Belfast Telegraph

I can’t do affection with kids of hubby

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, I’m a 35-year-old woman and I am finding it really difficult to show affection to my children and husband.

My own parents still never hug me and it really hurts. It makes me angry sometimes because I think they don’t care enough to do it.

Why can’t I reach out to my loved ones?

Loving Mother and Wife

Dear Loving Mother and Wife,

The first step to healing is to stop hoping your parents will change. Maintaining this expectation will only lead to further disappointment and resentment.

Is there any other evidence to justify your conclusion they don’t care about you? Also, does not being physically demonstrative indicate you don’t care about your own children or could it be a case of history repeating itself?

We often unthinkingly adopt our parents’ behaviour so it’s highly likely your parents weren’t shown any physical affection by their parents either.

However, it’s never too late to break this cycle.

Undoubtedly it will feel awkward at first but the more you enjoy the rewards of being more physically demonstrative with your loved ones, the easier and more natural it will become.

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