What’s inside: If you’re struggling with how to be more affectionate towards your husband, learn these 5 things that could hold you back & how to fix them.
I am a very affectionate person. I’m a hugger, even if I barely know you. I tend to touch people on the arm when speaking with them, probably making it awkward sometimes. But I believe so many people need that human connection, and we keep it to ourselves too much. (Or not enough, in my case?)
So if you were to tell me, in the early years of my marriage, that I would come to a point where I would need to—on purpose—contemplate how to be more affectionate to my husband, I really would have laughed.
Because being affectionate is not a problem for me.
But then “motherhood” happened and “work” happened and just plain “busy lives” happened. And before I knew it, it would be the end of the day, and I realized I never once connected with my man.
And I didn’t like that revelation. Because, let’s face it, when the kids move out and retirement happens and life slows down, it’s going to be just me and him. And I didn’t want to have to introduce myself to my own spouse in a few years’ time.
So I went to work on changing things up, and I learned so much along the way. And since I know I am not the only woman out there who can relate to this issue, I am laying it all out in case it can help you be more affectionate to your man, too.
Here are 5 reasons we are not affectionate to our husbands and how to fix them:
Disclaimer: There honestly could be countless reasons and I know some stem from abuse, hurts, and insecurities. But I am not the right person to address those genuine concerns. I’m just going to address some practical ones that I have struggled with and hopefully be an encouragement.
1. We lost our respect…
I’m starting with this one not because I think it’s the most important, but because I think it is foundational.
My mom taught me at a young age never to criticize your husband to another person because you will forgive him and forget what he did to annoy you, but the person you criticized him to most likely won’t.
And that stuck with me. Because I had real-life examples of that among some of the wives I knew growing up and saw firsthand how damaging their words were to the men in their lives.
And over the years my husband and I have heard some men talk about their wives in hurtful ways that have left us both wondering how in the world they ever got to that point in their marriage.
…so we need to practice respect.
If we would never want our husbands to say “this” or “that” about us behind our backs, we should never say the same about them. It’s really that simple. The Golden Rule, if you will. (I know this goes both ways, but it’s just us wives here.)
My husband and I made promises to each other early in our marriage that we would respect each other in public and in private. We’ve been married 17 years now and have held to those promises, and I believe it has helped keep our marriage strong, even in the tough days.
I know that respect is not the easiest thing to give someone, especially when you are frustrated with them or they damage that respect. But respect is the very first step towards loving a person and being the affectionate person we want to be.
2. We are tapped out physically…
When we hold our newborns in our arms for the first time, we feel like we could hold them forever. Three kids later and you are bribing them for some alone time.
Sometimes our love banks get overdrawn and by the time our husbands come home, it takes effort to be affectionate. I know there were days when I just didn’t want to be touched anymore. No matter how badly I needed a hug, I just couldn’t bring myself to accept one.
And that’s part of being a mom, I think. It’s not wrong to love on our children or for them to love on their mom, but sometimes, there just isn’t enough left over.
…so we need time to refill.
One thing I started doing an hour before my husband came home, was have a quick cleanup time, then set my kids down for a movie so I could have some alone time getting dinner on the table.
This allowed me to unwind mentally and emotionally, which in turn, allowed for more room on my “affection meter”. By the time my husband was home, I was ready for that connection that couples need when they meet up again.
3. We are too busy…
I know we can use this excuse for so many scenarios, but for this one, we’re going to talk about how being busy distracts us.
My husband has a crazy busy schedule, so staying busy myself has been very good for our marriage. Or else I would rely on him to keep me happy and entertained, and that is not good for any marriage. (I know, I tried it.)
But with trying to keep up with my what my husband is doing, and our three daughters and my three businesses, life can get out of hand quick. Especially because I can get very driven when I’m working on a project and any interruptions, even in the shape of my six foot hunk of a police officer, can cause me irritation.
Which, as you already guessed, is not conducive to an affectionate relationship.
…so we need to be intentional.
If something is important, we make time for it, right?
If being affectionate towards your husband is important to you, you need to be intentional at carving out time to think about him.
When I have “all the things” vying for attention in my brain, I need to work at making sure I take time to focus on my husband.
Usually, before he gets home, I try to think about his day and the things he might have encountered. I try to think about some of the stress he might have been through, or the soreness he might feel after training. I try to think about the fact he went to work even when he was tired, or feeling worn out.
These practices endear me to my husband and turn my thoughts affectionate. So even though my day was crazy busy, I’ve made time for him and it shows when he walks in the door.
4. We are too overwhelmed…
As you may have also already guessed, I can get overwhelmed quickly with all I try to accomplish in a day.
But work and family aside, if my house looks like a disaster zone, affection is the farthest thing from my mind. And knowing my husband, it’s the farthest thing from his mind, too.
I know there are memes out there that encourage moms to ignore the mess and enjoy your little ones, which might work for some moms, but not this one.
If my house is a mess, I’m a mess. I can’t think straight, I can’t focus of tasks at hand and usually, everyone ends up snippy with each other.
… so we need to get things under control.
I know that if you are a mom to little ones, that’s easier said than done. But there are days it’s possible. It might take more patience or bringing out things less messy right before hubby gets home, but it’s doable.
(I sometimes include affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission off any purchases you make, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here or at the end of this post.)
If your kids are older, chore charts are a great way to motivate kids to help keep things clean, so there’s less stress on you to do it all.
Whatever is adding stress and overwhelm to your days, adopt some things to help eliminate them.
5. Our health is out of whack…
After our youngest was born, it took probably 8 months before I welcomed affection. I’m talking about from anyone. It was a rough 8 months, but I was so out of sorts, I truly didn’t want to be close to anyone.
And when I went to a doctor, he prescribed a hormone cream that ended up building in my system and turning me into Mrs. Hyde. It was a terrifying experience that I never want to relive.
But it just goes to show how messed up our bodies can get and how badly they can affect our worlds and the people we love inside them.
… so we need some help to be our healthiest selves.
After my hormone scare, I have since looked at women differently. I know women get a bad rap sometimes for the way we can act crazy, but I’m convinced some of these women just need help.
I did. I’m so thankful I recognized that the dangerous thoughts I had in my head were not normal and something was wrong. I was literally scared of what I might do.
There are dear women out there who never got help, and they lost marriages, children, jobs, all because they couldn’t get the help they so desperately needed.
If that is you, please, go to a doctor who specializes in natural hormones and let them help. You will be SO glad you did!
One thing I swear by, that has done incredible things for my hormones, is something affectionally called the Pink Drink. It’s amazing! If you struggle with blood sugar issues and fluctuating hormones, you need to check it out!
Ever since I started drinking it every day, I feel amazing; I sleep through the night; I don’t struggle with blood sugar drops or mood swings, and I’ve even lost weight. This stuff is liquid gold.
Ways to Show Love to Your Husband
Now that we have recognized some things that might keep us from being affectionate to our husbands and how to fix them, let’s list some ways we can be more loving that we can implement today:
- Leave a love note on his mirror, on his nightstand, in his car, on his desk or in his lunch.
- Bring home his favorite drink or snack.
- Call him just because.
- Give him a 10 second kiss.
- Hold his hand when you’re out walking.
- Sit by him on the couch.
- Make his favorite meal.
- Send him a text and include a pic.
- Wear that perfume he loves.
- Plan a date to a place he loves.
- Pray for him.
- Ask his suggestion than use it.
- Give him a back rub.
- Sit with him while he works.
- Go on a walk together.
- Bring him coffee in the morning.
- Pinch his bottom as he walks past.
- Catch his eye in a crowded room.
- Give him “the look”.
- Admire his work. Really watch him.
- Praise him for his strengths.
- Praise him to the children.
- Praise him to others.
- Smile at him when he looks your way.
- Leave intimate articles of clothing where he’ll find them later.
- Use pet names.
- Celebrate special days/anniversaries.
- Shine his shoes.
- Greet him at the door.
- Hang up his coat for him.
- Set up a place for him to relax.
- Bring him a drink and his favorite book.
- Walk him to his car when he leaves.
- Pack his lunch.
- Make a list of the ways he makes your life richer and give it to him.
I hope this post gave you some things to think about and hopefully some ideas to help you in this area of being affectionate to your spouse. We could all use some extra love right about now, but let’s start with the ones who love us most!
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About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.