Public Affection

Q: Why are some guys so afraid to show the world they like you? I've been married to my husband for almost 2 years, but we've been together 4 years. He's a couple years younger than me. I love him very much and I know that he knows that already but when we go out together or with friends he doesn't really show affection towards me. I see a lot of couples cuddling, holding hands and it makes me wonder sometimes why can't we do that some of the time. I know that he doesn't like to kiss in public places but when we're at home he has no problem showing any affection. I want people to see that we're happy together other than just at going shopping or to the grocery store. Am I wrong to feel this way about my hubby? -- Yvonne, 25

Dr. Susan: Sorry, Yvonne, but you do not have a problem with your hubby. It's you who is overly concerned with how you appear to "people." If you told me your husband never showed affection to you anywhere, that would be something. If he's embarrassed by expressing intimate feelings only in public, you owe it to him to learn to accept that and even respect it. I hope he lets you hug him or give him a quick kiss or take his hand in public when you have the urge to, but I wouldn't expect much beyond that. Also keep in mind that most of those touchy/feely couples you're watching in public may have been together for less than four years. Besides, your husband probably learned to be reserved in public from his own family, so that it seems embarrassing and disrespectful to him to display private feelings beyond the home. I once dated a man who, when I visited his church with him one Sunday, felt it was wrong even to hold hands with me there. Just a different background. Get used to it, and perhaps he'll loosen up someday.

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