Post # 1
I’ve been thinking about this and wanted to vent/seek advice from you all. I am a very affectionate person, both in private and in public. In public when I’m with my Fiance, I’m not trying to do anything over the top, but I like to hold hands, maybe exchange a smile/glance with my sweetie, and maybe even get a hug every now and again. The problem is, when my Fiance and I attend a social function (like we are at a family wedding or something), or when we visit his friends or family, he basically ignores me. Like he will barely make eye contact. At the last few family weddings we have attended, he will talk with his best friend at the table we sit at and then disappear to become Mr. Social butterfly with everyone else. If he’s close by and I reach out to touch him (like smooth back a piece of hair, or reach for his hand) he will actually recoil from me and give me a WTF? look. It’s like he’s trying to look like Mr. Cool in front of everyone. Other people have noticed and commented on his apparently lack of interest and it embarrasses me and makes me feel rejected and unloved. I brought it up to him and he’s apologized for it and tells me that there is no reason and that he never realized that he was doing anything wrong, but it keeps happening. =/
It’s just hurtful because he is very super affectionate in private and if he doesn’t get his love/kisses, it hurts him, but in public he’s super cool and distant whilst hamming it up with everyone else. I don’t expect him to be joined at the hip with me, but it is really akward when we go somewhere as a couple and I get ditched.
Do you all have guys like this? Or have dated a guy like this? I genuinely don’t think he’s doing it for any particular reason, but he can’t seem to shake this. Any advice would be nice…
Post # 3
Clearly he isn’t a guy who likes public displays of affection and I think you should respect that as long as he meets your need for affection in private.
I do however think it’s rude of him to just go off and ignore you at an event – he should include you in the conversation, especially if you don’t know many other people at the event.
I think you should have honest conversation about how all of this makes you feel.
Post # 4
He’s being rude. Its fine if he maybe he doesn’t like kissing or whatever in public, but holding your hand is seriously not going to kill him. And ignoring you is ridiculous. He needs to be more respectful and make an effort to alter his mood in public. At the least stand by your side.
Post # 5
I hate PDA but we are constantly exchanging glances and talking with one another when we are in public. I would never leave him alone and ignore him if we went somewhere together. I think that is incredibly rude and disrespectful.
It sounds like you have spoken with him about it, and it didn’t help. I would suggest speaking with him again about it, focusing on how it makes you feel, rather than what he is doing wrong. If that doesn’t help, you should take a hard look at your relationship. Is he proud of you? Does he act embarrased to be with you? Is he afraid others will judge him if he shows his love for you? There are many reasons he may act this way around you in public. Hopefully, speaking with him will work. If it doesn’t, I would suggest looking at your options, and whether you can deal with that kind of behavior your whole life.
Post # 6
My ex husband used to do this. It never got better, and it upset me more and more over the 15 years in total we were together.
The worst incident was on our wedding day. We were stood outside the registry office after the ceremony, talking to our guests as they came out. I looked around to see him walking across the road with his friends…our reception venue was about 200 yards down the road. I waited 10 minutes…on my own…and he didn’t come back. I had to walk into our wedding reception on my own.
My advice? Only marry him if you are willing to put up with it for the rest of your life.
Post # 7
I dated a guy who did this. He was super affectionate in private but would be a social butterfly in public. I know you should respect his that he doesn’t like PDA but there has to be a middle ground somewhere. I would talk to him again about and see if there is a compromise. i.e. He can go off and work the room as long as he looks up at you and gives you a wink or a nod to acknowledge you.
My Darling Husband is an affectionate guy all around. He likes to be near me most times. And, when he is in a room full of friends/family, he always looks over to me and gives me a wink. It’s cute.
I agree with Stoppy321 and Sekhmet. Is this behavior something you can deal with for the rest of your life?
Post # 8
@Baal: I’m so sorry Sekhmet, this must have hurt you so much. I can’t even believe he would treat his wife like this on your wedding day…wtf. Was he loving to you in private? My guy is an affection craving monster in private and when we are out, just the two of us (unless we go to a place like a club, then he’s off being Mr. Cool again). The fact that we don’t go out with friends/family that often and mostly do things together and what keeps it from really boiling over….like I don’t think about it cause we’re together doing our thing, then we go out and I’m like “wow yeah, I forgot about this…=/” Did your ex ever say WHY he did this?? Was he trying to manipulate you or was this a weird power play? Did he give a reason for not trying to meet your needs when you were married? Again, I’m really sorry…I guess I’m just trying to understand why someone would do this to someone they love…
Post # 9
Darling Husband doesn’t love PDA, but he’ll hold my hand or kiss me or whatever if I initiate it in public. If we’re with a big group of friends, he’s usually off talking to other people, and I’m talking to different people. So in that sense, he isn’t paying attention to me if we’re in a big group, but it doesn’t really bother me.
Post # 10
I’m not a huge fan of PDA, so I hate it when my Fiance gets too grabby with me in public. I don’t recoil or give him any dirty looks; I’ll simply grab one of his hands and just give it a firm squeeze, and he’ll back off without feeling hurt or rejected. I think talking about boundaries and ways of silently communicating in public would really help you feel less rejected and him feel less awkward. Best of luck.
Post # 11
I would have a huge problem with this. My SO and I are basically always connected physically and always have our attention on each other in public. We hold hands, kiss, hug, and have our arms around each other all the time. We’re both very social and have no trouble going off on our own in a social setting, but we’re always glancing across the room at each other.
I have dated guys who are standoffish in public and it has always been indicative of a larger problem. Either we were not compatible in general, in the bedroom or our backgrounds were too different (I come from a very loving family of parents married nearly 40 years).
I agree that you must decide if you can deal with this for the rest of your life.
Post # 12
Yeah, some middle ground would be nice….like I said, I’m not expecting the guy to stick his tongue down my throat in the middle of a wedding dinner for a friend, but at the same time, it would be nice to be at a function and for people to be able to figure out that we are a couple. I see the other couples and the husband’s got his arm around his wife, or a guy reaches out to hold his gf’s hand…and it really makes me sad… just trying to figure out why guys do this…I understand not being comfortable with PDAs, but why ditch someone and try to charm everyone else and be the center of attention? Even if you hate PDAs, is it really that hard to look at your FI/SO in the face and smile from time to time? Or hold hands? I mean seriously? Like I said with Sekhmet, we generally spend most of our time one on one and he is soooo affectionate and tender…plus he’s very free with showing love and affection to his family….so…just…wth? I’ve talked to him and he says 1. I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong and 2. I’ll try not to do it in the future. He then tries to point out one of my flaws and asks me to change that (we were talking abuot this this very morning and he said I was too antisocial. I’m very shy/introverted around people I don’t really know, so when we go to his big family events (like hundreds of his cousins/2nd cousins/3rd cousins/aunts/uncles/great aunts/uncles are present) he expects me to go out and just strike up a conversation with a stranger. I try talking with the people at my table, but they eventually get up and leave and so does he, so I really feel like an idiot. But apparently I need to be more social.
Post # 13
@Sekhmet-My ex husband used to do this too, only he’d walk off without me or not hold my hand because he was too busy checking out other women. I guess that’s why the A-Hole is my EX husband!!
@OP- I understand some people not wanting to makeout in public (I’m one of them) but there isn’t anything wrong with hand holding or a little smile. It seems like he is ignoring you and that is just rude! I would tell him how bad this hurts your feelings and maybe try to hold back your affection in private so he gets a dose of his own medicine and let him see how it feels to get the shaft!
Post # 14
@OP- You just said “He then tries to point out one of my flaws and asks me to change that” HELL NO. When you bring up an issue that he is doing that is upsetting you it is NOT his turn to point out one of your flaws! My ex husband used to do that and it NEVER got better, then everything was wrong with me, I did nothing right but he was perfect. I would seriously talk to him about this or a counselor (I’m not big on pushing counselling but if I had it BEFORE I got married, I would NOT have married that man and gotten divorced less than 2 years later). He is placing blame on you and the issue is him.
Post # 15
@Pixie79: He wasn’t massively affectionate in private, but at least I was able to hug and kiss him.
One occasion has always stuck with me…at the time, I wasn’t working, and his place of work was only 5 minutes away from my flat. He often used to come around during his lunch hour, and being young, sometimes we’d have sex. One time, I walked him back to work, and he wouldn’t even give me a hug, let alone a kiss, goodbye.
I was so angry and upset I waited until he was a few paces away from me, and then yelled at the top of my lungs ‘Five minutes ago you had your dick in my mouth, and now you act like I don’t exist’… very immature, yes, but this was after years of provocation.
He used to get angry if I brought it up, he honestly didn’t see anything wrong in what he was (or wasn’t) doing. To him, I was the one with the problem, and I expected too much from him. He was right, we were just incompatible. I’m only sorry I spent 15 years before I realised that.
Post # 16
@Bazinga: Totally agree
OP, the fact that he can’t accept your feelings without feeling the need to tell you your faults is ridiculous. You shouldn’t have to deal with this your whole life, or for the years before your divorce.