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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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My husband and I are polar opposites. I need affirmation and

Customer Question

My husband and I are polar opposites. I need affirmation and physical affection and he needs a lot of solitude. I just came home from a 10 day trip and was anxious just to cuddle. He was tired and drifted of to sleep without a word and I found myself unable to sleep because we had not interacted at all after I came home. I slid over and asked him to hold me so I could sleep. He became very angry and left the bedroom because he said I disturbed his sleep and now he could not go back to sleep. So neither one of us slept last night. We both feel like we make a lot of compromises in order to please each other... but I still feel lonely. What can I do to help myself be a better mate?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 4 years ago.
When it comes to being affectionate not everyone is the same. Some people love to hug and be affectionate in a marriage while others feel their partners should just know how they feel about them. It doesn't seem like a major effort to just cuddle with someone. Its just teo people showing their love for one another. But for some this is difficult. Some times not being affectionate comes from how you were raised. If you are raised in a household that your parents never hugged you or showed you any affection, its like teaching someone how love is suppose to be. Your husband needs to be told, I came home after ten days and I really hoped that you would be there at the door waiting to greet me with open arm, I hoped you missed me. But what might of happened is he was upset you left and his emotions made him want to distance himself from you. He might have got himself so worked up about you coming home, he exhausted himself by over thinking things. I think you should ask him to try just a little bit. He needs to open up more too you, and be more loving. Its not that he doesn't love you he just doesn't know how to be that affectionate person and you need to teach him how to be that man. If you have anymore questions I am here to answer. I find that with little steps like a hug when he goes out or a kiss on the cheek is the first steps in breaking this problem.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been told that men don't like to discuss their feelings and pushing him to do so will push him further away. I fear that because he is an introvert that I will make the situation worse and he will clam up more. What is the best way to approach him?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 4 years ago.
Not all men don't like discussing their feelings. Everyone has their own personality. I feel that your husband would have a personality where if you pointed out how you felt in the relationship he would become angry and upset, because he would be mad at himself for not making you happy. He would feel guilty that he doesn't know how to change and that is why he needs to be shown step by step. You will not push him further a way, he needs to express himself so that he understands his own feelings. The more he expresses himself the easier it will become for him. Right now he doesn't know how to express himself so he pulls away discouraged with himself. when you came home and he didn't want to cuddle, you should have said too him are you upset with me? This makes him think about if he is upset with you. Some times people that are quiet don't realize what is bothering them, they just get upset and isolate themselves because they don't know how to express the feelings they are overwhelmed by. So they just pull away unable to tell you how he feels.

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