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Arundhati , Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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What does it mean when I push my wife away when I am half awake

Customer Question

What does it mean when I push my wife away when I am half awake but will hug my kids when I am half awake? When I am half awake and my wife tries to cuddle up with me I tend to push her to the other side of the bed. When my kids come in and I am half awake and want to cuddle I cuddle up with them. I am trying to figure out why I will cuddle with them and not my wife. Thing is I know I am doing it at the time but once I wake up all the way I don't full remember doing it, it seems more like it was a dream until my wife tells me that it was not a dream and that I actually did do it to her. It seems I have been doing this for about 6 months now and am starting to get worried it might cause bigger problems in my relationship. I think it has because she will not let me touch her at all today because I apparently did it last night not once but 3 times to her but cuddled with my kids when they came in. Our sex life is much different now then it was when we got married. It is not that I don't want to but with hours I work and the time we have together we only tend to have sex once every 3 to 4 months. I still love my wife but fell like the spark that was there in the beginning has disappeared a bit. have talked about that and we both agree that we love each other deep down but know that something is different and are not sure what to do to correct our love life. She tries lord knows she tries to get my attention at night when I get home to be intimate but I am always tiered and just want to go to bed. I love my children and will do anything for them. We have three kids one of which is not mine but I have been with my wife since before the baby was born. So even thou she is not my biological daughter she is still my daughter in my heart. My wife and I have been married for 12 years this past September. When we cuddle it is not always about wanting more then to be held, she has told me that it was no more then wanting to be next to me and I pushed her way. She has a low self esteem to being with and when I push her away she seems to become withdrawn and not let me touch her to say sorry. I am not sure what to do? We both know that things change over the time of a marriage. I don't want to hurt her or make things worse. We both love each other and like to be with each other not only sexually but physically and emotionally but I don’t know if there is some reason that I push her away ever time she initiates the cuddling. If I start the cuddling process I am fine, if the kids want to cuddle I am fine but it seems every time she wants to cuddle in bed I push her to her own side of the bed. More often then not with how busy our lives are with 3 kids and their activities we are both tiered at the end of the day and just want to hold each other. As I have stated before if I hold her I'm fine, if I'm fully awake and she holds me I'm fine, if we hold each other I am fine, if the kids come in and want to be held I am fine, but if she tries to hold me when I am not fully awake then I push her away from me and to the other side of the bed. Is there anything that can explain why I might do this?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I have carefully read through your post and am sorry to hear about what you are going through. I understand your concerns and what your wife might be feeling. I think what could possibly be happening is that you've adopted an unconscious defense mechanism where you pull away when she initiates contact while you're sleeping/half-awake. This could have started for a couple of different reasons. You mentioned that you work long hours so it could be that in your mind, if she initiates cuddling when you're half-awake and you give in to it, it may lead to more cuddling and eventually sex/intimacy which might disrupt your sleep schedule and make you tired for work the next morning. So you could unconsciously be pushing her away when you're half-awake. Whereas when you are fully awake you are aware of how long you can/should cuddle, i.e you are more in control of the situation, that is why you are fine with it.

I think what might best help is if you can discuss with your wife that you do not think that it is a case of your not loving her enough. And even though you don't have exact answers as to why you tend to push her away she should try to be open to the fact that it may have nothing to do with her. That you have no hard feelings for her as far as you understand which could be leading to this.

You can share with her that her negative interpretation could be in a twisted way making it worse as your fear and stress as to why you do it could lead you to do it even more frequently. Once she understands that either leaving you alone and not initiating cuddling with you when you are half-awake and instead letting you take all the initiative, or even if she does take initiative to not feel offended if you push her away will help you to understand the situation better and might even help you to resolve it, then she will be more supportive.

I hope this has provided you with some perspective.

Please do let me know if you have questions.

Also, if this was helpful please consider clicking on "Accept" as experts are not paid for their time or service otherwise.

Warm regards,

Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience: Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
Arundhati and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
some of it does not fit
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

thank you for your advice I will think it over.

Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

Please let me know if you'd like me to open the question to other experts as well.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes please

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