Would you like to incorporate more warmth into your marriage? Here is a “divorce-proofing” exercise for you to try. I say divorce-proof because if you do this every day, chances are you will not be prone to accumulating contempt and resentment. A “Hug from the Heart,” is a great new habit to start.
The secrets of long-lasting, happy marriages include simple things that increase warmth in a relationship. And who does not want a more loving, connected relationship?
TRY THIS: AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE IN THE DAY, SPEND ONE MINUTE HUGGING YOUR PARTNER.
My friend Kristine James has been doing this for many years and highly recommends it. This is your opportunity to stop the world for just a minute while you embrace, taking in the feel of your partner. What a great way to start the day. One minute can seem long and if it is awkward, aim for 30 seconds at first.
You can hug horizontally in bed upon waking, but try to develop a habit of hugging after you’ve gotten ready for the day, before going your separate ways. After you’ve showered and gotten ready for the day, your paths might cross in the hall. What a perfect time for a smile and a hug. This is a hug from the heart.
Another option is to hug six times a day for six seconds. Sounds scientific. Should you time yourself? Authors Patricia Love and Steven Stosny say that if the first emotion of the day is a positive one, the next emotion is likely to be positive. They say that the less you touch, the more resentful and detached you can become. Frequent hugs keep serotonin levels high enough to ensure a calm feeling.
If you start every day with a hug and make it a habit, you will add warmth to your marriage and improve your physical, emotional and mental health. By making hugs a ritual, you will be less likely to carry resentment and anger into the next day. How can you be upset with your partner if you know you will be hugging each other for a minute each day? If you adopt this habit and find that you neglect or miss several days in a row, you will notice that things are not “right.” As soon as you notice a little distance, talk about it.
Consider a hug (or 6!) a day an insurance policy. You will insure against the possibility of drifting apart.
“Reciprocity is essential for the survival of a relationship.” -Willard F. Harley Jr.