Why Doesn't My Husband Show Me Affection? 9 Reasons

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Showing affection is important in any close relationship because it is the means by which people demonstrate that they do still care about the other” 


Showing affection is important in any close relationship

The most popular love language in the U.S

Source: Shaneco.com

Lack of affection in a relationship should not be endured. Expressions of love such as kissing, hugging, tickling, cuddling, holding hands, teasing, gift-giving, and other forms of affection are important to the health of marriages. They help us trust, be calm, and feel safe in our relationship. They are like signals that guide the psychology of our marriage or relationship.

When a partner’s affection or a lack of it arouses fear, doubt, and confusion in us, it potentially harms our relationship.

Several studies suggest that there are gender differences in the display of affection. For example, in a study by Michael Talmadge Hill, it was written that men tend to be more physically affectionate at the earlier stage of dating than women, whereas women tend to initiate physical affection more after marriage. It is not surprising that married women complain their husband isn’t affectionate.

Some reasons why your partner is not affectionate.

It is frustrating to have a husband that doesn’t show you affection. His lack of affection can make you think that his love for you has dwindled. This could cause fear and anxiety. One can only endure an unaffectionate partner for a while before they start to complain or seek a better alternative. If you are asking yourself, “why doesn’t my husband show me affection” we might have a couple of ideas why;

1. Deliberately withholding affection.

If your husband is not being affectionate to you, he may be deliberately withholding affections from you for reasons best known to him. He could be holding a long-term grudge with you and wants to punish you. He could also have an unhealthy obsession for power in the marriage and wants you to beg for his affection. Either of these reasons is childish and toxic. However, you might be interested in signs that you are a bad wife. Your husband might be responding to the way he feels you treat him.

2. He might be having an emotional block.

Your unaffectionate partner might be experiencing an emotional block. Emotional blockage makes people emotionally unavailable, therefore leaving their partners’ emotional needs unmet. An emotional blockage is a defense mechanism that stops one from feeling any emotion. According to Dr. Shelley Sommer Feldt, emotional block prevents us from being fully mentally and emotionally engaged, vulnerable, or trusting with partners in our relationship.

Emotional blocks could stem from emotional wounds from childhood, negative experiences in previous relationships, and even negative experiences in marriages. One way to identify an unaffectionate partner experiencing emotional block is when he shoves things aside instead of speaking about things that annoy him.

Dr. Shelley identified some seemly innocent behaviors that could lead to emotional blockage in your relationship or marriage, like; never initiating sex, hugging, kissing, or any physical intimacy with a partner; not settling differences on time or at all.

3. He may be too preoccupied and therefore unavailable.

Marriage comes with added responsibilities for both partners. However, men try to take on more financial responsibility in their marriage than their wives. They try to live up to societal expectations for men, which could be stressful. This denies them enough time to spend with their family. When your partner is not affectionate with you, it is sometimes because they are preoccupied with work both mentally and physically. Therefore he isn’t spending much time with you even when he is physically present.

4. He has a different upbringing.

Your husband’s upbringing does play a role in modeling how couples should behave around each other. Perhaps, your unaffectionate partner comes from home, family, or culture where certain physical affections were not prioritized. In such a case, he will be uncomfortable with kissing, hugging, and other physical affections in public or in front of his children. He might also not understand their value.

5. Both of you communicate your affections differently

Affections come in different forms;

  • Facial gestures like smiling, laughing, or winking.
  • Verbal affirmations, like praising a partner or professing love to them.
  • Physical contact can be active or passive. Examples of active physical contact are; kissing, hugging, or patting, while passive physical contact includes; feeding a partner, helping a partner adjust their clothes, gift-giving, e.t.c.

Often, when a woman complains that her husband isn’t affectionate, what she means is that her husband does not prioritize gestures that make her feel loved. He might prefer to display his affections in doing other things for his wife.  It is important to pay attention to each other’s way of showing affection.

6. Weak emotional connection.

A lack of affection in a relationship can stem from a weak emotional connection between you and your partner. Even if a man’s sexual needs are met, and he loves his woman’s physical attractiveness, it is sometimes not enough to build a strong, healthy, and lasting bond with his woman. With time, when his emotional needs are not being met, he may begin to distance himself. This can go both ways. You may also feel like your husband doesn’t meet your emotional needs as much as he feels the same.

7. He might be cheating on you.

When a man doesn’t show affection to his wife, he may be preoccupied with another woman. A man who is not sexually disciplined will cheat on his wife. When they cheat, they find it hard to pay equal attention to their two sexual partners. To justify his absence, he might start to suggest that he is putting in extra time at work for whatever reason. He does this so that his wife will not worry or bother him. Sadly, she has to endure her husband’s absence and lack of affection because he gives it to another woman. Check how to win your husband back from another woman.

8. He is not physically attracted to you.

You might be saying; “he doesn’t touch me anymore; why isn’t he affectionate with me?”. It could be that he is not satisfied with your physical attractiveness. It is easy to find women who no longer pay attention to themselves because they are married. They do not make enough effort to keep themselves in shape nor bother with a physical makeover once in a while. Men are visual beings; they either enjoy or detest what they see. If you do not bother to look after yourself and your overall appearance, you might be physically uninteresting to your husband, who wants you to improve.

9. He might be going through a crisis.

If your husband isn’t affectionate anymore, it could be that he is going through some personal crisis he is ashamed to talk about. The personal crisis could be work-related, health-related, and many more. Whatever crisis he is going through might also be tampering with his self-esteem and confidence.

How to deal with a partner who is not affectionate.

When there is a lack of affection in a relationship, it can be distressing. However, if you want to work on it, here are a couple of tips that might be helpful to you.

1. Don’t pester, nag, or beg.

Lack of affection from husband can be resolved without you pestering, nagging, or begging for it. There is no joy in stooping that low to get affection from your husband. If anything, doing these things can be a turn-off for him unless he has some twisted need for power in your marriage. Begging or pestering your husband for affection will most likely not get you the genuine, long-lasting affection you desire.

2. Be sure that you are not ignoring your husband’s way of showing affection.

Your unaffectionate partner might actually be affectionate. His only crime is not communicating with the gestures you desire. Perhaps he works so hard to ensure that you don’t lift a finger to pay any bill in the house? He could also be the husband that gets things done. What if he shows attention by ensuring that you upgrade yourself educationally and career-wise? Try to understand that people are different and appreciate their methods instead of forcing them to stick with yours. Accept him for who he is.

3. Avoid using other men as examples when speaking about the kinds of affections you like.

The last thing anybody should do to men who are not affectionate is compare them to other men. Comparing your husband to another man is not ideal because you do not know his reasons for not being affectionate. He may be struggling with some crisis or experiences that control how he displays his emotions. By comparing him to other men, you might be feeding whatever emotional block or situation he is experiencing. This will rub off negatively on his ego and may cause conflict between you two.

4. Have a conversation with your partner without criticism.

One way to get your unaffectionate partner to understand how to show you affection the right way is to have a healthy conversation with him without criticism. Remind him some of the things he did with you in the past that you love, and praise him for it. Tell him that you still miss those gestures and wish he could spoil you more. Mind the tone of your voice when you communicate with your partner.

5. Practice what you want on him.

When your partner is not affectionate, show him how to be affectionate by doing to him the things you want him to do to you. Hug him often, say kind words to him, tease him, play with him and continue to express yourself affectionately to him. Do this often, and he will get the drift and make an effort to please you too. See sweetest things to say to your husband.

6. Pay enough attention to yourself.

As much as you want your man to be affectionate to you, you need to focus on yourself and keep bettering yourself. Take better care of yourself. Watch your weight, mental health, develop good virtues, work on weaknesses and continue to keep yourself interesting. Dress to slay often, do a hair makeover if it’s been a while, cut down on your weight if you know you need to be fit, learn some new tricks to entice your husband, etcetera. Keep yourself as interesting as you were while dating, if not better. Whether you believe it or not, your affectionate partner is paying attention to you and taking notes.

7. Seek counseling.

When you’ve tried all you can, and nothing seems to be working, going for counseling is one way to help yourself and your unaffectionate partner. Perhaps some unresolved issues are lurking around your marriage that you have no idea of.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Can a marriage last without affection?

Many marriages will not last without affection. It is difficult to endure a non affectionate relationship, and therefore, many people will opt to leave the relationship. No matter how much a person invests in your marriage to keep an unaffectionate partner happy, they will always feel a sense of emptiness in themselves. However, we must note that physical affection is just one form of affection and there are people that don’t engage in physical affection often and yet are happy in their marriage. Marriages in societies that do not value physical affections such as kissing, hugging and PDA will last without such affections.

2. What does lack of affection do to a woman?

  • It leaves her with a sense of emptiness.
  • It tampers with her self-esteem and steals her confidence.
  • It breeds insecurity in her.
  • It can mess up her mental health.
  • She might turn toxic out of frustration.

3. How do I deal with an unaffectionate man?

  • Don’t nag, pester or beg your partner for his affection.
  • Have a conversation with him about what makes you happy and hear him out too. Your conversations should be without criticism.
  • Don’t compare your husband to other men.
  • Practice what you want from him on him
  • Pay enough attention to yourself.
  • Appreciate and accept his methods of affection
  • Seek counseling if all else fails.


Affections are an important part of every romantic relationship. They sustain the health of marriages. Having a partner that does not show you affection can affect your mental health and endanger your relationship. Several studies have suggested that married men are less physically affectionate in marriages than during their dating stage. There is no excuse for any man to be less affectionate in his marriage considering how vital affections are. However, when a woman complains about an unaffectionate partner, she might be simply saying that her husband isn’t showing her the kind of affection she desires. It doesn’t necessarily mean that her husband is unaffectionate or not in love with her. This article has provided reasons why a man does not show affection in marriage and ways to improve physical affections in marriages. We hope our ideas have been insightful.





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