5 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Marriage

By Lori Ferguson on Monday, September 9, 2013

5 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Marriage

Earlier this year, my husband and I did something we’d desired for more than ten years. We got married -with me in a wedding dress, him in a tux, and in front of family, friends- without an Elvis impersonator officiating the ceremony.

In 2003, we eloped. Best. Decision. Ever. But we’d always said in our 10th year, we’d renew our vows and have a more traditional style ceremony. 

Several days after the event, the photographer called me and said something that blew my mind: “I just realized why you and Keith have remained so in tune all these years; so in love. It’s your hands.”

She mentioned how every time she took a candid shot of us, my hand was stroking the side of his cheek, his hand was caressing mine, our pinkies were intertwined even when our entire hands were not.

There was a gentleness in our embrace. Most wouldn’t even notice we were doing it, she said. But seeing that, changed her marriage – forever.

I thought back to that conversation when I read this post from our awesome HWC contributor, Lori Ferguson.  If there is one thing almost every couple could use to boost their love and intimacy, it’s this.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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A hand is more than 4 fingers, a thumb, and a palm attached to a wrist. A hand - your hands – have the ability to show love to your husband. Your fingers are 5 little things that make a huge difference in marriage.

What can you do with your hands?

  • write him or text him a love note
  • soothe the worries from his forehead or the sides of his mouth
  • feed him bits and bites of his favorites
  • caress (ah yes, that includes where your mind took you)
  • hold, clasp, touch, his hands

Holding hands is important.

A while ago my husband and I interviewed a couple married 53 years. They had 6 grown children, and lots of grandchildren. But that wasn’t what stood out. They were a really nice couple – hard working and kind. Wonderful – but none of that made a huge impression. You know what sticks in my mind to this day?

They held hands – all the time! In church they held hands. (My husband preached at their church ever so often and told me they held hands all through the service.) While they spoke with their friends, they held hands. All through our interview their hands were clasped, resting on his thigh. When they walked together her arm was through his, and they held hands.

Imagine. 53 years holding the same person’s hands… through every event life brings. Nice picture, huh?

5 Ways to Hold Hands

1. The old-fashioned, nothing fancy, your hand in his. It’s wrapping your four fingers around his four fingers and snuggling them securely into the clasp a thumb provides. Did you know we humans are unique?  Not only because we have opposable thumbs, but because we can rotate our small and ring fingers across our palms to meet the thumb. Because of this “ulnar opposition” our hands have amazing grip, and torque ability. When times are tough – hold on tight to your spouse!

2. Start something good. While walking with clasped hands, use one finger to stroke his palm or the top of his thumb. When sitting, use both your hands to massage his hand and each finger. (It’s OK to take the massage a bit further.) Reach out and touch – if not now… then when?

3. Pinky swear.  Sometimes it’s hot – this hooking of littlest fingers is perfect. It’s fun. Playful. Swing your arms to add some breeze. Want some sizzle in your marriage? Hook him with your pinky!

 4. SOS Clutch. Send a message with Morse code – “short-long—short-short-” is the letter “L” in Morse code. Squeeze your husband’s hand to make a predetermined positive point. Signal your love with your hands.

5. Fingers entwined. You’re going all the way with this one – no hesitancy and sweaty palms are included! Fingers entangled, entwined, with the most surface covered – you and your husband are one. No matter what life brings – make sure you’re fully engaged with your spouse.

Reach Out

Touch is a gift. And when you’re holding your husband’s hand, you’re holding much more. Be gentle. Be kind. You’re also holding his heart in your hands.

Do you hold hands with your husband? Got a new way? Leave a comment!


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Lori Ferguson is a writer with a passion to encourage. She’s a Christ follower, wife of 30 years, and mom to grown kids. You can find her online at EncourageYourSpouse.com where she blogs somewhat regularly about encouragement in marriage. Lori and her husband work with couples who lead - in business, ministry & non-profit. Check out LeadershipCouples.com for more information.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comment Policy
  • Lori N Willa McClain

    Whenever I sit next to my boyfriend I lay my hand palm down on his thigh and he covers my hand with his and we interlock fingers.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Sounds like you guys are on the right track. :)

  • Christine Reyes

    My husband and I held hands through out our whole wedding ceremony last year and the photographer captured some close ups of us holding hands that I find really special.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      That must have been truly special.

  • Lizette

    Hubby is not a hand-holding kinda guy, but he gets a kick out of it when I reach out to hold his hand when I cross the street (makes him feel like my protector, which is awesome), or while watching TV, or lying in bed. He reciprocates by putting his hand on my lower back, which drives me ca-rayzee… He wins all the way!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Love the “ca-rayzee” – I could totally see your personality in that comment. Too cute!

  • Colleen

    He puts my thumb and pointer finger between his thumb and pointer finger and rubs the outside of my thumb. I’ve loved holding hands with this man for 20 years!!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Woohoo! Wishing you another 20+ more!

    • http://www.encourageyourspouse.com/ Lori Ferguson

      Neat – that’s a new one – love it! (Isn’t it interesting that you get to know your spouse’s hands so well after that many years together? Rob’s hands are as familiar to me as my own. Hmmm.)

  • mei.ara

    one of our daily routine, before we leave the house, exactly after one step of the stair he will kiss my cheeks, my nose my lips then my forehead and since m pregnant now he also include kissing my tummy.. im blessed he is my husband

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Too cute! Congrats on the baby on the way. What an amazing gift.

  • Debbie Holden Murrain

    Wow I didn’t even realize, until I read this, but my husband and I hold hands all the time. I have even woke up in the night and found him holding my hand. It definitely makes me feel more connected to him.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Ditto here. Until the photographer mentioned it to me, I didn’t realize how much we held each other’s hands either. Guess it just comes natural after a while, huh?

  • Amy

    At some point almost every night in bed, under the pillows our hands meet :) Its my favorite time of night! ;)

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      That’s a beautiful picture. <3

  • Clare

    Ahhh, we hold hands a lot… at night, if we not cuddling directly, we always hold hands: the only time we ever go to sleep not touching in some way is when one of us has a fever.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      And I bet you’re happy as can be when that fever breaks! :)

  • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

    I was just reminded of another thing hubby and I do with our hands. Right after we had our morning coffee/tea together, Hubby came over to where I was sitting and outstretched both hands – one on top fo the other- and I did the same (putting one hand between his two and one beneath) and like a football or basketball team, we brought all four of our hands down together and then raised them at the same time while saying, “Goooooo Team Weaver!” That’s my favorite way to start the day.

    • http://www.encourageyourspouse.com/ Lori Ferguson

      So cool, Fawn. Lately we’ve been bumping knuckles… not sure where that came from.

      • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

        Ha! Us too. Whenever we have a big victory, it’s like our own congratulatory shake (but we’re too old to do those fancy hand things the young people do :) ).

  • Megan Torres

    I wrote my husband a note in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, so he would find it while he was getting ready for work. He loved it!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Nice!! My mother did that for years when we were young and her kids better not touch the lipstick! :)

  • Andrea W.

    Happy Monday!!! Hubbie & I hold hands even while he is driving!!! At 1st I thought it was somewhat odd, but now, I thoroughly enjoy it! But holding hands do not feel the same when I am driving! Hmmmm……. N-joy HIS day!!!!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Ditto here! Love riding in the car for this very reason :) .

      • http://www.encourageyourspouse.com/ Lori Ferguson

        I’m with ya both! We hold hands in the car too!

  • Donna Kintz

    My hubby always walks me on his arm at his side, makes me feel like he’s proud to keep me by his side. I really like that about him.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Oh, what a feeling!

  • Cassie

    My husbands love language is physical touch so we are always holding hands. I enjoy touching him just as much as he enjoys it!

    • http://www.encourageyourspouse.com/ Lori Ferguson

      Rob and I always hold hands too, Cassie – even when we watch TV or drive in the car together. It feels odd to be with him and NOT hold his hand! :-)

      • Cassie

        Is it one of yours or his love language? We are focusing on the 5 love languages for 90 days over at http://www.TrueAgape.com because we think it really does make a huge difference in marriages! We want others to find out about it if they are not familiar with it so we are giving 3 copies of the book away. We LOVE the 5 love languages!

        • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

          Not sure about Lori’s but it’s my love language. It’s funny because before we did the 5 Love Languages assessment, I would have bet money my husband’s love language was physical touch and was shocked to learn it was actually mine. His is words of affirmation and learning that has been a wonderful help.

          • Cassie

            It is odd how sometimes it is not what we originally thought! But that is why we think it is so important to learn and take the quiz!

  • Glenys Bell

    On our wedding day, my hubby was extremely overcome with emotions x my hand immediately went into his when I met him at the end of the asile x we rarely go anywhere now without holdin eachother’s hand x

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      That’s beautiful, Glenys.

  • RenzAlc

    This one is close to my heart. Ever since when we started dating, my husband never tires of holding my hand- walking, sitting down, watching movies, etc. He still reaches out to hold my hand every single time.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      So fortunate you are! :)

  • Dusty AndDon Shirley

    I recently married my childhood sweetheart and the greatest thing is we are always holding hands or caressing each others face something very lacking in my 1st marriage. The best part of my day is when he blows me a kiss as he is driving out of the driveway in the morning. Watching his hands fascinate me.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      I could absolutely picture this beautiful scene. What a lovely morning.

  • KK

    from our dating days, i have always been touched by the fact that my husband holds my hand EVERY chance he gets. always, every time we walk side by side, he reaches for my hand. in church, i reach for his because i am so thankful to have a husband who chooses to worship with me; sometimes, we even fall asleep holding hands. i have watched his mom & dad, who live next door, and they always hold hands, even if they’re just walking next door to our house. now, i get it…he had the perfect example. i treasure this very simple gesture

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Love this.