Do you remember the Dave Matthew’s song, “Everyday”? More importantly, do you remember the funny video that accompanied the song? There are several versions out there but they always depict a guy going around town, making it his mission to collect hugs. I think my husband really “gets” that guy. He’s very affectionate and often looks for a hug from me (or some kind of affection) nearly “everyday.”
Problem is, I’m not very affectionate. So this has been an issue to some degree or another all throughout my marriage (Yep, messiness galore!). I was raised in a family that rarely showed affection when I was growing up, so it’s been a struggle to develop this habit and mindset in my life and marriage. But since I don’t want to make excuses or be bound to my past, I’ve continued to try new ways to remind myself that my husband needs a loving touch.
Many of you may not struggle in this way, but most marriages without extra effort in the affection department tend to go the way of left-over pizza—ending up cold and stale! So here are some helpful tips that I’ve used over the years (yes, I’ve done and/or continue to do every one of these!) …
1. Write yourself a reminder – This can be in the form of a simple sticky note or a mention on your daily “to-do’s” or go more elaborate with a framed piece of art that conveys an affectionate message or encouragement. Whatever it takes to remind yourself to hug or kiss your spouse is worth the investment and reminder!
2. Enlist support – When you ask a same-sex friend to hold you accountable, you are more likely to remember to be affectionate, knowing your friend will be checking in with you regularly. And definitely ask your friend(s) to pray with and for you in this as well! Remember, “Where two or more are gathered …”
3. Be affectionate in other ways – My husband loves when I write him love notes. I used to write him long letters filled with humor and creativity. Nowadays I’m juggling a lot of plates, but a quick text to let him know I’m thinking of him can remind him of my love. Check out a post I wrote a while back, 5 Texts You Should Send Your Spouse for more ideas on “what” to write. Don’t forget, scheduling regular date nights is another way to show affection as well as providing a perfect environment to be affectionate.
4. Study affection – Jim Burn’s book, Creating and Intimate Marriage: Rekindle Romance through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement is a great place to begin your “studies.” His book is brimming with ideas on how to improve affection in your marriage, which in turn will increase your satisfaction in marriage. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
5. Go to counseling – Sometimes there are deep-seated issues that hinder individuals from being affectionate with a spouse. These won’t go away without careful examination and challenge. If you struggle greatly in this area, this might be where you should start!
What tips do you have for increasing affection?
Does affection come easy for you and/or your spouse or is it a challenge?
If you have the time, click on the link to enjoy a 4-minute remake of the original Dave Matthews “Everyday” video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x4MbSUkvis
Photo by Marina Aguiar
Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that reflects Christ’s redemption in your life.
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Optional but encouraged:
- Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
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