So, you’re married and life is going fairly well…except for when your partner wants to get touchy. When he brushes his fingertips against your skin, you feel electricity rush down your spine – but not in a good way. “Why don’t I like being touched by my husband?” you ask yourself. “He’s a fine man, isn’t he?”
Marital life isn’t always easy. You’re living with another person who has unique likes and dislikes, and you have yours. You two may not always agree on things, and that’s okay. Every married couple has their differences.
But the trouble truly begins when either married partner’s emotional or physical needs aren’t being met. In this case, it’s you who doesn’t feel comfortable with touching. Consequently, you may feel confused, upset, or even guilty. These are all normal, human emotions, and we’re here to help you navigate through them!
Listed below are the top answers to the big question: “why don’t I like being touched by my husband?”
1. You’re exploring your personal boundaries
Getting to understand your personal boundaries is part of any healthy relationship. If this is your first time being physically intimate with someone, learning your boundaries is part of the process. You may like some types of touch and not enjoy others. This is perfectly okay.
But, if you’re not new to intimacy and you still don’t enjoy your husband’s company, there’s definitely some underlying tension waiting to be addressed.
If you don’t know the reason yet and keep asking yourself “why don’t I like being touched by my husband?”, keep reading.
Trigger warning: your aversion to intimacy could be a sign of unaddressed mental, emotional, or sexual trauma. It may have happened to you, or to someone else. We’ll address these concerns next.
2. You’re recovering from past trauma
This is a sensitive topic, so take a deep breath before reading on.
Have you experienced mental, emotional, or sexual trauma in the past? This includes anything uncomfortable done by an intimate partner, or someone who affected your body without consent. Trauma can also be second-hand; you may have grown up in an abusive home and often saw your parents fighting.
If that sounds like you, hear us out: first, you’re not alone. Really. So many people have experienced some form of trauma through an intimate relationship or at the hands of a narcissist.
Tips for Addressing Emotional and Sexual Trauma
Knowing that you’re not alone in this feeling is the first step on the road to healing. And if you’re someone who needs to heal, respect your needs!
If you trust your partner deeply, you can try talking to him about it. Tell him you feel uncomfortable being intimate with him because of negative experiences in the past.
However, if that’s not an option, or if you’re not comfortable doing it, don’t push yourself. You can start by speaking to a trusted friend or family member, or relying on guidance from a religious figurehead or text if you have nobody else to talk to. Remember, all options are valid. You must do what YOU are comfortable with.
Alternatively, you can start a journal or talk about it in a password protected phone app. The App Store is brimming with self-help apps and AI chatbots to communicate with, too. When you’re ready, you can try seeking a professional therapist, be it online or in person.
3. You feel emotionally out of touch
You’ve married the man, but your emotional wavelengths are poles apart.
To be honest, emotional connection is a prerequisite for sexual tension for most couples. After all, you must have married your husband because you love, or once loved, him. Sometimes, the love fades. You two may have become extremely busy with daily life, job demands, chores, and children. Working all the time can suck the life out of anyone! It can also force the emotional connection you two once shared to fade away.
Address this by scheduling time to just…hang out and talk. If you don’t schedule, you’ll get caught up with other demands and lose the connection with your husband. Try setting a 15-minute daily slot to just catch up with your spouse. You’ll be amazed at how much it can help!
On the other hand, if you married your husband because of an arranged marriage, you may be struggling to establish sexual tension. That’s not to say that arranged marriages are unkind. Nope! They’re actually excellent for people who are socially awkward, have specific expectations from a spouse, or belong to a traditional culture.
However, if you’re new to your arranged marriage partner, allow yourself time to settle into the newness of marriage. If sex and romantic masculine attention are new to you, give yourself the space you need to decipher them.
The best way to navigate this situation is to talk to your spouse about it. You may need more time to get used to having a man around all the time, especially if he wants to get physical!
4. Your love languages are different
Dating someone with a different love language has its challenges.
Love is a language, but there are many different languages in this world, and two lovers may not necessarily speak the same one.
Your partner’s primary love language may be touch, but yours could be something completely different. According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 different love languages. These include physical touch, gift giving and receiving, acts of service, words of affirmation, and quality time.
5. You struggle with body image and low self esteem
How you perceive yourself has everything to do with how comfortable you’ll be with physical intimacy. If you struggle with low self esteem, you may hate on your body and reject yourself before anyone else can.
That’s not good. Having low self esteem is not fun, nor is it attractive (regardless of what Twilight told us). You need to start building love for yourself, or else you won’t be able to let your lover in. Eventually, it could lead to resentment from his side. He’ll assume you don’t love him, or that you don’t think he’s worthy of seeing your body.
You keep wondering “why don’t I like being touched by my husband?” but forget that he chose you over everyone else.
You’ve got to understand that this man married you. He is your husband, and he’d love to romance you. You’ve got to let the man in. But first, you need to practise self-love and appreciate your body for what it is!
You may have gotten older or gained some weight. This is natural and happens to everyone. Just look at Queen Icons Selena Gomez and Lana Del Rey. Any man would die to date them despite their weight gain. They’re still beautiful!
Try not to look at those unrealistic body standards set by magazines! It can be challenging, yes, but you need to block out the negativity and focus on what matters: being happy in your own skin!
6. You’re stressed or anxious
Your mind and body are connected. When one is out of sync, the other one falls out of place, too. So, if you’re stressed or anxious about something in your life, it’ll likely impact your intimate needs, too. So, if you were asking yourself “why don’t I like being touched by my husband?”, you have an answer now!
Many people avoid physical intimacy when they’re stressed out. The source of this stress could be anything from job problems to friend drama. It may not have anything to do with your marriage at all! Sadly, it will affect your relationship, regardless.
Combat stress by using these stress-busting techniques:
- Meditation, yoga, or breathwork. You can take a guided lesson online or in person. YouTube has some excellent videos, too!
- Journaling – use a prompt that works for you and let it all out!
- Mindfulness – appreciate what you do have, instead of focusing on what you don’t
If you don’t address the stress within your mind, it will keep hurting your relationship! So, be careful and be cautious. We’ve got an excellent article on stress management if you’d like to explore further: check it out here!
7. Cultural differences
We are lucky enough to live in a multicultural world.
Every culture has its own code of conduct. If you grew up in a relatively conservative culture, then your rules for appropriate physical intimacy will be starkly different from progressive values. Both value systems are valid and admirable. However, if your partner’s culture is more open about physical displays of affection, this may bug you.
If you’re comfortable being affectionate when you’re alone with him, then your marriage is likely going well. But if you’re uncomfortable with PDA, especially in front of your parents or other family members, that’s okay!
Let your partner know that you don’t like being touched by him in public. Helping him understand the cultural differences can significantly improve your relationship. You must tell him that you’re proud of being his wife, but that you also need to keep the PDA on a downlow due to certain cultural differences.
Openly communicating such concerns can help you strengthen your love for your husband. However, if the problem goes deeper than cultural preferences, be sure to address them before things escalate. Review this article again for guidance, or seek support from your family and friends, or a professional.
Hopefully, this article will have helped answer your burning question: “why don’t I like being touched by my husband?” We truly believe you can overcome any obstacle that life throws your way. Make sure to find support systems outside of your marriage, and also try building one with your partner. All humans need empathy and understanding, and that includes you! So, be kind to yourself and heed your needs.