Dear Liz, my question is about relationships. I am married, in my mid 50s, male. I am considered a workaholic in our relationship. My wife is not a person who shows lots of affection. She lets me know that I am the most considerate person she has known and that she loves me, but affection is not her long suit. For me, affection is the is a huge need for me and I can’t seem to make her understand, so now I find myself withdrawing . I love her dearly, but emotional I am in trouble. How do I get through? We have had long conversations about this problem and she vows to try harder it usually last about two weeks. Advice? Thanks.
orlando / FL
Hi there in Florida, I can imagine you are withdrawing, it’s a natural response. The fact that you have already shared with her how important this is to you, the fact that she “tries” and then ends up back on the same unaffectionate dime, is not good, not good at all, as you know. Believe it or not I hear this often. Knowing who you are is the half the battle in most of the struggles we face in life. So the big question is….how do you get your wife to take this more seriously? Are you willing to live without affection in your marriage forever? Because it sounds like that’s what you’ve been doing for a while now and it’s not working for you. Some people claim that love changes over time, you have not mentioned if she was always this way….if not, then you can try appealing to the side of her that once thrived on affection. I hate to say this, but you may need to sit her down and tell her this could be a deal breaker for you!! And frankly we can’t make people be affectionate and feel the things we want them to feel…. I know that if you feel yourself backing off from her in response now, that this has escalated to a serious problem. Deal with it, difficult as it may be, and as much as it may bring up other concerns, you have to be forthcoming or things could get really bad. Stay true to what you know about yourself and what you know you deserve. This next conversation with her could be the beginning of something new and different, or it could mark a stalemate for the two of you. I’m a bottom line kind of person, I feel strongly that people put their doubts and fears and needs and wants upfront, they end up there eventually, so just do it, and both of you can decide what the future holds.
Great things for you!