Do You Not Want to Touch Your Spouse?

I have read many of the comments on EP.  I am amazed by the number of people who have become so resentful living in a sexless marriage for so long that they no longer even want to touch their spouse.   I am curious if you feel that way.

I am really interested in hearing from people who no longer want to even touch their spouse.  Why is that?  So the question is do you like touching your spouse even if you are in a sexless marriage.  The answer for me is yes even though my wife does not like me touching her. 

How do you feel on this subject?

OutOfPatience OutOfPatience
61-65, M
26 Responses Jan 26, 2009

I have been marri ed over 30 years, everything was good until several years ago, the kids had lewft or in college, we had more private time. Then she got a promotion and changed her work location. It was along then that she would not kiss and when asked she said it was me not her, she would not talk about it. Shortly after that she almost never instigated sex it was always me. The last couple of years she would have sex after a lot of coaxing. Then it is just hurry up and get it over. Now it has started that she rarely will allow it now and it is still just get it over. I help around house, compliment her regularly, tell her how I feel. All she does at home is read romance novels almost every waking minute, like avoinding contact or conversation. I try to talk to her but this always ending up being my fault with everything. It is never the right time. I have considered that someone else may be in picture at work in which I have no access to. I do not think it is happening out of work or she is leaving on another vehicle and not hers. I have never cheated or even wanted to, I love her very much and still want her in all ways but it has me so damn confused that I keep it in the back of my mind that it is something or someone I do not know about. Any suggestions

Hey, "Out of Patience", How did it go? The date and the sex?

I have not had sex for three month and my wife never touches me. We have a 9 week old baby and I understand (new baby). I just wonder how long this will go on and if I am about to lose a marriage that i do not want to lose,.

I've been thinking about this lately. It has been 8 months for me with NO intimacy. Not even hand holding. He still gives me a peck, mostly on the cheek. But I cringe everytime. I have so much resentment build up inside me, I think if he did try be intimate after all this time, I might give him a taste of his own medicine. How can you treat the person you are suppose to love like he has treated me and expect there to be any desire for the other person. We co habitate, and nothing more! For me a persons actions speak louder than their words. He has shown me no love, respect, or affection, so when he says "I love you", I want to say "then show me". Actually I have said those words numerous times. He just chooses not to hear me.

After 24 years of marriage with an unfaithful husband, I must say that I am jaded about considering sex as a form of affection. The sex life was okay. The mutual respect and affection were nil. Now that he is gone, I cannot stand having anyone touch me regardless of how much I like them.

UPDATE :: J A I have been married 4 38 years no sex in the last 10 years . I am 64 own a house in Pa. I also own a home near Bethany Beach Del . 4 a vacation & retirement home . My son has his own home he is 37 . My one daughter 33 is living at home & single . My other daughter is 26 married has a 3 year old baby + a 9 year old step son . They all just moved back in 2 my house 4 money problems . My point is I thought by now my wife and I would B living by our self's at the beach and maybe our sex life could begin again ??????????????????????? ALL I CAN SAY IS WTF !!! Only Thing That Has Changed is that it is 4 Years Later With No Change 2012 ???????????

My wife and I had a great sexual relationship (daily) until my wife got pregnant with our daughter. She had had multiple miscariages so we were not allowed to have sex in case she lost the baby. So she told me she would take care of me orally during this time but it never happened and once our daughter was born it never improved. I became resentfull and angry and felt betrayed. I felt like she didn't want sex anymore with me and was content to be a mom and not a wife anymore. My daughter is now 6 y.o. and I can count on one hand how many times we've had intercourse in the past 2-3 years. I feel helpless, I don't want to leave my wife or have sex outside of mariage, I do love her but the lack of sex is breaking me apart inside. She shows affection towards me outside of the bedroom but inside I get the cold shoulder. I've brought it up a couple of times with my wife and she doesn't seem to feel that there is anything wrong with our relationship and everything is fine. Are we just so incompatable sexualy that we should seperate? I've entioned counciling but it seems to fall on deaf ears as well. I love my daughter too much to leave. I don't know what to do any more.

Sad.... but AGONISING.........

I get better treatment from the cats when I feed them !!!!!!!!!!!!

my answer to unhappy marriage and spouse to split out and divorce. Why do I keep being sad? I have gotten married right after college when I had only known him only a month. We were very much in love untill. he started not wanting to be at home and being around me at all. I toralated it untill our son was born and he was not very warm to our son. I find out that he was not very faithfull. I decided to divorce him. When I did everything has fallen into his place. life goes on and I do not want to be stuck on being unhappy

I recently crossed a line in my marriage with my husband. He's a good looking man, very fit and strong, and he's my "type" in the physical sense, so I find it especially hard to resist touching him. However, over the last decade he's shut me down and pushed me away and rejected me so many times that I've closed off the sexual part of me behind a wall, and it's locked up in there pretty tightly so as to avoid the pain. I've even had other men mention that I give off some kind of vibe and it makes me sad. I am one of those that keeps hoping something will change, that it's just a temporary thing or stress in his life or fatigue or whatever other thing I can come up with to jusitfy his behaviour, but I really like I'm lying to myself. At this point, the rare occasion when we do have sex I find myself quite unsatisfied sexually, so although I'm not at the point where I don't want to touch him yet, I feel it's only a matter of time until I get there.

of course I want to be touched by him. That is the reason I am still there. Given the chance I would touch him regardless, but we are still in the working it out stage, rather than the smouldering resentment phase.

Out of Patience,<br />
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You need to read my story. Now after all these years he feels something. I still don't know what happened to awaken him but he says it is because he was truly afraid of losing me. Resentment is what I posted about. After 15 years of no affection except "I love you" at the end of the day with nothing else to support his words I am still at a loss for words. I am going to make it work though. Not because I don't have other options, not because of guilt for our family but rather because I want to and now he does to. We go to counseling tomorrow and already have a date planned for Friday! We are both so excited to get reconnected with each other. I will keep you posted.

very best wishes to both of you ♥ ♥ ♥

I'm with thrive on her comment: I tried for a long time after I was compelled to notice that I was the initiator of all affection, but it got to be too painful to realize that I was just wasting energy. Unlike her, however, other things in the marriage were also a disaster, so there was NOTHING left to work with. I tried getting her to see a counselor and I tried talking things through, but she told me repeatedly that she didn't think talking about problems would improve anything. <br />
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What could one do? As several have said, it takes two to work on a marriage, and she wasn't interested.

coming from the other side of the fence here... <br />
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I don't want him touching me... because I know that every time he touches me, he's going to start pushing to take it to somewhere else; only, he can't get his equipment to work... or if he can it's only for a matter of a very few seconds... and, it all just leads to both of us feeling frustrated. I am just so tired of feeling so intensely smothered! I don't want to kiss him; I don't want to hold his hand; I just really wish I had made a better decision 7 years ago.

I don't want to touch or kiss my husband. My desire is gone even though we appear to others as a great couple. Passion is fueled by two people fanning the flames, not one. <br />
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Being actively wanted, desired in that way is, to me, fundamental and cannot be replaced by other virtues. So, he ignored me and for a while I hung in with some affection but after 2 years, I shut down – then I cut off all affection – no hugging or touching. It is too hard, too frustrating to keep investing energy and hope and being hurt. <br />
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Other than that, we are respectful and he has many good qualities I appreciate as a co-parent and co-household manager. Since I cut off and stopped having ‘those’ expectations of him/us, my frustration level went down. And I started focusing more on me and stopped trying to figure him out.

Yes, I still go to him when I want a hug and he is great at cuddles and an occasional back rub. But the kisses are rare and only a peck from closed lips. I guess I am a fool, but I still hope every touch will turn rarely if ever does. I feel like a dog wimpering for scraps .......and sometimes I am ashamed of myself for still wanting him in spite of the way he ignores me. But when he holds me in his arms I keep thinking "this is the only place that feels right" I"M PATHETIC -squared!

My wife has no urge to touch me etc. too but what is really hard is these see-sawing feelings of 'Im pathetic', I'm angry', 'It's hopelessness.' I am recently realizing I am at a new stage because, after many attempts I am afraid to try again and see her cry and feel horrible followed by more of the same old thing. I can't really ever leave her but sometimes that makes my life look like a joke, obviously not good feelings to have when you think about your lover. Good luck on your journey.

I would if I could, but I can't, so I won't. There is no present tense for me, so I dont understand the premise of the question "do you like touching your spouse even if you are in a sexless marriage?" My sexless marriage also means I cant touch her.

Thank you for responding to my question. I can understand how some of you feel. Resentment is a very powerful emotion. I try very hard not to feel that way. Unfortunately, I am starting to feel resentment towards my spouse. Why does she give more attention to the three dam cats than she gives to me? Why does she work so hard at not showing me any intimacy or affection? It builds up. <br />
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Ironically, there does come a point where the resentment is so great that even if they did respond by some miracle you would reject them. Why does it have to be this way?

I was 26 and she was 20 win we got married . We had a great sex life till she had all the kids she wanted then every thing went down hill !!!

All these sad stories. I beginning to wonder how all of ever got into these marraiges in the first place. In retrospect, in my case I was just too damn young. I cannot go back and change anything now but I can't see any reason to continue foward with it furher either.<br />
Doomed perhaps to a stagnate lifestyle with no hope for real happiness.<br />
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You are all absolutely correct in that a sexless marraige breeds contempt and love, intimacy are gone forever,. Frankly, I doubt if any gesture can be effected to rekindle it either.<br />
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I do have a dream that someday that in a supermarket or cocktail lounge, somewhere I will find another who craves the same warmth that I do. Perhaps togethergive some meaning to our present existance.

J A I have been married 4 35 years no sex in the last 6 years . I am 61 own a house in Pa. I also own a home near Bethany Beach Del . 4 a vacation & retirement home . My son has his own home he is 34 . My one daughter 29 is living at home & single . My other daughter is 24 married has a new baby + a 5 year old step son . They all just moved back in 2 my house 4 money problems . My point is I thought by now my wife and I would B living by our selfs aT the beach and maybe our sex life could begin again ??????????????????????? ALL I CAN SAY IS WTF !!!

I reached that point eventually. I tried for a couple of years, but during one of the infrequent discussions we had about why things were going wrong, she told me that she didn't need to be touched, but if I did, she could tolerate it if I hugged her. Yum, that sounded like such a treat after that. That was pretty much the end, even if it took another year to effect the separation.

Most of the time I don't feel resentful.<BR><BR>Most of the time I'm watching her, fantasizing about blind-folding her, (gently) tying her hands with a scarf and giving her a good seeing to.

After being pushed away for a long time heck no, I have no desire to touch him now. The ball is and has been is his court for quite a while. He knows exactly how I feel about this. I am past the stage of asking for sex (which I never ever had to do in the past before him!) and now I realize how stupid I was and how against my own beliefs I acted. Sex should be given freely not forced and enthusiastically not out of guilt / duty / whatever.

This is complicated question for me. The answer is yes and no. I still love my husband and want the man he was but when my eyes see the man he is now I am not sure.<br />
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I do still receive hugs, but that is all the further it goes. Kissing is never in the cards. A close mouth kiss periodically but none of the long passionate kisses from our early years.<br />
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I go over and over in my mind, but can not come up with a reason why my husband has withdrawn emotionally from me.

I think over time the resentment towards the denying spouse can grow to such proportions that yes, you no longer want to touch them or have them touch you. The resentment turns to rage and festers inside until you begin to almost hate them. It may not happen like that for everyone, but it certainly did for me.