Tag Archives: touch

One For The Ladies

As you know, this is the HappierHusband blog. The focus generally narrows to how a husband can have a happier marriage by doing what it takes to make his wife happy, stop fighting, be the spiritual leader, ignore commonly held misconceptions and take responsibility.

I’m Not Completely Dense

Based on various interactions it’s become apparent that we have a high percentage of female readers. Hi ladies! So I decided to do a post that is just for the ladies. So guys, you can sit back and let this one go. Read it if you like, but perhaps you should just go see who is playing on ESPN.

A Quick Caveat

Alright, now that we’ve cleared the men out let me drop in this caveat. Depending on the primary love language of your husband the action step that will be presented later in this post may be a bit unusual for the two of you. In short, your mileage may vary and one size fits most. However the “most” will be a VERY high percentage (likely over 97%) so just give it a shot. Can’t hurt and it might help.

The Problem

Did you know that every man is trying to look manly? In the 70s it was called ‘macho’ but the result is the same. Men usually don’t care to look weak, but rather put forth the image that they can handle what whatever comes up without any outside influence. I call this the “I don’t need any stinking directions” problem. I could spend several blog posts hitting this from multiple areas but I’m going to focus on just one.

Related Cool Science Stuff

Have you ever heard of cortisol and oxytocin? Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland and plays an important part in many bodily functions. Glucose and blood pressure regulation, insulin management, the immune system and response to inflammation are all affected by cortisol. But cortisol has a bad reputation. It is known as the “stress hormone” because it is released when we are in real or perceived danger. It is part of our “fight or flight” reaction. In the right situations this is important and valuable. However our lives are filled with hurry and stress causing cortisol to be released far too often and to not be well controlled. Over time too much cortisol has extremely negative effects including decreases in muscle tissue and bone density, impaired thyroid function, lower mental performance, high blood pressure, lower immunity, decreased response to inflammation, slower healing of wounds and increased abdominal fat. Of course this can lead to issues with heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol and many other health problems.

More Related Cool Science Stuff

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain and secreted by the pituitary gland. In contrast to cortisol oxytocin plays a role in childbearing, breastfeeding, and behaviors such as trust, relaxation and mental stability. Oxytocin also has been shown to help men who are in monogamous relationships to remain faithful.

The bottom line is that we really need to decrease or control cortisol and increase brain produced oxytocin.

How Do We Make This Happen?

I’ll bet you’re wondering how the cool science is related. Also how to we pull off making more of the good stuff and control the bad. Get ready ladies. It’s free, simple, and you’ll love the answer.

Untapped Power

Have you ever noticed that after a hug from a friend you simply feel better? Do you wonder why people hug during times of grief or after returning from a period of absence? Of course there are the social standards that define these as important and appropriate times for physical contact. However they also allow for a physiological response designed by the Lord Himself. When you are involved in a welcome touch with a loved one your adrenal gland decreases cortisol release and your pituitary gland increases the release of oxytocin. In short, whether you are the person initiating the touch or the recipient your stress decreases and your relaxation increases. This has been proven in multiple studies.

Biblical Support

In Matthew 19:13 Jesus laid hands on the children. In Mark 5:23, Matthew 8:3 and Matthew 8:15 Jesus used His power to heal people through touch.

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. – Matthew 8:3

Repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments we are told to hold on to God, to hold His right hand, to not stop the laying on of hands. Why is this so important? Because God designed us to enjoy healing, comfort, strength and peace in the touch of another that we trust.

The Plan of Action

Thanks to the design of God science has now caught up with a simple fact: touch brings healing to the body, mind and soul. Holding hands, hugging, physical intimacy (within the bounds of marriage) and many other forms of touch have these same benefits. Physiological changes in the miraculous bodies that God created react in amazing ways to touches of love and kindness. Why did I say this post is for the ladies? It’s for a single reason. You are more likely to initiate this process than your husband. I’ll simply ask you this. At least three times per day embrace your husband. Not a perfunctory hug, but a deep hug, lasting several seconds. Take the time to snuggle in and allow your brain to change the chemical balance of your (and his) bloodstreams. Trust me; you can really feel it when it happens. Don’t let him get out of the hug too quickly; make sure he relaxes into it as well. If he balks just let him know you need to feel his touch. It’ll make him more than willing. The physical benefits of better health and potentially longer life can be realized by this simple change. You’ll both be happier for the rest of the day and maintaining this habit it can dramatically improve your overall feelings of peace, comfort, safety and love.

Love you all!



59 Seconds to More Joy

We do some deep posts here at HappierHusband. A few examples include What is Love Anyway? It’s All About You, The 2nd Law and The Most Common Mistake Many Couples Make. We also do some controversial posts such as The Problem with (some) Marriage Advice, 1 Most Common Marriage Killing Habit, Hard Work?, Why Christian Couples Get Divorced and Stop Fighting! Today’s post is not too deep and shouldn’t be controversial…but will increase your joy in 59 seconds or less.

This past weekend my lovely bride and I went on a driving trip to North Carolina…from Illinois. The trip was around 11 hours one way without stops. Four of us piled into an SUV around 8:00 pm Thursday night and drove all the way down to the Winston-Salem area through the mountains in the dark and rain. In case you are wondering we were checking out a company that has some VERY interesting research in a relevant problem for millions of people in the world. A different area than we have looked into before. Ok, back to the story. :-). We stayed there through Saturday afternoon, drove part of the way home Saturday (shout out to Barboursville, WV where we slept) then arrived home Sunday evening.

Due to stops and such total time in the vehicle was around 25 hours. Of that Sally and I were in the back seat together all but about 3 hours. We had a LOT of fun with the other two friends in the car, laughing, singing, keeping each other awake and learning things we probably shouldn’t know.

But one thing Sally and I didn’t do with all that back seat time.  We didn’t really talk a lot to just each other and we didn’t spend much time holding hands.

Monday night after supper Sally was in the kitchen when I walked through. Alas that was my intention, to simply walk through. But something stopped me and I took her in my arms and just held her. I really held her. After about 30 seconds I felt like it was time to let go…but I didn’t. I pushed past that feeling that was calling me to jump right back into the rush of the evening. Did we have things to do?  Yes. Did those things matter at that moment?  No. I said to her “We don’t do this often enough.”  She agreed and time stopped.

30 seconds was too short, but just a little longer made all the difference. My joy shot WAY up.  It changed my night!

Don’t take for granted that you are able to hug your spouse because someday that won’t be possible anymore. We all need to stop regularly and put in some conscious “hug time”.  It’s not about how long the embrace lasts, it’s about staying in the embrace long enough to get past the point where life is trying to pull you away.

Grab your girl (or guy for you lady readers) and slide into a smooth and gentle hug. Stay there. Don’t think about what you have to do. Don’t worry about the dishes, laundry, leaves that need to be raked or bills to pay. Just lean in, enjoy the warmth of their body, inhale the scent of her hair, breath slowly deeply and let everything else fall away.

His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.

-Song of Songs 2:6

Go and hug and don’t stop until your joy increases!

Love you all!