Q&A: Touch Me Not!

“I’m a man who has really just started to discover greater intimacy with my wife, both emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  However, one thing that we run into is our young children tend to touch her and grab all day.  When they are asleep and we want some time together, it makes it hard for my wife to want to be touched.  I completely understand why she doesn’t want to be touched.  Are there any ways to help her out?  I’m not having marital problems; I just know this is one area that makes it difficult for her to respond.  How can I help her?”

As a woman with two children of my own, I can certainly relate to this wife’s issues of not wanting to be overly touched at the end of the day.  My children are older elementary school age right now, but it wasn’t that long ago that they were both toddlers.  I remember those tireless days of diaper changes and constant pulling on my clothes saying:  “Hold me!  Hold me!”  Having little hands touching and pulling and grabbing and pinching and scratching and pawing at you all day long certainly can put you off to touch.  It can almost desensitize you to the point that even touches from larger hands (your husbands) just feel like more of the same.  The question is what can we do about it?  Or what can our husbands do to help us with this issue?

Many wives, especially those who are home all day, typically wake up in “mommy mode” and stay that way until bedtime.   It’s hard to separate yourself from that.   I remember actually flinching one time, when my husband came up behind me and touched my shoulders while I was washing dishes.  He had meant to be comforting to me, but was shocked to have me jump from his touch.  I knew that I was a little ‘on edge’ and that I really needed something to change.

One thing that I had always found comforting was my prayer time.  Whether it was during a hot bath alone in the bathroom after my husband was home to take care of the kids, or in bed at night when everyone was finally asleep, my prayer time with God had always been very comforting to me.  I loved being able to talk to Him and feel His presence with me.  It was as if He was wrapping his arms around me and I felt so full of His love.  My husband had communicated to me that he was only trying to do the same.  He wanted me to feel comfort in his touch as well.  He wanted his strong hands to soothe me and make me feel safe.  We talked about it at great length and I promised that I would make a conscious effort to work on it on my end, and I did.  I prayed and asked God to help me feel my husband’s touch as a soothing one, the way I felt comforted in my Heavenly Father’s arms.  And my husband worked on his end too, trying to keep his “playful groping” to a minimum (at the time, now I’m all for playful groping! 😆 )  He would turn his touches into mini massages for me, rubbing my tired muscles for a minute while he kissed my neck or forehead.  His touches started becoming something that I looked forward to at the end of my day, and that made us both happy.

Something else that helped was my husband giving me some “ME TIME” when he got home from work.  After dinner, he would have playtime with the kids, or take them outside, and I would go take a long hot shower or relaxing bath, and just have some personal time away from everyone.  It’s amazing what 20-30 minutes can do for you mentally (and physically).  When I came back I would feel more relaxed and I would see him playing with our children and feel so blessed that I had such a thoughtful husband.

Here is a suggestion for all of you couples out there who are struggling with this issue a little yourself.  Husbands, your wives are feeling bombarded with touch all day long, but usually it is the same body parts being poked and mashed.  Find out which body parts are being overly touched during the day.  It may be that she can’t seem to do any housework without the toddler wanting to grab onto her legs all day, or she can’t sit down without having someone constantly in her lap or grabbing on her arms trying to climb up.  Whatever parts are getting the brunt of the touches, avoid those areas for a while and concentrate on the others.  If she complains that she is tired of being touched on her torso area, then try giving her a scalp massage or running your fingers through her hair soothingly as she sits beside you to watch a tv show.  If she complains that her face and hair are constantly being touched and pulled by baby all day, then at night when you have some time, ask her to lie across your lap on the sofa while you massage the muscles in her legs or give her a foot rub.  Try to give attention to the parts of her body that aren’t already being touched 24/7.  Be gentle and soothing with your touches, so that she begins to welcome it.

As far as sex goes, you may want to try doing some things that are a little different.  You can use your hot breath on her neck and other areas without touching her.  You can use something unusual like a soft feather to arouse her.  You could have a night where the only thing you are allowed to touch her with is your tongue 🙂    (Oh, and of course you can reverse that too!)  You may find that this may be a good time to try using satin sheets at night.  They may be appealing and comfortable for your wife, after being touched all day.  Satin feels so nice on the skin.

Know that there is light at the end of this and that most of the time this issue resolves itself, as the children grow older.  That will happen all too fast, so try to be understanding with each other and make sure that you talk often.  As always, if any of you women have walked through this yourself, please leave any advice or words of encouragement for this couple and others, in the comment section.


  1. I’ve got two toddlers myself and there are definitely times where I feel completely touched out.
    One thing that that really helps me is at the end of the day is when we put the kids to bed I take a shower. For me a shower is like starting over. Washing away the frustration and trials of the day. I go to bed clean, I wake up clean. Over all it’s just a great feeling!
    Being washed of the day, the touches, the sweat, makes me more inclined to be intimate with my dear spouse. (Having showered, Oral sex becomes more spontaneous too!)

  2. You may want to add some comments on this post about women in my wife’s situation. She comes home from work and because she had to work the kids miss her more than if she was there all day and basically want to lay on her from the moment she walks in the door leading to the same frustrations by the time our bedtime rolls around. She is the kind of gal who feels guilty that she can’t stay home with the kids (we can’t afford it even though she desires to do so) and so while I want to share this post with her to encourage her that she isn’t the only one with these feelings I might end up bringing up her work/guilt feelings too! LOL. Anyway, thanks for covering this topic. Very common issue.

  3. My problem that I cannot seem to get over is having my husband touch my breast. I had a really hard time breastfeeding our daughter (our first and only). I made it until she was eight months old, she is now 13 months and I still have a hard time with him wanting to touch my breast. It is really hard on both of us.

  4. It’s funny, when we first got married receiving breast foreplay was a huge turn on for me. (HUGE). A few breastfeeding babies later I hated it. I pulled away if he even came close.
    Only a few times he would be in the heat of the moment and seem to forget that they were off limits. I would pretty much grin and bear it for his sake. This went on for over three years.
    Now that I’m done breastfeeding (only very recently) something happened. I can’t get enough breast stimulation! When I start feeling “in the mood” I actually start craving attention there. It’s hard for the poor man to think of touching my breasts now since they were off limits for so long. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that with fluctuating hormones, things may change before you know it!
    Have hope!

  5. Willingtotry,
    I can relate exactly to what you are saying. I always loved it until I started having babies and breastfeeding. My DH is such a boob man that it was hard for him not to touch/play/kiss them. Like you said I would tolerate it unless it was direct nipple stimulation I couldn’t even “put up” with that! It must have been psycological because not long after my last baby was finished nursing I started to enjoy it again.
    Now I can’t go without it during sex.I have even reached orgasm from that alone!
    So husbands just endure the baby years, it gets better, much better! 🙂

  6. I’d sure like to know what others have come up with. I’ve not liked it from day 1. My hubby LOVES boobs, mine in particular (that’s a good thing, right!) but I just don’t like having them touched. I cringed at the idea of nursing, although I did make it through 3 babies. I actually enjoyed nusing my oldest and youngest- oddly I couldn’t stand it with my middle boy, but he was always fighting to get loose- even from birth. Unlike some of the others I did not go back to enjoying stimulation after the babies were done. Still don’t like it much. I can tolerate breast stroking, but the nipples are off limits. I can tolerate it better with LOTS of lubrication- we just gave coconut oil a try and it’s lovely! Still, it’s not something I really enjoyed, and I know my honey so wants me to be able to enjoy it. So, is it psychological, physical, what????

  7. I think that each person’s love language has a lot to do with it also. (Read the book The Five Love Languages) I am the total opposite of most of these women. I am a stay at home mom, we have four little girls ages 4, 3, 2 and 2 months, and I’m constantly bombarded with little grabby, sticky, dirty, pinching hands all day long. Hanging on my neck, pulling my hair, sticking their tiny curious hands down my shirt, pulling on my legs, etc, etc. But even with all of that, I am totally and completely thrilled at the thought of my husband’s touch. No matter how he touches me, be it sliding his hands around my waist, touching my face, hugging me, touching my shoulders, giving me love spanks, 😉 etc.
    You see my primary love language is physical touch. I LOVE to be touched! To me it says, “I love you”
    But if your love language is not physical touch, then your DH’s touches may not necessarily speak “I love you” to you. Maybe it’s his love language, but yours is something totally different? Maybe his compliments or his acts of service say “I love you” to you much more than touch does.
    The other thing I noticed was about the boob touching problem… for a long time(and even still) I have been very self conscious about my breasts. I’ve had four kids, breast fed them, etc. Let’s just say they don’t look my age. But I’ve recently discovered that if I spend a little “alone time” with my own boobies, (touching, looking, playing) I’ve grow to like them and the stimulation more than I ever have, regardless of how they look! It’s awesome! I had to like my own boobs before it felt ok for him to like them. Now when he wants to touch them it’s like, heck yeah, go for it, I think they’re hot too! 🙂
    Even if your having a really tough time ladies, try to be thankful that you have a husband who WANTS to touch you, that’s awesome! And in the mean time, try to read The Five Love Languages with your DH, it’s an amazing book. (My DH still hasn’t read it, haha)

  8. I am engaged, and I have issues with my nipples being touched by anything at all–it makes me feel gross or violated in some way, even if its just something brushing up against them. I am researching this issue because I don’t want it to be a problem once I’m married, but I don’t understand it at all! The few times that I’ve spoken with someone about it, they always ask if I’ve been molested, but I am POSITIVE that I have not. My nipples are very sensetive and I feel like sometimes they can be a very arousing spot for me, but about half the time the sensation of them being stimulating makes me feel gross and turns me off. Can anyone relate to this? Or give me any insight into what is going on?

  9. Do you have/have you ever had any issues with your body image? (I realize that you are talking about the sensation you are feeling, but it could be related) How do you feel when you look at your breasts in the mirror? Do you think they’re beautiful/sexy, etc? or is your immediate reaction to be embarrassed and cover them up?
    The way you view your breasts can have a HUGE effect on how they FEEL as well. After having children, I began to think that my breasts were ugly, etc. (even though my DH assured me that he loved them) Along with my dissatisfaction with the way they looked, I began to resent the way they felt when they were touched, it almost annoyed me when my husband would touch them, kiss them etc. I actually got to the point where I believed that any nipple stimulation “hurt.” But it was all in my mind. 😦
    It was only when I MADE myself truly LOOK at them in the mirror, touch them myself, allow myself to see that they WERE beautiful, that I slowly began to think differently. And wouldn’t you know, the change in my thoughts led to a change in the way it felt when I was touched! I now cannot get enough of my hubby’s touch and play with my breasts! 🙂 I love it, and I never thought I could!
    Prayer really can change the way you feel and think about yourself. Ask God to mold your thoughts and feelings, (even the sensations you feel!) He made you a sexual creature and He wants you to be able to enjoy your husband when the time comes! Take some time each day to really look at your self, even touching your breasts, get to know and enjoy those feelings. There could be a fear or self-consciousness associated with the sensations you are feeling, and if you automatically avoid any sensation because you are afraid of how you might feel, then you won’t be able to change your thinking about it.
    I don’t know if this helps at all, but I will keep you in my prayers, and I pray that God will greatly bless your upcoming marriage!

  10. I totally relate, (my baby sibs were often brushing up against my breast and it just felt… It made me very defensive. and that never made sense to me)…
    For me, the problem totally went away after getting married and being free to have my husband feel me and see me naked.
    I mean, if some adult were going to touch my breast, then hands off of course, but I’m not so anally sensitive as I was before 🙂
    It just went away. It’s kinda weird.
    I also never was ‘huggy’ – I”m still not super huggy or touchy, but hugs from other people don’t bother me as much now. (I mean, one touch and I would bristle like a porcupine!)

    It might be that once you are comfortable with your husband seeing you and once you have experienced sex in all it’s beauty and purity (I guess I’m assuming you’re coming from where I came from and never was intimate with anyone before…) that the problem just won’t exist anymore. I hope that’s what happens to you 🙂

    …. sometimes though, when I am not in a good mood, touching issues like that come back. If that does happen, I’ve learned to just relax, and maybe I won’t be so touchy. If I still am, then I just tell my hubby ‘look, I’m just really tense and don’t think I can O right now… It’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just that my body isn’t responding to you the way I want it too. I’d love to finish you and you can catch me up tomorrow?’
    (and I totally agree with everything Erin said about how you view your breasts affects how they feel. The same goes for the rest of your body I think.)

  11. I enjoyed this article alot as It was super helpful to me in bringing to light that I have this same issue, I just didnt know it.
    I never knew why, but when my husband came home from work at the end of the day his playful touching and grabbing was over stimulating to me and it would make me crabby and was a big turn off. I never put much thought into why his touch was so over stimulating to me (I just assumed I was no fun)but it makes total sense to me now. I am a stay at home Mom & I have 2 very young children and after being poked and pawed at and carrying them around at all day, my husband comes home and does the same thing. I am now going to go explain to him that I would be more responsive to his touch if he changed it up from pinching and grabing to gentle massages and light touches. Thanks so much!

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