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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi Kate, I hope you are well. I have a question. When

Resolved Question:

Hi Kate,
I hope you are well. I have a question. When my husband returned from a business trip, he came up in my bedroom and gave me a kiss and I backed away instinctively. He tried it again and I backed away again. He got angry and said he will not try anymore. I said I don't feel comfortable since we have so many problems between us. Later on, I asked him why he kissed me. He said he still feels like he is married and he wanted to get closer to me, but was very defensive.....
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dee, I am well, thank you :) It's good to hear from you.

It sounds like your husband may have genuine feelings towards you, which is very nice. However, how you responded by backing away is authentic as well. You are responding to what he has treated you like the rest of the time he is around you. You cannot live with such inconsistency and be expected to react to his every mood swing. He either wants to try to fix things totally, which means he has to see his behavior as part of the problem and fix it, or he leaves you alone.

What sometimes happens in abusive relationships is the abuser wants to have affection when he wants it and be abusive when he feels like it. Abusers often want their victims to go along with whatever they want rather than have their own thoughts and feelings. That may be what your husband is doing.

You can respond two ways depending on what you feel you want to do. One, you can approach him and let him know you would like to be able to be affectionate but that you want the whole package which means you both work on the rest of your marriage being better. Or two, you can simply let him know that you are not interested in any affection and if he feels any, you don't want to know. This may hurt his feelings, but he cannot have it both ways, even if he is "married" to you. He has to make a choice as well.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you Kate. You are correct in interpreting my reasons for backing away.
I wrote to him in a text, stating the first option to him; wanting the whole package.
I haven't shut the door completely, which may happen one day, but not yet.

I can't help but think he will respond by professing to be working on the marriage and become angry because he will think I am trying to control him. Or he will not respond at all.

In any case, I believe I've got nothing to loose by saying what I want and don't want.
Thanks for guidance.
I'll let you know if he responds.

Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 4 years ago.
I think you are right, he may twist this around and make it difficult. But it is worth a try, at least for yourself to see if it might work out. Let me know how it goes.

Thanks for the positive rating and bonus, Dee. I really appreciate it!

Take care,