It has come to my attention that displays of affection are not just lacking in today’s marriages, they are disappearing altogether. This alarming trend has an amazing detrimental effect on marriages which rely heavily on the natural bonding processes to provide the “glue” which holds them together.
The real basis of the glue is selflessly giving of one to another. It’s something innate to your God given nature that must be reawakened. You’ll quickly find that there is real reward in the feelings that giving the gift of affection, and in the effect it has on her – and your marriage.
Sexual intimacy also provides a very powerful adhesive, but it’s more of a single component in an unbreakable epoxy than it is a stand alone glue. Being only one component of a larger whole, without the other components the bond will be incomplete and unstable.
Building that intimacy up will likely be harder than it seems. Your parter is likely to be uncomfortable with such displays if she is not feeling receptive to a sexual encounter, as their absence outside that context has made an impression you must change. You too will need to adjust to the different emotions and feelings which come with these actions and re-learn a standalone appreciation for those things that make your heart race, your lips tingle, and your hair stand on end – without letting your lust overcome you.
There is no doubt that one form of intimacy flows into another, and that they are all interconnected. These stand alone actions have their own rewards in how they make you and your spouse feel: individually, towards each other, and about your relationship. You may find that they provide the feedback, emotional sense of well being, and personal reassurance necessary to capture and retain that “in love” feeling and “spark” that so many complain is missing from their marriage. Who knows, once the spark is back – amazing things tend to happen.
Gauge your progress by the level of appreciation initially and later by reciprocation. Exercise restraint, and do not allow your show of affection to be mistaken for an attempt at foreplay – it has its own rewards, which you will never experience if you do.
The goal here is not sexual, but emotional gratification as a gift to your spouse. Her acceptance and response can provide you the same feelings and much more. Remember that it is a wondrous thing to kiss a woman, but it becomes an amazing thing when she kisses back. A regular stream of such small exchanges of affection can leave one feeling “in love” indefinitely.
1. Practice Selflessness. Remember, you are telling her how you feel about her; not what you want from her. Let her choose if, how, and when to reciprocate. Take the time to appreciate her reactions, from a blush to deep exhale – it will stir in you feelings possibly long forgotten, and in her it will accomplish the same. As a husband you should guide by example.
2. Take it easy. Start small and build over time. Reach for her hand, but don’t force it. As things progress reach for it more often, soon she will be reaching for you too.
3. Use a light touch. A light dry kiss on the side of her neck or cheek will more than suffice. More than a mere peck, but don’t linger too long. Tell her that you love her or thank her for whatever activity your kiss interrupted.
4. Smile. Make sure your face reflects the light here presence brings to your life. The smile on your face and a loving sparkle in your eyes will make a deep and lasting impression. Think about how it makes you feel when she does the same. Make sure to tell her how her presence brightened your day. Body language is a very important form of communication, and will serve to confirm the sincerity of your words.
5. Snuggle. It’s cold out now, so this one is easy. Get close and just hold her. Ask her about her day, the weather, what she has been working on, or just tell her you love her and lie or sit quietly – focus on her breathing and her scent then smile. It will come easily. Tell her about your day, or start a conversation about a mutual interest and stay engaged. If you find yourself aroused, then do what you can to inconspicuously hide it, if that is not feasible then just stay still and try not to make it more apparent than it already is. Smile and retreat at any apparent discomfort on her part, don’t act angry or disappointed towards her. Be patient, Rome was not built in a day.
I hope that these thoughts can help you start the process of kindling the flame of love for your wife into a small, well fueled blaze. I also hope that soon all our children will start seeing obvious affection displayed between their parents and other couples, setting an example that can pay itself forward for generations.
Please send questions, comments, suggestions, and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org