‘This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.’
I used to have a good friend who is an orthodox jew. We worked together in a school setting and were a little bit excluded from our coworkers because of many of our convictions, especially about sex. One day, we went out for lunch and she shared something very powerful with me. She shared with me that Jewish people are taught about how powerful touch can be, which is why she is so careful about it. She gave the example of a waiter or waitress, explaining ‘when you have a waitress who is taking your order and walks away, you feel no connection to them. They are your waitress. That is it. If they take your order, and then touch your shoulder or pat your arm while beginning to walk away, suddenly they become personal to you. It is a natural reaction.’ That really effected the way I viewed touch from then on.
I was a member of a homeless ministry with my church’s youth group where we would go and visit the homeless people at the local ferry terminal, bring them food and care packages, and spend time with them. About a year after that talk with my friend, I felt great compassion for a woman I was speaking to and rubbed her shoulder. She broke down crying to me, saying that it was not uncommon for people from different hospitality ministries to come and feed them and speak to them, but no one would ever touch her. She said that for the first time in years, she felt like a human. This is the power of touch.
Scientifically, touch in a relationship is proven to relieve stress and reduce phyiscal pain. Within a marriage, touch is a bonding agent, producing intimacy and connection. It causes the feeling of safety, unity, security and more.
To crave touch and not receive it can be hurtful. If a man initiates touch, and it is met with hesitance, this can cause rejection, which can breed a plethora of other issues. He could even potentially feel like a freak or a pervert. This is not ever how we should cause our husbands to feel.
It may not be your love language, and you may even feel mildly uncomfortable about being touchy-feely, One of my best friends does not like touch, but since most of her friends have high ratings for physical touch in their relationships, she constantly makes an effort to embrace us physically, going out of her comfort zone. She cares so much about her relationship with her friends and is willing to put her preferences aside to bond with us, and we appreciate that so much. How much more should we sacrifice for our husbands?
For this next week, try to go beyond yourself and give your husband the touch he desires. Initiate it. Try for a week and come back and report how it effected your relationship. Here are some things to try out-
Hug him spontaneously
When passing him, touch him
Hold his hand
When sitting next to him, allow your elbows or knees to touch
Play footsies with him
Do “do’s” (gently running your fingertips over his arm, or behind his neck)
Extra points for-
Laying hands on him while you pray over him
Give him a full body massage
Initiating sexual intimacy
I am praying that this produces good things in your marriage. Please come back and let me know how it impacted your relationship.