Physical Affection and Attachment Do Matter to Marriage

Author Dr. Douglas E. Rosenau From A Celebration of Sex 4 years ago 7029

It is common knowledge that a baby needs to trust and attach to his caretakers in infancy, or he will have real difficulties bonding with other people in later years. Babies need to be touched, cuddled, petted, and paid attention to in order to bond. The idea of attachment of babies applies to adults and marriage too. A mate must let his or her walls and defenses down and let the partner into personal and private space. The first task is to become nondefensive and naked. Then we can learn to crave being near our partner and let the other fill up much of that need to be attached to another human being. Many marriages have never bonded because each partner is off in his or her own world or walled off, instead of attaching with physical affection to the sweetheart.

Physical affection is an important part of this ongoing process. Maybe you grew up in a home that was nondemonstrative, with little touching. Hugging, kissing, and holding hands don't come as natural to you as to your mate. Mates need to learn both the importance and the “how to” of touching. In a counseling session, I prescribed for one wife (who grew up in an “unattached” home) that every time she got within five feet of her husband, she had to go touch him.

Great romance and intimate connection don’t begin with sex. Feeling warmly attached through trust, commitment, and touch produces fun lovemaking. This is similar to the old adage that “embers reignite when placed in close proximity.” Can you remember how quickly a fire dies down when the embers are spread out? How quickly they flame up when pushed back together? Emotional and physical warmth and tender emotions with our partner are similarly reignited with physical closeness.

So, you want to “feel in love” and enjoy “gourmet” sex? Learn to keep your hands and body in close proximity to your mate—not sexually, but attending to and connecting. This does not mean you are joined at the hip or pawing at each other一rather, you are creating a God designed "one-flesh” bonding of your hearts and souls through physical touch.

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