Hugs=Happier Marriageby Mark Gungor
A recent poll of 4,000 couples found that those spouses who described themselves as “very happy” tended to hug one another at least four times a day. Science has found many direct correlations between human touch and physical health…and I’m not even talking about actual sexual intercourse! Just holding hands, hugs, a pat on the back, a hand on the arm or other touches like this have a great impact on our mental wellness, our health and the state of our relationships.
Studies have shown that people who don’t have physical touch don’t fair as well. Single people, who generally don’t get as much physical touch have more health problems, and babies in ICUs and people with chronic health conditions who get touched more heal faster and fair better. We are not designed to be people who are never touched or held. We really do need to have it. See the following article on the connection between touch and the release of oxytocin.
After I heard about this survey, my wife and I started trying to be aware of this. We thought that surely it was a “no brainer”, but were startled to find that sometimes we would get through the whole day, be in bed at night and realize that we’d hugged only two or three times—even when we were trying to be intentional about it! It’s not as easy as one would think.
Sadly, in a lot of marriages people don’t get much physical touch at all. How many men left the house and didn’t kiss or hug their wives this morning? How many wives probably won’t hug or kiss him when they come home, or when they go to bed? In many marriages there is little to no physical touch.
Now even if it’s not specifically hugging, you can certainly up the amount of touch in your marriage. I challenge you to try this. When you are watching TV actually sit on the same sofa instead of across the room from one another! Then hold hands, lean into one another, rest your hand on your spouse’s leg. If you are walking into the store, grab her hand, or if you are driving somewhere, give his knee a squeeze. This works great with your children too, by the way! Kids need to have the physical nurturing all the while they are growing up.
And you can always try what Deb and I did, intentionally go after the four hugs (or more) per day! It’s a simple thing you can do to improve your health and well being, and your marriage too!