I always found it quite a challenge to touch my wife, without wanting sex.
Whenever we were physical, in a non-sexual way, my mind registered one thing … I should be getting laid. Period.
A massage. Hugging. Holding hands. A kiss (even if it were just on the face).
Shoot Rudy, if I tripped over my own foot and knocked my wife down in the process … somewhere in the middle of all of that, my pump would be primed for a romp in the sack.
But after the honeymoon phase wore off and the realities of life kicked in, those physical touches were few and far between.
I didn’t grow up in a super affectionate household – so giving it was uncomfortable for me, especially in a public setting.
But my wife is European where they’re super-affectionate – and she naturally expected this from me.
But my mind was made up …
“If I’m gonna touch my wife, I’d better getting some sex out of it.”
To me, affection was tied at the hip with sex.
It didn’t make sense to “be physical” if it wasn’t going to lead to the ultimate expression of oneness.
To my wife, affection wasn’t just about sex. It was about something else.
But what else could it have possibly been about?
Well, it turns out that non-sexual affection could actually determine the level of satisfaction in your overall marriage.
My wife wanted (and still does) to feel close and understood.
Both of these feelings of closeness and being understood can be addressed with non-sexual, physical affection. The closer and more understood she felt by me, the higher the quality of our relationship.
But don’t take my word for it.
Studies show non-sexual affection can make up for other deficiencies in your marriage.
Can we get real for a moment?
I’m sure I’m not the only American husband (or male for that matter) who’s experienced difficulties with expressing his love – especially without any sex strings attached.
But according to a study by Stony Brook University, published by the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, physical affection without sex, can lighten the burden of other challenges in your marriage.
Things like finances, child rearing, household responsibilities and the others you’re all too familiar with …
Physical affection can help protect your marriage from the toll that these common marriage pressures take.
In another study by Brigham Young, that included a survey of 300 heterosexual participants, there was a high correlation, between most forms of physical affection, and the level of perceived satisfaction for those in the relationship.
That’s how important affection can be.
Husbands who don’t feel comfortable “dishing out the love,” without the condition of sex, should realize that affection is actually something that’s on their side.
It can work for you, if you let it.
Tipping the scales of marriage success in your favor.
One of my wife’s biggest complaints about me was that I’m not affectionate enough. Over the years I’ve done what I could to remedy this.
• We exercise together (yoga, swimming and jiu-jitsu).
• We review our finances together.
• We go to the grocery store together.
• We make it a point to get out and about with others (single and couples).
All of these activities increase “touch” in a natural, non-mechanical way. They encourage closeness and harmony.
Sure, every once in a while, she’ll still let me know when I’ve been slacking in the “affection department.”
But now at least I have the right trajectory. I don’t come off as selfish, or with ulterior motives.
Oh yeah, and I actually get more sex now, than ever!
So start experimenting with the power of affection.
Because you’ll be tipping the scales of marriage success heavily in your favor.
Plus, it’s a fantastic way to make that daily deposit into your Wife’s Emotional Bank Account.
From one husband to another,
PS Husbands of Kaizen Power Move: If you’re uncomfortable giving non-sexual affection to your wife, go sign up for a class that requires touching – something like dancing, or acting, or a class specific exercise where you need a partner. Or better yet, sign your whole family up for a team building class, if that’s feasible for you.
This type of setting will gently force you into a setting where you “touch.” This is something that can naturally extend to your home situation with your wife and children. And the more you do something, the more natural it becomes. Enough talking, get to work!