They are born this way. Women have affection deficit disorder. Men have affection delivery disorder. The hearts and minds of the superior sex, aka the irresistible force, are blessed with the patience and temperament to move the dominant sex, aka the immovable object, and cure A.D.D.
Her Highness Beloved at 2147 asked: “So how do you train him to be affectionate?” The subject has universal appeal, so I shifted my response to this article. You ladies probably have developed better and more enchanting techniques, but here goes my suggestion.
First, your mission. Encourage your man to expand his actions that express his love to include more and better displays of affection, and do all that in order to more pleasingly light up and make the love of his life to shine in his favor and face.
Encouragement always excludes blame, faultfinding, criticism, and displays of disappointment. So, the mission calls for suppression of your negative feelings about the subject of affection and perhaps other subjects. Everything is relative, recovery is everything, and so recovery is also relative as to what will come out of your effort.
Second, don’t complain about him and don’t explain yourself. Also, don’t get angry or frustrated when your expectations are not met. Be patient and rely on your heart rather than just your mind. Forming a new habit takes many events over time; 90 days is not unusual. And men do best when they learn to do what they figure out is best for them.
Third, find numerous ways to interact with him pleasantly and perhaps even silently to convey what you expect out of him. I suggest hints, suggestions, and a seed planting campaign such as the following. A few times a day may not be too much early in marriage but might be too much early in courtship. If you’ve been married awhile, move slowly. Don’t be obvious; it causes suspicion about your motivation.
- Interrupt what you do daily to interact eye-to-eye with him in ways that he appreciates. Just ‘howdy’ smiles to show your appreciation for his presence. Silent displays of your affection register powerfully with a man, but they don’t draw immediate and similar responses. Your affection confirms that all is well, so he need not contribute. He does that regularly in his daily actions of being with you and providing/protecting—or so his nature guides him.
- Remember, men don’t appreciate interruptions when they are doing complicated things, such as reading the newspaper and watching TV. You should catch him between events. Female smoothness can add sugar to carry interruptions in your favor, but don’t make it too sweet. It generates suspicion about motivation, which is ‘ungood’.
- When asked to do something and before you do it, ask, “Do I deserve some encouragement? Would you turn me loose to do such a humongous thing, make such a gigantic effort, without so much as a smooch? Hug? Promise?” (Make him laugh and feel good about himself.)
- After you’ve done something that he asked or you did something to please him, then confirm your enjoyment of him and inquire with a huge smile: “Do I get/deserve/have I earned special treatment? My buns drag and no one wants to give me a lift? You have any ideas for a pick me up? No, a pat on the buns isn’t enough.”
- When he does something to please you or you need some attention. Highlight your attractiveness as he likes to see you, smile charmingly, and wave gently with both hands pointed upward and friendly for him to come near. (I like the idea of making it a ritual before you head for the bedroom at night.) At first you may have to close the last few inches of the gap for physical contact, but he will finally figure out what you want and see eventually that you need it. Find ways to reward him for showing whatever affection he displays to please you. The object is to convert his thoughts to pleasing himself for pleasing you and to make it habitual.
- Exploit his departure for work just as you send children off to school. Make it pleasant but include kiss and push for a hug. If you don’t have the time because of your schedule, improve your schedule to ensure you pay faithful attention to your craving for affection.
- But be alert to his reactions. You’ll figure it out if you go too far or too much, so teach yourself to also pull back in those cases. Go slower, gentler, and less deserving but get what you are after, but which is so difficult to pull out of his contrary nature.
- Patiently connect mutual thinking together with this thought. He may not but you do expect displays of affection to be shown both visually and physically. It’s your fruit from his tree of devotion. You do all manner of things to fertilize his tree, and you expect the fruit to fall rather than be plucked or bought. Fruit more freely given wraps your heart in foil impenetrable by and for anyone else. He needs to know that but should learn it indirectly; i.e., he figures it out rather than being told directly.
When he figures out that showing affection is his duty, it will become habit. But be aware, he may never be as affectionate as you like. If he isn’t, you probably have to live with whatever progress he has made. Don’t change your habits of encouraging him for more, but expect that you will have to do the hinting and suggesting forever.
The most admirable quality in a man is the spreading of his affection to the one that admires him and his affection the most. He needs to learn that. It’s a tough teaching job even for relationship experts. Men just don’t want to disclose their feelings when their actions are so loud—but only to them.
You relationship experts need to reinforce this thought in your heart of hearts. You expect your man to deliver what is not in his nature to expose, that is, how he feels. His actions convey his feelings, or at least all he wants to expose. All progress is great progress and some may have to be enough. His nature resists more extensive displays of his feelings, once he has admitted that you were right at needing—and now getting—more affection. In his heart of hearts, he’s done enough. You’ll just have to get along with that. So, color yourself blessed to the extent that he thinks displaying his affection is his duty.
That’s my suggestion for working on a cure for A.D.D.