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Will not getting affection from your signifcant other have negative effects on your health and well-being

By Anonymous August 27, 2009 - 2:06pm
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I am in a long-term relationship and he is and has continually refused to give any affection even though I have come to even beg for it. and Sex is nearly non-existant.
How can I prove to him how important both are in ANY relationship??

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Anon, I wish I could give you a hug right now. You're going through a tough time.

First of all, you are very right about physical affection. It is important to us as humans, and it is very important in a relationship. A kiss, a hug, a touch on the small of our back, a hand on ours -- all these things say to us, mentally and physically, that someone loves us. It's important for our well-being and it's important for our health.

Do you know that they have studied premature babies and found that those who are touched, cuddled and held develop faster than those who are not?

But I'd like to talk about something else here. You ask if the lack of affection can have negative effects, and you say you even have to beg for it. That is absolutely wrong, Anon. Letting yourself be put in a situation where you are "begging" for affection is insulting and could even, in some instances, be categorized as cruel or abusive. The negative effects this is having on you are huge.

I wish I could tell you a way that you would be able to truly show your boyfriend how important touch and affection are. But this sounds like a longtime issue he has, and I'm afraid that if he doesn't want to change, he's not going to, regardless of what you do. We cannot change other people. We can help them if they WANT help, but if they don't want help, there is very very little we can do. We just end up feeling like we're talking to a wall.

We don't have to "prove" things to people who truly love us, Anon. And you should never, ever have to beg. It demeans both you and the relationship. He should naturally care whether you feel happy and loved. If he doesn't, there's something wrong, and you just aren't the one who can fix it for him, you know?

May I ask why you stick with him, even when it's not at all what you want? Were things ever physically affectionate between you, or has it always been like this?

August 28, 2009 - 9:17am
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