I recently stumbled upon a fascinating paragraph from the book "Love is a Decision," by Gary Smalley & John Trent. It caught my eye because I agree with it whole-heartedly. As I've done a bit more research, I've realized how true this tip is for BOTH men and women.
So, what was the tip that caught my eye and that may immediately improve your physical and emotional relationship with your spouse?
It was this:
"...8 to 10 meaningful touches a day is really a minimum requirement for a woman [or man] to stay emotionally and physically healthy." (Love is a Decision, page 147)
This statement was obviously referring to women alone, but I think it applies equally to men.
8 to 10? Can you imagine how close, intimate, and connected you would feel with your spouse if you both made the intentional effort to touch each other in some small way, whenever you saw each other throughout the day?
Talk about a way to get "in the mood!"
Talk about a way to feel safe, secure, and content in your relationship!
According to love experts, Dr. Charles & Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz,
"The simple truth is, the best marriages engage in a lot of touching, and sex is only one form of touching."
Yes, you read that right. "Sex is only ONE form of touching." So, what are the other forms and why are they important? There are so many different ways to touch your spouse, but here are 25 to try this week.
25 Ways to Touch Your Spouse This Week
1. Squeeze his bum.
2. Kiss his cheek.
3. Put your arm around her.
4. Hold his hand.
5. Play footsies.
6. Rub his leg.
7. Touch her elbow.
8. Run your fingers through his hair.
9. Rub her back.
10. Give him a bear hug and don't let go.
11. Run your fingers over her cheek.
12. Kiss his neck.
13. Put your arm around her waist.
14. Hug him from behind and put your cheek next to his.
15. Kiss her on the lips. Gently.
16. Rub his arm.
17. Touch your forehead to hers.
18. Rest your head on his shoulder.
19. Dance with her.
20. Whisper in his ear.
21. Sit close together.
22. Spoon together in bed.
23. Give him a scalp massage.
24. Hold her face in your hands and stare in her eyes.
25. Squeeze his hand.
So, what is it about touch and happy marriages?! According to Dr. Charles & Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz, it's “the accumulation of touching” that matters." (here)
The accumulation of genuine, sincere affection between spouses can nurture friendship, invite emotional security, and make the act of sex more meaningful and satisfying.
In an L.A. Times article from 1985 (can you believe they have those articles archived and online?!), Ann Landers was asked about a non-scientific survey that she received more than 100,000 responses to! What Ann learned from her survey was that, "The importance of sex is overrated. Women want affection. They want to feel valued. Apparently, having sex alone doesn't give them the feeling they're valued." (here)
The same often applies to men.
Both men & women crave affection and want to feel valued.
Sex can provide those affirmations IF regular, loving touch is a normal part of the everyday marriage relationship.
So, take this as a reminder to nurture your marriage this week by touching your spouse - at least 8 to 10 times a day! If you do, you can be certain that within a very short period of time you may notice that your communication is improving, your sex life is more fulfilling, and your marriage is finally starting to feel like you always hoped it would.
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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