually it's done together as a couple. Speak about it more if it's bothering you that much or put an end to these destructive thoughts.

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Your own baggage is something you have to deal with too before marriage.

 

This. This. This.

 

And DF and the comment about love languages and j.man and his comment about *ahem*

 

‘Normal’ is relative. I think the fact that blue cracked the vault to the real issue is kinda evidence some need to *ahem* stand down just a tad... sheesh...

 

If someone doesn’t match another human beings level of acceptable affection I don’t think that’s their cross to bear.

 

I am not an overly affectionate person myself, Im just not, blame my childhood, my experiences, call me abnormal, I’m not going to suddenly change my makeup, it’s too late, I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage.

 

Nope, nope, nope.

 

The equivalent isn’t the laundry euphemism, I think it would be a man demanding his boyfriend ( making sure I’m not stereotyping sexes) enjoy football with him, now the boyfriend can try, the boyfriend can put on the effort, but if it’s truly not something he enjoys he is reducing himself to please his mate and it will show. Now a reasonable mate may ask if the boyfriend can simply be in the room while he watches football, simply because he would like his company, the boyfriend can cuddle maybe snack maybe chill and read the newspaper, they compromise, neither changing who they are but bending to enjoy each other as partners.

 

Control isn’t the answer, compromise is. You aren’t creating a husband, you find your partner and enjoy who they are difference and all, not everyone fits and that’s ok.

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Frankly, it seems like a much ado over nothing. He's a good person, loving, kind, affectionate in his own way, thinks things are fine and you aren't happy. What are you willing to do, really, to fix this or see that your relationship is a bit less dysfunctional on your end? If you're prone to drama or need something to nitpick this is a good way to sabotage your relationship. Practice a little patience and be more demonstrative in the way you practice your love for each other. I'm not a fan of overanalyzing. It's either working or it's not. Make it work or don't make it work. Usually it's done together as a couple. Speak about it more if it's bothering you that much or put an end to these destructive thoughts.

 

I think you're not helping OP by trying to invalidate her needs, shame her for it (destructive, dysfunctional, overanalyzing, prone to drama, nitpick, sabotage... do you have any more words of expressing judgement?) and try to push it under the carpet. I don't think OP can keep these needs under carpet for too long - some people turn out happy eventually accepting their partner's colder ways, but pretending everything is fine when it isn't to OP is not the way to go. And realizing her needs, expressing it and communicating about it with patience to see where it goes - what OP has been doing here - doesn't seem destructive or dysfunctional to me at all. I don't know how your comment would be helpful to her, I just see a commenter being irritated that someone analyzes a problem that you don't have now or you don't see its importance for OP.

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I think you're not helping OP by trying to invalidate her needs, shame her for it (destructive, dysfunctional, overanalyzing, prone to drama, nitpick, sabotage... do you have any more words of expressing judgement?) and try to push it under the carpet. I don't think OP can keep these needs under carpet for too long - some people turn out happy eventually accepting their partner's colder ways, but pretending everything is fine when it isn't to OP is not the way to go. And realizing her needs, expressing it and communicating about it with patience to see where it goes - what OP has been doing here - doesn't seem destructive or dysfunctional to me at all. I don't know how your comment would be helpful to her, I just see a commenter being irritated that someone analyzes a problem that you don't have now or you don't see its importance for OP.

 

It probably, at this point, has more to do with maturity and putting things into context. They're engaged. It's not just a relationship or dating scenario and by the time two people are engaged there should be a lot more understanding and willingness to communicate (there's more invested in that relationship). You also seem to have missed my point: she should be discussing this at length with her partner. It's between them to work out how their relationship should evolve. No one is suggesting to keep anything under the carpet.

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“ I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage. “

 

 

Figureitout23-

I am going to disagree with this. My need for affection ( everyone is entitled to their own needs ) has nothing to do with “unresolved baggage” but everything to do with something I put high value on in a relationship. Whether I had baggage or not, I would still want this aspect to be a strong one in a relationship so the two do not go together in my case.

 

I am not going to try to change him. I am going to decide if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.

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“ I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage. “

 

 

Figureitout23-

I am going to disagree with this. My need for affection ( everyone is entitled to their own needs ) has nothing to do with “unresolved baggage” but everything to do with something I put high value on in a relationship. Whether I had baggage or not, I would still want this aspect to be a strong one in a relationship so the two do not go together in my case.

 

I am not going to try to change him. I am going to decide if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.

 

For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.

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For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.

 

The thing is if no suggestions are wanted from people who have experienced things don’t ask. Go ask a mom, a sister, a girlfriend etc.

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For what it's worth, Nmr1983, I understand what you're saying, I think you're approaching this issue in a constructive way, and you don't have to keep explaining yourself to strangers on the internet who are not closer to 100% healed people than you.

 

If people don’t want to explain so that we can get a good picture of what’s going on there’s no point in their posting. I think she’s doing fine and posting what she has.

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It's very hard to alter a dynamic that has been 4 years in the making. Personally, I think the core dynamic between people—both platonically and romantically—is kind of formed in the first 6 months. Yes, it morphs, ebbs, flows, evolves here, devolves there, but the core is pretty solid, whatever its make up. Think about your long friendships, think about past romances.

 

That said, you are not a still point. You are the thing you can control. So rather than just ruminate on whether this is something you can "live with," think about things you can do to answer that question, ways you can live, right now, a bit differently. That action can be patient observation. It can be more talks, but talks without the reflex of "okay I'll shut up now." It can be trying x or y in the bedroom—stepping an inch or two out of your own comfort zone to see if, together, you can find greater comfort.

 

Rumination—the art of deciding—is a form of paralysis; blurry matters get blurrier. Action brings clarity. You may not get the form of clarity you want in your mind right now, but that doesn't matter because clarity is clarity: it's bigger than what the mind can produce, because it's what you're actually seeing with your eyes, and feeling in your cells.

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I think you're not helping OP by trying to invalidate her needs, shame her for it (destructive, dysfunctional, overanalyzing, prone to drama, nitpick, sabotage... do you have any more words of expressing judgement?) and try to push it under the carpet. I don't think OP can keep these needs under carpet for too long - some people turn out happy eventually accepting their partner's colder ways, but pretending everything is fine when it isn't to OP is not the way to go. And realizing her needs, expressing it and communicating about it with patience to see where it goes - what OP has been doing here - doesn't seem destructive or dysfunctional to me at all. I don't know how your comment would be helpful to her, I just see a commenter being irritated that someone analyzes a problem that you don't have now or you don't see its importance for OP.

 

Firefly, Rose can also recognize the immaturity of expecting another adult to change who they are...

 

Recognize you may be projecting a bit

It probably, at this point, has more to do with maturity and putting things into context. They're engaged. It's not just a relationship or dating scenario and by the time two people are engaged there should be a lot more understanding and willingness to communicate (there's more invested in that relationship). You also seem to have missed my point: she should be discussing this at length with her partner. It's between them to work out how their relationship should evolve. No one is suggesting to keep anything under the carpet.

 

If we're speaking about judgment, you're also passing judgment and invalidating someone else's opinion. Aren't we all expressing our own judgment on an issue? It might best leaving the unnecessary drama in the off topic forum and focusing on the issue please.

 

Bingo

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“ I am who I am and it would be down right ... well... selfish for someone to demand I conform to their standards ESPECIALLY when their need for my change was due to their own unresolved baggage. “

 

 

Figureitout23-

I am going to disagree with this. My need for affection ( everyone is entitled to their own needs ) has nothing to do with “unresolved baggage” but everything to do with something I put high value on in a relationship. Whether I had baggage or not, I would still want this aspect to be a strong one in a relationship so the two do not go together in my case.

 

I am not going to try to change him. I am going to decide if this is something I can live with for the rest of my life.

 

Ok... I’ll just pretend I didn’t read what I read a few pages back when you admitted your unresolved issues then...

 

I find it almost comical that you fully recognize you are who you are... yet you can’t recognize your fiancé is who he is...

 

It sounds like you already have your answer you had it before you accepted his marriage proposal, what are you confused about then?

 

Serious question.

 

Again you are adamant to me, you are who you are. Why is it he can’t be who he is?

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Ok... I’ll just pretend I didn’t read what I read a few pages back when you admitted your unresolved issues then...

 

I find it almost comical that you fully recognize you are who you are... yet you can’t recognize your fiancé is who he is...

 

It sounds like you already have your answer you had it before you accepted his marriage proposal, what are you confused about then?

 

Serious question.

 

Again you are adamant to me, you are who you are. Why is it he can’t be who he is?

 

Serious question-

How does having had a few bad relationships have to do with a need that someone has? I had it before those relationships and I will always have it.

 

He can be who he is. That’s why I am going to observe and make the right decision before we get married. I spoke to him and he knows how I feel. That’s all I can really do. Before we got engaged , he would be more affectionate at times. It seems to have decreased much more since we got engaged.

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This is what we call incompatibility issues or not. There are people who are affectionate, and those who are not. It's part of their personality. How would you like it if he says in order to meet his needs you need to be less affectionate? It goes both ways. If this is a deal breaker then maybe you should stop and consider not getting married. You shouldn't have to ask for it, it should come naturally, and that means you both are on the same page. In your case you two are not, and your future, no matter how much discussion, is going to fail.

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Not to speak for FiO, but I'm going to attempt to address the concept of "unresolved baggage" from a different angle.

 

While you came here frustrated by his lack of affection, which is totally human and understandable, the frustration, in ways, stems equally from a series of choices you've made to arrive at this thorny moment in your journey. Namely: you made the choice to commit to, and eventually get engaged to, someone who did not consistently provide an aspect of romance that you identified, prior to even knowing him, as essential to you for romantic harmony. You made a deal, you could say, on seeing if a dealbreaker wasn't a dealbreaker.

 

That is a hard sentence to metabolize—oh, I've swallowed such pills, numerous times!—but there is power and even comfort in digesting it. In digesting it something that was suppressed comes to the surface, and, once there, can be addressed directly instead of being addressed through proxies that only glance the target. Gives you a sense of the full picture here, and your place in it, so you know what you're working with. Takes some of the weight off of him/affection, and redistributes it back to you. Balanced scales make for balanced romances, in both smooth waters and rocky currents.

 

Because it's okay. However this goes is okay. Life, in a way, is one big experiment, in which we are both the scientist and the thing in the petri dish, and in which we "use" other people, not with malice, if not always with grace, to test theories in order to better understand ourselves, our truest needs. And sometimes, without quite realizing it, we construct an experiment around fears that have become lodged in our spirit—i.e. in the bags tossed in the attic—at the expense of our truth and the truth of others.

 

Fancy talk for: unprocessed baggage. Fancy talk for: someone who gets hurt by passion might seek safety in dispassion, only to realize the limitations of a safety built on compromising the core, immoveable values that make each of us us.

 

Is that your situation? Is your situation that simple? Only you know, and of course it's more complicated.

 

No human has their baggage perfectly sorted like one of those airport luggage stores—in which, of course, all the bags are empty. Ours are full, and messy. And the wokest, most self-actualized among us will inevitably find that romance shines a light on something the romance was designed, subconsciously, to mute or eradicate. I'd say a great test of chemistry and compatibility between people—aside from hot sex, warm cuddles, great chats, and a mutual love of hikes and vintage furniture—is whether they can, together and pretty organically, allow space for some latent baggage to surface and be processed without the processing of it spelling the end of the union.

 

Super rare stuff, that, and stuff that doesn't need to last a lifetime to be validated. It can last a weekend, or four years, or 14. Can you go there, in yourself and alongside your fiancé? It's a tall order if what it requires is a significant shift in each of your cores—if your harmony, thus far, has been predicated on suppressing something that does not have a connection point once surfaced.

 

One thing worth remembering, and even getting excited about and find solace in right now: much as we use certain phrases ("He is who he is") the truth is that people are always more mysterious than we know. Look in the mirror. How much of your own self do you know? Five percent? Sixty? The answer is never 100, and anyone who says that knows less than they think. The answer is forever unknowable, or at last unquantifiable. You know as much as you know, while knowing there is more to know. Brain explosion emoji.

 

Same goes for him. If, for instance, you can suddenly see some of your own unprocessed baggage a bit more clearly, and know yourself better and judge yourself less for it, it means some version of the same thing exists in him. There is beauty to that—and, who knows, maybe new connection points that, right now, are covered in some dust. If you can detach a bit from "Am I about to enter a chilly marriage for life?" and reattach to "Can I get more curious about this person and my own personhood?" there is room to explore. Exploring is where the gold is.

 

Not sure if any of that resonates. I feel for your situation, know that most of the paths you're staring down right now seem a bit foreboding. Inhale, exhale, and remember those paths are just there to explore. There is more you to be found down all of them.

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Read up on the 7 Love Languages. Mine is PRESENTS, and I show through through time. My husband shows it by action. And for him to feel loved is affection. So if being touched and caressed by partner is something you cannot live without, you can't stay with that type of partner. They don't grow into super touchy-feely people because you tell them so. And yes, telling them to pick up after themselves is a request, but they will always be clutterly even when they mean well. They just can't see the mess the way you do.

 

Imagine after kids, never being touched? I can't get my hubby's paws off me sometimes =D

 

How you need to be loved is non-negotiable.

 

 

My didn't read all the posts, so I apologize if I've missed something.

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Sorry but you are referring to people who are twice the OP's age. It's a different generation and doesn't make it right. Just because you are used to being around people who are not affectionate doesn't make it the norm for the OP - or acceptable.

 

From the OP's post it's clear she is unhappy in her current situ with her fella who is clearly uptight in his ability to express himself sexually/lovingly and in a tactile way to those most important to him - aka his future wife, his mother, family etc.

 

She deserves a guy who is going to make her feel sexy, wanted, desirable, etc from an action POV. Telling someone you 'Love them everyday' is not enough for a girl or man in their early 30's. Actions speak louder than words.

 

Telling her that you know people who are in their 80's or 90's and they 'made it', is not really helping this girl out, unless we all want to live like the characters from Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons...

 

I'd be careful making bold statements like there might be something wrong with him or others who aren't physically demonstrative. It's just different, not wrong. A persons capacity for physical contact is a spectrum. He just happens to be on the lower end.

It's up the poster if this is something she can live with.

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When did the affection drop off? Certainly you would not have not shave dated long if he was always this chilly, no?

I think that if I were more fulfilled in that sense, I would feel more emotionally connected to him and I would be More willing to accept the amount of physical affection (or lack thereof) outside of the bedroom.
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Women need affection in a relationship to stay in love but some men are not affectionate. You would have to talk to him about it. If he does not change his ways you may eventually fall out of love with him and that spells breakup/divorce. You have a very serious problem.

 

If talking or counseling does not work, you may have to pull out the big guns and cut off sex - then he'll be ready to listen.

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Women need affection in a relationship to stay in love but some men are not affectionate. You would have to talk to him about it. If he does not change his ways you may eventually fall out of love with him and that spells breakup/divorce. You have a very serious problem.

 

If talking or counseling does not work, you may have to pull out the big guns and cut off sex - then he'll be ready to listen.

 

That is what I am trying to prevent. I’m afraid I am already starting to, so I am fighting hard at this point.

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