We've all been there.
You're driving down the road. Mid-Conversation.
And you see it.
You know it's coming.
There's nothing you can do about it.
The Dead Zone.
The area where, for some reason, cell phone service is banished from existence.
Your conversation comes to a screeching halt and you utter the words that, in this moment, are no longer just a commercial catchphrase but are the creed by which you live your life.
Can you hear me now?
And they can't. You're no longer on the line. You've been disconnected
This is a common occurrence in a few areas around our house, and it got us thinking. If we are regularly experiencing this situation with our cell phones, how often are we experiencing disconnection in our married lives?
Chaos. Schedules. Kids. Work. Holidays. All of this can cause us to begin to feel disconnected from our spouse, and we often find ourselves not knowing what to do to fix it.
The momentum of life has a way of driving how connected, or disconnected, we are.
For many of us, if one partner tries to initiate intimacy we may not even understand why we don't receive or reciprocate those advances. It is probably because we feel disconnected from our spouse.
What if we had a natural, consistent flow of affection with our spouse? Might intimacy simply become a by-product of that flow?
In our marriage, we have tried to live in a pattern of All Day Affection.
There are studies on the importance of physical touch, but we want to look at other ways of showing affection outside of physical contact. Please remember that there is grace upon grace in these suggestions. We don't always succeed at these, and there is no condemnation for skipping, forgetting, or even being too busy to focus on showing this All Day Affection.
Based our schedules we have found that the typical lunch hour is a good time for a phone call to check in and hear how each other's days are going so far. We know how to pray for each other, what each other are facing in our day, and what to celebrate with each other.
The Little Things
We have found that little things often make big impact when done with intentionality and purpose. When we are going somewhere it gives a lot towards re-connection when we hold hands instead of just walking, or riding in the car, together. When you can share a small moment of physical touch, a pat on the back, a peck on the cheek, etc. Speak kindly to each other. Greet each other with a kiss when you come home or leave each other. Show little moments of affection throughout your day!
No Strings Attached
If there is one automatic "disconnector" when it comes to affection, it is when one spouse can sense an underlying goal in the other person's affection. If you know that the only reason your spouse is being kind, holding your hand, helping clean the kitchen, or anything else is to get something from you, you're way less likely to receive that affection and let it create connection in your relationship.
"Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring one another."
If you will live a life centered on a flow of all day affection, you will see intimacy increase as an overflow of your connection.
There was a study done of old baseball cards, specifically the faces of the men on the cards. Through this study they found that those who had a very serious, staunch face in their photo had an average life-span of 72.9 years. In contrast, those who had big smiles in their photos lived an average of 80 years. Is a smile worth almost 7 more years to your life? Yes! A smile is contagious. It shows affection, it is tender, it is caring. We once challenged ourselves to walk by and smile at people in the airport. We were met with some funny looks, judgmental glares, and confused faces but we were happy to share our joy with those we crossed paths with.
We think it goes a long way to speak life over our spouses. Easy statements like "You can do it!", "I believe in you!", or "You go rest, you deserve it." are great ways to show affection to your spouse. The way that we speak to one another is important. We should be genuine in our concern for what they have experienced in their day. Ask your spouse, "How was your day today?" AND MEAN IT!
Affection is infectious.
It is contagious.
Learn to have all day affection in your relationship.
It will infect your marriage with greatness.