Marriage

Still Holding Hands

June 29, 2010

I’ve always held my husband’s hand (well almost always, except when I am mad at him).  It is just a habit that I did not consciously plan.  I do it because I love him.  But after a recent conversation with my grown daughter I discovered that holding hands is an accidental habit that has far reaching benefits.

My daughter’s boyfriend noticed (read her take below) and commented that he thought it was wonderful that my husband and I were still in love.  He said he could tell because we were still affectionate.  Then I noticed kids “in love” (I use that term loosely) hang all over each other.  Newlyweds hang all over each other.  But a lot of married couples my age don’t.  When does it stop?  Perhaps you stop being affectionate at the age of 40 or after kids or 15 years of marriage.  I am sure every couple is different and their reasons for diminished affection equally different.

But I hate to think that younger adults look at marriage as the end of love and affection.  So now when I hold his hand I get the extra pleasure of knowing that I am sending a message to him and to our children that I love him and I always will (even when I’m mad at him)!

From My Daughter Megan

As I have gotten older and have begun a relationship of my own, I have noticed how I always want to be near the person I am dating. I don’t know if it is the newness of the relationship or the fact that I am still young.  I love to hold his hand and just be around him. However, I am terrified of losing that desire if and when we get married.

I guess, until now, I never really thought about the hard work a married couple goes through to keep the spark burning that first brought them together.

I realized I had never noticed because my parents have always been affectionate toward each other.  They have been married 21 years now, and even though they are definitely not perfect, they work at still being in love with each other.

As my boyfriend got to know my parents, he pointed out to me that they still seem to like and, more importantly, love each other.  I asked him why he thought that.  He responded with examples:

They still hold hands in the car, they still slow dance in the kitchen to Frank Sinatra, my dad still does push-ups in front of my mom to try to impress her, my mom still gets excited when my dad compliments her on how she looks…

I was suddenly aware of other relationships, old and young.  Why was it that some couples don’t even speak to each other or show any affection to each other? Is marriage just a path to a routine relationship instead of one filled with love and affection?

It is so important for children to see what a good marriage can look like.  Even though my parents don’t always get along, and sometimes get frustrated with each other’s annoying quirks, I know they still love each other because they constantly show me and each other. (Warning: Parents, this does not mean to make out in front of your children because that is just awkward and embarrassing.)

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  • Cindy

    As my kids get into their teen years especially, I notice them “noticing” interactions between my husband and myself more and more critically. Whereas before they just took for granted that my husband and I would hold hands or kiss (or they would try to insert themselves between us!), now I find them watching us from behind their books, iPods, homework, etc. This makes me realize how important it is TO THEM that they see us showing natural affection on and off throughout the day. It’s a great reminder to keep doing something that is not only important to them as they form opinions about healthy relationships, but is fun too!