Hoping to Restore Magnetism
Updated: Sep 27, 2021
When I was pregnant with my first child – I often felt completely dejected and lonely because my husband was not very affectionate anymore – I kept thinking will it ever go back to normal? Or upon reading online posts of other people's experience, the underlying premise is that my husband just did not know that I liked affection. Or maybe he didn’t realize that he did not show affection. He just somehow…forgot.
But telling him to be more affectionate never works, as I’m sure you already know from trying it yourself.
Even after the pregnancy, I still wonder if the affection will truly ever come back to the way it was before; as I am tired of begging. From sleepless nights to working 8 hours shift and coming home to a grumpy but stagnant life, is not hard already, talking about it doesn't help either.
Periodically reminding my husband that he was not affectionate was the surefire way to make him show affection. Everybody said so.
So I did that. Repeatedly. But whether I begged, cajoled, demanded or made friendly suggestions, it never worked.
Oh sure, there were times when he obediently hugged and kissed me, but that didn’t scratch my itch. If anything, it made my pain and dejection more acute. Because the truth is, getting him to hug and kiss me wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted him to WANT to hug and kiss me.
I wanted to feel desired, just like the old days when he was always smooching me or patting my butt.
Since I had to order him to be affectionate, it was evident that he didn’t want to.
And that hurt. A lot.
Begging for kisses and hugs feels lousy–even if he complies.
Not only did I feel needy and undignified doing it, it only pushed him further away.
So step one for me was to stop listening to that terrible advice (which, to this day, makes me want to punch someone in the nose).
Instead, consider that he may not be feeling loved either, even if you are being affectionate with him. Fortunately, rather than telling him what he should do, you can naturally restore the petting and flirting by being your best self again.
Here’s the thing: if you’re anything like I was, I thought I WAS being respectful. Hopefully you’re not as bad as I was ’cause there was a lot of eye-rolling, sighing, complaining about what he did and questioning his judgment going on around here. Like, tons. Not to mention constructive criticism, interrogation, accusation, and downright rude comments.
I thought of it as “being helpful,” or doing what the experts suggested by “expressing a concern.”
All of it seemed justified to me–and all of it ruined my chances that he was ever going to come in for a passionate kiss.
You know how you want him to see you as irresistible, beautiful and lovable? He wants you to see him as smart, capable and strong in the same way. If you don’t, he won’t be affectionate.
When you start acting like he is smart, capable and strong (even if you don’t think so), that will go a long way toward bringing back the make out sessions, snuggling and sex you’re craving.
Bring Back Emotional Safety
What is emotional safety? It’s when you admit that you just threw a handful of M&Ms into the living room for your kids to find so you could talk on the phone without interruption for a few minutes, and your friend doesn’t judge you but says, “Wow, great idea!” It’s when your husband tells you that he is applying for disability because he is tired of working and hurting in the process. And you say, “Oh well, it’s only money, we will survive,” instead of telling him he should have checked with you first.
It’s knowing you won’t be ridiculed, humiliated, outcast, or criticized even when you sing an LMFAO song that’s way to fast for you to keep up with. It’s what you had early in your relationship, when he was affectionate and you felt desired and you admired him so much for who he was. Familiarity really does breed contempt sometimes, but it doesn’t have to. You could decide to be as admiring now as you were back then.
Start by letting him talk and just listening by saying “Uh-huh” or “Mmmm.”
Letting him talk without correcting, suggesting, teaching, advising or freaking out is a very good start to restoring your magnetism.
Remember that time you went camping and you and your friend couldn’t stop laughing for an hour? Or the other day when you were doing your Zumba moves in the kitchen?
Those are just a few examples of being the real you—the Goddess of Fun and Light (GOFL).
You are at your best when you’re the manifestation of Cyndi Lauper’s astute anthem “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Yes, I am calling you a girl even though you’re well over 13 because every woman has an inner just-wanna-have-fun girl, and if you haven’t honored her in a while, it could be time to find your hula hoop, your lip gloss and some tunes that make you shimmy and twirl.
The GOFL is always looking for a good time and is open to that taking priority over doing the laundry. She brings a sense of fun to every situation, even when it all goes wrong and the can of coke is dumped onto the blue couch or the baby throws up on her or her husband walks on the freshly mopped floor with muddy boots.
The GOFL sees mishaps as punch lines in the slapstick comedy of life.
Granted, it’s not always easy when the kids are sick, you worked a 12-hour day, and the mortgage is late. But if you can’t remember what you like to do and let yourself do it, you’re not showing much affection for yourself.
Fretting is not going to make your husband more affectionate. But dancing the Macarena at the grocery store? It definitely could.
After all, you were all smiles and laughter when he first put the moves on you. And he will again when you start giving yourself what you really want: fun!