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Touch starved with touch aversion?

SunnyDay16

Well-Known Member
His behavior just sounds manipulative to me. Yeah, I can understand him feeling rejected and upset because his physical/sexual needs aren't being met, but he isn't handling this in a good way.

If you are asexual and he has a sex dependency, that's a big incompatibility there. Does he know you're asexual? If so, he has to accept that and not try to push sex on you. If he can't do that, a divorce is in order because it's not fair for either of you. If one partner has a high sex drive and the other is asexual, that's a recipe for disaster.

He isn't respecting your need for alone time or the boundaries you're setting, which is another red flag. If he knows it's because you have a history of abuse and are averse to touch, then he should know that you need boundaries in place and your personal space respected. Him getting all offended by that doesn't look good on his part.
 

AussieBeanie

New Member
From the time I was an infant my mother told me I didn’t like physical touch and that affection was only on my terms. She told me I was cold and called me “the stone”. I was abused as a child and into adulthood. I was in and out of relationships and frequently heard from others “You act like to don’t care about me!” I also am not big into physical touch/intimacy most of the time. When I was younger it was easier for me to be intimate and just mentally disconnect. When I got divorced 13 years ago, I decided to stay single for almost 8 years following that time. I spent time trying to figure out if I could actually have a relationship and what that would look like for me. I discovered that I could only be with someone if they understood what I was about. I am hardwired.

I met someone almost 5 years ago. On our first date, I told him about me. Yes, I revealed on the first date. I felt like he may as well know now then find out later. I didn’t want to waste time with it and if he accepting of me then I knew that it was possible to have a relationship with him.

Our relationship has had its ups and down. I don't understand his need for sex but I do understand that he has needs. We are not intimate often but I can get on that level with him from time to time (that is the compromise part).

He loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He took the time to read up on people like me. He said that he has a better understanding of me and loves me enough to accept who I am.

It isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about being in a relationship that includes acceptance and compromise. I would suggest to have a plan. Figure out your boundaries, how you are willing to compromise, and express them to your significant other. Have him do the same. It will help give meaning to the relationship and both of you will feel like you are being heard and have a voice to speak. Good luck.
 

SunnyDay16

Well-Known Member
From the time I was an infant my mother told me I didn’t like physical touch and that affection was only on my terms. She told me I was cold and called me “the stone”. I was abused as a child and into adulthood. I was in and out of relationships and frequently heard from others “You act like to don’t care about me!” I also am not big into physical touch/intimacy most of the time. When I was younger it was easier for me to be intimate and just mentally disconnect. When I got divorced 13 years ago, I decided to stay single for almost 8 years following that time. I spent time trying to figure out if I could actually have a relationship and what that would look like for me. I discovered that I could only be with someone if they understood what I was about. I am hardwired.

I met someone almost 5 years ago. On our first date, I told him about me. Yes, I revealed on the first date. I felt like he may as well know now then find out later. I didn’t want to waste time with it and if he accepting of me then I knew that it was possible to have a relationship with him.

Our relationship has had its ups and down. I don't understand his need for sex but I do understand that he has needs. We are not intimate often but I can get on that level with him from time to time (that is the compromise part).

He loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He took the time to read up on people like me. He said that he has a better understanding of me and loves me enough to accept who I am.

It isn’t about changing who you are, it’s about being in a relationship that includes acceptance and compromise. I would suggest to have a plan. Figure out your boundaries, how you are willing to compromise, and express them to your significant other. Have him do the same. It will help give meaning to the relationship and both of you will feel like you are being heard and have a voice to speak. Good luck.

Asexuality isn't something that can really be compromised on though. She should find somebody who is also asexual or with a lower sex drive who will be able to satisfy their sexual needs on their own. Someone who is asexual shouldn't be with somebody who loves sex.

She had tried to set boundaries from what it seems, but he isn't accepting them at all. He's obviously made it clear he wants physical intimacy and touch when he wants it, without really considering her needs and he seems set on telling her how she feels or how she shouldn't feel. This is manipulative on his part and shows immaturity.

You're right that compromising is key in relationships, but if she is averse to touch and is asexual then there's only so much she can really compromise in that area. If he loves sex and touch, then he's going to expect more and more from her. That's why I think it wasn't too good of an idea to marry someone who loves sex because they're polar opposites in that department.
 

Autistamatic

He's just this guy, you know?
V.I.P Member
I would suggest that the correct course of action depends on the cause of the aversion to sexual behaviour.
If it is a hardwired aversion then a relationship with someone who is highly sexually motivated is unlikely to work in the long term. If the feelings are the result of a reaction to past trauma then they may be able to be ameliorated or even overcome.
The possibility is worth investigating rather than make any rash decisions like opting for divorce without knowing.
 

AussieBeanie

New Member
Asexuality isn't something that can really be compromised on though. She should find somebody who is also asexual or with a lower sex drive who will be able to satisfy their sexual needs on their own. Someone who is asexual shouldn't be with somebody who loves sex.

She had tried to set boundaries from what it seems, but he isn't accepting them at all. He's obviously made it clear he wants physical intimacy and touch when he wants it, without really considering her needs and he seems set on telling her how she feels or how she shouldn't feel. This is manipulative on his part and shows immaturity.

You're right that compromising is key in relationships, but if she is averse to touch and is asexual then there's only so much she can really compromise in that area. If he loves sex and touch, then he's going to expect more and more from her. That's why I think it wasn't too good of an idea to marry someone who loves sex because they're polar opposites in that department.

I agree with you. I am sorry if it came across sounding like I was asking her to compromise her boundaries...I wasn’t. Boundaries are boundaries. I only meant to compromise where she can but not if it means sacrificing yourself for someone else. Again, sorry.
 

SunnyDay16

Well-Known Member
I agree with you. I am sorry if it came across sounding like I was asking her to compromise her boundaries...I wasn’t. Boundaries are boundaries. I only meant to compromise where she can but not if it means sacrificing yourself for someone else. Again, sorry.

Please don't apologize. I don't think that's what you were trying to say at all and I agree with much of what you've said. Compromising is important, but she has to work through her issues with touch with a professional before that can really happen, and he needs to be more understanding and less pushy.
 

AussieBeanie

New Member
Yes, I agree. I have been in a lot of therapy over the years. I definitely had to work on myself and to understand who I was as a person. It was only then that I could communicate and better speak about who I am.

The hardest part was to accept that I can’t change who I am or at least not without making myself miserable in the process.

I have had many relationships where I had to be someone else. It was work! I was always stressed and walking around on eggshells. I could never to anything right in their eyes and I was always called cold and accused of not caring about the other person. I am different and that is ok. I have learned to love and protect myself.

The people who value and accept me will be the people who I will surround myself with...even though I hate crowds.
 

AussieBeanie

New Member
Yes, I agree. I have been in a lot of therapy over the years. I definitely had to work on myself and to understand who I was as a person. It was only then that I could communicate and better speak to who I am with someone else.

The hardest part was to accept that I can’t change who I am or at least not without making myself miserable in the process.

I have had many relationships where I had to be someone else. It was work! I was always stressed and walking around on eggshells. I could never to anything right in their eyes and I was always told I was cold and accused of not caring about the other person. I am different and that is ok. I have learned to love and protect myself.

Once I was able to be ok with myself it made it that much easier for me to function around others. I have a 12 year old son who is just like me and I feel fortunate to have him in my life. I am able to guide him at such an early age. He knows who he is and enjoys his differences...most of the time. He is years ahead because of it. :)
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Ideally, an asexual relationship should be worked out in advance of marriage, with mutual agreement. Otherwise, it is normal/reasonable for people to expect sexual relations will be a regular part of it. I am not saying it is wrong, what has happened with your feelings on the subject. It just is. But it has set up a pretty serious problem. One that has to be addressed. If you are unable to work it out yourselves, then the next step is usually professional assistance in the form of counseling and perhaps therapy in your case to address your issue with it. Typically resolutions, where people immovably differ involve compromises. Are both of you willing to go there in an effort to save the relationship? I think that, at this point is what is needed.
 

Noelle

Well-Known Member
So im pretty upset at the moment so this post might be a little hard to follow.

I am asexual with a history of abuse. I do not enjoy sex, I hate it, borderline disgusts me. I am also descovering myself to have touch aversion. Like touching accedently while sitting next to soneone im mostly ok, but hugging in general or cuddling from anyone including my husband is getting increasingly irritating. We almost never touch now.

That being said he is very physical. I personally think he has a sex dependency. Hes always grabbing for me, when were in bed he drapes his arms and legs over me "cuddling" and "just holding" me but it makes me feel trapped for one, and second it irritates me to the point of anger or anxiety. He feels like I dont love him anymore and actually accused me of "youre only here because you have no where to go and youre just using me til you find something better."

But then some days I come hone from work and I WANT to be held. I want to lay my head in his lap and have him pet my hair or rub my back. (I'm hesetant to be physical because I dont want him trying to turn it sexual.) I REALLY want to be held. I crave it. I do. But when i want to be held I'm scared to ask because he always tries to push it further or takes it as an invitation.

He doesnt understand. We had a huge fight this morning about "you dont want to be touch but you want to be touched!" And stuff like that.

I'm just now descovering the possibility of autism, and I feel it matches my quirks pretty well. But I dont know how to explain them to someone who thinks my anxiety is made up. Like I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses and lying when I explain it to him. But I just know he wont understand... And I'm so upset and I feel like he doesnt try to understand.

Please help me find a good way to explain to him... Im not sure I understand myself how I can be touch starved and have aversion to touch at the same time....


I think this polarity exists inside a lot of us. If it weren't touch, it would be something else. If you're on the spectrum, this could definitely explain some of your reactions. But I feel like the history of abuse may play an even bigger role? And if that's the case, I believe there is help for that.

Anyhow - men can't (and shouldn't) be expected to tolerate this quirk and not touch their partner. I feel for your husband and can't imagine what this must be like for you. I'm a big believer in counseling and therapy, but realise it has to be the right fit or the situation can inevitably become worse. And I don't know about your country, but in mine, women with autism are still quite an anomaly. You're in my prayers.
 

SunnyDay16

Well-Known Member
I think this polarity exists inside a lot of us. If it weren't touch, it would be something else. If you're on the spectrum, this could definitely explain some of your reactions. But I feel like the history of abuse may play an even bigger role? And if that's the case, I believe there is help for that.

Anyhow - men can't (and shouldn't) be expected to tolerate this quirk and not touch their partner. I feel for your husband and can't imagine what this must be like for you. I'm a big believer in counseling and therapy, but realise it has to be the right fit or the situation can inevitably become worse. And I don't know about your country, but in mine, women with autism are still quite an anomaly. You're in my prayers.

I slightly disagree. Yeah, he has a right to want more from the relationship and to have his physical/sexual needs met, but he isn't right to ignore her boundaries like that. If she doesn't want to be touched, he shouldn't touch her. I would say the exact same thing if the roles were reversed. No matter how he feels, it's never okay to invade someone's personal space and touch them.

I feel like couples therapy as well as therapy for her to deal with her abuse will be the best solution in this case. If that can't happen, then they should divorce because this is a big incompatibility.
 

AussieBeanie

New Member
When I was in therapy, regarding my abuse, I was told by my therapist that I will have to work extra hard to trust someone being physically close to me. The reaction to the years of abuse I went through (I was a toddler when it started) has become a part of me. My touch receptors have become like a suit of amour. I do have to make a conscious effort to allow touch into my life.

This complied with my innate lack of desire to be touch only compounds my situation. I also deal with rage episodes, so not always a good thing to get close to me when I am not receptive to it.

Honestly, my therapist told me I will need to always be upfront with people I have relationships with. She believes that I am hardwired (sensory integration issues) to not feel comfortable with touch and coupled with being abused has lead me to not be able to “fix” the way I look at touch.

I have accepted this as a part of who I am and it does mean the person in my life has to also be accepting of me and be willing to live with it if they want to be with me. If they can’t or are trying to change me then I will move on.

It’s less stressful for me to be alone then to deal with someone who is trying to ask me to be something that I am not.
 

Bronzelincolns

Well-Known Member
…….it's not gonna work.

the only hope you have is that your sex eversion comes from being abused and if you deal with that then the eversion may dissipate.

other than that....it's a wrap. something's gotta give and pressure busts pipes.

did he know this about you before he married you?
 

MonolithImmortal

Well-Known Member
As for counseling? No. I want to. I know i need it. But idk how to vet started. Since i dont like people im not sure how ill do sitting in a room with a sttanger whose whole purpose is to judge and disect me....

Ok, so I have a lot to say about all of what you've written about so please bear with me.

First, a good therapist, especially a trauma specialist, is not there to either judge or dissect you. I have been seeing a trauma therapist for several months now to treat post traumatic stress disorder that I developed from being in a cult, a sexual assault, and a few other things, and she has been absolutely wonderful with me. She knows I'm autistic and have some degree of emotion blindness, and she's helped me immensely to process different aspects of trauma that I hadn't been able to before. Instead of judging or directing, naming different feelings that I'm feeling, she's guided me in reprocessing those experiences in lowered emotional arousal states, helping me to stay focused on the sensation in my body that the emotions cause, and non-judgmentally observing them, feeling them, and letting them work themselves out. I don't have to have the slightest idea what the actual emotion that I'm feeling is, I just have to feel it and not suppress, avoid, or judge it.

If you've been sexually abused or assaulted, and never been through focused evidence based trauma therapy, I can not stress enough how absolutely transformational trauma therapy can be in helping you lead the life you want and finding a kind of emotional wholeness that you may not have right now. Trauma doesn't go away on it's own untreated.

Regarding your husband: he needs to become more trauma informed. Your sex repulsion is perfectly valid, and is not a reflection on him. It doesn't mean anything about your love for him or not, and it won't go away simply with the passage of time. After trauma therapy, you may find yourself less repulsed by sex or you may not, and either outcome is fine as long as it feels right for you. If you can, I would highly encourage you to find a sex positive, asexuality friendly couples sex therapist, or at least a regular couples therapist, to help facilitate the most helpful communication between you and your husband so that he can come to understand, accept, and affirm you better. If he can't or is unwilling to understand and affirm you, I'm sorry, I don't know that your relationship will get better.

Third, there's no such thing as sex addiction or dependence. There is zero evidence for such a condition, and the APA has on more than one occasion, refused to include it in the DSM because there is no scientific data to support such a diagnosis, nor a reliable diagnostic method for such a condition. It sounds like your husband has a relatively typical sex drive, which is healthy and normal (everyone's sex drive is healthy and normal for them, barring maybe hypersexuality caused by mania in bipolar disorder). How that sex drive expresses on the other hand can be either healthy and productive or unhealthy and maladaptive. For the most part, wanting to touch you is not maladaptive in of itself but you stated:


No. Simple answer. Weve had this fight a hundred times. I tell him I want his hands on my sides and my back, neck or head, even most of my legs are ok. Over and over I have tried to set those boundaries. But he doesnt listen. Be says "we shouldnt bave boundaries".

"We shouldn't have boundaries" is a massive issue. Your body is your body, and no one, not even your husband owns nor is entitled to it. You have a right to bodily autonomy and sexual agency. You have every right to set any boundary in any relationship you want. Your husband may be operating out of good intentions and desires you to thrive, but is operating out of bad ideas about relationships and consent, but even if so, this kind of behavior can become abusive, even if he has no desire to be so. No means no, and your partner absolutely needs to be able to accept your no.

As far as his needs for touch, sexual or otherwise, he has the same right to bodily autonomy and sexual agency as you, and if he has needs for physical touch, he needs to find healthy ways to get those needs met. If he needs basic mammalian contact, a pet can help. If he needs social touching from another human, seeing a massage therapist or a trip to the spa is a great idea. If he needs sexual fulfillment from an orgasm, he can masturbate as much as he desires (again, you need to have open and honest communication and clear respect for each others needs and boundaries). And if he absolutely needs sexual activity with a partner, there are ethical ways of practicing sexual non-monogamy that are based around open communication, respect and love for one another, if you both are comfortable exploring those options (and only doing so from a place of relational health). He could have a regular camgirl he video chats with, only with your knowledge and support, a girlfriend or a friends with benefits. Again, there is a **** ton of relationship work that absolutely must be done as groundwork before ever reaching this point though or it will just end up a disaster with more hurt feelings.

If you are asexual that is wonderful, and I'm happy that you are able to understand that about yourself. I highly encourage you and your husband to seek out other asexual voices, as well as both developing a more robust and sex positive view of sexuality, boundaries, bodily autonomy and relationships. I'd encourage both of you to go to therapy, both individual therapy and couples therapy. And I'd encourage you both to become more trauma informed about how to properly navigate life with trauma or a partner with trauma.

If you don't mind I'm going to drop some resources that you guys may find helpful.

The Secular Therapy Project:
Secular Therapy Project

The Secular Therapy Project is a service for helping you connect with therapists who only use evidence based therapy modalities and do not incorporate faith-based ideas or new age woo into their therapy practice. Every therapist on the registry has been screened by a panel of four clinical psychologists to make sure they meet the criteria of only using evidence based therapy methods.

Secular Sexuality podcast:
Secular Sexuality

They've recently switched formats and hosts and I'm not super fond of the new podcast, but the old format was hosted by Dr. Darrel Ray, a psychologist, and explored all aspects of sexuality with interviews from a wide range of guests, ranging from psychologists, sex therapists, individuals, couples, and sex workers (camgirls, porn stars, and strippers). There have been several episodes on asexuality, with interviews from both asexual men and women.
-Asexuality episode with two asexual women: #066 - Asexuality double feature

Our Whole Lives:
Our Whole Lives: Lifespan Sexuality Education

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a comprehensive sex education program that is both secular and sex positive produced by the Unitarian Universalists (it doesn't contain any UU faith teachings or components, nor is it used for proselytizing). It's educational reach spans the whole of a life time (they're currently working on a curriculum for sex ed for people 55+). It sounds as though possibly your husband (and maybe you, I have no idea) received poor sex education, and OWL is based around building a healthy sexuality by forming healthy values that guide that sexuality, and guiding you in forming and deciding on your own values and what is important to you. It's all manner of LGBTQ+ inclusive, including asexuality.
- An interview with Melanie Davis about OWL: #043 - Melanie Davis PhD OWL

Sorry for the huge info dump, psychology, therapy, and sexuality are some my autistic special interests.

I really hope you can reach a healthy place in your relationship with your husband, but more importantly I hope you are able to heal and grow to become the best version of yourself that you desire to be, find wholeness in the wake of trauma, and have the inner strength and resiliency to face the challenges that you face.

I don't know you, but I care about you and your well being. You are wonderful exactly the way you are, autism, PTSD, asexuality and all.
 
Last edited:

Sid Delicious

Balloon animal safety control
I feel bad for the both of you. I was raped as a teen, but it left me with a much higher sex drive than I had before. I completely understand how that sort of trauma could have an intense impact on your view of sex; in your case repulsion. It completely shifts your perspective of sex from one of basic affection/bonding to an extreme level of either disgust/fear or deep need. I also understand how your husband may feel rejected from lack of sex. I personally could not stand to be in a relationship with someone who wouldn't touch me, as it would massively play into the remaining insecurities I have (the complete opposite symptoms of what you have, but from the same cause). My ex refused any sex for the last year we were together (he later admitted he was gay) and it was horrible to go through that. Logically, I appreciate that he cannot help the way he is wired and it isn't something I should take personally. But for me sex and love are entwined and it was a huge knock to my confidence to live with someone who wouldn't touch me. At the same time, I appreciate how intense your need to avoid being touched must be based on how I feel on the other side of the spectrum. I feel terrible for you both.

Your situation is difficult to advise on, as it doesn't sound as though either of you have much space to compromise. Not through any fault of your own, but just based on the needs you both have. It doesn't sound as though he is going to suddenly lose his libido (outside of medication, at least) so he will always want some sort of physical intimacy. And it doesn't sound as though you are able to meet him half way on this due to your past experiences and the psychological impact of that. In view of this, I would agree that perhaps you would be better finding a partner who is also asexual and will be more than happy with the type of relationship you want/need. Either way, I wish you the best and hope you find a solution.
 

BlueSky Aozora

Well-Known Member
How are you & your husband now? Hope it's fine.... Maybe no...?

So you are in difficult times. From what you've stated, it seems like you have so much on your plate now, that you dont even have the energy to consider his needs. So first, try to relax & love yourself more.

So, is your touch aversion is because of trauma, or is it because of autism? Are you diagnosed as autistic/asperger? You can find or ask somebody's help to find a good therapist/psychologist whose expertise in sexual abuse trauma & autism. I think this will help you, and at least this shows your effort to try to consider your husband's need.

If you're willing to work on it, and your husband is willing to wait, then your marriage might have hope.

It's not only a problem of understanding. What he wants - hugs, touches - are normal. Are you willing to be touched as in cuddles & hugs? If yes, sometimes you can say to him, that hugs/cuddles is ok but not sexual, if everytime he touches he wants to make it sexual. It's common for women to wanted to be touched without sexual moves, but men may try to take it further.

So, are you willing to hug & be hugged by him (not sexually, just usual romantic cute hug/cuddle)? If you cant, especially because of abuse/trauma, please see a therapist/psychologist as i & other posters mentioned above.

Other than that, if his love language is physical touch, please understand that it is unfair for him to have a wife that cannot or are not willing to consider his needs. It seems like it is his needs, not wants, which seems normal. Just like you have your own needs, he also have his needs that should be fulfilled by his wife.

About that time that you suddenly wanted to be pet by him. Seems like you had a hard time, and wanted a guardian/father figure to pet you. While it seems like he wants you as his equal partner. Please forgive me if i'm wrong.

Anyway, a suitable psychologist/therapist might be able to help you. Hopefully you'll be more comfortable and happier than before.
 

SunnyDay16

Well-Known Member
How are you & your husband now? Hope it's fine.... Maybe no...?

So you are in difficult times. From what you've stated, it seems like you have so much on your plate now, that you dont even have the energy to consider his needs. So first, try to relax & love yourself more.

So, is your touch aversion is because of trauma, or is it because of autism? Are you diagnosed as autistic/asperger? You can find or ask somebody's help to find a good therapist/psychologist whose expertise in sexual abuse trauma & autism. I think this will help you, and at least this shows your effort to try to consider your husband's need.

If you're willing to work on it, and your husband is willing to wait, then your marriage might have hope.

It's not only a problem of understanding. What he wants - hugs, touches - are normal. Are you willing to be touched as in cuddles & hugs? If yes, sometimes you can say to him, that hugs/cuddles is ok but not sexual, if everytime he touches he wants to make it sexual. It's common for women to wanted to be touched without sexual moves, but men may try to take it further.

So, are you willing to hug & be hugged by him (not sexually, just usual romantic cute hug/cuddle)? If you cant, especially because of abuse/trauma, please see a therapist/psychologist as i & other posters mentioned above.

Other than that, if his love language is physical touch, please understand that it is unfair for him to have a wife that cannot or are not willing to consider his needs. It seems like it is his needs, not wants, which seems normal. Just like you have your own needs, he also have his needs that should be fulfilled by his wife.

About that time that you suddenly wanted to be pet by him. Seems like you had a hard time, and wanted a guardian/father figure to pet you. While it seems like he wants you as his equal partner. Please forgive me if i'm wrong.

Anyway, a suitable psychologist/therapist might be able to help you. Hopefully you'll be more comfortable and happier than before.

It's okay for him to have his own needs and want her to meet them, but he isn't going about it in the right way. She isn't avoiding physical/sexual contact to be unfair to him, she is avoiding it because of the trauma she indured in her past, which he doesn't seem to be willing to consider.
 

BlueSky Aozora

Well-Known Member
It's okay for him to have his own needs and want her to meet them, but he isn't going about it in the right way. She isn't avoiding physical/sexual contact to be unfair to him, she is avoiding it because of the trauma she indured in her past, which he doesn't seem to be willing to consider.

Yeah, i agree. Unless both are willing to consider each other's need, i dont see how this are going to work. Maybe it takes time, since it's not easy to heal from trauma
Wish the best for them both.
 

mysticquekal

New Member
So im pretty upset at the moment so this post might be a little hard to follow.

I am asexual with a history of abuse. I do not enjoy sex, I hate it, borderline disgusts me. I am also descovering myself to have touch aversion. Like touching accedently while sitting next to soneone im mostly ok, but hugging in general or cuddling from anyone including my husband is getting increasingly irritating. We almost never touch now.

That being said he is very physical. I personally think he has a sex dependency. Hes always grabbing for me, when were in bed he drapes his arms and legs over me "cuddling" and "just holding" me but it makes me feel trapped for one, and second it irritates me to the point of anger or anxiety. He feels like I dont love him anymore and actually accused me of "youre only here because you have no where to go and youre just using me til you find something better."

But then some days I come hone from work and I WANT to be held. I want to lay my head in his lap and have him pet my hair or rub my back. (I'm hesetant to be physical because I dont want him trying to turn it sexual.) I REALLY want to be held. I crave it. I do. But when i want to be held I'm scared to ask because he always tries to push it further or takes it as an invitation.

He doesnt understand. We had a huge fight this morning about "you dont want to be touch but you want to be touched!" And stuff like that.

I'm just now descovering the possibility of autism, and I feel it matches my quirks pretty well. But I dont know how to explain them to someone who thinks my anxiety is made up. Like I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses and lying when I explain it to him. But I just know he wont understand... And I'm so upset and I feel like he doesnt try to understand.

Please help me find a good way to explain to him... Im not sure I understand myself how I can be touch starved and have aversion to touch at the same time....
This speaks to me in my soul! I am right there with you. I HATE being touched unless I want to be touched. I even hate when my cats put their little wet noses on me. It makes me cringe. My husband is like yours - anytime we cuddle or have any real physical contact he tries to take it further and it frustrates me. Like I want an intimate relationship with him but intimacy is not always sexual. I feel like a lot of men do not understand that. The intimacy we crave is the cuddling, laying our heads on your chest, hand holding, etc. But when we know any of that will turn into sex it makes us uncomfortable with any level of intimacy. We have a pretty standard 7 day sex schedule. That is due to me not wanting to be disappointing as a wife, as I do love him. But honestly as we get further in the week and he gets more flirty and touchy and I know we're getting close to day 7 I start cringing internally. It's not that sex is "bad" - but it's not something I look forward to. Once we're done my thought is well that takes care of that for a few days at least. How horrible is that thought??? And there is no way to make him understand. I've tried many different ways. He doesn't understand mental illness at all. I have not been formally diagnosed with Autism and neither of my children but my youngest daughter started researching it when she started stimming really bad. After she did that, she had us all take a spectrum test and we were well over the spectrum of Autism. One of my stims I noticed when my husband lays on my lap. I can tolerate it for a little bit but the longer he lays there the more anxious I get and irritated. And I HATE those feelings. The last time I noticed I dig my nails into my hand when I start getting overly agitated in situations like that. I don't know the overall answer, but know you are not alone :(
 

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