The Key to Marriage: The Happy Chemical

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

Cuddle to Connect by Pastor Dave Page // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

A marriage therapist recently shared a story with me about a wife who announced to her husband that she wanted a divorce. As a last ditch effort they went to the therapist for counseling. The therapist asked them to connect each day by touching each other for five minutes. This simple technique saved their marriage and with additional counseling, helped the relationship grow to a new level of intimacy. For many couples, it’s not so much that they’ve lost that loving feeling as much as they just stopped cuddling.

Remember when you first got married? You could hold each other for what seemed like forever talking about anything and everything? By the ten-year mark, only a third of couples still have cuddle talking sessions, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets Of Happily Married Women. He believes couples need to keep cuddling and so do I.

So here are 10 benefits of cuddling:


1. Cuddling connects couples.

Holding each other releases the bonding hormone, oxytocin, which I like to call the cuddle chemical. Oxytocin is a hormone that does everything from making you feel good to helping you feel connected to your spouse. Oxytocin is crucial in the act of cuddling.


2. Cuddling boosts your immune system.

When you’re so in love you feel invincible, you’re experiencing oxytocin release. Oxytocin also increases hormones that help fight infection.


3. Cuddling relieves pain.

Just as it boosts your immune system, cuddling and releasing oxytocin will decrease your pain levels.


4. Cuddling helps deepen your relationship.

Communication is important in relationships, but people often forget how effective and meaningful touch can be. Life is stressful. Try coming home from work and cuddling with your spouse for just five minutes a day. This brief break from the stress of everyday life, will not only give you all the other benefits listed here, but will also deepen your relationship.


5. Cuddling can lead to more.

Even non-erotic touch can release dopamine, which is a hormone that increases sexual desire. Getting a sweet hug or massage from your partner after a long day can lead to more, which is win-win for both of you!


6. Cuddling helps women bond.

Oxytocin not only inspires good feelings between couples, it also works for women and their babies. Oxytocin helps relax the mother, so that breastfeeding may come more easily. It also enables sleep, even when the mother might have difficulty sleeping with a newborn in the house.


7. Cuddling reduces social anxiety.

Oxytocin inspires positive thing. It helps you have an optimistic outlook on the world. When you get a hug as you arrive at a party where you only know one person, you’re going to feel happier and more social going in.


8. Cuddling reduces stress.

When you’re feeling more connected with your spouse and you’re feeling confident in social situations, your immune system is stronger … so what do you have to be stressed about?


9. Cuddling lowers your risk of heart disease.

Yep, oxytocin again! All the benefits listed above add together to reduce stress, anxiety, lower blood pressure and, you’ve got it, loweryour  risk of heart disease!

10. Cuddling makes you happy.

The closer you and your spouse are while you sleep, the more likely you are to feel happy with your relationship, according to a recent surveyat  the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Women often fault men saying they don’t like to cuddle and jump too quickly to sexual intercourse. According to the newest Kinsey Institute’s research, this isn’t usually the case. The research shows that among couples in committed relationships, tenderness may be more important to the man than the woman; regular kisses and cuddling lead to greater relationship satisfaction in men than in their partners, especially as they grow older.

Cuddling is so important that people will even pay for it. I’m not kidding. Jackie Samuels, from Rochester, New York, started a new business called Snuggery. For $60, Jackie cuddles with strangers for an hour. For $300, she spends the night, and to be clear, what she's doing, is strictly cuddling, hugging and hand-holding. Jackie claims her business yields tangible benefits. It’s been scientifically proven that human touch releases Oxytocin, a chemical that makes us happy.

The fact is, couples that cuddle stay together.

Written by a husband who loves to cuddle with his wife :)