A Tender Touch

I got this from the library of emails from Dr. Gary Chapman, author of  Five Love Languages.  This is the one I need a lot of work on, so I thought I would pass it on in case there are other “SpicyNutmegs” out there needing help with this language….

Keeping emotional love alive in a marriage makes life much more enjoyable. How do we keep love alive after the “in-love” emotions have evaporated? I believe it is by learning to speak each other’s “love language.” This week we will focus on physical touch.

For some husbands, when they hear the words physical touch, they immediately think of sex. But sexual intercourse is only one of the dialects of this love language. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, back rubs, or an arm around the shoulder are all ways of expressing love by physical touch.

Physical touch can make or break a marital relationship. Do you know how to speak this love language? To the spouse whose primary love language is physical touch, nothing is more important than your tender touches. You may give them words of affirmation or gifts, but nothing communicates love like physical touch.

Touches may be explicit and call for your full attention, such as a back rub or sexual foreplay. They can be implicit and require only a moment, such as putting your hand on his shoulder as you pour a cup of coffee. Once you discover that physical touch is the primary love language of your spouse, you are limited only by your imagination. Kiss when you get in the car. It may greatly enhance your travels. Give a hug before you go shopping. You may hear less griping when you return. Remember, you are learning to speak a new language.

When you reach out with tender touch, you create emotional closeness. This is especially true if the primary love language of your spouse is physical touch. You may say, “What if I’m just not a toucher? I didn’t grow up in a touchy-feely family.” The good news is that you can learn to speak this love language. It can begin with a pat on the back, or putting your hand on their leg as you sit together on the couch.

Almost instinctively in a time of crisis, we hug one another. Why? During these times, we need to feel loved more than anything. All marriages will experience crises. Disappointments are a part of life. The most important thing you can do for your wife in a time of crisis is to love her. If her primary love language is physical touch, nothing is more important than holding her as she cries. Your words may mean little, but your physical touch will communicate that you care. In a time of crisis, a hug is worth more than a thousand words. Physical touch is a powerful love language.


  1. My husband’s love language is physical touch actually and I do find it hard to speak his language as I am not a touchy person myself but I always remind myself that I need to. He goes to great lengths to speak my love language of quality time and receiving gifts. He is amazing actually. So why would I not make more effort to speak his? It is amazing what a little head rub or cuddles can do for your husband. It will def brighten up their day or help them sleep better at night. 🙂 touch away ladies!

  2. Needed this reminder. I love the idea of just finding excuses to touch him.

  3. What if you’re the touch one and it’s his least expressive love?? That’s where I find myself, and it gets depressing. If he does even just a little bit here and there, I’m so much better off. I think he might equate touch w wanting sex, maybe?? Even when we’re in the car and I go to hold his hand, I have to turn his hand to get him to hold mine about 1/3-1/2 of the time.

  4. I’m in the same position, where my primary love language is physical touch and that’s far from my hubbie’s. Communication is key in that. And reminders. My husband needed me to clarify exactly what I meant by physical touch, I was clear that it was more than just sexual and I gave him examples. He needs a lot of reminders. I think a lot of men do – they’ve got a lot on their mind trying to be the head of a family. My husband is getting better over time. He’s still not perfect, but he’s trying.

    I suggest just communicating with your husband exactly what you need, how often you need it, and when he does something good, give him feedback. “it made me feel so loved when you kissed me at that stoplight.” “thank you for holding my hand at the movie theatre. It was very sweet. I really liked it.”
    This will encourage him to do it more often. Also it helps if you do make suggestions, even unspoken ones like turning his hand over so he can hold yours or grabbing his arm and putting it around your shoulders or putting his hand on your leg.
    And be patient. Patience is key. He won’t figure it out overnight.

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