Can Touching Stop a Divorce?

Can touching your spouse stop a divorce?

Researchers have begun to learn that physical contact can communicate even more emotion than nonverbal contact.

We’ve long known the benefits and detriments of nonverbal signals that display our emotions. Now we are learning that physical contact can almost immediately change how people think and behave.

Studies have shown:

  • Students who receive a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher are nearly twice as likely to volunteer in a class
  • Patients who receive a sympathetic touch from a doctor have the impression that the visit lasted twice as long as it did
  • Sports teams tend to perform more successfully when the players make physical contact with each other more frequently (i.e. high-fives, chest bumps, and hugs)

It is believed that physical contact reduces stress by releasing oxytocin (a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust) and by reducing levels of the hormone cortisol.

Many relationships end because of lack of intimacy. A successful marriage requires an ongoing demonstration of your love and appreciation for your spouse, which includes hugs, kisses, back rubs and other appropriate touching in public. Some spouses even have an agreement to physically touch during an argument, like holding hands, to remind themselves that they can love each other while disagreeing about something.

Physical contact keeps spouses feeling close together and in tune with each other. It reinforces the spoken word. Without physical contact, a spouse can feel shut out, ignored, or doubtful of the other spouse’s true feelings.

     Posted on October 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm | No comment

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