Written by Aaron & April Jacob
Your marriage needs more cuddling.
No matter how many years you have been married, the one thing your marriage could always use more of is cuddling.
That's the plain and simple truth.
So we are here to tell you about the 7/7/7 Cuddling Experiment - what it is and why you and your spouse are going to want to try it - ASAP!
The First 7
The first 7 stands for minutes = 7 minutes to be exact.
The 7/7/7 Cuddling Experiment is a week-long challenge where you and that amazing spouse of yours cuddle - intentionally - for 7 minutes a day.
We know, you're in.
7 minutes isn't long, but it is long enough for connection to happen.
Easy peasy, right?
READ: THE POWER OF A LUNCH DATE
The Second 7
The second 7 stands for days = 7 days in a row.
Yes, in a row.
If you miss a day, start all over again. :)
So, 7 minutes of cuddling every day for 7 days in a row.
Totally doable, right?
The Third 7
The third 7 stands for 7 things that cuddling will do for your marriage.
Before we list those 7 things though, let's review a few simple things.
What is cuddling?
According to Google,
Cuddling is a verb (action) that means: "Hold close in one's arms as a way of showing love or affection," along with "Lie or sit close and snug." (here)
You are liking those definitions, eh? We are, too.
What cuddling is not
It's not foreplay. It absolutely could and should be a part of sexual intimacy, but that isn't the purpose of it. At least not for the 7/7/7 challenge.
If cuddling leads to more during this challenge, that is wonderful, but the purpose isn't to get you in the mood. Nope, not this time. This time we are going for connection.
So, why cuddling? What is the purpose of cuddling?
Here is where the third 7 comes into play.
The purpose of cuddling is connection.
That's right, connection.
If you and that busy spouse of yours need one thing to improve your marriage this week, it is more connection.
And cuddling is the perfect way to invite more connection into your marriage.
Cuddling is the perfect way to invite more connection into your marriage.
Here are 7 benefits cuddling may/will bring you this week as you participate in this challenge:
1. You will spend time with your spouse every day. Naturally, in the busyness of everyday life, a lot of couples live together but don't make time to connect every day. Sure, they may chat quickly about something going on, but sometimes in the course of 24 hours, they don't make any time for their relationship. They let life get in the way. Not you. It doesn't seem like a lot, but seven minutes a day, spent together, can make all the difference in nurturing your marriage.
2. You will have time to talk/chat/catch-up - if needed. Your cuddling session doesn't have to include talking, but naturally you or your spouse may feel like sharing. Plus, in the safety of each other's arms you will probably want to share more, and want to listen better.
3. You will feel more peace in your marriage. If there is any tension in your relationship, spending 7 minutes a day touching - sharing the same time and space - will calm those feelings of tension and invite more peace into your marriage.
4. You will feel closer to your spouse. Physical touch invites all the feels - and cuddling will help you feel happier, closer, and more connected to your spouse.
The following excerpt from an article from NPR.org provides a bit more information about oxytocin - aka, the cuddle hormone:
"...Oxytocin — also called the "cuddle hormone" — ...affects trust behaviors.
'Oxytocin is a neuropeptide, which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding,' Hertenstein says.
Oxytocin levels go up with holding hands, hugging — and especially with therapeutic massage. The cuddle hormone makes us feel close to one another.
'It really lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people,' Hertenstein says." (here)
5. You will feel more love for your spouse. You can't sit and cuddle with your spouse without beginning to feel grateful for this person you are sharing your life with. Yes, as you cuddle, love will grow. Appreciation will grow. Patience will grow.
6. You will be motivated to do a better job taking care of your spouse and your marriage. Seven minutes of cuddling a day will remind you how important your marriage is. It will inspire you to think of things you can do to make your spouse's life easier, to help him or her feel more loved, and to do your part to nurture your marriage every day.
7. You will want to make this a daily ritual for the rest of your lives. After cuddling for 7 minutes a day for 7 days in a row, you won't want to stop. You shouldn't stop. Keep cuddling and your marriage will grow and blossom in beautiful ways. Yes, there are a lot of happy times ahead for you and your spouse.
To get the best results, here are a few guidelines for the 7/7/7 cuddling experiment:
- Ideally, the cuddling should happen outside of bedtime. It can happen in the bedroom, but ideally outside of bedtime. Why? Because sometimes cuddling naturally happens at bedtime, and we are after more than the norm here. We are aiming for greater connection than what is already happening for you and your spouse. Got it?
READ: HOW TO TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE
- Aim to cuddle in one solid chunk of time. That's right. Ideally, you shouldn't break it up into 3 minutes here and 4 minutes there. Just keep it to a solid 7 minutes.
- Try and be natural about it. We get that this may be awkward at first, but it is an experiment and with time, it will become more natural.
- Ideally, tell your spouse about the experiment and get him or her on board. However, in some cases you may simply want to take your spouse by complete surprise and simply be intentional about cuddling with them every day, without them knowing what you are doing.
- Make it work for you. This challenge isn't so much about meeting all the requirements and guidelines as it is about being intentional about expressing love through physical touch. Make it your own.
So, will you join us in this simple yet powerful 7/7/7 cuddling challenge?
As you cuddle each day this week, greater attachment, security, safety, trust, and love will grow in your marriage. Yes, good things are going to come from this, friends.
Please leave us a comment below and tell us how the 7/7/7 cuddling challenge goes for you!
Cheering you on!
Aaron & April
Photo Credit: Ashley Swenson Photo
“Love is the greatest gift when given. It is the highest honor when received.”
- Fawn Weaver
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