Why You Need to Man Up and Show Her Some Affection

It’s not uncommon to find couples that are dating to be holding hands, hugging or even just being close. I can remember many times walking down the Mall walkway and seeing young couples all over each other. Or even being out at dinner with my wife and seeing couples that are just having a little too much fun. We’ve all seen those couples…

What I failed to recognize as I looked at these couples was my relationship with my wife. At this point we had been married for about 4 years and we just didn’t act that way anymore. The chase was over. The mystery was fading and I figured our relationship was fine with or without me trying to hold her hand or put my arm around her.

It was true that some of the mystery was gone, but it was wrong of me to think that our relationship didn’t need some kind of affection anymore. Hear me out.

affection_middle_final(Photo by LightStock.com: Faith focused, Cheesy-Free Stock Photos)  

Practical Experiences

Think back with me for a few moments to when you were dating your wife. How often would you hold her hand while driving? How often would you move closer to her when you were at the movie theater? How often would you put you arm around her when sitting next to each other? I can honestly say I did all of these things while I was dating my wife. What about you?

What about more recently though?

As I mentioned above, it was about 4 years into our marriage that I stopped doing many of these affectionate things to my wife. Our marriage was already crumbling, so why would I want to do something nice for her? Why would I want to hold her hand if she didn’t do certain things for me? Why would I want to pull her in close? I was looking at love in all the wrong ways. I was looking at myself and my needs, rather than her and her needs. I decided to make some changes and here’s a few reasons why:

1) She’s waiting for you to make a move

I’ve learned from my wife that there is no limit on how much affection I can show her. In a sense, her cup is always going dry and needs filling up. Even after a few years of marriage, even if there has been some turmoil in the marriage; she still wants you to make a move. So make it!


2) Your hand is better in her hand than in your lap

When I realized her need for affection, I started to pay attention to it a lot more. A quick example is when we’re driving in the car together. There were many times when I would think about holding her hand or resting my hand on her leg, but I wouldn’t make the move. I’ve come to learn that my hand does much better in her’s than just sitting on my own lap.

3) You may not have another chance

Just like I mentioned the issues of “time and routine” in a recent post, I’ll bring up the point again here. Time can play funny games with us and make us think that we have plenty of it. But if we look at time in a more mature way, we’ll come to realize that it’s short and it’s not always guaranteed. You may not have another chance to make the move and hold her hand or put your arm around her. So as I said, make your move!

What’s Holding You Back?

It’s a simple, yet necessary question to ask after stating some obvious points in the paragraphs above. What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from “making moves” on your wife again? What’s haulting your desire to show affection again?







I once had a long discussion with a couple that was experiencing this kind of issue. They had been married for 15+ years and the relationship was bruised and battered at this point. But in all of that, the wife’s request always stuck out to me. All she wanted was for him to show affection to her in public. She wanted him to embrace her around friends, to hold her hand when they walked into a crowded area or just put his arm around her when other friends were nearby. It might sound strange, but it was her cry and call for affection. It was the type of love that she needed from him and he wouldn’t do it. He just couldn’t understand why he would need to do that type of action for her. We didn’t accomplish a lot that night.

But now that you understand that mindset and idea, here are a few ideas I’ve come up with on what might be holding you back. Consider each point carefully and see if they are the things impacting your marriage.

  • Your piers around you: I believe there is some confusion when it comes to what is manly these days. It doesn’t consist of what you look like or how well you are dressed. But, instead, I feel there is great manliness expressed in how well a man treats his woman. When men are around other men, it can be hard to embrace your wife in an affectionate way and still feel like a man. I think that’s a lie culture feeds to us these days. I like to believe that embracing my wife around my friends is one of the strongest moves I can make in front of them. Don’t be intimidated, but rather set that standard. Show off to everyone that you’re proud of your wife and that, no matter where you are, she deserves to be treated well.
  • Your selfishness: It will blind your affectionate actions to your wife instantly. As soon as you feel the push to embrace her, you’ll automatically think about your needs and at what level she is meeting them. If you can assess quickly and find her to be up to par, then you might make a move. But if you find it to be the other way around, you clam up in selfishness and pull back on any type of move. Instead try to behave in a way that once you make a move, you open the door for her to have a desire to make a similar move for you later. Set the standard men, don’t wait for it.
  • Your Fear: There were many times I held back just out of useless fear. I’d know what she would want, but I wouldn’t do it. What if she didn’t like it? What if she pushed away from me? What if I do it this time and she expects it again? Right? I think I hit the nail on the head with that last one. Fear will keep you from showing affection that first time, but embracing or pushing past that fear will yield returned rewards that will make you WANT to do it again. Make a move and discover it for yourself!

Simple Ways to Take Action today!

With all of that said, or if you just scrolled down to this last section, my encouragement to you is to Man Up and Show Her Some Affection! And here are just a few examples for you to consider. Add some of your examples in the comments.

-The next time you go for a drive together, go for it and hold her hand.

-The next time you are at the movies or Church, go for it and put your arm around her (pull her close)

-The next time you are in a crowded area, keep her close as you guide and protect her.

-The next time you are having a dispute, grab her hand and ask her to pray with you.

Now it’s your turn. What are some simple ways that you show affection to your spouse?


  • Cameron Jones

    There is an attitude of some churches that there is to be no physical contact while at church. I speak from experience, my church is like this. Married couples do not speak to each other, touch each other or even sit next to each other, there is always at least half a metre between them. It’s quite demoralising as a young single guy to witness these ‘Christian’ marriages, it’s pathetic and it sometimes makes me feel like I will have to choose between a loving relationship and subsequent marriage, or my faith. This is not how God ordained marriage, and it’s about time churches lost the stigma that couples cannot be couples while at church.

    • Guest

      Thanks for this post Bryan! I’m definitely going to be upping the affection I show to my wife!

      • Amen and glad to hear!!

    • Cameron, thanks for sharing your heart on the topic.

      I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this type of attitude at Church before. I can certainly remember as a young man dating that there were rules against being too physical or close, but never as a married couple.

      What I would tell you is that this is not the norm for Churches. In reading your last line, it sounds like your concerns about your Church is your only experiences, but I would urge you to understand that not all Churches are this conservative. In fact, I would say the majority are not like this at all. With that said, don’t lose faith in God or the Church.

      How possible is it for you to attend another Church in your area? I think it would be beneficial for you to experience a Church that embraces marriage and teaches the true meanings. (If you are living at home though, I would be careful not to disobey your parents through this process.)

      • Cameron Jones

        Bryan, you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Attending another church is impossible. I tried a few weeks ago actually, just for one day, but that didn’t exactly go down well because, as you correctly guessed, I live at home.

        Unfortunately almost every church I have attended follows this. I get around a bit because I go to church conferences, and it’s the same everywhere. My father was ‘disciplined’ for holding hands with my mother at one stage (before I was born), and recently I saw a newly married couple in church before the service started and she had her head on his shoulder and someone asked me “Are they allowed to do that?”. It’s very sad.

        I don’t think older Christians, and churches in general, realise just how much damage they are doing. 1 Peter 5:3 says to set an example, well I can’t say the examples I’ve seen are exactly much to aspire to. The best way to describe my church experience is like an abusive relationship, it hurts like hell and tears you apart but it’s all you’ve every known and if you try to do anything there are too many adverse consequences to even bother so you just put up with it. And of course you can’t tell anyone that you hate going to church, because if you don’t enjoy going to church you mustn’t be saved, but if you tell an unbeliever then you’re pretty much condemning them to hell because there’s no way they’ll go near a church if they hear what I have to say, so you just keep it bottled up inside and slowly suffocate on your pain…

  • Patrick McAfee

    Thanks for the post Bryan! I’ll be definitely upping the amount of affection I show my wife!

    • Awesome brother! Keep it up!

  • John R. Carr

    Wow! Bryan thank you for saying this. I still hold my wife’s hand in private and in PUBLIC! I love holding onto her hand in PUBLIC as well as walking alone in the woods. And the joy of looking into her eyes. Perfect marriage, no, none is. Hugely blessed by this woman God gave me? YES! and I want to show it. I’m a little too old to act really flirtatious in public (or am I?)
    Men, make your move. And bring her just a few flowers for no “reason” at all, just love.

    • John, thank you for sharing your experiences! Your type of comment is what makes these articles even more impactful to other men. Keep loving your wife and setting a great example for other husbands around you!

  • rudy nunez

    Thank you Bryan for this post . Even though I all ready do this I still need to remember she still needs more. We love to hold hands and each others at church.

    • You bet brother! Glad to hear these are things you are already doing. Keep setting the example of a strong marriage!

  • Sam Beachy

    Bryan you definitely tugged a few strings with me on this post. My biggest hang up is fear. My wife is more outspoken than I am and tells me the way it is. So she is critical at times which in turn I think makes me think “what if she doesn’t like it?”, or like you mentioned “What if she pushed away from me?”. Why do I question it and what is there to fear? I cant figure out why I do this but if you have any more suggestions, send them my way. I can use some Manturity advice!

    • Hey Sam, thanks for sharing your heart on the topic.

      I can absolutely relate with you about fear. Many times I have felt the same way and just kept my affection or actions to myself. What you need to remember is that fear is your choice. When you feel the emotion of fear coming on, ask yourself where it might be coming from. Is it from you and your concern as to whether or not she’ll like what you’re doing? Is it just a clear lie from the enemy trying to keep you from having a more intimate relationship with your wife? Or is it things your wife has said to you in the past?

      If you feel it’s more related to the first two questions, I would push past your fear and seek to engage in the affection you wish to show your wife. If you feel your fear is more related to the last question, I would suggest you discuss this blog topic with your wife. Find out if she likes it when you give her affection or find out what kind of affection she likes best. You might also try out different things and gauge her reactions. If she responds to some things better than others, keep those going and drop the ones that didn’t work.

      Whatever you do, don’t give up! Keep pursuing your wife and loving her. Add your concerns to your daily prayer list and ask God for guidance and direction on your specific concerns. Praying for you brother!!

  • Dave

    I can relate to what your saying Bryan. I went the wrong way for a long time with my wife. Now doing what you said to do I am modeling Jesus to my wife. Good stuff!

    • Amen Dave! Good to hear and keep it up!

  • Travis

    Just got married a couple months ago and the struggle has proven to be real. Apparently, the affection that I showed before marriage has dissipated since we exchanged vows. My wife’s primary issue with me: random acts of affection. Hand-holding, kissing (private or public), hugging and sitting close in church are all things we do consistently — she confirms. Still, the affection does not seem to be enough. I need the big guns. Any other ways to show affection?

    • Myra

      Well there’s just straight out asking her what else you can do so she can feel loved, sometimes we make the mistake that the other person can read hints.

      Maybe it’s not just physical touch that she needs…everyone feels loved in different ways, and how Gary Chapman puts it, there are 5 love languages. Physical Touch, Words of affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Receiving Gifts. For example, when it comes to feeling loved, there’s nothing better than when my man comes home and kisses and hugs me or holds me close in public, or when he decides we should go out on a date without our son and have some one on one conversation about anything, so long as we’re focused on each other. My main love languages are physical touch and quality time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like hearing him compliment me or giving me a gift showing that he thought of me.
      I’d recommend the book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, there’s also the website couples can take a quiz to help determine your main love language. So you can both get to pleasing each other. Hope this was helpful. God bless