Physical affection can be the first thing that fades as the years wear on and the reality of a lifelong commitment sets in. Deep kissing and passionate displays of affection seem to come so easily and frequently in the beginning when the fires burn bright for your new love. But after the honeymoon is over, crying kids, overdue bills, fix-it lists and visiting in-laws can leave kissing, hugging, cuddling and other important displays of affection last on the list.
Don't leave these seemingly little things out of your daily routine. They are vitally important to keeping your marriage emotionally fulfilling and your union deeply bonded. Letting these things lapse may not look like a big deal at the outset, but it's the open door to disconnecting on a much deeper level. Making a point to share space and time, even for a moment, helps reconnect what may have been lost and keep the connections you two have built.
If you and your spouse ever end up in the marriage counselor's office, there is a good chance the question of intercourse frequency will come up. But a close second will be, "How often do you kiss, hug and spend quality time together?" These two questions are linked and represent the same issues: intimacy and connection.
A kiss a day
Kissing is fun! Whether it's a peck on the cheek, a quick smooch before leaving for work or a flirty kiss on the head, find the time to kiss your spouse every day; even when you two are fighting. Especially when you two are fighting! "Kiss and make up" is no passing phrase. There is truth in the act of releasing anger and hurt when you close your eyes, come chest-to-chest and heart-to-heart, and breathe in your partner's breath before touching your lips together in a very intimate act of love.
A hug a day
Hugging your lover every day is just as important as kissing. Hugs can be quick side-squeezing good-byes, long chest-to-chest back rubbing, deep-breathing experiences or playful back-to-chest, hand-holding, scene-watching outlooks on a beautiful view. Whether you're late for work, watching TV, doing laundry or washing dishes, random hugs can really brighten your love's day and spice up your marriage.
A cuddle a day
Cuddling requires time and undivided attention; something often lacking in the latter years of marriage. When the person you've developed some deep resentment for and built an emotional wall against puts his arms around you in a lasting embrace, it can feel uncomfortable; even downright confining and disrespectful. But allow it. Initiate it. Cuddling means you can share each other's space for a long period of time and be completely present with each other. You can listen to each other's heartbeats and coordinate your breaths. He can whisper in your ear, and you can feel his voice vibrate in his chest. These meaningful moments get lost when you glide past each other day in and day out without stopping, like two ships in the night.
Human bonds are based heavily on proximity and physical touch. Kissing, hugging and cuddling feel good; and doing things that feel good releases chemicals in your brain that tell you you are comfortable, safe, happy and even joyous. This strengthens the bonds you have with the person closest to you. It is a cycle that can be easily broken without showing physical affection regularly.
When you kiss you feel good and bonded. When you feel good and bonded, you kiss more. So kiss, hug and cuddle even when you feel disconnected, hurt or angry. It will remind you of how good it can feel when you are not. It will help you move past those feelings and back into love.