Touch is the first of the senses to develop, and it remains perhaps the most emotionally central throughout out lives. Researchers have discovered that gentle, tender, non-sexual touch has powerful health benefits, including
- Enhances growth in children.
- Improves emotional, physical and cognitive functioning.
- Lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
- Reduces cortisol levels (Stress).
- Stimulates memory.
- Oxytocin levels go up, increasing uplifting emotions.
- Boosts the immune system.
We are all familiar with how important touch is to us. When our spouse shares a tender touch, it not only has the above effects, but it also connects and bonds us in a way that words cannot. Sometimes we long for our spouse to touch us, but waiting for our spouse to initiate touch is self-defeating. According to the Touch Research Institute, the one initiating touch receives the same benefits of touch as the person on the receiving end. Reaching out and touching our spouse when we are wanting touch from them is helpful to us getting what we need.
Does your marriage need more touch?
Answer the following true or false questions for an indicator of whether your relationship needs more touch.
- I know exactly when my partner most appreciates a tender touch.
- We enjoy a genuine and lasting embrace every day.
- We touch each other more than most couples do.
- I remember exactly when and where we enjoyed a hug yesterday.
- We almost always steal at least a quick kiss when reconnecting.
- We gently touch and caress each other without it being a signal for sex.
- I know how my partner likes to be touched.
- We give each other massages every couple of weeks or so.
- Touch can deescalate tense moments between us.
What should you do if your marriage needs more non-sexual touch?
The worse thing you can do to your marriage is to wait for your spouse to make the first move. While waiting, you will find yourself becoming bitter, anger, and resentful. With that yucky stuff going on inside of your head and heart, you will be sending unintentional messages to your spouse that is actually pushing them away from the very thing you want.
If your marriage is in a rough spot, we suggest that you have a crucial conversation about touch and ask for what you want. If your marriage is in pretty good shape, take it upon yourself to initiate touch more. Hold hands. Stroke your spouse’s neck or head. Make touch a part of the four most important minutes of your relationship. Hold/spoon each other in bed. Give a message or rub your spouses feet. Kiss more often.
Date Night Conversation Starters Around Touch
We have encouraged couples for years to spend some time together during a date and use the following date night conversation starters.
- The last time I remember a touch conveying more than words could ever say…
- When I don’t like to be touched is…
- When I like to be touched is…
- You can greet me more affectionately when at the end of the day by…
- I like to be kissed more when…
- I would like to be hugged more when…
- The tender touch I most love from you is…
We love to hear from readers. What would you add to our list of help in the area of touch? What works for you when you are wanting touch? What happened for you when you attempted to put these ideas into practice in your marriage?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.