Do you ever find yourself eating when you are not hungry?  Or, do you ever feel tired even though you had enough sleep?  Perhaps you are missing something in your life.  Could it be as simple as the power of touch?

When something doesn't feel right

The answers to why someone may have a physical reaction to an unknown cause can vary.  However, your body may be missing something that your sub-conscious may try to replace with "like" comforts.  These may or may not be specific to the exact thing your body is missing. 

The term "missing" may not refer to something you lack to breathe, think or move.  Instead, it refers to a sense that something just doesn't feel right.  Often, whatever it is just leaves you lacking in some way, but consciously unaware of what is exactly wrong or missing in your life.  

Your marriage needs you

A marriage may also be missing elements of a strong relationship that lead one or both spouses to seek other means of satisfaction.   While the marriage lacks human form, it still lives or dies by the happiness of each spouse and other marriage essentials.    Its life relies on communication between two spouses like the brain and nervous system of a person.  It relies on resources like an immune system; honesty and love like a cardiovascular system.  And the power of touch and affection for nourishment. 

If you have a difficult time as a human being deciphering what you individually lack that causes you to have less energy, eat poorly and develop bad habits, then it makes sense that a marriage may have an even greater challenge in finding satisfaction.  You and your spouse are it's only voice.

This can help your marriage

Luckily, there is an answer that can solve a large part of the missing aspects in both your marriage and you as an individual.  The power of touch.  While it may seem like an obvious need in a marriage, many couples could use a great deal more affection and touch in their marriage. 

Why? The power of touch is more than just the physiological component.  Our skin is our largest organ.  It constantly regenerates and protects our body from infection and provides us warning when we are in danger.  But, the power of touch reaches deeper than the physical reaction it provokes.  

Touch establishes trust, compassion, closeness, fearlessness, security.  In one short moment it can instill a sense of strength and softness like no word, phrase or look can.  You can establish a lot about a person with a simple handshake.  In a single moment, you can survey the person's grip, the softness of her hand or his rugged calloused palm.  These observations can establish our opinions, patience, empathy and willingness to further relationships or keep our distance.

If the power of touch can establish relationships between complete strangers, then married couples should be encouraged to use touch as a way to satisfy areas of their relationship that desperately need attention.  Here's how:

Feel good hormones and endorphins

Touch is similar to sex, but can be done appropriately anywhere.  It releases the same endorphins and chemicals in your brain, such as oxytocin, as when you are having sex.  These chemicals are responsible for a greater sense of happiness and good mood.

Reduce stress hormones

It naturally reduces cortisol in your system.  This stress hormone is responsible for increased weight gain, muscle weakness and energy reduction.

Build Intimacy

Sex is sex.  All marriages want good sex.  But, after years of everyday stressors like household chores, bills, careers and family - sex can be depleted.  Sex is a big part of the affection and intimacy in a relationship. Without it, many couples become more like co-habitants than a married couple.  Touch can be the beginning to rebuild the intimacy some couples lost over the years.  It can make intimacy easier when both spouses feel physically close again.  If intimacy is a problem, the power of touch will keep the affection vibrant in the relationship.

Communication without words

Not every marriage is inclusive of super communicators.  In fact, with communication problems as one of the leading causes for divorce and over 40% of all marriages ending in divorce, it's safe to assume that most marriages have at least one spouse that doesn't always have the words for how he/she feels.  The power of a hug, touch, massage or gentle caress can be worth a week's worth of "I love you"s.  It can be started by either spouse (the one who wants to communicate more or the one that doesn't really know how).  It can be a tremendous surprise for the other spouse and wake up a sleepy marriage.

Increased effectiveness in verbal communication 

Using appropriate touch when speaking affectionately, apologizing, asking for something or providing advice will improve the overall receptiveness.   It can develop a sense of trust and sincere interest.

Touch is fast communication

The lightest tap on the arm can signal it's recipient's brain to effectively change heart rate, temperature, stress level, behavior and emotions.  It can then transmit signals to induce acceptance, intimacy, empathy and compassion.  It's a universal language of human interaction.

Not everyone is comfortable suddenly including touch into their everyday communication with their spouse.  Touch is a non-verbal communication skill.  It's not something that everyone will feel comfortable with right away.  So take your time.  Below are some answers to some common questions that may help you when increasing touch in your relationship.

How much touching should you do?

Some studies may indicate a certain amount of touching per day.  While there may be an ideal number, there is not a steadfast rule.  Touch as much as feels good and is right for you and your spouse.  First, think of your spouse, then think of how you would want to be touched in the same situation.  You will be surprised at how a simple gesture may really change your spouse's reaction.

Is it always a good time to do it?

No.  Not in every sense of the term "always".  But, there is virtually always some kind of touch that is appropriate to every situation.  If you are somewhat shy or standoffish then it may feel a little awkward at first.  Try brief, gentle touches that don't require a lot of thought.  As you become more affectionate, you may try a massage.  Just be attentive to your spouse's personality and remember you want to get a positive response.  Don't just touch to say you are trying to be more affectionate.  Touch to be touched, heard, understood.  Touch to love, be intimate and to show your spouse affectionate longing.

How do you touch so that it feels natural for both spouses? 

When adding this into your marriage as a main form of communication, it may not feel totally natural in the beginning.  Try not to think too much about how or when to do it.  Perhaps instead of a kiss - you kiss and pick up your wife's hand and give it a gentle squeeze.  Embrace her arm with a kiss on the cheek.  Maybe in the car you might caress her hand or arm before asking a question.  The key to really good touch is to touch like you have never had sex with each other.  It's like foreplay all day long.  It takes you back to the beginning when your love and discovery of one another was all new. 

Still nervous?  No problem.  Nervousness demonstrates vulnerability and opens you up to your spouse.  ..which is kinda' the point.  

I'm afraid I would be doing something inappropriate if I added this form of communication in public.

Inappropriate touch can do just as much to devolve a relationship.  If the person you touch is not your spouse, you should consider only forms of touch that do not invade personal space or are not considered sexual harassment.  Who, how and when you touch should always be considered. 

Touching areas of the body of a non-spouse such as the waist, face or buttocks is never appropriate, especially in a work environment.  It should never be done in an aggressive way or as a way to demonstrate control or flirting.  Certain forms of touching of a non-spouse can also be unwanted and inappropriate.  They include massage, caressing or are sensual in nature.  If your spouse is a co-worker and you are together in a professional or public setting, you should always respect him or her with appropriate touch in such environments that would not invoke embarrassment or devalue his/her professional reputation.

In non-work environments, touch can be extremely beneficial to showing someone you care and have sincere interest in their life or circumstance.  Be cognizant of the person and their comfort zone.  The point of adding touch to your communication is to provide greater comfort.  If touch would negate that, then it may be best to omit it from that relationship. 

If the person is your spouse and he/she is uncomfortable with physical forms of affection in public, then it may be best to show your affection in other ways unless you are alone.  Remember, your spouse is not rejecting you, it may just not be something he/she feels comfortable with yet.  It may or may not change.  Be patient and keep your communication with one another strong in other ways.


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