my husband and i just got married in january. before we married, he was very affectionate – lots of hugs, kisses & compliments, and he was very romantic and sweet in general. not long after the wedding and honeymoon, that seemed to fade. i thought the early months of marriage would be very romantic and passionate. not that there hasn’t been any romance or passion at all, it just seems he is not as affectionate or as interested in me as he was before we were married. is this normal so soon after the wedding? i guess i had unknowingly built my self esteem on the attention he used to give me, and now that it has decreased, i am starting to feel bad about myself and wonder if maybe he thinks i’m not as attractive as i used to be or something like that. has anyone else out there experienced this? i’d be very grateful for any input. thank you!
I’m thinking back about 3 1/2 years ago when we first got married, and I think this actually did come up. At first I kept quiet about it but eventually I talked to him about it and it turned out he didn’t want me to feel like I was being smothered all the time. We cleared that up.
Since then, I have been very honest with my husband and just tell him that I need a lot of compliments and attention. If he doesn’t know how important it is, well, he just wouldn’t know, right?. Also, I’ll say something like, “It makes me so happy when you hug me when I’m cooking dinner.” Little hints can’t hurt. Of course, it all depends on the guy, but mine doesn’t mind if I am blunt and say, “I need some more attention.”
Have you talked to him about it?
If you need hugs and affection, you need to ask for it. Maybe the book “The Five Love Languages” would help you two determine your needs and his needs (which may be different from yours).
Marriage has a huge adjustment period. Communicating is key.
I agree with 1ke…we had a something similar. Marriage is a big adjustment and it takes constant (and I do mean constant) maintenance, communication, and selfgiving. Remember, you can always initiate. It’s been my experience that not only does my DH reciprocate when I initiate, but he also takes more initiative himself.
When it comes to your self-esteem, if this is true, this is a great opportunity for you to do some soul-searching, praying, and perhaps some spiritual reading. Focus on your vocation as wife - being the best spouse to your hubby you can, and becoming the woman God desires you to be…when you are other centered (God and hubby) you will be suprised at the change in your self-esteem (I recommend a great married woman’s study “Woman of Grace” by Michealann Martin). At least I’ve found this to be true.
Hope this helps! God bless,
Want some guy perspective? It’s not even like I’ve been married, either, but it just looks to me like he either doesn’t know how much he should smother you (as has been said :)), or something might be eating him up. You need to talk, but the lighter you make it, the better it will come out, I think. You know, not to push him into a defensive reaction or make him feel accused.
This is what happened in my marriage too. A complete change of affection immediately after the marraige. I tried telling him in every carefully worded way, carefully thought-through to protect his ego and not offend. He denied the problem. I finally gave up. I tried everything over the years, particularly not asking too much because that made him mad. The lack of affection only went downhill over the years and the verbal abuse - starting off immediatley after marraige with milder invalidating and “jokes” and accusing me of bad motives in my actions, all of which he dendied or joked abut later, escalated ovder time. Nearly twenty years I put my hope in God and tried to do the right thing always, but it ended in a painful divorce initiated by him. I learned then about his Narcissim, and that it is the usual pattern for a narcissist and verbal abusor to completely withdraw his affection which was showered as an act to seal the deal, and once he wins the prize, he withdraws the effort which is too much trouble to keep up.
Looking back, what I wish I had done was insisted on marraige counseling until the problem was resolved to my satisfaction. I didn’t because he insisted he did not want to, because he was fine (I learned later this is also what Narcisssists do) and mostly because I could no handle the conflict and strife caused by my asking for this.
I certainly hope this is not your problem, but I do reccommend doing what I didn’t, and that is to persist in insisting on marraige counseling. Because these are the times of building your marraige foundation. And when the children come you will focus on them. Also, there is career focus. Getting off on solid footing in your relationship is so important.
So if you are unhappy and the problem has no foreseeable solution, opening your marraige up to the scrutiny of marriage professionals, and getting professional guidance in this early stage, would shed some light and/or head off a bigger problem later.
It never happend to me, my husband still treats me the same way like when we were dating I guess it depends on the person.
We’re in our first year too. It’s a time of adjustment as much as anything else, learning how to make your lives intertwine in a harmonious manner. You’ll each learn little things about each other that you didn’t know before, find out new things about each other’s needs, and you’ll each have things that drive you a little crazy. It’s not a bad thing. It’s part of the relationship growing.
The best thing to do is discuss it openly and lovingly, ideally at a time when affection isn’t an issue. (Over the breakfast table, for instance.) I agree with the suggestion that you keep the discussion as light and as positive as possible. Take the “I love it when you…” approach, rather than “I wish you would…” or “Why don’t you…”.
When he does give you affection, consistently make sure he knows you appreciate it. That way, he doesn’t have to worry about how you’ll react.
That Love Languages book is a great suggestion too. Read it together, if you can.
I also suggest Dr. Laura’s “Proper Care and feeding of Husbands”
Oh, I hate to even think about that first year. It was the worst one of our married life.
I can’t really make any suggestions other than I think I was too clingy that first year. I expected him to be my whole world. I wish I would have taken time to make friends, be involved in a parish, pursue hobbies…
Of course, the fact that he would leave me every Saturday morning around 7 am and return right before bed only to do the same thing on Sunday may have had something to do with my misery:rolleyes:
What a combination: I wanted us to be together all the time, and he wanted to get away as much as possible. I guess we were both pretty immature.
The second year was much, much better. And, this summer will be our 16th :extrahappy:
That was very helpful for the OP I am sure she needed to hear that right now.:rolleyes:
Yes, I am not sure if it is because all the hugging and kissing was the only thing that was “allowed” and once we were able to make love it didn’t seem necessary.
In any case, you did get good advice here. Make sure you are not keeping your expectations hidden or unrealistic. If you like hugging maybe you can innitiate it.
Don’t be worried about not being attractive anymore. Of course you are. Married women are supposed to be the most attractive. We just get better and better as we age!!
been seeing great advice so far , as stated its a huge adjustment period, as said before communication is the key here,
a good way as chevalier has stated to make it non defensive is ask him to take you out for dinner or something you maybe havnt done since before marriage that would be a great time to bring it up, example being this is so nice to experience this again, tell how you really miss the closeness you had, then that will open the doors for the discussion you need.
some of the reasons for what is happening is not only is everything new, he may or may not be feeling he is smothering you, but he may have come from a family that was similar to this
and may not even relize he is being a tad distant.
its awful easy to get into a routine,now is the time to get him into the routine that is more close, let him know you dont mind.
also something else i just relized as well he may have had friends that have told him if he wants his marriage to last he cant smother you all the time as well thats one i have heard quite a bit through the years…by men and women whom have been married a long time.
good luck on this
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Sometimes all of the new responsibilities of marriage and having a home to take care of can seem daunting at first. Perhaps money is tight? In general, men feel that they are somehow failing if money is a problem. I’m not sure what your pre-marriage situation was, but it is quite an adjustment to live with someone and get used to different habits, etc. Maybe he is used to living on his own and not having to worry about someone else using the bathroom, etc? If he lived at home, maybe his mom took care of all of the housework and cleaned his room, made all his “favorite meals”, and now you are just learning to make dinners and you don’t pick up his clothes? I’m just throwing out examples here. They may or may not fit your situation. I guess I’m trying to say that it is possible that he is “grieving” for his pre-marriage life a little. That is no reflection on you! Your dh may be sentimental and is having a hard time with change. He may not even realize that he’s not giving you the attention that you’re used to. Try to give HIM a little more attention. Make his favorite meals. Take him out for dinner. Show some interest in him and what he’s doing at work. Perhaps you’ll find out what’s causing him to be so distracted.
Sounds like he is busy nesting, feeling responsible for his new wife. Tell him to slow down and enjoy what you have. Make him know that you are comfortable and put his mind at ease. Just an idea. I hope this helps, Tim