What if my primary love language is not physical touch and my spouse’s is?  Spouses can each experience love differently, but to have a healthy marriage, it’s vital to learn how to love your spouse in the ways they receive love.   Listen to this episode to grow in your understanding of the importance of physical touch, learn how to actively love your spouse better even if physical touch isn’t your primary love language, and even learn about the many benefits of physical touch.

Show Highlights

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman:

  1. Quality Time
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Words of Affirmation
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Gifts

The premise is that we tend to give love in one or two primary ways, and we tend to receive love in one or two primary ways.  Conflict arises in marriage often when we give love in a way that isn’t the primary way my spouse is looking to receive it.

When it comes to physical touch, it sounds simple when you don’t have a problem with it.  Issues could come from:

  1. abuse,
  2. past physical relationships,
  3. sensory issues, etc.

Get therapy.  Pay for it.  Get the help you need.  You’ve committed to this person until death do you part.  Spend generously to invest in making this is a healthy, fruitful marriage that’s a blessing to you and the world.

Important scenarios to consider –

  1. My definition of love is that “I am out for your best” -> agape love / unconditional love
    • You’re it.  YOU are the outlet for your spouse’s physical affection.  Kids, pets, and friends do not replace spousal touch.  Commit to being the best spouse you can be.  Be open, be honest, ask questions.
  2. What if your aversion is because you’re interpreting every instance of physical touch as an advancement towards sex?
    • Sometimes this happens because physical touch is so rare, and sex is so rare, it’s actually the case.
    • Be liberal and generous with your touch.
    • Don’t resent the fact that your spouse wants to have sex with you.  A lot.  When you were dating, it might have been really hard to keep your hands off one another, and you were happy when they were physically attracted to you.
  3. Benefits of physical touch from www.getold.com/4-ways-physical-touch-keeps-you-healthy
    • It creates a sense of security.  When you receive positive physical touch, your skin’s nerve endings send a message to your brain that you are safe and secure.
    • It reduces stress.  A chemical reaction tells your body to relax.  Touch stimulates oxytocin, which calms and facilitates bonding.
    • It improves heart health.  It reduces blood pressure and lowers pulse, which puts less stress on your heart.
    • It may help you avoid catching colds and the flu.  Lowering your cortisol increase your ability to fight disease.

Whether it’s a cuddle with your partner or a heartfelt hug with your kids, the simple act of touch can brighten a bad day, help you relax, and even fight off illnesses.  If you’re not making time for it, you’re missing out on the one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your overall well-being.

Do everything you can to meet your spouse’s need for physical touch because you’re out for their best.  Do all you can so they look to you as their spouse for the things they are supposed to look to you for.

Homework today: Give affirming, positive physical touch to your spouse.  Hug your kids.

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Whether it’s a cuddle with your partner or a heartfelt hug with your kids, the simple act of touch can brighten a bad day, help you relax, and even fight off illnesses.  If you’re not making time for it, you’re missing out on the one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your overall well-being.

Resources Mentioned

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Sex: Four Ways Physical Touch Keeps You Healthy by Diana Kelly

Hands On Research: The Science of Touch by Berkeley University

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