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#254785 - 10/13/08 03:59 AM Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands?
Brokenhearted Offline

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Ok, is this true or not: My H now cannot even seem to hold hands. We'll be driving somewhere w/ our daughter in the back seat. I'll reach out to take his hand, and he'll retreat like like a scaredy cat or something. Finally that night I asked him if he just doesn't want to hold my hand, (after being married 16 yrs) or is it "something deeper." He said "something deeper." That is all that was said.

Or is it because he could be having an affair? This is why I need you survivors' input. I need to know if it is possible he could be so unable to simply hold my hand b/c of deep csa issues or what you think.

I mean, I want to say, come on, it's just holding hands, nothing more, how can that be a big deal?


It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

#254791 - 10/13/08 04:46 AM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: Brokenhearted]
joelRT Offline

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Because if you initiate the contact, it feels invasive. Until we resolve our deepest issues due to our CSA, we are forever in another where place, even in your presence and while seemingly participating in whatever is going on in the now, the greater part of ourselves is lost in a nether place - and NO, we are not aware of it.

I loved my former wife very deeply and rather unusually, we had a great sex life - provided I was the initiator. If the poor girl had the misfortune to intitiate intimacy - hand holding, snuggling on the couch, rubbing my thigh.... I would retreat as though scalded. It was simply that I didn't see it coming and because of that fact I would instantly panic and be left angry because I would be feeling totally invaded as in: "How dare you touch me without my permission?"

I put that woman through twelve years hell and pain and had the temerity to make it all her fault as well. I hadn't yet begun to adress my CSA because I did not remember it. It took the shock of her divorcing me and taking my kids from me to shatter the bubble I had been living in ....everything came flooding back to me after that traumatic event - which is so typical and very common.

My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

#254806 - 10/13/08 09:50 AM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: joelRT]
LittleMissL Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 42
My DH has always been that way too. He is very uncomfortable with holding hands, especially out in public. It really used to bother me before I learned about the root cause of it. While it is still difficult to deal with at least now I know why he is that way.

It is not easy to deal with, especially for someone like me that loves to touch. I love to hold hands and I love hugs and he just can't do it. He is trying but I know it isn't easy for him.

#254814 - 10/13/08 11:12 AM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: joelRT]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
joel that makes so much sense and resonates deeply; thanks for the clarification.


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#254836 - 10/13/08 01:04 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: Sans Logos]
petercorbett Offline

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2509
Dear Broken hearted.
Seems like you and your husband have the same problems that I have. To my wife of 35yrs. I don't have the time to post them again, but if you want to see another side to (our) story this might help. Go to He thinks love is a feling ppg4, family&friends. Then to missed emotions in male survivior. Some of these just might be of a help to you in understanding where he/we are coming from. Wish you both well.
Pete (irishmoose)

Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.

#254841 - 10/13/08 01:28 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: petercorbett]
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hi BH - I do understand what you are going through! We went through the Flinching Stage for many, many years & only recently has he been able to actually reach for me & respond to me with real warmth. But - even with all the great progress we have made, the insidious internal crap that he has absorbed still finds ways to test me & provoke me repeatedly. We aren't married or living in the same household, though, so this enables him to spend laods of time sheltered from the terrible conflicts that hurt him so much by simply having me around.

That being said, it's incredibly difficult for us as women to feel so intemittently rejected: if we were rejected 100% of the time, we could just cut our losses & move on. But those glimmers of heaven that emerge sometimes are a cruel paradox for us - we see how beautiful & loving our menfolk can be & that only puts us at risk for deeper abandonment.

I wish I had an answer! For myself, I am about to simply cut & run for a while. It doesn't mean I don't love him & it doesn't mean I don't think he is THE most amazing, inspiring person I have ever known - but it means that I will not allow the same demons that control him to also control me. I have a very full life without him & as soon as his "issues" start to interfere with my ability to recognize the other joys of my life, then it is time to step out of the Danger Zone for a while & let him deal with his "stuff" at his own pace. Lonely? You bet! But it's better to be lonely than to be controlled by the same waves of shame and resentment that oppress my Loved One. We can be supportive only up to a point. When we become targets, it's important to get ourselves to safety as best we can, given the particulars of our living arrangements.

My heart goes out to you!

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#254901 - 10/13/08 06:48 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: kolisha54]
fromtoday Offline

Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 74
Loc: UK
I just wanted to add my story, my husband has always felt awkward with physical contact but in particular in public, I so agree with kolisha that we live for those glimmers of heaven.

But his thing is putting his arm around me to walk, either around waist or shoulders, we don't know why but he just won't do it, it's only recently that he's admitted that it actually makes him feel physically sick to do it, now it's not that bigger problem because I can of course live without this particular gesture but it's frustrating for us both that he doesn't know why he feels like this.

On this issue alone I would say its unlikely to have anything to do with an affair and more to do with being triggered from the abuse.

I don't know if you will ever get past this issue but maybe it's better to talk about what you can both live happily with.

Hope this helps

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see.....
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

#254941 - 10/13/08 09:57 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: fromtoday]
ChristineTrying Offline

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 36
My husband is the same way. When we first began dating, I thought he was the consumate gentleman...never making the first move, content not to touch. Then time went on and it was a constant thing. Silly me, I thought he had no problems. I actually asked him once (or twice) if he had experienced affection as a child from him mother and he said oh yeah, she was always affectionate. Well two years later I find out he lied about that, among MANY other things. His mother was never affectionate with her kids, nor was his dad.

It's strange because I myself was emotionally, severely, emotionally abused as a kid by my mother and yet I can't get enough touch to this day.

Back to him, I used to try to hold his hand anywhere...and he would for about one minute as we were walking or sitting in a movie or whatever, but then it was like I was fire and he had to get away as fast as he could. It is so difficult to live without touching. I never knew it could be this difficult.

We haven't had any normal kind of sexlife ever, and really only if I initiate. And then he always acts as if it's a chore...and so I have totally withdrawn from him on the affection front. Even going so far as to WISH i could have an affair just so I could have someone touch me.

I don't know what the solution is. If we wait for them to be ready to share themselves with us, we will probably be waiting forever and lately forever seems too long.

#254945 - 10/13/08 10:10 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: ChristineTrying]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
It's understandable. It sucks. My husband will hold my hand and snuggle but most of the time I have to initiate it along with sex. It's not long and it feels rushed the touching, normal part of life that is. I as well as you need that, want that, long for that touch, that piece that makes you feel alive. He never touches my face, he won't talk to me durning sex, he had gotten upset if I say I love you during that act, it's been downright heartbreaking. How do you deal with rejection? When I initiate sex it gets rejected 80 percent of the time. I know now it has nothing to do with me, but dammit, it still hurts.

Life is to short to blend in

#254946 - 10/13/08 10:12 PM Re: Survivors: Inability even to just hold hands? [Re: dangal]
ChristineTrying Offline

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 36
I always wondered why my husband never EVER touches my face? I never experienced that with any man I've ever known. He also doesn't rejoice in the fact that I'm a woman...have you experienced that too? Like he's almost dissapointed when he realizes it's a woman he's having sex with? Maybe that's a whole other issue.

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