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How Important Is Affection From Your Wife in a Marriage?

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Affectionate touch and language are important activities to share with your spouse, according to Amy Pike M.A. at Your Place for Marriage Counseling. Affection leads to intimacy and can progress to sexual activity for a woman. Affection and sexual intimacy are two different things, according to Dr. Willard Harley, Jr., in “His Needs, Her Needs.” When your wife no longer responds with affection, your marriage is in trouble!

Meaning of Affection

Affection demonstrates that you care about someone and that you are willing to be there for her, according to Harley in an article entitled, “Affection” on his Marriage Builder’s website. When your wife shows you affection, she is telling you that she cares about how you feel and is willing to be close to you. It demonstrates her bond with you. Lack of affection from your wife indicates that she feel alienated and unloved. If you want your wife to show you affection, you have to show her some, counsels Harley.

Need for Affection

One of the strongest needs a wife has is affection, according to Harley. It provides an atmosphere that makes her feel safe and appreciated. When you give her affection, she believes that you love her and care about her problems. Your affectionate touch, actions and words open the door to her heart and allow her to respond to you with passion. If you want sexual intimacy with your wife, you initiate that by treating her affectionately so that she responds with affection and is open to your sexual advances, writes Harley.

Affection Deficit Leads to Divorce

The marriages most likely to end in divorce are those where expressions of affection and love are lacking, according to research by Ted Huston, Ph.D., in his Processes of Adaptation in Intimate Relationships (PAIR) project as reported in a Psychology Today article entitled, “Will Your Marriage Last?” Huston followed 168 couples through 13 years of marriage and discovered that couples who were happiest long-term began the relationship with affectionate responses and maintained them. Loss of affectionate displays allowed conflict to grow and ultimately led to divorce or extreme marital dissatisfaction.

Rebooting Affection

If your wife is not as affection as she once was and the atmosphere at home is distant, you can make a difference by responding to your wife with affection. Send her flowers or cards for no reason. Text her a loving message that tells her you are thinking of her. Cuddle with her and share hugs, massage, caresses and kisses that do not have to end in sexual intimacy. It might take her a while to respond to your overtures, but your affectionate behavior can win her back and encourage her to respond with affection and sexual responses of her own, affirms Jimmy Evans in “The Importance of Non-Sexual Affection” on his Marriage Today website. She will feel more positive to you and your marriage will improve.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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