Hey, lovelies! Welcome back! I’m going through a bit of a rough patch in my marriage…yeah yeah yeah, I know I’ve said it like five thousand times on social media, but it’s true! One of the things that has been hardest for me while we have been riding the struggle bus is finding ways to meet my husband’s love language. Why has that been so difficult?
- It’s not the same as my love language(s).
- It’s not a love language that comes naturally for me.
- The problems in the marriage make fulfilling this particular love language even harder, in my opinion.
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Alex’s primary love language? Physical touch. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I say “love language”, check out this book by Gary Chapman*. It has changed the way that we talk about and understand love.) So, Alex’s love language is physical touch, and it’s really important to him. We’re talking everything from intimacy to kissing to holding hands…all of it. It’s all extremely important to him. And it just so happens, when we are going through a rough time, it’s one of the first things that I pull back from naturally.
Perfect combination, right? Ha!
If you’ve read my post on our intimacy experiment, you know that intimacy isn’t something that is easy for me. I naturally kind of struggle with it and have to work at it. I’m growing through it and embracing the struggle, but because of this, physical touch can seem pretty daunting in the face of big issues that come up in our marriage. This has me thinking about ways to jump start physical touch in our marriage through this rough time, but I’m hoping that this post gives you some ideas for your own marriage if you’re in a similar boat. I’ve compiled 3 of my own ideas PLUS 3 ideas straight from my husband on how you can initiate physical touch in your marriage in a way that is hopefully less intimidating for you but still going to be appreciated by your physical touch spouse. Let’s do it!
Hold Hands More
I know that when you read this first idea, you may be thinking, “Me and my husband have this one in the bag. We do this all the time. I’ll just skip down to the next one.” I challenge you to really stop and think about it first, though. I thought that Alex and I were holding hands allllll the time, but when I took a second to think about the last time we held hands…I couldn’t remember. Turns out, we barely do it at all! I think holding hands is something that we all kind of glaze over because we probably did so much of it in the beginning that we didn’t notice too much when it slowly fell off the radar. If you and your spouse are totally golden on the holding hands front, way to go! However, I’ve realized that I’ve definitely been slacking in this area of physical touch.
So how do you go about holding hands more without making it awkward if it’s not a normal thing in your marriage? There is always the good ol’ hold hands in the car like you might have done in high school. 😉 If you’re walking into a store, just grab your spouse’s hand, and finish the walk that way. If you’re watching a movie, take his hand during a scary part or romantic part or funny part or ANY part of the movie. Whatever works for you, just try to make more of an effort to hold hands to transport your marriage back to those sweet, early moments when you held hands more often. Holding hands is so underrated, it’s not too hard or scary, and it really can start the process of meeting your spouse’s need for physical touch.
Touch While You Talk
One thing that I want to make an effort to do more of is touching my husband while we are talking. This is as simple as sitting across from your husband on the couch, he’s telling you about his hard day at work, the phones are put away, you’re giving him your full attention, and you reach out to touch his leg or arm while he speaks. This simple act can remind your spouse that the two of you are in this together and make him feel more loved as you touch him…remember, his love language is physical touch, right? 🙂
This seems so simple, but physical touch doesn’t have to be super complicated! In my opinion, it’s all about finding ways to make initiation of physical touch more natural if it’s not your forte, so why not keep it simple? There are going to be people that read this blog post and think I’m crazy (I’m used to it by now). “How can you be married and not want to touch your husband? What is wrong with you?!” I don’t think that it has anything to do with not wanting to reach out and touch our spouses. Sometimes, it’s just…weird. You know? I’m an introvert, I keep to myself, I like my alone time, and I’m just not a super touchy person. My parents weren’t super touchy when I was growing up, and physical affection just isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Maybe, you’re like that too! I don’t think that touching your spouse sweetly while he talks is going to throw the two of you into a fit of passion and have you running to the bedroom (if so, heck yeah!), but this small act can make initiating physical touch just a bit easier and more natural if you struggle with it like I do.
Give Him the Passing Touch
My last idea before I share my husband’s recommendations with you is to touch your partner’s back or body as you pass by him. Maybe the thought of reaching for your spouse’s hand in the car or touching his leg while he’s talking still seems a little daunting for you. That’s okay! Give this one a try. Let’s say your husband is at the sink doing dishes (read: being an angel), you walk by, and you just touch his back as you pass by…nothing crazy, you don’t have to look at each other or say a thing, you just brush your hand against his lower back. This small touch is a super sweet and intimate gesture that can go a long way to let him know that you’re thinking about him! Try this out when your husband is doing stuff around the house, working at his desk, playing with the kids, playing a video game, etc. It can be anything from touching his back to squeezing his bicep if he’s been working out at the gym to a booty grab…whatever works for you and where you’re currently at in your physical touch journey! Get creative!
These next couple of ideas are things that my husband offered up when I asked him what he (the physical touch spouse) might like to see more of from me (the spouse less comfortable with physical touch). I gave him a couple of guidelines…the ideas can’t involve kissing or sex. Haha. Obviously, those two things are great for making our physical touch spouse feel loved, but if you’re having a hard time initiating touch as it is, those two ideas might not be helpful to you right away. Alex isn’t one for blogging or spotlight of any kind, so he didn’t type these out, but we talked about what he meant by each one, so I feel confident that I’ve captured his ideas correctly. He’s not as wordy as me, however, so they will be shorter and more to-the-point! 😉 Ready?
- Give Surprise Hugs – This one fits right along with giving him the passing touch! Give your spouse a hug when they aren’t expecting it, in the middle of the day when he’s normally super frustrated by work, or from behind when he can’t see you coming. The surprise factor makes it even more special!
- It’s All About the Frequency – You don’t need to be coming up with super creative ideas all the time. If you’re not comfortable with something, don’t stress yourself out over it all day. Focus on things that you can do to show your spouse that you value his need for physical touch, and do MORE of that MORE frequently. The more you do it, the more he feels the love, and the more comfortable you become with it.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Be Silly – Don’t overthink things! Let yourself be happy and silly, and roll with what happens in that moment. If you and your husband are in the middle of a tickle fight and kissing ensues, try not to overthink the situation. Keep your mind on how much fun the two of you are having, and continue with those silly kisses! It’s okay to joke, have fun, and use that energy to spark natural physical touch.
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Let’s chat! Do you struggle with physical touch or are you the physical touch spouse? What have you learned on your physical touch journey with your spouse?