My husband and I have been married for just over a year and my inability to show affection when he’s in need of comfort is causing serious problems at the moment.
Showing physical affection to comfort has never come naturally to me. I’ve never been great at reading body language so I’m often uncertain of the right thing to do to make someone feel better.
Last month my husband’s brother was killed in a car accident which has left him devastated. Not knowing how to best help him, I focused on practical things I could do to help his family cope like making meals for my brother-in-laws family and helping his widow with funeral arrangements.
The funeral was 3 weeks ago and my husband is deeply hurt with how I handled the situation and has been cold and distance ever since. He’s an amazing man who has always been so good to me and has always taken really good care of me and I hate what my marriage has become.
He thinks I’m cold and heartless to have been able to leave him to grieve on his own to focus on practical matters that needed dealing with while I was just trying to help in the best way I could.
How can I repair the damage I caused? He has always known that I wasn’t great in times like these but we’ve never really dealt with heartache of this magnitude before. Thanks in advance.
Julie, He is in a grieving stage right now so some of his perspective is going to be a bit skewed. I would suggest that you maybe go to a grief counselor who can help you through this time. At some level he must have been okay with the affection thing because he married you. If he simply lumps your challenge with affection as being cold and heartless then that obviously shows he is not thinking well about things. In the meantime, here is something to consider. Is not showing affection right now about you or about him. I would suggest it is about you which in this time of grief is a very selfish thing for you to do. In my mind it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you love your husband. If you love and value your husband it seems you should be willing to step outside your comfort zone and provide a bit of affection EVEN IF it feels awkward for you. It’s not about YOU, it’s about your husband and what he needs right now. This won’t be a forever thing. It’s a season of life and it would be sad to see your marriage ruined because you didn’t want to do something that took you out of your comfort zone for a bit. Be challenged it can change you…