Touching makes a difference in marriage – Get back in touch with your spouse!
We can get out of the habit of touching. Maybe you have small children who fill your arms all day (and night)? Don’t forget your spouse! Your husband or wife still needs your loving touch no matter how long you’ve been married.
Lots of opportunities…
Sight is found in one body part – the eyes. And hearing, taste, and smell are each attached to a specific part of the body.
But the ability to feel – our sense of touch – is found on every square inch of a healthy body.
David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins
Surprised? No, I didn’t think so. You know how rich the sense of touch is.
You’ve run your fingers through your spouse’s hair or tickled her/him or traced eyebrows with a gentle finger. You’ve wrapped your arms around your spouse and hugged till they squeaked.
Touching has many hues – just like color.
Every nerve ending in our skin has the ability to feel. In another study in 2006, the participants were able to decode emotions from a single touch on the forearm, all while blindfolded. They were able to detect anger, fear, love, gratitude and sympathy from a simple touch.
Touch Your Spouse Today
Make it into a game. Take 10 coins and put them in one pocket. Each time you touch your spouse, transfer one coin to the other pocket till the first is empty and this way you’ll be sure you’ve touched your spouse at least ten times that day!
In what way does your spouse like to be touched? (Before you get to those intimate touches ;-) )
Feel free. By the time you’ve reached the mid-marriage stage, you’ve tried lots of things and collected many items that match hobbies in which you’re no longer active. Now what? Here’s our experience… Click below to WATCH!
Blue Ocean Strategy Quadrants – Feel Free
Maybe make your own list of things in four quadrants… What would you list toward making you and your spouse feel free? Just pull out a piece of paper and begin!
Do More – What will you do more of?
Do Less – What will you do less of?
Start Doing – What will you start doing?
Stop Doing – What will you stop doing?
Be liberal here. It’s just words on a piece of paper. Imagine what letting go of some of these hobbies or activities might feel like. Are they still relevant in the life you’re leading now? What about all the stuff that you’ve collected that are in boxes or containers, or leaning against the wall in the garage? Would it feel good to do some yes/no decision making?
You’re not the people you were 10 or 20 years ago… Just sayin’. 😉
No Guilt – Feel Free
Robert spoke of the term “sunk cost”, and how we need to look at the money we’ve already spent to purchase items associated with hobbies as a sunk cost. It’s been spent. Move on.
In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs (also known as retrospective costs) are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken. – from Wikipedia
There’s no need to feel guilt about these items if you choose to stop doing something. Perhaps you can sell some items (see this post on how to downsize) or give them away so others can make use of your items from past hobbies. You’re not doing yourself any good by hanging onto things which don’t serve you well in this season!
The nicest part of stopping doing something, and letting go of the items associated with it, is the sense of freedom that action provokes. There’s a lightness, a release, and a satisfaction to calling something “done”.
Are you dragging? Maybe it’s time to reduce the friction and resistance! 😉
One caveat about neatness:
Make it about caring not control!Robert wrote a post from his perspective during our series on Values in Marriage.
Being neat reduces the friction and resistance in marriage.
As we mentioned in our 9th mid-marriage video, Robert is the neat one in our relationship. Me? Not so much! However, I have improved because of the two suggestions in our video.
Moving is good for one (of many) things: it forces you to look at all you own.
Each time we moved – from Canada to Texas, and from Texas to North Carolina and finally into an RV – we had to assess each item and decide if it still fit into our lives. Most times the answer was a resounding “Nope.”
Have you faced a move recently? How much did you choose to donate, sell and/or throw away?
Ways to Reduce Friction and Resistance
Maybe you don’t need to wait till a move? Maybe you could begin this process now?
#1 Donate – Toss – Sell
This is exactly as it sounds. Take three bags or boxes and walk through your house, choosing things to donate, toss in the garbage or sell. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just begin.
When and what should you sell or donate? The obvious answer is to sell stuff to make some money if you’re not using it. However, it’s not always that obvious… the same is true for when and what to donate! Here are ideas from the “Get Organized Wizard”:
When you’re decluttering, only allocate something to the ‘Sell’ pile if:
1. It’s worth more than it would cost to organize the sale (list online, hold a garage sale, etc), and
2. You can be bothered to do the work to organize the sale.
The second point is crucial. If you know you’re unlikely to ever get around to doing what’s needed to sell your items, then save yourself time and guilt and don’t tell yourself you’ll sell.
Only allocate something to the ‘Donate’ pile if:
It’s in good condition and/or
It’s sell-worthy, but you can’t be bothered to sell it.
We did sell some items but donated quite a bit when we moved out of the house. It was easier to live in 282 square feet without that friction and resistance!
#2 – the habit of tidying up each day
I found “The FlyLady” many years ago. (It might even have been before we moved to the United States. Wow – that was in 2000.) She had created a system to make it a process to keep your space tidy. I found it easier to homeschool because she was all about small steps, and daily actions. Her ideas really helped me, so I thought I’d share… these are only three of many ideas.
Shine your sink – this is your first task as a FlyBaby, and also the foundation of FlyLady. It all begins with a shiny sink!
Getting dressed to shoes – FlyLady believes that you feel and act differently when you are completely dressed with shoes on your feet, even if you’re not leaving the house. It makes you feel ready to go!
Declutter 15 minutes a day– FlyLady’s principle is that anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. Just set a timer and declutter something for 15 minutes, and then stop when the timer goes off!
Her foundational system is through an email a day which costs nothing. If you’d prefer, there’s an app, but that has a monthly cost. Look through her site, and try the emails for a week or so. You might be surprised.
When should you reduce the friction and resistance in your life?
Again, this might seem obvious. Maybe it’s not. Think about it…
Perhaps you haven’t truly considered why you’re feeling annoyed with your space or your spouse.
You may not need a larger house. Or a different spouse! 😉
Maybe all you need is to cut out some of the drag resulting from too much stuff! (Just a thought.)
When your Values drive experiences, you’re on the right track.
We are all different, aren’t we? Unique identities with diverse upbringing, all coming together. There’s every chance you’ll share life with people who, outwardly, are quite dissimilar compared to you – and it might even be in your own marriage! 😉
So how do you find things to do together that you’ll both enjoy – even if you’re so different?
Choose to do things which you both value and let your Values drive experiences.
Mapping your experiences to your Values
If you know what you value as a couple, you can come together so both will enjoy (most) any activity. It’s all in how you frame the experience.
How does that happen?
It’s not about both of you needing to love a specific activity – like running, or opera or learning a new language or enjoying restaurants, fishing, or renovating your home… it’s what the activity represents to you. What do you value about the activity?
Consider these Values:
Each of these Values (and many more – I just chose five) could be found in all five of activities above. It’s not about the activity. It’s about the Values that show up in the activity! When your Values drive experiences it’ll show up.
Husbands and wives who look deeply into their likes and dislikes – what they value and what they don’t value – can come to enjoy (almost) any acitivity together. Really! They just need to understand their own, differentiating Values!
How it works for us when Values drive experiences…
When we were invited to a new restaurant in Raleigh for a complimentary meal, we didn’t know what to expect. Their website says
Rob and I talked a bit about the opportunity, and we had a sense that it might map to our own differentiating Values as couple. We love to discover new things, so having a new menu every season seemed like it would fit our 3rd Differentiating Value of Discovery. Values drive experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh!
There are over forty Seasons52 throughtout the USA, and are a division of Darden which also owns Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, etc. The General Manager has worked with Seasons52 for more than seven years, and has opened locations around the country.
When we asked for one word to describe the restaurant, the sales manager. Cam, said, “Fresh”. It was fun to find out later that their Values as a restaurant are mapped to the acronym “FRESHNESS”
Values in Action
Rob and I delight to find companies where people are living the Values the company states. (Not just as a static plaque on the wall.) This was true in our experience at Seasons52 in Raleigh at Crabtree Valley Mall where the team lets their values drive experiences.
So… what happened? (Yeah – you’re wondering, right?)
Friendly & Responsive: We were warmly greeted at the front of the restaurant, and seated immediately. I’m a larger person, (I like to say that I’m a “person of size” 😉 ) so seating can be a challenge in some restaurants. Where they seated us was perfect for me! We were at a half booth – Rob had a chair, which he prefers, and I sat on the bench. The table shifted to make me comfortable!
Effortless Service and Hospitality: I can image that someone with a disability would be right at home with many choices of where and how to sit. There weren’t any stairs and the doorways and ailses were wide. Even the bathrooms included a “family” bathroom along with a Mens and Ladies option with easy access for everyone. The manager explained that this new restaurant has a unique decor with different seating options in comparison to other Seasons52 which have mostly standalone tables and chairs. It felt intimate and comfortable, yet upscale.
To the right side of the restaurant was the bar and booths. Seasons52 carries a plethora of wine from which to choose, and more than 30 local spirits and a great variety of craft beer options. To the left (where we sat) were tables, and chairs, booths and half booths, along with two private dining rooms/areas.
Yes. There’s the option of two private rooms available for groups which can be configured as needed. One of them has AV equipment hidden in the cabinets if needed for meetings. I’m going to be thrilled to recommend Seasons52 in Raleigh for anyone needing a board meeting venue, or wedding shower, anniversary or special birthday!
But, it wasn’t just the ambience and comfort that impressed us – it was the food also…
Because the food was ah-mazing!
Fresh. Unique. New each season. The food was served and displayed with care. When we sat down, our server was so helpful. She explained the menu and options in detail, and answered any questions we had.
We started our adventure as Executive Chef Bryan Florence came to our table with a little amuse-bouche (single serving appetizer) of lobster with a bed of handmade guacamole, and other delectable ingredients. So pretty! (I must admit we weren’t sure we if we should eat it off the spoon… or use our fork… or… now there’s something to research). There was even a tiny little triangle wedge of lime. (Another Value: Detailed)
Next, Haley, our server, brought us one of Seasons52 Flatbread options: All Natural Pepperoni with roasted Roma tomatoes, mozerella and basil pesto. This is one of Rob’s favorite combination of flavors. She couldn’t have chosen better. (Thanks Haley!)
It was huge! Rob and I started imagining that it would be a hoot to get together with a group of couples and order all the choices and share! Hmmmm… anyone game?
What happened next was extraordinary. It was a gift from Haley and Chef Bryan. Three servers came with plates and plates of food for us to try, including an asparagus soup that Rob had his eye on…
Carmelized Sea Scallops on a bed of lemon rissoto, english peas & roasted asparagus.
CRISPY BRAISED SHORT RIB SANDWICH
aged cheddar, pickled red onion, horseradish crema, au jus dip
This handheld sandwich that you dip into the au jus (broth) surprised Rob greatly – he admitted that he would never order this by himself. (mostly becuase he thinks/thought he didn’t like horseradish). Yet this was one of his favorite of all the food we ate!
And you could have rolled us out of the restaurant! WOW!
We didn’t eat the rest of the day. What an experience!
Make Seasons52 work for you…
You might think you don’t like seafood (or some other food) – our experience at this restaurant has demonstrated we need to encourage you to TRY it! Try seafood or your “I don’t like..” in a combination with something else – the Chef and his helpers are experts at making the sum of the grouping of ingredients into a special experience. Trust them. Being in the middle of marriage you can get stuck… try something new and fresh!
You might think this kind of meal is beyond your budget. Lunchtime is a good option. Or try Happy Hour from 4-6:30 Mondays to Thursday. The selection of small plates for $5 each will be a delight you can afford. Fast food does not need to be your only choice on a budget! The middle of marriage has lots of costs – your kids are growing up, you want to do things for them – but you and your spouse are important too! Make time for each other, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Celebrate the good stuff in your life. Here’s a place to celebrate.
You might think you’ll feel out of place in this environment. The team at Seasons52 in Raleigh are kind people and they’re going to welcome you. They’ll make your dining adventure something to talk about for a long, long time! Take photos. It’s important to have good memories to talk about and this will be one.
Can you relate with any of Seasons52’s Values?
FRESHNESS: Friendly – Responsive – Effortless – Service – Hospitality – New – Every – Single – Shift!
What would you try that you’ve never had before… Check their menu HERE and leave a comment! 🙂
Full Disclosure – we were given this complimentary experience with the understanding that I’d share our experience with you.
Have you made time to “recharge” – gather energy – lately? What about supporting your spouse if they need to recharge? We talk about how introverts need to recharge in the 7th mid-marriage encouragement video…
Time to Recharge
Susan Cain – who we referenced in this 7th mid-marriage video – has a website called the Quiet Revolution, corresponding to her book, “Quiet“.
You can find her TED-talk video on her website. And she also has a quiz/assessment to give you insight into whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert.
It might be fun to find out – share your results in the comments!