Where Has All the Touching Gone?

Brad says…

There is a stunning lack of physical touch in most marriages. No I’m not just referring to sexual physical touch, I’m talking about any touch. Loving hugs, holding hands, cuddling on the couch, or the simple light touch as you are walking past each other. All of these touches are critical to all relationships, and yet the are lacking in most marriages

Where Has All the Touching Gone?

Maybe physical touch isn’t your or your spouses primary love language, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an important part of communicating love and affection. When a couple starts out they can hardly keep their hands off each other. A new couple’s touch clearly communicate to each other and to everyone else that they are in love. Yet, as the years wear on all that touching seems to just melt away.

Where does it go? There are lots of reasons why couples stop touching each other as much as they had in the past. Sometimes it is just the busyness of life that causes people slide into a routine and they forget to take time for each other. Other times touch is actually thwarted by one partner, when it is used only to communicate sexual desire, and not love alone. And unfortunately, touch is the first thing to disappear when there is conflict in a marriage.

Stop and Think

When was the last time that you touched your wife just because? When was the last time you give her a hug? When was the last time that you reached out and stroked her shoulders? When was the last time you held hands? If you don’t know the answer to all of those questions then you might need to really think about where the touch has gone in your marriage! Also, if all of the answers related to the last time that you had sex, then you definitely need to consider where all of the non-sexual touch as gone in your marriage! (Ladies, you can ask yourselves the same questions! Touch doesn’t have to be initiated only by your husband and trust me your guy would love receiving all of those touches too!)

Touch Communicates

Touch is powerful! Touch communicates “I choose you”, “I’m here”, and even “I forgive you”. Touch says “I love you” in ways that words cannot. At the same time, a lack of touch, whether intentional or simply absent-minded, communicates too and usually not in a good way.

Touch Ends Arguments

Have you ever noticed that you might be sitting on the sofa together when a disagreement starts, but pretty soon you are completely on opposite sides of the room? Conflict creates space between people, both emotional and physical space. Touch is a way to break that distance. Next time you are having a disagreement, you don’t have to say anything different, simply sit down next to your wife and take her hand. That simple act, even if your words don’t change, will change your discussion. Your touch communicates, “I love you even if we are disagreeing right now”. Your touch can end arguments that your words might not be able to.

Hug Strategy

We’ve all had that experience of seeing our wife upset and not knowing what to do or say that can help. Next time that happens, just walk over to her and hold her. Give her a bear hug and let her know that you are there! Your hug, your touch will communicate love, safety and care in powerful ways that she needs to feel!

Touch Every Day!

Don’t forget to find ways to touch each other every day. Touch that has nothing to do with sex. Touch that just says “I love you”. What do you think? Have you seen touch change in your marriage? How has that impacted you? How have you renewed touch after it disappeared? Let us know in the comments!

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12 Responses to Where Has All the Touching Gone?

  1. My husband and I touch alot, its both our love languages, cant understand when couples don;t touch, and no it doesnt have to be sexual, just him saying “I love you” means so much

    • Sorry to hear that James. But remember that this can be a way to make (or start) changes in your marriage. If you are the one not touching, then make a point to change the habit. If, on the other hand, your wife is saying that she doesn’t want to be touched, then you need to make sure you understand why. Often (but not always) this happens when touch always equals sex. If that is the case, then YOU need to make a change to separate the two. I hope that helps. If you have other questions we would be happy to talk! send us an email!

      • It’s that my wife is not very touchy and now after an absence it’s getting me down again.

        • James,
          I get that, and some people are simply more sensitive to touch at times. I would suggest that you try to find the times and ways that she doesn’t mind touch. It might need to be more deliberate. Rather than the brief touch while you walk by her, you will probably need find times when you can give her an intentional hug, or hold her hand. Something like praying together face to face could give you the opportunity to hold her hand.

  2. True… Talking about “virtual” relationship between husband and wife including children.
    Communications done in FB messenger or through SMS even though just a step or two away.
    Personal touch is no longer existent.
    Yes, I need to initiate the change and by God’s help, desires restore it.
    And I’ve started one for myself.
    Thanks for this article. Shalom

    • All of those virtual communication methods have a place in a marriage. Sometimes they are great for keeping the spark alive when you can’t be together. But when you are together, make sure that you find time for touch communication too!

  3. Touch has a language all of its own that words just can,t express.
    My wife,s personality loves distance don’t sit too close and so on.
    I touch her every chance I get because she is the only I can share that language with
    As deep as the moment calls for. And what a great opportunity.

  4. What if the random touch your husband give you throughout the day is either your breast or your crotch? There is the occasional non-sexual touch, but most of it is unwanted touch at inappropriate times… like when I’m helping in the yard or working in the kitchen… or when the kids are wandering around the house… 🙁 I’ve told him it doesn’t make me feel good but he insists that its what he needs and when I tell him to stop he gets depressed…

    • I’m glad you asked Laura. I’m sure there are many women wondering the same thing. I’ll start with saying, if your husband was asking this I would tell him that he should find ways to communicate love through touch and find verbal ways to communicate sexual desire. He is trying to do both together and it isn’t working for you or him.

      But since you asked this… I’ll say, that it sounds like your husband is asking for touch. I totally understand that his touch is inappropriate and unwanted, but that doesn’t mean you should stop all touch. Since he has difficulty communicating love through touch, you should find ways to show him how. Find times when you can touch him in non-sexual ways. That touch will go a long way in filling the void he is trying (unsuccessfully) to fill by his inappropriate touches.

      I know that isn’t easy!

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