It had finally come. The day I looked at my husband after a long day and said the dreaded words – I am out of touch.
No, not out of touch with reality, although some days it can seem like that with two toddlers…
I’m out of physical touch.
The touch required to nurse the baby every few hours.
The touch required to change diapers, wipe bottoms, and rock babies to sleep.
The touch required to produce the children mentioned above.
I just physically did not want to be touched anymore. There was no particular circumstance or event that occurred that led me to feel this way that day. I think it was just an accumulation of so much physical touch that led me to nearly burst at the thought of even a finger stroke.
But I do distinctly remember the moment I felt like bursting. My husband had just arrived home from work. My shower did not come until 5 p.m. that day, and when I was getting dressed – it happened.
He touched me.
And not just any light touch.
A touch that signaled I hope this leads to more later.
Most would think, woohoo big deal. But for some reason, that day all I could say was ‘don’t touch me’. He immediately was taken aback and left the room. I sat on the edge of the bed and burst into tears. I hated feeling that way. I hated knowing I was rejecting love and affection from my husband.
I tear up now just thinking about it because it’s not what I intended or wanted. In fact, at that moment I probably could have used a genuine hug. Yes, a physical sign of understanding that involved touching. Something that didn’t make me feel like my body was no longer my own.
I obviously know my husband doesn’t mean to make me feel uncomfortable, but it had gotten to the point where every touch by someone else that was not asked for made me feel overrun. Kids touch without question or permission because they need us. Husbands touch out of affection and love for us, but often times it is not solicited.
Maybe you welcome touch with open arms, but for me, at that moment, it was all I could do to avoid locking myself in a closet to avoid the next encounter.
After this tearful, physical reminder I vowed to find a way to help myself not feel so burnt out at the end of the day. See – I want my marriage to come first. But often times that want falls short, and it gets put on the back burner. Without intentional actions on my end, I often run out of gas to fuel my marriage in the direction it should go.
So at the end of a long day where I can feel my body yearning for a moment of peace, I vow to do these things to help ensure I have enough touch left for the person that means the world to me.
1. I vow to do something for myself each evening.
Relax in a bath. Take a 10-minute nap. Go for a walk alone. Meditate. Simply whatever I feel like at that moment.
2. Communicate with my husband when I am feeling out of touch.
This signals to him that I need to do Step 1 before I would like to be touched by him. Knowing that I am communicating my feelings before they get blown out of proportion helps me not feel so guilty when I just need a minute.
3. Make sure I know that when we get into bed that all bets are off, and I am okay with being touched.
Whether that advances to something else or just a simple embrace as we drift to sleep. Understanding that our bed is a space meant to be embraced mentally prepares me for the physical act of being touched there.
I know it won’t always be like this. I know that in this season I am touched more times than I can possibly think to count throughout the day and that yes, in fact, I will miss this. But for now, I will put measures in place to make sure I am still filling my cup and ensuring I don’t run out of touch!
Have you ever felt like you were just touched-out at the end of the day? Have any tips for not letting yourself get to that point? We would love to hear them below!