I agree with LR's love language breakdown, with the additional caveats:
- it also goes both ways. If you make an effort to show him love in the way he understands it, then he should learn your love languages as well and try to understand how you perceive love.
- Physical Touch (or any love language) can be a tricky beast...
I was surprised as hell that Touch was one of my love languages. My ex rarely touched me, except as a prelude to sex. We rarely held hands (uncomfortable for him), no "hand on the shoulder" thing when we were out, no cuddling in bed (I remember telling my partner "I'm not a cuddler"... HA! WRONGO!), no casual, loving touch unless he wanted some, and it got to the point where I equated his touch with the pressure to perform. The book actually touches (hehehe) on this. If it feels like your partner is only touching you to "get some", then it can feel more manipulative than loving, and actually turn you OFF. With my ex, when the sex was over, the touching stopped until he wanted it again. With my partner now, he is constantly touching - holding hands, hugging, holding a knee, rubbing his thumb along mine, etc. And even the more "private" touching doesn't necessarily have to lead to sex. No pressure, just enjoyment. I was surprised at how damned *wonderful* touch could be when there's no pressure to perform (and rejection when I didn't).
Turn it around: If you were giving your husband gifts in order to angle for him to do something, and you expressed your displeasure every time he accepted a gift and didn't do this whatever-it-is in return, would he begin to be reluctant to accept the gifts? Maybe if it got turned around into HIS love language, he could understand how this feels more like pressure than love.
That said, caveat #3:
- Sometimes sex just IS that important. And maybe that's a disconnect between the two of you. It's not WRONG. It's a mismatch, though. And one that will either take a lot of work to get past, or may require a relationship change.
Still, I'm hoping that maybe working on taking the pressure to perform out of the touching can help. Just a thought over a bowl of chowda (mmm... chicken and corn chowda over sourdough). Good luck.
Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).
Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk