One Reason Withholding Affection Happens in Relationships

Withholding Affection in Anger

Withholding affection is as common as it is painful.

When you read the title you might say to yourself, “I don’t do that, I don’t withhold affection or love from my person.” The truth, though, is we all do it. Every one of us who is in a relationship does it. That’s because that’s how humans act when they get their feelings hurt. We don’t love our other when we are suffering. That’s a fact.

Think about it. You and your mate are having a disagreement. You feel they did something to you. They feel you did something to them. You are both mad at the other. Are you withholding love from your person then? Of course you are. We ALL do this.

We Withhold Affection Because It’s Hard to Love While Mad

Withholding Affection Happens When We're Mad

No one is skilled enough to be mad and loving at the same time. When we are finished being mad, then we can go back to being loving, but not while we are mad, impossible. So let’s look at what happens when we withhold love.

We might be nursing our hurts and unable to talk to our partner because of something that just happened. It feels safer to stay hidden from the other and to take care of our hurt feelings by ourselves. This is what I do when I get my feelings hurt. Some people want to talk to the person that’s mad, but us mad folks know that’s pretty much a waste of time. We can’t make sense when we are mad. We just make more mad.

Withholding Affection Accidentally Happens While We Recover From Anger

When I am mad I know I can’t think of anything but being mad. He did something to me. I feel hurt. Of course this feeling eventually ends, as all feelings end, and then I can understand what made me mad and in a calm and not accusatory way talk with my husband about what happened. And guess what, this works. Notice I said, NON-ACCUSATORY WAY. That is the key, and takes practice.

So when I am licking my wounds and wondering why he could do that to me (still in the mad zone) there is no loving coming from me at all. There is unhappiness and misery. I am not a happy camper. And the truth is; I can’t rush this mad condition. It takes what it takes to finish so I can get back to being loving.

Withholding Affection Isn’t Something We Want to Do

We Want to Love Each Other, Not Withhold Affection

I love my man. You love your partner. This is what we do as humans. It is so common I can’t tell you how common it is. Everybody does it! So maybe you talk to your beloved and let them know that even when you can’t show your love to them, you still hold it somewhere in your body and it will come back when the mad ends.

When the mad ends we want to couple again. That’s human too. We long to be happy with our person. We wish we could get back after a break. Sometimes it just takes, “I am sorry.” And if the other is receptive, that is all it takes and then you are back.

We Want to Share Affection, Not Fight Over Misunderstandings

We all just want to get along. I get this, but every relationship has ups and downs. Every couple wonders what to do after a fight. And every couple wonders if the fighting will ever end. Misunderstandings are bound to happen; you live in different bodies, have different minds and understand things in your own unique way. That’s a recipe for misunderstandings.

Just know this is normal. Just know that after you withhold your love, it comes back and then you want to share it again, and that’s normal too. This is what I do, I find my way back. It works.

Get Help Withholding Affection Less in Your Relationship

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Can’t make it on Monday? Learn how to withhold affection less and love more in your relationship. If you’d like to fight less, try reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. You just might find more peace and love in your relationship, as a result of improving your communication. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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