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.
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