6 Easy Ways to Love Your Physical Touch Spouse

Do you struggle with meeting the needs of your "physical touch" spouse? I'm right there with you, but it doesn't have to be as hard as we make it out to be! 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 super easy ways!

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?


  1. It’s not the same as my love language(s).
  2. It’s not a love language that comes naturally for me.
  3. The problems in the marriage make fulfilling this particular love language even harder, in my opinion.

(* This post contains affiliate links.)


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!


Related:  The Argument We Have Every Week…(and what we’re learning from 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!


Related:  Submitting to Your Husband:  The Basics


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?


  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

(Items with an * next to them are affiliate links. Learn more about what that means for you, here!)


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?







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  • Addy
    January 24, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Both my husband and I are physical-touch people. When we are in the middle of an unsolved disagreement, we will literally flatten ourselves on the opposite walls while passing each other to avoid touching. Lol

  • Audrey S
    January 20, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    This is something I absolutely needed to read. I am the spouse who hates physical touch on almost any level. My husband is the exact opposite. If you could combine words of affirmation and physical touch into a love language called physical touches of affirmation… that would be my husband. I am trying to compile a list of things I need to do in order to satisfy his language. This was so helpful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤️

  • Meghan
    September 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I needed to read this. My husband is the physical touch spouse and I am anything but that! I hate physical touch, even more so now that we have three lovely little ones. I cringe when someone, anyone, hugs me, kisses me, etc. It doesn’t come natural for me at all. I grew up in a home where I only saw my parents hold hands once or twice, never saw them kiss or hug. I suck at this whole, loving my physical touch spouse, thing. I’ve been reading articles, etc to help me overcome, but I’ve not related to any of them or gleaned much that helped, until I read yours. I felt like I could totally relate and that there wasn’t this, you’re a bad wife if you don’t touch your husband, mentality. Thank you so much! I’m going to start off with one or two of these and work my way up. I’ll be honest, your husband’s suggestions scare me to death and give me anxiety just thinking of it!

  • Steve
    March 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Enjoyed this blog. I can’t help but maybe see how none of them really dealt directly with marriage. I ask a sincere question though. Can a woman be ‘so godly focused’ that she blindly ignores her wifely responsibilities with regard to respect, loving and sexual fulfillment of her husband?
    I only ask as my wife, who would never read this kind of blog (So I am safe posting here), has repeatedly said she can’t be responsible for my happiness. Which I can agree with somewhat, yet I also would reply the she does not have the freedom to inflict the physical and emotional pains as stated above on her husband. Still, she absolves herself of either scenario and “she is working on her issues’ now going on 8 years in some therapy or another with no victory in sight. She says she is more concerned with her relationship with God and finding her fulfillment there and everyone (EMPHASIS ON ME) should do the same in order to mentally and spiritually healthy. It’s not about sex and gonads….
    SO before I give up on my marriage of 20 years I ask the original question above. I don’t know who would tell her God knows she wont listen to me, and I’m not all that positive God is getting through either.
    Thanks for the blog-

    • Carisa Alford
      March 31, 2017 at 9:55 am

      I’m sorry to hear that you two are struggling a bit in your marriage. I can’t speak too specifically because only the two of you know what you are going through! Don’t give up, though! Cover yourselves in prayer, and keep trying! I have a couple of posts here specifically about Intimacy that may help, so I definitely suggest checking those out 🙂

  • Steve
    March 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Great insight- It is so refreshing to hear that there are at least a few women who can dig deep into themselves and provide the honor and respect a husband so desperately needs. Most women would find that their men are/ can be everything they desire if they would just give it a try for 30 days…. IF HE is a good man he WILL respond beyond expectation… He’ll be suspicious for a week or so but if you are faithful…. God will be as well.

    • Carisa Alford
      March 31, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Haha, he probably will be a little suspicious 😉 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Melissa
    January 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

    My husband is the one who wants physical touch. We struggle with it because of my fibromyalgia and PTSD. I know we’ll get through this…it’s just really hard right now.

    Thanks for sharing this…its a great reminder for me.

    • Carisa Alford
      January 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Keep pushing through it, and keep praying! With faith and action, you can make changes for the better!

  • HeavenOnEarth
    December 28, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    This is a great post Carisa – one that I’m sure will help lots of people! I love the recommendations Alex gave, how cute!

    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      I thought that was a fun touch! He enjoyed helping!

  • Christina Joy Gehris
    December 22, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Oooo, boy oh boy do I struggle with physical touch. When you mentioned ‘hold hands more’ my thought was, “I already do tha…. Oh wait. Nope. Not that much.” Then you moved onto passing touch and I laughed internally, thinking, “Of course I do tha… Nope. Still don’t do that very much either.” So. I get it. Completely. My SO is more of a physical touch person than me, however, it is not his ‘top’ love language, and physical touch has slowly become my ‘lowest’. A lot of it for me is self esteem and intimacy issues from abuse and trauma. My SO understands and meets me in the middle and has become very understanding and encourages me to work on myself and getting ‘better’. This also took us a few years and we are always improving. Sometimes two steps forward and one step back.

    I greatly appreciate that you talk about this so openly. I had to struggle through that part of my relationship alone thinking I wasn’t in love with my SO anymore, when I was just struggling with intimacy in general and my love for him hadn’t actually changed.

    PLEASE continue to share! I love reading your posts!

    • Carisa Alford
      December 31, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      It’s awesome that he is so supportive and that the two of you work to make sure that you meet in the middle…so important! I feel the same way at times, and I think it’s necessary for us to realize that we aren’t falling out of love. It’s just a season that we can work through 🙂 Love you, girl!