Okay…so I know this may probably either totally turns you off or rolls your eyes, but physical touch is crazy powerful. In the neonatal ICU, babies are often put on their parent’s chest skin-to-skin. Babies have been resuscitated by their mother’s touch. Studies have shown that happy, healthy children need 8 times of loving, physical touch daily. A famous psycotherapist, Virginia Satir, said:
We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.
Other studies go so far as to say that hugging can lower the risk of heart disease, reduce stress, fight fatigue, boost your immune system, fight infections, and ease depression.
As many as 1/3 of adults receive no hugs on a daily basis. Sadly, I am sure there have been days this included my husband.
In Kristen’s article, 7 Habits of a Hot Marriage, she gives great examples of other ways to easily ensure you meet the goal of touching your spouse daily to avoid monotony. Even if your spouse’s love language for physical touch is not very high this does not excuse us. If your spouse has physical touch as one of their love languages, then you will need to go much above and beyond just a daily hug or hand holding.
I still find this a struggle some days…but not because I don’t want to. I allow myself to get so preoccupied. I am busy hugging my children and asking about their day. I am busy cooking supper when my husband gets home and then I let the kids get their hugs in first. Or I am simply, just touched out. I have always been passionate and adamant that marriage should be a priority even over putting children first, yet I fail to put that in practice some days. Even just making sure I get the first hug in when my husband gets home or hug him around his shoulders before he finishes supper sets a distinct, effortful tone that says “You ARE important…right now…right here…to me.” There should be zero expectations, but that little gleam of happiness in my husband’s eyes totally rocks when he knows I am making sure he feels touched and feels special.