Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
Touch Communication and Marriage
How often do you touch each other? In non-sexual ways. When verbal communication is lagging, touch communication may help your marriage. The power of human touch heightens intimacy, an important component of a healthy marital relationship. Non-sexual touching can re-establish emotional and psychological connections.
Touch is the first sense to develop in the fetal stage and continues to be a vital part of human development throughout life. Research shows that without sufficient touch stimulation, babies do not thrive properly.
Touch communication, or haptic communication, and the acceptability and meaning of specific touches vary from culture to culture. In some countries, native people may be openly demonstrative(Italians, Greek) while others more reticent (English, Japanese).
Researcher R. Heslin defines the five haptic categories:
Within these categories, there are seven types of touch: Positive effect (emotion), playfulness, control, ritual, hybrid (mixed), task-related, and accidental touch. Within the context of marriage, these are examples of the different types of touches:
Positive effect touch: A wife comes home after a bad day and her husband consoles her by rubbing her neck. She squeezes his hand in appreciation.
Playful touch: He tickles her ribs as she passes by. She tousles his hair after he shows her his new style.
Control: She grabs his chin and forces his head to see in the direction she wants. He yanks her arm.
Ritual: The hello and good-bye kiss.
Hybrid: A touch that has mixed (more than one) meaning. He slaps her behind to show his appreciation for a nice meal. Could be playful but also exhibits control because it is a sexist gesture to show his dominance.
Task-related: Combing his hair or rubbing suntan lotion on her back.
Accidental: Bumping into each other while doing chores.
To enhance marital relations, you can deliberately increase the frequency of positive effect and playful touches. Here are some ideas:
*Embracing. Men also enjoy embracing. And while they feel a sense of power as they hold their wives in a protective manner, they on occasion enjoy role reversal where they can lie in the arms of their wives. Women often feel uncomfortable playing a mother role for their husbands, but even grown men need a brief time out. Men often confide that they don’t know where to turn to unload the tremendous emotional, financial and physical burdens. A wise wife knows when to allow her husband to relax and even be weak once in a while without any loss of respect on her part. Or he’ll find another, often unhealthy, way to release some tension.
*Holding hands. A popular touch study by Jim Coan of the University of Virginia revealed that women in stressful situations reduced their anxiety simply by holding onto their husbands’ hands.
*Tie signs. Like holding hands, draping an arm around a mate’s shoulders is called a “tie sign” that shows the world the two of you are “tied” in a relationship. Dating couples are more likely to show tie signs than married couples.
*Caress. Feathery stroking feels nice to the tactile sense. It is an expression of affection and is meant to give pleasure. You don’t need to set aside a caressing session. Sometimes, just a casual caress, a gentle squeeze or a tender pat in passing is enough of an intimate gesture to convey affection.
*Massage. When you can give and receive massages, you open up to a host of healthful benefits that go beyond marital bliss. Massages should be non-sexual in order for the giver and receiver to relax fully. You don’t need to be a massage therapist, just a willing giver with a soft touch. Hone in on one particular part of the body: the face, neck, head, hands or feet are favorites. Use lotion to reduce the friction.
*Playful tickles and tugs. If you want an instant way to turn each other into kids again, have a tickle fight. Or a pillow fight.
One woman explained that she avoids touching her husband because he takes it as a sexual overture. Her husband said he avoids touching of any kind because she rebuffs him. Be honest with each other and explain that not every touch is a sexual advance nor should it be. And maybe if there were more non-sexual touching, there could be more of sexual touching, too.
If your marriage is lacking in intimacy, try touch communication. Touch is healing and bonding. And sometimes, touch can break down defenses and open doors to honest relating.
| Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map
Content copyright © 2013 by Lori Phillips. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lori Phillips. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lori Phillips for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.