Kate says . . .
Touch: something so simple and yet so vital to life. While it is a love language, everyone needs it. The dictionary definition of touch is:
“An act of touching someone. or something.”
“To handle in order to manipulate, alter, or otherwise affect, especially in an adverse way.”
I found these two definitions of the same word very interesting and telling. As Brad shared in his post “Where Has All the Touch Gone?“, touch is something we all need and is essential to life. In the beginning of dating and marriage, touch is powerful. Somewhere down the road we allow touch to have less power and significance in our marriage and let’s be brutally honest, marriages that suffer from loss of touch are also suffering with a lack of sexual intimacy!
Marriages that are struggling with lack of touch, each spouse then finds they are in one of two camps.
The Avoid Touch at All Costs Camp
This camp is full of spouses who avoid touch for many different reasons, but eventually use it as a crutch. I was this wife for a time. I was tired, exhausted really and to be completely honest- stuck in my own selfishness. When Brad would touch me in any way, I always thought that he was touching me with one goal in mind; sex!
Since I didn’t have a healthy respect and understanding for sex, I avoided all touch. Robbing myself of a wonderful closeness that I desired and needed. I sabotaged my own self. What I needed and kept myself from having. If you are in this camp, I would challenge you that you cannot have the marriage you desire if there is not touch (or sex for that matter) between the two of you. I realize that as Brad said there is both non-sexual touch and sexual touch. You need both!
I had to really take a good look at myself and ask why I shied away from all touch and would not just enjoy my husbands touch. It should not always turn into sex, but so what if it did? If you are in this camp you need to allow your spouse to touch you. To invite them to touch you, but being an initiator of touch yourself. Hold your spouses hand, put your arm around them, sit next to them when you could choose to do otherwise, lean on them-basically delete space from between the two of you!
I Want to Touch But It is Always Misinterpreted Camp
The other camp is full of spouses who want to have that connection with their spouse, but each time they try they are rebuffed like a pesky flea or gnat. While it is true that this spouse just wants to have that connection of touch with their spouse, they would also be delighted if that touch did in fact turn into sex. They also have used the touch to indicate their desire for the physical intimacy that they deeply desire, which to the other spouse can seem manipulative and at times might be. But there are many times it is a desire for closeness and connection that touch brings.
If you are in this camp I would challenge you to practice your non-sexual touch a lot. Help your spouse know that you desire to touch them and show them love in this way. Don’t allow yourself to take the touch places that are sexual. Show your spouse how much you cherish them by giving touch without asking for anything in return. Assuming your spouse is in the other camp, you may need to reassure your spouse with words that your only desire is to touch them, not for sex. I know that this may be hard, especially if sex is really lacking, but I do believe you will be rebuilding an important foundation that will lead to intimacy and blessings.
Whichever camp you find yourself in, it’s time to break camp and find ways to bless each other through touch. Don’t let the distance continue. I know deep down it isn’t what you desire, even if you have convinced yourself that it is. What you need is the loving connection that touch brings to a marriage. Think only of yourself and how you can restore touch to your marriage. Seeking only to comfort, cherish and bless though touch. If it mutually turns into sex, great.
Have you struggled with touch in your marriage? How have you worked to overcome that challenge and made sure that touch is a priority? Let us know in the comments!