I’m adding this blog today to share one of my most watched YouTube videos. It’s called, “My husband gropes me too much.”

Luckily, I don’t really feel that way, but I’ve heard of many women who do and I definitely struggled with this early on in our marriage. There are lots of reasons why groping behavior can be annoying or triggering for women, and I don’t think that we need to have only two options available to us:

  1. Learn to love it.
  2. Husband learns to never grope again.

The reality is, this can be far more complicated that that. Even so, tune into this video to learn why men grope, why some women really hate it, and what you can do as a team to modify this behavior so that it’s more enjoyable for you both.

And, if you need a transcript (I know some of you read this at work…), just scroll below the video for the same exact content in written form.

Alright ladies, have you ever wondered why your husband seems to grope you all the time?

Well, I’m going to share just a bit on that today.

I’m Dr. Jessica McCleese, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist.

Now, I’ve got to let you know that I actually uploaded a portion of this video in the past and ended up taking it down. The original video had the same title as this one, “my Husband Gropes Me Too Much.”

Now, I did this video back in 2016 and it actually racked up more views than any of the videos I had done at that time, but I took it down quite some time ago and I had the intent of updating it because it hit on some major pain points for people.

So instead, I’ve decided to re-upload that video here after this introduction and then hit on some of the things that I would note differently due to the comments and the responses that I received.

So watch in for the next 2 minutes and 45 seconds to see this throwback video and then stay tuned to hear my update.

So, many, many times over, I’ll have a couple come in and the wife will express that she’s looking for more affection from her husband. And then, the husband will say something like, “What do you mean? Just yesterday you were doing dishes and I came and grabbed your boobs. I show you affection. And then, if they’re a pretty healthy couple, they’ll laugh about it because they both know, well this isn’t exactly what the wife is asking for or there’s more involved than that, but here’s the explanation for why that happens.

First of all, men are very much able to be single-focused and we women need that, so that’s not something bad at all. It can be difficult at times to deal with but it’s not something bad. Men have a tendency to see what they want, in this case, their wife’s body and to just go for it. They look for that reward of having that thing they want. Well, for women, a lot of times, they don’t have the ability to single-focus. They focus on a million things at once and so while they’re doing dishes they’re thinking of taking care of the kids, they’re thinking of what the meal is going to taste like, they’re thinking of if its later than they want it to be done, they’re thinking of calling their sister later and just a hundred other things that might be going through their head and when men come up and just grope them, it feels a little bit like a disruption of your schedule.

So women are quick to say, you know, you’ve interrupted me, would you get away, maybe push them back, say “stop,”slap at him, whatever it may be.

But, women, here’s a key for you. Next time your husband just comes up and gropes you, I encourage you to just stop what you’re doing, just for a second, turn around to him, maybe give him a quick peck and grope him back. I’m telling you, your husband is going to love this. Ok.

Now, that doesn’t equal affection. I know that. But, it does give you a chance to play and to be friends with your spouse in a way you might not usually do.

Now, if any men are listening, I understand that you’re still going to grope your wife occasionally, and that’s okay, but I encourage you to make sure you’re adding affection too. So, compliment your wife throughout the day, let her know that you believe she’s beautiful, not just when you’re grabbing some part of her body but just when you’re looking at her. And, remember to say, “I love you” often.

So guys I hope

Okay, so that video is pretty old, but I wanted to add it back in so you could see that original content and part of the reason why is because I still hold to those things that I said at first.

So, number one, couples often disagree on what affection means. Men like to grope their wives because they typically really appreciate the beauty in their wife’s body. Think of Proverbs, right? “May her breasts satisfy you always.” This seems to really ring true for men.

Number two, women typically crave much more affection. So, the grabby hands type of behaviors really doesn’t satisfy much, especially when women are finding that groping and sex are the only forms of touch that they get from their husbands.

Number three, I still firmly believe that women can actually have some fun with this type of touch and they can start groping their husbands as well. So when he gropes, you can play along a little and add some fun to your relationship. Now this is never going to feel like affectionate touch, or not likely to feel like affectionate touch, but it can still be a touch thats enjoyed in your relationship.

And number four men, I still fully believe that you have to have more affectionate touch than just the groping behaviors. That’s not going to help your wife feel close to you and so you have to actually engage in behaviors that are more connecting than that.

Okay aside from all of that though, here’s where the video really upset some people and the piece that I want to speak to a little bit more educationally this time.

So, there were comments from ladies, um that really emphasize that there was this negative reaction that would come when their husband would touch them like that. Especially this unwanted touch that seemed to happen at random with really no warning.

And so they talked about it in such a way that what I could see from what they were saying is that it was actually a triggered response that they were having.

Now, our society talks a lot about triggers so I’m sure that you understand that when you have a reaction that’s a trigger reaction, it’s far more negative than a simple annoyance or a frustration with your spouse’s behavior.

And so the women were commenting and saying basically, that they couldn’t believe that I would promote such an unwanted behavior and even more so that I would say the response should be to touch back. It seemed really callous of me to make light of this type of behavior.

So ladies, I hear you and this portion of the video is just for you and your husband. In fact, I encourage you to share this with him, especially if you’ve tried to tell him about these behaviors and how much you hate them and you feel like he’s really not getting it.

See, negative feelings from sexual touch in your marriage, typically only come from a few areas. It could be really faulty teaching about sex and sexuality, traumatic experiences in your past, or infidelity or abuse in the past or a current relationship.

Now, one quick note about sexual trauma. We often think of this as being only molestation or rape, but the reality is that there are many forms of sexual trauma.

For instance, if your parents refused to talk to you about puberty or sex, if they acted embarrassed if you brought up questions, or even worse if they shamed you if you had questions, that’s a form of sexual trauma.

And, some people actually have stories of accidentally finding a parent’s porn stash or even in some cases, where a parent handed over their pornography to you so that you could learn from it. This too, is very sexually traumatizing.

If you grew up in a home where sexual jokes were a norm and you remember joking with your parent about sex from an early age, that’s an inappropriate relationship with your parents with sexual material and it is sexually traumatic as well.

See, these early childhood experiences influence us greatly and it can take the beautiful, God-given gift of sexuality and horribly distort it making playful sexual touch in your marriage seem really degrading.

Now, if this is your reaction my sister in Christ, I hear you and I feel for you and my prayer for you is that you get healing from those pains because you deserve to have a fulfilling and enjoyable sex life with your husband.

Now to the husbands. I get that you want to enjoy your wife’s body and I’m glad that you do. Your drive and your appreciation for her beauty is a beautiful God-given thing. Even so, I have to let you know what’s happening.

If you’re groping your wife and she is being triggered by this she’s not going to be able to connect with you. See, our bodies are designed to release oxytocin when we’re connected for enough time and that release of oxytocin is very important for the actual connection in the relationship.

In fact, high levels of oxytocin in the relationship will make your wife much more receptive to your advances and can even make her much more receptive to the playfulness that comes from groping.

But, oxytocin can’t be released when there’s not a bit of time related to the touching. So a quick grab is not going to be enough to actually make her feel connected to you. And, this is why you have to have other affirming touch.

See, if you have this connecting touch that’s already going on in that’s happening throughout your relationship, she’ll have enough oxytocin so that when you want to do something like a playful groping it’s going to be more accepted. And, any time I’ve worked with men, they’ll say that they don’t just want a wife that’s willing or that will allow them to touch, they want a wife that appreciates their touch and enjoys that connection.

So, if you are a couple that’s been in this place where you’ve been feeling disconnected through your touch or the touch has been off putting or even more so, if you’re starting to find that its more of a turn off when you’re spouse touches you, then a turn on, please seek help for your marriage. I have no doubt that God has given us the sexual connection as a way where we can feel more intimate with one another and you deserve this in your marriage and you should have this in your marriage.

So, I would encourage you to seek help. Seek help from someone qualified to help you find the origins of the pain, where it’s coming from, but more so, seek help from someone that can help you to really increase that part of your relationship in a very God-centered fashion where you’re doing things that are appropriate to honor God and to honor one another.

So, as always, I really pray that this video is helpful to you. I hope that it’s answered some questions you had and if you have more questions after watching this, feel free to note them in the comments below.

And until next time, may God richly bless you, your marriage, and your intimacy.