Significant others who don't get it.

I have noticed several married people who are on here looking for the physical affection their partners don't give. I guess I want this post to be a place to share and support one another in this pain. Please share your stories, ladvice, support, empathy, and some love.

So, for anyone else in this situation, I'm sorry, I feel you and it sucks.



  • There is a book about poly which has a good line which goes something like "I forbid you from getting what you need from anyone but me, and I will not give it to you.". Sums up what you said I think.

    Being someone's everything is not a realistic goal for 99+% of the relationships out there but this is what is expected in typical relationships. This is an obvious problem when you look at it yet it remains unsolved for the vast majority of people which is unfortunate.

  • Yeah ~ mine recoiled when I told him I was looking into this. He honestly doesn't get it at all.
    So in addition to getting this need met elsewhere (through here), I'm working on a staggered plan of separation. Our next meeting about it is next week.

    On the one hand, my situation sucks and I've been pulled into the swirling emotional storm within me, far more often than I ever have before. But on the other hand, I'm finally being honest with myself, am not willing to settle any more, and am working on setting realistic expectations of myself and him as we navigate through this.

    I really feel for those who have partners who don't get it, and they're unable to be open with them about getting some of their needs met through here, and/or for whatever reason(s), they can't/won't/aren't able to separate from them. 💔

  • @JasonCuddles I agree. No one person can fill all our needs. and the quote, "I forbid you from getting what you need from anyone but me, and I will not give it to you" when it comes to physical affection, I feel that is particularly true. However, it still hurts to have to one that is suppose to know and love you does not wish to touch and hold you, regardless if they allow you to find it elsewhere.

    My husband was the one to suggest I try this site out, and has been very supportive and encouraging. However, I fear that part of his enthusiasm is because it frees him from guilt of his neglect.

  • @quixotic_life I'm sorry. I really wish physical affection was more normal and not reserved for just little children and significant others. I hope that you both can find a way. If I'm ever in Portland, we should hang out and have a cuddle fest.

  • I appreciate this thread more than I can articulate. And the comment, "I forbid you from getting what you need from anyone but me, and I will not give it to you." sums it up painfully well.

  • @Ennea2HugU I don't know your situation at all but something to consider is is it neglect if he doesn't meet your needs that way?

    My current partner doesn't and cannot meet my needs for physical affection but I don't feel that it's because she is neglectful. We simply don't match in that way. I don't feel that there is anything wrong with either of us either, it's simply that we are different people and she can't be my everything for physical closeness.

    I do agree though that it is too bad that you and I cannot get our needs met by the person we would most want to. I see it as simply not matching though and the fact that your partner seems to get compersion from you cuddling other people is a good thing.

  • Aww... @Ennea2HugU ~ That would be great!!

    I only recently realized that, even though I've always liked squishing on others, I actually crave it in return too. I just wish I'd realized sooner how much I was hurting from not having it, instead of slowly withdrawing into myself. Dissociation and denial were like my go-to "tools", but I haven't been able to access them since gaining this awareness ~ which equals the unexpected experiencing of many formerly suppressed emotions, and the current ones too, and having to go with the flow/wait for the moment to pass... On the brightside, I haven't lost my ability to be self-deprecating or to laugh at myself... so... yay...? 💁‍♀️

  • Yes to squishing on others. I typically call it smooshing. It's great whatever you call it.

  • Ooooh... "smooshing"... I like that! 🥰

    and... Adopted!

  • I’m curious, if someone is on here and married, is it just assumed they do not receive affection from their partner?

  • @Morpheus I do not assume all on here who are married are not receiving affection from the partner. I have just talked to a few that it is the case for.

  • @JasonCuddles I appreciate you helping me to see outside of my own hurt. There are other things and conversations we have had that has me doubting the purity of his support. There is distance and withdrawal on his part in many ways and it is the physical aspect of our relationship that I feel that distance the most in. I do appreciate that he enthusiastically gives me this outlet. I just am also a little fearful that he won't ever love me the way he used to.

  • I don't think it has to be none, but I would say it would likely be not enough. There could be other people, possibly myself included but I am not sure, that just like it and would like additional snuggle partners regardless of whether their needs are met

  • @Ennea2HugU I think I can understand some. I think I feel like my partner used to be more present with me when our relationship was newer but that it dropped over time. Maybe the new relationship energy they had is gone or it could be other factors I am not sure. Assuming my thinking is even correct. Regardless it will be some time before I can get any answers to my feelings and thoughts so I just need to wait and see.

  • All I can say is if I cuddled another woman while I was married to my wife, she would have divorced me even sooner than she did. She did not even like me maintaining a platonic friendship with female acquaintances.

  • @Morpheus ~ I tend to assume they aren't getting their touch needs meet (could be frequency, variety, etc.) ~ And also tend to assume their partner knows, unless I'm told otherwise.

    @UKGuy ~ For awhile there I was thinking maybe there was someone else and thought, "It's a bummer he doesn't feel like he can tell me, but good for him."

    @JasonCuddles ~ I don't know if I'm poly at heart, but from my limited understanding it makes perfect sense to me. I was recently musing that if I were to ever get into another domestic partnership relationship, where my SO needed more/other lovins beyond my capacity to provide, that I'd have built-in recharging/alone time while they were out with another. Win! IDK about others, but to me that sounds pretty sweet!

  • @UKGuy - yep same thing would have happened to me. and really toward the end of divorce, did not like any of my friends. Totally understand.

  • @UKGuy - Sounds like controlling behavior. Who is she to tell you who you can or can't be friends with? ...and a cuddle is nothing more than a prolonged hug. Nothing sexual about it.

  • Back in 2015 I had a significant other who was like this. While she was a cheater and I was her side-man, she expected me to commit to her and I did. That was a grand mistake. Out of 109 days that I was in that relationship, 77 were wasted by her stringing me along.

    March through December 2020 have the same calendars as those months in 2015. So all the anniversaries of incidents, arguments, misunderstandings, and positive moments fall on the same days of the week this year as they did in 2015, reminding me of it all.

    Needless to say, the man she was cheating on left our area with no definitive plan to return, so she gave me a second chance in 2017 but still never made me her only man. That second time of ours only lasted 32 days, and fortunately without her demanding I commit to her.

    In future relationships I plan to use the term ‘mutual exclusivity’ rather than ‘commitment’ because relationship blogger Melissa Josue defines commitment as “having NO exits – mentally, emotionally, or physically“. After my experiences with my virginity taker, I completely doubt myself on ever being able to commit in the way Melissa Josue describes.

  • It's not that my wife refuses to demonstrate physical affection/connection, it's that she is not capable.

  • edited November 2020

    I think there's a flip side to this too. I just recently went through a divorce, but when I was married, I probably wouldn't have felt quite right cuddling with other women. I had always figured a spouse/significant other would be the person I'd go to for affection. My wife and I were affectionate with each other though (for the most part). Even though I don't feel ready for a relationship and am just looking for platonic cuddling, I'm used to seeing couples cuddling.

  • @quixotic_life I'm sorry to hear you're going through that. It can be difficult.

  • @Ennea2HugU thank you for this post. Once upon a time my wife (girlfriend at the time) loved to touch. Cuddling was natural and organic. Fast forward a couple of years and twins later, she changed. She had became depressed, overwhelmed, tired, negative. I remained true to help her, and to have understanding. She pushed me away and assumed to have 100% control with the kids because of her anxiety. So I could no longer be helpful with the kids. So I tried being helpful in other ways around the household. Cooking meals, making baby food, cleaning, what ever it took for me to contribute. But she became resentful of media things like even going to work while she had to be with the babies. Even tho a stayed true being a very attentive, helpful, loving husband and father, Very hard working. Over the course of one year she built up anger for me. Fast forward another two years, we worked out a lot but not everything. Things are fine sometimes and then she’ll have anxiety about something, like the election now, and she finds reasons to lash out at me because she needs someone to be angry with. So I made the mistake of talking to her about affection. I’ll never make that mistake again. I’m sure you ladies know how that conversation went, but I was advised to talk kindly about what’s on my mind. But that is not for table discussion apparently. So I’ve tried talking about, tried loving her in her love language. Nothing is working. It’s been 3 years without affection and it hurts. It’s lonely. Looking for affection on this site has not happened for me yet. But being married I assume is not helpful in my search. I don’t want to cheat which I think is on gals’ minds when I reach out. I just want and need a friend with cuddle benefits. So I don’t know what else to do besides searching for affection to help recharge with someone after I have given and continue to give so much of myself. This is my story.

  • @Riverside77 - same story here, pretty much. Except she didn't become angry, she became a self-absorbed workaholic. And since she is a teacher who oversees a major, year-round after school activity, she had our kids stay with her at school as long as she was there, usually 7 am- 9 pm daily, and sometime on weekends.

    And yeah, talking to get about it does no good. It's like a fish trying to explain to a bird why the bird should breathe water instead of air. (And although she doesn't get angry, THIS talk brings it out.)

  • @Riverside77 and @creedhands I'm so sorry. I wish I could give you both a hug. It sucks and hurts to love someone and feel they don't love you in return. I do hope you both can find love and support here.

  • @Riverside77 is it possible that you wife has postpartum depression? I ask because it sounds a little familiar with my experience. I acted like a different person without acknowledging it for what it was, and getting help both with medication and counseling. I can still act out at times, it completely and profusely sucks and everyone suffers. I am usually very warm, patient, understanding generous, and selfless (sometimes to the point of my detriment) but the year following my second's birth (that's how long it took us to figure out and get me the help I need) I was angry, quick to yell and just lose it, irratible, selfish, cold, feeling it is everyone's fault that I felt the way I did.

    Whatever the case is, I hope you both can find your way back to a warm, full of affection and loving relationship.

  • I have read a couple of other threads here on this topic, including one with many comments, "How do I make my hubby feel comfortable?" I've been happily married for over 16 years, yet the past few years I've been strongly craving love outside of our marriage. Note I said "love," not sex. I have been wanting a "bromance" or an intense loving friendship with another man for a while now. Part of that is the desire to cuddle with others and even sleep with them non-sexually. I had a couple of pleasurable experiences with this that did not end well for either my husband or my cuddle partners. I really want to tell about these, but I don't want to say too much online. I will simply say that I snuggled with a friend, and when I told my husband about it he was not happy, and when I planned a sleepover with a close friend of ours and told him about our plans, he was not happy about that either. In both cases the cuddling was 100% non-sexual. He doesn't feel I "cheated" on him, but he doesn't see why I wanted or needed that outside of our marriage. Sadly, neither of those friends was that open with me after that, either physically or emotionally. I still don't have a "bro," much less a "cuddle buddy."

    I disagree with some of the common arguments people make in our society. Some say their spouse is their best friend, so they don't need a best friend outside of their marriage. That's fine for them, but I want a spouse and a best friend— two people, not one. I think it's perfectly normal and healthy to have that. Another argument I hear is "if you are married, you have a built-in cuddle buddy, and shouldn't need to get that elsewhere." Even in this discussion I'm hearing folks mention this belief, with several people saying they want to get from others because they're not getting it from their spouses. My feeling is: Why can't I have both? Why can't I want affection from more than my husband? I'm sexually monogamous and happy to be so, but I guess I would consider myself "affectionately polyamorous." Let me put it this way: I like sitting on the loveseat with my husband, but I love having pets to share affection with while I do so. I feel like I can't get or give too much affection. I love how snuggling with pets is "cute and cuddly" with no sexual demands. Why shouldn't I cuddle other humans even if my husband does cuddle me?

    I will say, though, that as I have been reading more about cuddling, I have noticed that my husband does not cuddle me as much as I would like, and that whatever cuddling we do leads to sex more quickly and more often than I would like. Don't get me wrong: I love having sex with my husband! But there are plenty of times I'd rather snuggle with the pets than have sex with him, and there are times I'd rather be with another man not having sex than having sex with my husband. There's something about the innocence and purity of non-sexual affection that I like— like it's "enough," and nothing more is expected or demanded. I want to be loved for what I can offer other than sex, and I'm sure my husband loves me for more than just sex — I don't think he would have put up with my faults all these years if he didn't! — but somehow I just want to know that I can trust having a friend who is like our pets— only demanding affection and not sex.

    I don't believe he "gets it." I asked him about his cuddling experiences before he met me, and from what he told me I can see that I cuddled a lot more than he did; that I have always loved it and that he never felt much of a need for it. I have tried talking to him about cuddling over the past few years, but he seems to equate cuddling with sex, or at least believes it leads to sex. "It's a slippery slope." I think that's because for him it is. He also doesn't see why I would seek it outside our marriage. I asked him what would make it okay for him for me to cuddle outside our marriage, and he said he didn't think anything would. One of these days when this pandemic is over, I hope to take my husband to a cuddle class/party so he can learn about it firsthand and — I hope! — "get" it.

  • @nurturingman I really do wish platonic cuddling and physical contract was just more prevalent in our society. That it would be normal to hug and cuddle friends not just our significant others.

    Have you heard of the five love languages? They are how speak/express our love and how we best feel loved.
    I have used the comparison to help others understand my need for touch. There is quality time, acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, and touch. We don't expect the only person you spend quality time with is your S.O., we don't view it as cheating to give and receive thoughtful compliments, gifts, or kind gestures to others. In fact we call it abusive, jealous, and controlling behaviour if it is the expectation and demand of our S.O. so why is touch?
    Obviously there is a line with all of these. Just as with touch, you can be inappropriate and sexualize a compliment, a gift, an act of service, and how time is spent together. Why is there no distinction between platonic touch and sexual?

    I would ask how he best feels loved and how he natural expresses his own. And then lead into how he would feel if you only expected him to do so with you.

    I hope that maybe this could help you to explain your needs and desires to your hubby.

  • @Ennea2HugU thank you for the opportunity to express myself. It does help. Yes most definitely post-partum depression. She does talk to a counselor. However I feel her counselor is too weak with her, that is letting her know her feelings are acceptable, because they are her own. No matter how irrational and hurtful her relationship are to everyone in the outside. I hope that makes sense. Although, yes we have worked out a lot, it’s left her colder. I feel love through touch. She does not. She feels love through acts of service and words of affirmation. Although I’m constantly holding space for her external processing, giving her encouraging words and doing things around the house, I feel I’m just feeding into a black hole. Once in a while she’ll want to be held, and it’s nice when that happens. But sometimes I like to be held as well. But when it happens it’s begrudgingly accommodated. So since my live language is touch, touch can hurt so badly when it’s given when the person it upset, mean, or performed because I asked and was given with a fuss. I’m going to get personal... sex. This isn’t a problem. She’s a very sexual person, but there is no comforting touch associated with it. And I can’t seem to get it though her head that all I want is a touch on the hand, or scratch on the back or scalp, to be hugged. Most of the time, that touch is 10x more satisfying than sex.

    That’s why I’m here. For touch. We have our money together so I know I can’t afford to pay for cuddling. She wouldn’t approve. But I am staving

    I want to thank you for your honesty about your experience. You’re sweet to hold this space for me, us.

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