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Cuddles, and kisses, and hugs, oh my!!! (BS too please)

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knightsbff posted 1/19/2014 14:26 PM

My BH is very loving and kind and even affectionate. He still gets angry and sad every day. The thing he says most is, "I'm just so tired." And "I'm tired of being tired." The way he describes it is emotional exhaustion. He's constantly carrying around a huge burden. I wish I could find a way to help him put it down for at least a few minutes sometimes .

Anyway, since HB ended I see him intentionally making sure that he shows me affection. We will be lying in bed and he says, "come get snuggled." When we talk he tells me how hard it is for him to do this. He has a hard time even holding my hand because he can't help thinking of what else I have held in that hand. Sometimes he will let go of my hand and hold my wrist instead. Kissing me, hugging me, holding me, sex. All of it is a struggle for him.

I tell him we shouldn't do anything he doesn't want to do. I love him no matter what and I'm here for as long as it takes. He wants sex even though it's a struggle and I'm fine with whatever he wants. But the cuddling and extra stuff... I really enjoy it. And he does it without resentment and with love, but is it right that he's forcing himself to do these things for me? He says he wants to give me what I need. I'm not going to cheat if I'm not getting enough snuggle time. I understand that I did this to him/us.

Have I ruined affection for him forever? It's so heartbreaking that I want to show him affection more than I ever have in our marriage and now he can't enjoy it.

I enjoy the cuddles still (very much) because he wants to do that for me. At the same time I'm feeling guilty that he can't enjoy it and I'm wanting to comfort him from him forcing himself to hold me. How screwed up is that?

LA44 posted 1/19/2014 15:38 PM

Hmmmm, I try not to think in terms of "forever" knightsbff. I mean. I am doing things today that were unimaginable 13 months ago. Sounds like your H is making such a superb effort and you are aware that its hard and are sensitive to that.

Just thinking that w all that effort and consideration, you two will ultimately reach a place where it won't be as tough for him.

Also, I was actually not very affectionate prior to D-day. I had a hard time w cuddling so when we do that now, it stills feels..."Off" for me, plus A thoughts. your H I know there isn't a clock ticking. We've got time to sort all this out.

Wayflost posted 1/19/2014 15:58 PM

HB ended and now any physical affection is completely one sided. Like you, I know that I have to respect his boundaries and move at his pace. It sucks. I'm completely cut off. I never realized how important that contact was. Thank god I have a dog who lives to cuddle me. I'm trying to make sure that is enough.

But I do miss it. I want to hold his hand, hug, cuddle, and be in each other's space all the time. The way we used to be. The more he disconnects the harder it is for me to speak his love language. Touch is one of them. So I have fewer avenues open to express love in a way he will hear or feel it.

Hang in there.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 1/19/2014 18:48 PM

Do you ever initiate the snuggling, hugs, kisses? As hard as it was, it always was important to me (BS) that I feel wanted. I didn't want to have to win him back. I wanted him to want me (Hey that's a song! )

It might help, if you aren't initiating some of the time, if you do.

knightsbff posted 1/19/2014 21:24 PM

Yes. I do initiate all kind of affection. Carefully but very, very often. I love kissing, hugging, love making, anything I can get. I just love being near him. I'm careful because I'm a trigger for him.

knightsbff posted 1/19/2014 21:30 PM

Just thinking that w all that effort and consideration, you two will ultimately reach a place where it won't be as tough for him.

Oh, I hope and pray so. We love each other and we are committed to staying together. I couldn't ask for a sweeter or more considerate H. I would give anything for him to just feel loved when I hug him or kiss him, minus the bad things I have burdened him with. Just peace and happiness for him.

GotPlayed posted 1/19/2014 22:36 PM


I'm a BH. My WW, unlike you, didn't confess, I had to find out. Later she told me she tried twice telling me but backed out even though I was listening. She just couldn't handle it.

First, I want to commend you for trying. I know it's hard and frustrating to hear that he finds it difficult, but it's true. Try to focus on how sweet it is that he does something he finds very difficult right now, because his love for you transcends what happened. Imagine what a big deal that is.

I remember those feelings; they are very complicated and difficult to put into words. I remember enjoying it but at the same time getting "triggered" by it. It was what I'd always known for 18 years. It was quite literally home. But it hurt, because these memories come unprompted, like PTSD. So it was both the pleasure of home and the "forever" love we promised each other and extreme pain at the same time. I knew the hurt would eventually subside, but I had to be honest with her and let her know..

In my case, I told my WW once that "I was still having a hard time", while hugging her. It sent her right to OM the very next day (we had a grand total of 3 days of NC with the OM). Then she blamed this event for going to see OM again. I knew this wasn't the reason, I knew it was just the addiction to OM coming back. I ended up finding out she was unremorseful. She was hedging her bets, seeing if it worked with me and going back to him whenever she could.

I was devastated. Beyond devastated. We're now split and have filed for D. There is now no going back. Because she couldn't handle my triggers. Or because she was still addicted to OM. I'll never know now. I'm no longer in contact with her. Hurts too much and all I get from her is anger.

Please, for the sake of both of you, don't take what he says personally. It's not a reflection on his love for you, it's a reflection of his dismay regarding your behavior. As you soothe him it will go away. Slowly.

numb&dumb posted 1/20/2014 12:50 PM

Speaking as a BH in R, it seems not screwed up at all.

I think I can speak a little more broadly about what your H is referring to.

For me those times are a battle between my emotional, rational and/or logical brain. It takes a lot of mental effort to do something that one part of your head is telling you not to do. You struggle internally to do it, you struggle to keep doing and you finally struggle to let yourself be happy about it. In other words this constant dialogue runs each minute.


Rational Brain- Ok, she hasn't given me any new reason to not treat this as genuine. It makes her smile and the happier she is the less likely she will look elsewhere.

Emotional Brain- Whoa ! After what she pulled, she wants to cuddle. If you do, you are a chump and a loser. What is your pride ?

These things take a helluva a lot out of someone who isn't usually very emotional. It takes constant focus just to override the Emotional Brian with the rational one. Cognitive dissonance I believe it is called (smaller scale, I could be wrong).

The goods news is that it gets easier over time. Alas it does take time and practice.

As far as helping with this, addressing how hard this can be for him or not taking it personally when he doesn't want to is your best bet. As I have said before showing him remorse and acknowledging your role in creating this environment can help.

For him rebuilding his self esteem and having a plan in place "in case" something did happen again might help. He really has to move beyond what this has cost him and move to a survivor who was strong enough to face these challenges, gracious enough to give a second chance and smart enough to know that your M is indeed safe despite what his reactive emotional brain tells him. IC is by far the best method.

If not, Google Katie Lersch, she has a lot of good articles online he could read.

scream posted 1/20/2014 13:18 PM

Khights, I wonder the same things. How do they handle being near us when we are such a huge trigger. My wife does it patiently and gracefully. Its not always easy but she does her best to show me she wants to be with me. I try to make her feel safe. That if she gives herself to me, emotionally,mentally and sexually that I won't take her giving for granted and hurt her again. It does take time. And a lot of sharing of fears on both sides. I used to feel like I couldn't tell my wife what scared me. Now she knows and it feels better to talk to her about it. Open and honest communication before, during and after any connection is good. Keep reaching out and let him know he can do the same.

time2grow posted 1/20/2014 14:40 PM

I do hope things work out for the two of you. What I am hearing is fear. I know myself I was only willing to listen to another BH when I was confronted about my own fears. Others may have said something but I never heard it.

It takes time to heal, a long time. He has to be willing to grow and work threw the issues for himself first. As much as I would like to think at times I was Mr. Clean, I have since been put in my place. It sucks but no one is squeaky clean. I have had to deal with wreckage of the past that I am responsible for. None of it is fun. It was easier to blame her. Now that some time has passed and Iíve had to face myself, I can say Iím better for it.

is it right that he's forcing himself to do these things for me?

Some is okay. If he wants to - good. If he is fighting procrastination - good. If he learning/dealing with fear/insecurity - good. Feeling he has to, or doing it for someone other than himself - not good, resentment on the way.

Actions speak louder than words. Snuggle time is good but what else can you do to reassure him you are thinking of him and you want it to work out. Iím not suggesting smothering him but once in a while a pleasant surprize is nice. (One idea is finding a note or card in the dash of my car when I leave work; all it has to say is ďthinking of you.Ē)

[This message edited by time2grow at 2:42 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

knightsbff posted 1/20/2014 15:20 PM

GotPlayed, Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry for your pain. It sounds like your WW was never remorseful. When BH communicates his anger and pain with me we talk about it together, kind of like a team approach. It hurts both of us but we work to not let it push us apart. I don't get angry about his triggers or anger because I know I caused it.

numb&dumb, thank you for responding I so appreciate getting input from all of you BSes. I truly helps me to understand better. He was in IC but hasn't been in several months. He's resistant to returning right now though I think it would be very helpful. We will talk about it again soon. I will find the articles for him in the meantime.

scream, yes, the communication really helps. I think we both feel relief after we have talked about our feelings. We feel more connected.

t2g, I have made a habit of doing special things to show I love him from time to time but have slacked off lately. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to cook him a really nice dinner tonight.

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