Coping with Lack of Affection in Marriage
The strongest love might be able to hide in a marriage, as it always seeps out even if it’s not openly displayed. But a lack of affection is impossible to hide and riddles the mind with worries and anxieties about what could be wrong.
Let’s examine how to deal with lack of affection in a marriage, and no, this won’t be a retread of every other low-hanging suggestion that fills the internet, but rather three strong methods to improve affection in a lonely marriage.
Healthy relationships are littered with meaningful loving gestures like hugs, hand-holding, tender conversations, and encouragement, and if you find yourself feeling lonely in your two-person band, there are steps you can try before seeking professional help.
Coping with a Lack of Affection in Marriage
Simply asking your significant other for affection never works because when things go wrong, it’s often for complex reasons that are difficult to articulate.
When the problem seems to emerge, it’s only because it’s already too far past the point of return where it can be easily addressed.
The effects of a lack of affection in marriage can be devastating, and if anything is worth fighting for, it’s your happiness.
Stop Talking About It
Demanding affection never works. Some people resort to dark jokes and humor reminding their loved ones about the last time they were affectionate and it only serves to remind them of the happiness in the past — not the present and why things have gone wrong.
To turn things around, you actually have to, strangely enough, reduce reminders that things aren’t working lest you reinforce it even stronger in your partner’s head. Take action to remind your partner there is affection there, it is not forgotten, ignored or lost. You can rekindle it, and you have nothing to lose with some gestures and everything to gain. At a simple level, it can be a momentum thing, where it’s easier to keep going once it’s there and it needs to be kick-started once it stops.
Reduce Pornography and Self-pleasure
Studies show that pornography usage and lack of affection and intimacy in marriage have strong correlations.
An obsession with the fantasy world and the super stimulation it offers can dull your senses, making it difficult to enjoy simpler, happier things like hand-holding and looking into the eyes of your own spouse if pornography has affected your brain to need higher and higher hits of dopamine to feel even the simplest of pleasures.
By removing artificial, supercharged outlets like porn, it definitely can restructure normal human brains to seek happiness, comfort, and affection from real life around them, instead of virtual substitutes that are only a click away, yet can mess with the wiring of the mind.
Speak Your Partner’s Love Language
Affection might fail because while one partner might value physical touch and affection as their basic expectations of intimacy, another might value quality time with the other and acts of service to remind them that they love them.
Each partner may wrongly believe the other no longer loves them, but may simply be mismatched in the manner they express their loves.
The five love languages are:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
Some people aren’t huggers but tolerate it for the ones they love. Some people can’t imagine a life without hugs and undergo depression when the hugs stop. Understand your partner, either by going to counseling, therapy, talking with their friends or just by deeply understanding their personal values to understand the mask they put on for the world, and what they really register as affection and start speaking their language to see if things improve. It’s a cliche, but lack of affection in marriage can definitely be a miscommunication problem.