He Cheated And Now I Don’t Want Him To Touch Me. Is Our Relationship Over?

By: Katie Lersch: It’s understandable to want to recoil after your significant other cheats or has an affair.  When he hugs you, then you think about him hugging her.  When he kisses you, you wonder if he’s thinking about kissing her.  And I do not even want to think about the sex part.  So it’s completely natural to shut down when it comes to his touch because of this.  But this can leave you wondering how your reaction might affect your relationship.

Someone might say: “I found out that my fiancé cheated on me when his ex girlfriend came back to town for a visit.  She was only here for a week, so it did not last for very long.  One of my friends saw them and told me.  It was so embarrassing to me for my friends to know what he did. I have threatened to call off the wedding and this is not just an idle threat.  I have really considered it.  And one reason for this is that I can’t not stand for him to touch me.  I will be crying and talking about the affair and he will reach out to comfort me and I will wiggle away.  I will ask him what happens when she comes for another visit and he will try to hug me, but I pull away.  If I find his touches and hugs so objectionable, then I can not even imagine sex ever again.  At the same time, I am not sure that I want to give up this relationship.  I can’t marry him right away, but if we are able to make it past this, then I might marry him in the future.  It’s just that I can’t even think of all of this right now. It overwhelms me.”

Know That This Is Normal: Of course it overwhelms you.  Everything is very fresh right now.  This is very normal.  You are not the only woman to recoil at the touch of a man who has hurt you.  But, it is possible to move past this, if that is what you choose to do.  And you get the make all of the choices.

I know that you might be tempted to force yourself to be more accepting or to think that there is something wrong with you, but I don’t feel that you have to do that at this early stage.  You are still trying to process your feelings and I would suspect that your fiancé understands this.  He may be hurt that you reject his touch, but he likely understands why you do.  And he knows that the reason that you do is all his fault.

Whatever You Are Feeling Throughout The Process Is OK: I also know that you might be thinking that you might not even want for him to touch you again.  That may be.  Or, it may not be.  If you choose to heal your relationship, then eventually touch will likely one day be part of your relationship again.  Just like one day the trust and the affection will return, so too will the need for touch because that is just part of a healthy relationship.  And if you are able to heal, then your relationship can be healthy again.

Some people choose not to maintain the relationship.  They decide that this is not something that they can – or want – to get over and so they move on.  That is your right.

But I did want to give you a picture of both sides.  Recoiling at his touch right now is not indicative that your relationship is doomed, over, or can never be made right.  It just means that you have trouble accepting anything from him right now because he has hurt you.  In time and with healing, this can and would likely change.

So I don’t want you to think that your reaction wouldn’t eventually change.  But I also want you to know that you don’t have to force yourself to feel any differently than you do.  This is a process and you will likely find that your feelings and perceptions change drastically throughout it.

Some women tell me that they almost feel guilty or apologetic about this.  They see him trying really hard to reach them and yet they just are not ready.  You can always address this if it would make it easier.  You might try: “I appreciate your trying to comfort me, but right now, touch is very hard for me.  I just need for you to respect that.  I am not saying that it is always going to be this way.  Maybe instead you could just verbally tell me that you support me or you could use words to say what you are feeling.  But for right now, the touch just makes things worse for me.  Will you respect that?”

Most men will respect that if the relationship is important to them.  They might not like it.  They might feel rejected.  But they know that it is due to their own actions that you are in this place.  So they will often try to cooperate with whatever guidance you give them.

Likewise, there may come a time when you actually want his physical reassurance.  When that time comes, don’t be shy about telling him that you’ve changed your stance and that you’d like whatever touch you are comfortable with.  He can’t read your mind, so you will have to give him cues as to how he can best support you – at least for a little while.

I absolutely went through this also.  My husband stayed outside of our home for a while because even a glance from him sickened me, much less a touch.  I thought I would never want for him to touch me again.  But with healing, my thought process changed.  It takes time for you to process what is happening and to decide what you want to happen going forward. But there is no hurry.  The timing is up to you. You can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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