My husband likes to hold my hand during church and when we go for walks. He also likes to hold it in the car while we are driving. Somewhere some woman reading this is swooning, thinking “I would love it if my husband would hold my hand.”
I don’t want to seem unappreciative. I love that my husband wants to be close to me and express his affections but here is the thing- I don’t really like to be touched.
I’m not some sort of ice queen. As we know I am VERY pro “marital intimacy”. But as any friend who has ever tried to hug me in greeting can tell you I am not much of a hugger. I like a good massage by a professional and love a pedicure, but outside of that I pretty much don’t want people touching me. Even my hubby.
But guess what? I married a man whose love language is physical touch. Are you familiar with the The 5 Love Languages? The book has been around forever and the basic premise is that we “receive” love in one of 5 basic ways: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their “love tank.” Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. – Amazon.com review
So the problem is many of us “speak” a different language than our spouse. My primary love language happens to be Acts of Service. I have often told Ryan that the biggest turn on for me would be if he cleaned the kitchen. Flowers? Eh. Dinner and a movie? Not bad. But tackle that pile of pans in the sink? Hubba, hubba!
This might all sound like a little thing but I have watched many marriages over the years really go sour because one spouse or the other just isn’t “feeling” loved and appreciated. And usually the other spouse is going, “How can you not know I love you? I tell you all the time!!” While the spouse feeling neglected just wants him to put some time and thought into their anniversary gift.
It is crucial that we find out what makes our spouse feel cherished, adored and loved. Although communicating love in anyway is a good thing if our spouse isn’t “hearing” it because we aren’t “speaking” their language we might be spinning our wheels.
And just like we have to sacrifice in other areas of marriage this one might require some sacrifice too. Maybe bringing home flowers is easier than planning a date night. Maybe telling your spouse how much you admire and respect the hard work he does is super difficult but folding his laundry is a simple way to show him you care.
And maybe from time to time you will find me reach across the chair and grab my husbands hand during church. Or run my fingers through his hair (thankfully the man has amazing hair) while we sit on the couch. It isn’t my love language but his eyes light up when I do so and I know he feels love. Maybe a little hand holding isn’t so bad after all.