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Love Making Advice Article


Affection: Why Is It a Challenge For Many In their Marriage?

By Susie and Otto Collins

 
What do you do when one person in a marriage wants more affection than the other person is able to give?
 
Not only is this an interesting question-- but it's also a challenge that many couples have, not just about affection, but about how to deal with the differences between the wants and needs of each person in many parts of the marriage.
 
Recently, we received a question from one of our newsletter subscribers about affection that intrigued us and we thought we'd share our answer with all of you.
 
The question she asked was--"I would like to know how I can be a bit more affectionate.  My husband is very affectionate, but I am not and it's a problem.
So how can I start to be more open with my feelings?"
 
What we would recommend to her and anyone who wants to be more affectionate (and isn't) is to take some time and examine the reasons why you aren't more affectionate.
 
We'll talk about some of these possible reasons in a moment, but before we do, it's important to point out that if you are feeling that you are not as affectionate as you (or your partner) would like you
to be, then this suggests that you have some barriers to intimacy that are present in this relationship.
 
If this is the case, even though there may be much love and appreciation, caring and good feelings between the two of you, there is something within you that is causing you to keep yourself from giving more of yourself physically or emotionally to that
person.
 
Take some time, feel what you are feeling when you think about your situation and then see what comes up for you.
 
In our way of thinking, if you're not as affectionate as you or your partner would like you to be, there could be many things going on.
 
Here are just a few of the possibilities...
 
1. You didn't see affection when you were growing up and it feels foreign to you.
 
2. You don't feel that you deserve to be loved in this way.
 
3. You have fear of intimacy that keeps you somewhat at a distance from your partner.
 
4.  You have "bought into" some programming that has told you that it's not okay to be affectionate and you've never questioned this for yourself to examine what feels right to you.

If you haven't questioned this idea and have embraced it as you own, it may have just become "the way you are" without you realizing you could choose to be different.
 
5. You're not really wanting to be closer to your partner and you don't love him/her as much as you think.
 
6. It's possible that there has been abuse in your past that holds you back from responding and giving affection.
 
While we're not sure which of these (if any) applies in this person's case or yours, those are some possibilities and potential "causes" for lack of affection for you to consider.
 
So, once you have discovered what's underneath your feelings, what do you do with this information?
 
While we're not suggesting that you dwell on the past, it is helpful to discover whether you need to work with a therapist or coach to help you heal some of your issues.

Or it might be that just by realizing where some of your behavior comes from, you can switch your thinking to more of what you want on your own.
 
In any case, the first thing you can do is to decide if you really do want to be more affectionate with your spouse or not and how you'd like to be in your marriage. 

If you honestly do want to be more affectionate, you have a choice to make.
 
You can choose to hold onto the idea that you "aren't an affectionate person" or you can choose to change and be more affectionate with your spouse and with the people in your life.
 
The two of us are very affectionate with each other and with other people, especially our family and friends. 

What we have discovered is that when we are not affectionate with each other or with the people in our lives, it's because of a feeling of disconnection.
 
So what do we do to create connection with each other and become affectionate once again? 

Here are a few things that work for us...
 
1. We have it as our intention to regain our connection and have the courage to open to each other.
 
2. We create a safe atmosphere to listen and talk with one another. We talk about the feelings that are creating the disconnection and come to some kind of resolution.
 
3. We become playful again with one another.  This doesn't have to involve sex but certainly can.  It can involve touching each other, sitting close, holding hands or any number of ways to show our love again.
 
4. We come to once again appreciate each other and what we each bring to enrich the other's life.
 
If you are wanting to be more affectionate, discover what's holding you back and then take steps to move toward what you want. 
 
Remember, affection is really an outpouring of the love and appreciation that a person has for another person and this comes from the inside.
 
Affection can be a simple thing to bring you closer to your spouse. It's one of the ways we keep our relationship passionate, alive and vibrant.
 
We think affection, if heartfelt, can be a powerful way to make your marriage better too.


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Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Red Hot Love Relationships" invite you to visit http://www.RedHotLoveRelationships.com to discover how you can turn up the heat in your love relationship.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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