Q&A: Touch Me Not!

“I’m a man who has really just started to discover greater intimacy with my wife, both emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  However, one thing that we run into is our young children tend to touch her and grab all day.  When they are asleep and we want some time together, it makes it hard for my wife to want to be touched.  I completely understand why she doesn’t want to be touched.  Are there any ways to help her out?  I’m not having marital problems; I just know this is one area that makes it difficult for her to respond.  How can I help her?”

As a woman with two children of my own, I can certainly relate to this wife’s issues of not wanting to be overly touched at the end of the day.  My children are older elementary school age right now, but it wasn’t that long ago that they were both toddlers.  I remember those tireless days of diaper changes and constant pulling on my clothes saying:  “Hold me!  Hold me!”  Having little hands touching and pulling and grabbing and pinching and scratching and pawing at you all day long certainly can put you off to touch.  It can almost desensitize you to the point that even touches from larger hands (your husbands) just feel like more of the same.  The question is what can we do about it?  Or what can our husbands do to help us with this issue?

Many wives, especially those who are home all day, typically wake up in “mommy mode” and stay that way until bedtime.   It’s hard to separate yourself from that.   I remember actually flinching one time, when my husband came up behind me and touched my shoulders while I was washing dishes.  He had meant to be comforting to me, but was shocked to have me jump from his touch.  I knew that I was a little ‘on edge’ and that I really needed something to change.

One thing that I had always found comforting was my prayer time.  Whether it was during a hot bath alone in the bathroom after my husband was home to take care of the kids, or in bed at night when everyone was finally asleep, my prayer time with God had always been very comforting to me.  I loved being able to talk to Him and feel His presence with me.  It was as if He was wrapping his arms around me and I felt so full of His love.  My husband had communicated to me that he was only trying to do the same.  He wanted me to feel comfort in his touch as well.  He wanted his strong hands to soothe me and make me feel safe.  We talked about it at great length and I promised that I would make a conscious effort to work on it on my end, and I did.  I prayed and asked God to help me feel my husband’s touch as a soothing one, the way I felt comforted in my Heavenly Father’s arms.  And my husband worked on his end too, trying to keep his “playful groping” to a minimum (at the time, now I’m all for playful groping! 😆 )  He would turn his touches into mini massages for me, rubbing my tired muscles for a minute while he kissed my neck or forehead.  His touches started becoming something that I looked forward to at the end of my day, and that made us both happy.

Something else that helped was my husband giving me some “ME TIME” when he got home from work.  After dinner, he would have playtime with the kids, or take them outside, and I would go take a long hot shower or relaxing bath, and just have some personal time away from everyone.  It’s amazing what 20-30 minutes can do for you mentally (and physically).  When I came back I would feel more relaxed and I would see him playing with our children and feel so blessed that I had such a thoughtful husband.

Here is a suggestion for all of you couples out there who are struggling with this issue a little yourself.  Husbands, your wives are feeling bombarded with touch all day long, but usually it is the same body parts being poked and mashed.  Find out which body parts are being overly touched during the day.  It may be that she can’t seem to do any housework without the toddler wanting to grab onto her legs all day, or she can’t sit down without having someone constantly in her lap or grabbing on her arms trying to climb up.  Whatever parts are getting the brunt of the touches, avoid those areas for a while and concentrate on the others.  If she complains that she is tired of being touched on her torso area, then try giving her a scalp massage or running your fingers through her hair soothingly as she sits beside you to watch a tv show.  If she complains that her face and hair are constantly being touched and pulled by baby all day, then at night when you have some time, ask her to lie across your lap on the sofa while you massage the muscles in her legs or give her a foot rub.  Try to give attention to the parts of her body that aren’t already being touched 24/7.  Be gentle and soothing with your touches, so that she begins to welcome it.

As far as sex goes, you may want to try doing some things that are a little different.  You can use your hot breath on her neck and other areas without touching her.  You can use something unusual like a soft feather to arouse her.  You could have a night where the only thing you are allowed to touch her with is your tongue 🙂    (Oh, and of course you can reverse that too!)  You may find that this may be a good time to try using satin sheets at night.  They may be appealing and comfortable for your wife, after being touched all day.  Satin feels so nice on the skin.

Know that there is light at the end of this and that most of the time this issue resolves itself, as the children grow older.  That will happen all too fast, so try to be understanding with each other and make sure that you talk often.  As always, if any of you women have walked through this yourself, please leave any advice or words of encouragement for this couple and others, in the comment section.

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