Hold Their Hand
Maybe the Beatles had something important for couples in conflict. They may not have known it, but nonetheless, it was an important message for couples in conflict. That message? “I want to hold your hand.” That’s right. Usually, we talk about improving verbal communication when it comes to conflict with our spouses. But the Beatles had a really good suggestion, improve nonverbal communication…hold hands. At least that’s the conclusion of a study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in April of 2020. Specifically, this study looked at the impact of holding hands on a married couple in conflict during and after their conflict.
During the conflict, this study showed that holding hands had a calming effect on men. It was also associated with an increase in positive affect (positive emotions and interactions) and a decrease in negative communication for both men and women.
After the conflict, holding hands led to a lower heart rate and an increase in positive emotions and interactions.
So, next time you find yourself bordering on a heated conversation or a conflict with your spouse, take a breath, reach out a hand, and sing an invitation: “I want to hold your hand.” Then, while holding hands, discuss the conflict at hand.