Physical Contact

by Iris
(Richmond, VA)

Is it normal to feel physical pain due to lack of physical contact from your husband? Is it also normal to withdraw under these circumstances as there is a loss of connection?

Ben's Answer:

The need for love and affection is stronger than any other human need - even the need for food. Our earliest experiences of being loved involved physical touch. So physical contact is closely associated with feeling loved. It's normal to feel pain - even "physical" pain - when deprived of the touch that you yearn for. All emotions are physical in a sense, as it is through felt/bodily sensations that we experience emotions - both pleasurable and painful ones.

If we are continually disappointed and our needs and desires are not met, then withdrawing is a very normal and common reaction - an effort to protect ourselves from more emotional pain and loss.

Just remember, love and intimacy are deeper than physical contact. There can be physical contact without any deeper feelings of love or emotional connection; and there can be profound love and energy and emotional connection without any physical contact.

What we all want most is Love. But hugs are nice too. And so is sex. Those are real needs too. Just remember what you really want, and if you're not getting it, find a way to share your feelings about that with your partner.

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