Do all men need sex/physical touch to feel loved?
My husband says that he NEEDS sex to feel loved, to feel that I am fully committed to him and our marriage. (Which makes no sense after 10 years or marriage and 3 kids!!) I've always been given the impression that it is something with men that they need that physical love. Is it sex, snuggling, hand holding, etc?
I'm just trying to get an idea of what the male perspective is on this because it has been the topic of fighting with my husband lately.
Any comments or experiences are appreciated. Thanks!!
According to many marriage/couples researchers, both men and women "need" four kinds of love and loving attention:
- Physical (including but not limited to sex)
- Emotional (absolutely crucial, this is the element that distinguishes a romantic relationship - emotional support for each other even if you're in a bad mood, or even if your SO's issue is "with you"
- Spiritual - a shared sense of knowing yourself, knowing each other, being bonded to each other and the community and a firm grasp of your chosen roles in the fabric of human existence
- Mental - you love solving problems together
The five love languages is a useful concept to determine which items are more important to you, or how you in particular manifest one of those items. For instance, my wife's love language is "Acts of Service". And, her list of preferred acts could be handled by hired help. This is a part of physical. I focus on Quality Time, which is also part of physical - you are with each other, paying attention, in the same physical space, whether touching or not. We have conflict over these two, even though they're both part of physical.
OTOH, some people don't think they "need" one of the four groups - but as several researchers have noted, when these people are studied in depth, it is found that something in their past turned a normal human desire into something to be feared or loathed, in particular, some of the more rules-based religions can turn people of both genders completely off of sex. This is the case with my wife. Whether the thusly-damaged partner is able to acknowledge it or not is crucial to what the relationship looks like in the future. Some people look at their fears (which, per philosophy and psychology are 99% damaging) as safety features and can't possibly think of outgrowing them.