If you are neanderthal or cromagnum man reading this, your reaction may be “What? Me must procreate!”
If you are somewhat more enlightened you may be saying, “Yeah right, like there is such a thing.”
And if you’re a female, you may be saying, “It’s about time!”
We are all sexual beings.
It’s part of our design.
Sexuality plays a role in most everything we encounter. Our society has become more and more sexualized. But in a marriage, there’s more to life than sex. Did I really just say that out loud?
A major component of a fulfilling marriage is the connection you sustain with your partner.
However, many times this bid for connection can be met with skepticism. As if there is an ulterior motive with your wanting to touch your spouse.
There may be times where your spouse sees right through your motives. It may also be that your “moves” need a little work.
It’s my belief that most of the communication within marriage happens on a covert level. Speaking up and saying what you really think or want involves too much risk. So we figure out how to get what we want through covert action.
To be fair, both members of the marriage are complicit in this exchange. In order to break this pattern, the truth must come out.
This could be as simple as speaking up when you are interested in going out with your friends for the weekend, or when you want to buy the newest techno gadget, or even when you want to have sex.
An interesting phenomenon occurs in most people when the topic of sex comes up.
Everyone claims they are interested in the act, many claim to really enjoy the act, but most people have a hard time talking about it with their spouse .
In my experience, most men will report that sex is a way to gain closer connection with their wife. While most women would state they want a closer connection to be more interested in sex.
With these differing views of the same thing, somethings bound to give.
Interesting though, both men and women report that they are interested in greater connection with their spouse.
But they are going about it differently.
So what exactly is the benefit of a closer connection in marriage you ask? You tell me.
A marriage that is fully alive experiences better things in life. Better joy. Better love. Better families. Better children. Better jobs (not necessarily better money, but better fulfillment). Even better sex. While the quantity of sex may not increase, the quality will.
Incorporating more non-sexual touch in marriage will increase the level of connection. Bear in mind, the point of this type of touch is the connection, not the possibility of sex later.
How to increase the non-sexual touch factor.
- Hold hands. This may seem grade schoolish but it really is a great way to connect with your spouse. You may already be a hand holder. Most people seem to lose this ability after the relationship has worn down a bit. Next time you are with your spouse watching TV, walking in the park or mall, at a ball game, reach over and grab their hand.
- Put your arm around her shoulder. This is actually a very comfortable way to sit together. You can do this smoothly, you know, it starts by stretching your arms out to both sides then one arm just naturally lands around her shoulders. Seriously though, sit next to her and put your arm around her. Tell everyone else she is important to you.
- Give massages. The art of the massage often seems to be a prelude to something more or a chore to be avoided at all costs. A relationship can receive a serious kick if you were to give good massages. Shoulders. Feet. Back. Full body. What a great gift to give.
- Hug. As simple as it sounds, hugging can be a great tool for connection. Stand on your own two feet and hug your spouse. Hold them in your arms. Feel their presence. Make note of their heartbeat. Notice yours. Connect on a deeper level. Hugging is often done during difficult times in life. It’s expected then. Hug them other times as well.
- Pats on the rear. I’ll admit, I’m a rear patter. When my wife walks by, there’s a good chance she’s going to get a pat on the rear. I have no idea when this started. But now my kids have even exhibited signs of following my lead. The other day my oldest walked up and slapped her mom on the rear. While this can be a playful expression of connection, I guess I need to be careful about developing followers. I also need to be careful to not apply too much force.
- Hand on their leg. While you are sitting together, a great bid for connection comes from placing your hand on their leg. An obvious word of caution, the further you place your hand up their leg decreases the non-sexual factor of this touch. But if you sit together with your hand on their knee or even mid thigh, it demonstrates an interest in them and their presence.
- Eye to eye. Although this is the last one in the list, it’s perhaps the most important. Make a habit of looking your spouse in the eye. Whether you’re talking or just in the same room throughout the day, make a connection with their eyes. Respect them by giving your attention in conversations. Close the laptop, pause the TV, put the paper down and look them in the eye. Let them see your eyes. If you do this several times a day, it will only take a few days until you both will notice a deeper connection with each other.
What’d I miss? Add your thoughts in the comments.