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The Importance of Touch | Dr Chelom Leavitt #592

On the Regular version of today’s show …

Dr Chelom Leavitt joins me again on the show. Today we talk about the research she has found regarding the importance of touch in our lives, and relationships. 

Touch means lots of things – but both the non-sexual and the sexual touch are vitally important in our marriages. 

Learn more about Dr Leavitt here https://www.chelomleavitt.com/

On the Xtended version …

Chelom and I talk through the topic of how to talk about sex with your kids. 

Enjoy the show!

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Call/Text us at  214-702-9565

or email us at feedback@passionatelymarried.net

Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, passionatelymarried.net.

Corey Allan: Well, welcome to the show. I'm Dr. Corey Allan, alongside my wife, Pam.

Pam Allan: Hey.

Corey Allan: Each and every week we have in depth conversations, trying to help couples across the globe frame their conversations about what goes on behind their closed doors so that they can propel life and marriage forward, because we all face difficulties in life and in marriage. And it seems like if we can frame things better, we can find better paths forward. And elegant solutions can arrive, hopefully.

Pam Allan: Frame it better, look at it differently, be willing to change.

Corey Allan: So if you're new to the show, or you want a simple way to tell your friends about SMR, we highly recommend our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic, and they help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Go to passionatelymarried.net/starter or search for our show on the Spotify app.
If you've got some feedback for us about something we've missed or you want us to address or specifically cover for you in your marriage, send us a message by calling the show (214) 702-9565 or email us at sexymarriage... I've got to give the actual part of the address first before I give me a web website.

Pam Allan: That's helpful. That'd be great.

Corey Allan: You'd think after almost 11 years now, I'd know this email address.

Pam Allan: I think it's kind of inaudible, but-

Corey Allan: Feedback is sexymarriageradio.com is the inbox of how you can reach us. Coming up on today's regular free version, we're joined again by Dr. Chelom Leavitt.

Pam Allan: Special treat for us.

Corey Allan: Was once a lawyer, became a researcher, and has some valuable work that she's done.

Pam Allan: Yes, she does.

Corey Allan: And in the regular content today, we're talking about the importance of non-sexual touch and the bonding it creates and the connection that it can create. And Pam has some good takeaways from this conversation.

Pam Allan: Oh, yeah. And you're going to want to hear my takeaways, I'm sure.

Corey Allan: And on the extended content today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe it passionatelymarried.net/smracademy. She's got some work out there on how do you talk to your kids about sex and sexuality. And so we dive into how does she do that? How has she framed it? All that's coming up on today's show.
Well, it's a privilege to welcome back to the show, Dr. Chelom Leavitt. You were on before in the past, Chelom, on the whole world of sexual mindfulness. And then we even Schnarch geeked out a little bit on the differentiation versus attachment. So that's all in the archives, in the show notes.

Chelom Leavitt: Love it.

Corey Allan: But Dr. Chelom is a researcher, a fellow clinician, a fellow, I mean, there's a lot. But you've also got the lawyer.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, I'm actually not a clinician, although I do teach classes for couples, but it's more like just relationship education.

Corey Allan: Well, thank you for clarifying that.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah.

Corey Allan: But you're in the world of relationships.

Chelom Leavitt: Yep. Yep.

Corey Allan: I mean, I kind of blend all that together, I think, because I was thinking-

Chelom Leavitt: That is my world.

Corey Allan: ... Of what you do helps inform us clinicians. So, it's very beneficial. And it's great to have you back on the show.

Chelom Leavitt: Thank you.

Corey Allan: And you are always one, after I first was introduced to you virtually, and then had you on the show too, is I've kind of followed along with your research of what you have going on. And right before we started hitting record, you were telling me about the idea of non-sexual touch and the importance of it, so let's dive right in, because I think this is one of those things. I've got lots of questions. And I know I'm going to try to speak for the audience here, and we'll see if I can carry that weight.

Chelom Leavitt: Okay. Super. Yeah, well, it was just a whim that I even wrote this kind of public scholarship, this blog on non-sexual mindful touch. So just giving someone a thoughtful hug or an arm around their shoulder or just being affectionate in a non-sexual way. And I was just talking about ways that we could be more intentional about that and how that's really encouraging and comforting and an important part of being human. I introduced some research that was done a few years ago that actually shows that as a culture, as an American culture, we've become less and less connected with each other. In fact, we discourage touch. I think we're all so paranoid about crossing over a line or appearing to even cross over line.

Corey Allan: Right, I don't want to give any hint or anything that could be skewed as.

Chelom Leavitt: Exactly, so we've stepped back from it, and we've really lost something, right? So, we're longing to just be affirmed and physically affirmed with just a hello and a hug or even a warm arm around your shoulder. So many ways we can do this. And the response to this blog is what really shocked me, was within a few days I had 350,000 hits. And it surprised me and my editor at Psychology Today, and I've been thinking since then, why does this strike such a nerve with people? We're all experiencing it at some level.
And I learned from some people who emailed me about the article that there are groups, and they have cuddle buddies, right? Maybe they're singles. They're not in a relationship, but they can watch a movie together and just be close to one another. Just touch another person, right? And so there's just this importance of recognizing this need that we have for that, and then intentionally going about it and putting that not only into our lives, but into the lives of others.
You and I were just talking about teenagers and how they get a little prickly, right? At certain times of their life where they're trying to prove to us that they're independent and they can think for themselves, but they also physically pull away from us. And I have noticed as a parent, and I'm sure you have, it is so important for us to say, "Yeah, that's not going to happen. And I'm going to give you a big fat hug every day, and let you know that I physically care about your wellbeing as well."

Corey Allan: Right, that's so interesting because if you think about it, looking throughout history, and I don't... I'm just speculating because there would be markers, I would guess, that would show, okay, we need to watch ourself here. We need to watch ourself here. Oh, now. And that's kind of created this evolution of more and more distance among us as people, or less and less affection being shown.

Chelom Leavitt: Yes.

Corey Allan: Because it's construed, or some of them absolutely do cross the line. Let's just go ahead and get that out in the open.

Chelom Leavitt: Sure, yes. We don't want to do that.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. But there was an element of society from way back that rough and tumble play, hugging that would be, whoa, what are those kids doing? Oh, they're just playing. Right? It's actually nothing sexual. It's just an exploration.

Chelom Leavitt: That's right.

Corey Allan: And could it be bordering on sexual? Maybe, but it just, it's so weird, right?

Chelom Leavitt: Or maybe even not. We've become so sensitive, right? To calling everything sexual.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Chelom Leavitt: And that's a real problem. One research article that I tapped into with this blog was some research that was done over a number of cultures. And what it showed was that those cultures that were just naturally more affirming and physically affectionate with their children had far lower rates of violence from their adults. Right? So we're teaching something here that, "You matter to me, in fact, physically, you matter to me. I want to create that connection of hugging," just touching somebody's hand, putting your arm around them, being okay to put your hand on someone's knee when they're going through something tough and say, "I'm here for you. I hear what you're struggling with."
We are so much more distant, and create this space between us. We talk about this American space, right? That we have much more personal space than other cultures. And while that's fine, we also need to recognize the weaknesses of it.

Corey Allan: Right. Yeah, because you go further and further apart from each other. There is a consequence that comes with that, just like if you get closer and closer and closer to somebody. I mean, that's the whole world of separateness and togetherness, right? We all have thresholds of, it crosses a line of, okay, now we're getting some unintended consequences or some unexpected things that happen. I mean, look at societies across history, right? Of, "Oh, we'll implement this in a reaction to that," and then the unintended consequence becomes something else. And it's a different problem.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah. And I would say that one of those unintended consequences is that we're just less connected. Not just physically, but because we are creating a little more personal space, we're less connected emotionally, right? When we're not connecting physically just with these gentle, non-sexual touches, we are less in tune with the emotions of that person as well. And so, maybe I just don't tune into the fact that you're having a really bad day today. And had I not been in this habit of creating space and distance, I would've tuned into that. I would've seen, oh, you know what? There's not that sparkle in your eye. Or I just noticed your shoulders are slumping a little more or whatever it is. And so I don't tune into the deeper, more emotional connections that I could have.

Corey Allan: And is that then where the whole world of mindful non-sexual touch comes into play?

Chelom Leavitt: Yes.

Corey Allan: It's calming myself down to not just do rote exchanges or-

Chelom Leavitt: That's right.

Corey Allan: Or surface level connections only.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, and one thing that I really like, whenever we talk about mindfulness, we're talking about a number of aspects of our internal process. First of all, the biggest part is that we're talking about being aware, aware of what I'm feeling inside. And then as I can calm myself, I can be more aware of what's going on with people that I interact with.
But the other element of it is trying to eliminate judgment, right? So when I start feeling anxious or uptight, I might judge myself and say, "Oh, I always do this. I'm such a loser," whatever that is. Or I may do that about other people. I may pass off these judgments.
Well, the opposite of judgment is curiosity. Can I be curious? Why am I feeling that? Wonder about yourself a little bit. Why am I down today? Why am I a little afraid to make this connection with this person? Why is my partner acting cranky? What's going on in their internal world? Right? So, once I can start being curious about myself, my world, all sorts of things open up. And first of all, I remove that barrier of me versus my spouse or me versus my coworker. And instead I'm like, "Hey, let's investigate this a little. Let me figure out what's going on in your world."

Corey Allan: Yeah. Now a word from our sponsor, BetterHelp. So Pam, throughout the course of our marriage coming up on 30 years now, there have been several times that we would not be where we are without the help of good therapy.

Pam Allan: True that.

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Pam Allan: And we're a big fan of them too.

Corey Allan: We are a big fan. That's a better way to say it, isn't it?

Pam Allan: It goes both ways.

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This is that whole aspect of if I'm really wanting to connect with somebody, because I think there are some people that have more of that bent. Right? Okay, let me, I'm kind of wandering in my, I got lost in my own head for a second, because this is what just came into my mind too, is I had a conversation with Pam, my wife not too long ago. We're sitting at a concert with our kids, and I lean over, and I say, "You know what? I'm coming to the understanding or that there's a possibility I'm much more introverted than I've ever allowed myself to accept or believe."

Chelom Leavitt: Interesting.

Corey Allan: Because I've always thought of myself as an extrovert. I've always scored, Myers-Briggs test those kinds of things, as extroverted. And I took one, and I flipped to introverted.

Chelom Leavitt: Interesting.

Corey Allan: And I'm curious how much of that is societal, and pandemic, and element of life that the world has changed because there are dramastic, dramastic? Yes. See, I'm putting two words together.

Chelom Leavitt: That's a new word. I like that.

Corey Allan: Everybody knows what I'm talking about here, so it's a word. Let's go with it. But there are big changes that have happened to our world, to where here in Texas, when my wife and I go walking regularly, and it's not at all uncommon that when we come across somebody, we will not just pass each other on the sidewalk. We actually kind of give each other room.

Chelom Leavitt: That personal space is getting bigger and bigger.

Corey Allan: It's six feet or more. But it's just, and so I'm just curious because you think about there are some now that have a bent towards, yes, I want that touch, I want that affection, I want that connection. And you can see them when you're in a group of people. They're the ones that are walking around, hugging, jovial, arm around, nudging, those kinds of things. And then you got some that are like, "Don't touch me, don't touch me, don't touch me."
And neither one are necessarily right or wrong. It's just how do we find, as the trend has gone to where there can actually be connections that are, what you're saying is, are valuable for everybody. We're all longing for this to some degree.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah. Boy, you bring up so many interesting points, lots of things going through my head. First of all, the fact that the whole pandemic has kind of rewired our brains in some fine ways, but maybe some ways that we need to work to rewire it in a more healthy way. We have created bigger spaces, more distance between us. I think a lot of us have realized that if we were on the borderline of being an extrovert or an introvert, maybe we're switching a little. And we call that an ambivert, right? That I can maybe move between both depending on my internal state. I can be an extrovert if I'm feeling that way. But it's almost like, "Oh, how am I going to wake up today, an introvert or an extrovert?"
So, that's actually pretty normal, and we need to know that about ourselves so that we can still move in healthy directions, right?

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Chelom Leavitt: And then you brought up this idea that some people aren't the ones who are seeking out touch. Some are, right? And those are kind of the easy people because you can respond to them and kind of meet that need. But what about the person who's a little more standoffish? I would suggest that a lot of those still need that touch. They don't know how to ask for it. They feel uncomfortable maybe initially, but once it's offered in an authentic, comfortable way, it actually heals their soul, right? We need this more than we actually acknowledge we need it. Now, there are those, I have a daughter who's actually autistic. And so touch is really a big issue for her. She will let me hug her. She'll let me give her all that mommy love. But she's tolerating it. It's not that she wants. She's not longing for it.

Corey Allan: No. That's a good descriptor of, "She tolerates it," because I think there are some in the world that are absolutely that, right? They tolerate that. That's a societal expectation. It's a familial component of life.

Chelom Leavitt: Yes. Yes. So we have to know our people. We have to know what's going on in their life. And even with Eliza, my daughter, I'll ask her. I'll say, "Can I hug you? I just feel like you need a hug." And even if she really doesn't, I need to hug her. And so, she's really good with that. So yes, absolutely. We have to be careful in making sure there's consent, right? That we're making sure that we're not crossing a boundary that is doing harm or making someone feel overwhelmed by what we're doing.
But we do need to be aware that there's a lot of people who don't know how to ask for it. A lot of children, a lot of adults who don't know how to ask for, "I just need someone to hold me for a second. My body is holding all of this sorrow and woundedness on its own." And a touch, we know from research, a touch, a hug, pressure on a hand literally changes the chemical makeup of our brain. Right? We relax. Cortisol levels go down. Dopamine increases a little, right? So all of these wellbeing markers actually kind of adjust to healthier levels.
So yes, we have to be respectful. We want to make sure we're not crossing boundaries. But I think we also have to maybe explore this idea, open up this topic with people we love and care for.

Corey Allan: And so does this then... Because that's a great pivot point, I think, because you're talking about this on a community level, if you will, or a neighborhood, a group of people that we do life with that's not necessarily within my same home, but it's people I'll see at church. It's people I work with. It's neighbors.

Chelom Leavitt: Yes.

Corey Allan: It's kids' parents that we know, because there are stages of life where you're known as, "Oh, you're Will's father." Right? So I still to this day have fun with one of my son's friends, because he's like, "Hey, Will's dad."
And I'm like, "Hey, Will's friend." That's just the way we respond to each other, just kind of jokingly. But when we pivot that towards in the home, because this is one of the things I keep coming across from listeners and even with some clients in the past, is this idea of everything I do is construed in my marriage as sexual touch. And I've even gone out and said, "What touch in marriage isn't sexual?" Because it could easily lead to it.

Chelom Leavitt: Yes.

Corey Allan: But it doesn't mean it does. And so it's still just this element of friction that comes into this play when we have a map of each other to know, "Oh, that touch on the small of my back. I know. My defenses-"

Chelom Leavitt: I know where he's going.

Corey Allan: "My defenses better get up and ready to go for later, because I know where it's going." Right?

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah.

Corey Allan: But it's still, that doesn't mean it's not valuable and necessary still.

Chelom Leavitt: Right. And in fact, I would suggest that the more non-sexual, mindful touch you have, the easier it's going to be to transition into sexual touch. Right? I've laid this really hefty, healthy foundation of, "I just care about you physically, emotionally, and yes, does that often lead me into sexually?" Sure, in a healthy relationship, it does. And that will be okay, the thicker and richer that non-sexual touch is.

Corey Allan: Right. So, let's help out the two sides of this equation then real quick. Because you've got the person that wants to up the touch, which typically the higher desire, in using Schnarch's framework here. And it would be there, the love language is what I hear a lot. My love language is physical touch. And so, that's the way I want to show it. But she, and we'll just go stereotypical here, always gets into the defense mode. And I can't even hug her. I can't even walk up behind her and put my arms around her waist. I can't even. So what do we say to that guy on heading into this crucible, if you will?

Chelom Leavitt: Yes. I love it.

Corey Allan: Because it's fraught with some pushback and some consequences and reactions.

Chelom Leavitt: What I would say to that guy is something's happened in your relationship where, she's not irrational. Right? Something has happened where your touch always means, "Hey, let's take it to the next level," instead of your touch meaning, "Gosh, I care about you. I really am thinking about you, loving you. I just wanted to give you a hug and let you know I appreciate you."
So somehow he's rushed right by that first foundational message, and he just immediately moves to sex. Now, this isn't unusual for men because men struggle a little bit, and we're talking in generalities, right?

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Chelom Leavitt: Men struggle a little bit to connect on that emotional level, which for women is the foundation of sex, is the emotional connection of sex. For men, it's the physical connection of sex. Right? So I would say to that, man, "You're going to have to learn to flip that. Right? So push yourself a little bit to hug her and say, 'Oh yeah, I didn't want sex. I just wanted to tell you how I've been thinking about you and how I fell in love with you for the first time because of your generosity,'" or whatever. Some kind thought that he doesn't take it to sex immediately. Try that for two weeks, and notice the change in her. Give her a little space to actually desire sex, where he's been hovering and pushing it at every turn. And every touch means, "I want sex." That gets fatiguing. Right? So give her a little space, which that's really hard for the high desire partner, but it's necessary.

Corey Allan: Right. And I want to see how this lands, because as I'm hearing you walk through this, I love the idea how it started of, one, her reaction's not wrong. There's a map. There's a trend. There's a history, that it's based off of a truth. That was my life. I had a realization of, "Whoa, I only show affection when it is tied to."

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah.

Corey Allan: I don't want to be that. That's too easy to read. I don't want to, if nothing else.

Chelom Leavitt: And it's not as rich and thick as you want it to be.

Corey Allan: No, it's not at all. But then the other side of it, of coming up to her and offering up some sort of affection, some sort of a touch, and my mind went on by saying, "I'm not interested in sex." I don't know if I would go there personally because I am interested in sex.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, we want to be honest.

Corey Allan: But I think the idea would be something along, what came to my mind, Chelom, is something along the lines of, "Hey, the main thing I'm trying to display here is... I'm into you."

Chelom Leavitt: I like that a lot.

Corey Allan: "I love you. I love our journey together. I love this aspect." And then handle, because this is where it pivots, I think too, for the him, for the husband is handle, if she doesn't respond, if she doesn't hug in kind, if she doesn't whatever initially, that's okay. You have displayed something good, and then go forth with your day and continue to be who you are, and consistent. And then comes in to see what happens over the days that come.

Chelom Leavitt: And in fact, I might even add, expect that she's not going to respond.

Corey Allan: There you go.

Chelom Leavitt: Expect that, because she's a little suspicious. You're pivoting here.

Corey Allan: You just changed your map, you just changed your play.

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, "Now what do you really want? Now you're just," and so you might have to give it, like I said, a couple weeks and let her settle into the reality of your authentic motivation to just be close.

Corey Allan: Okay. Okay. So now let's flip it to her, that she's the one that is going to be more, "I don't want the touch." Even deep down you're saying, yeah, we all do. We benefit from it even though it might elicit various reactions or shut down or run or the different kinds of things, because it creates things in me, because it's too close, too uncomfortable. It's trauma from the past. I mean, there's a lot of different things that get triggered from these things.

Chelom Leavitt: It's just begun to have this meaning that isn't so healthy in my life, right?

Corey Allan: Okay. So what's the best steps for her? And again, we're speaking stereotypically because these could switch gender-ly.

Chelom Leavitt: Okay, so one thing I have couples do when they go through my intervention is we do an early-on activity called hugging to relax. And Schnarch talks about this a bit. And so we just stand next to each other, put our arms loosely around each other, and hug for a good, long time. And I mean five to 10 minutes. That's a really, really long hug.

Corey Allan: Yes it is.

Chelom Leavitt: And you just want to breathe and focus on what's happening, what thoughts are coming to my mind, what's happening in my body, and what I think people start, and I suggest that you do hugging to relax the first time you come back together in the day. After work, you come in the house, and you just hug for 10 minutes silently. Right? You're just focused on, "What's going on for me? What's my internal world telling me?"
And then after afterward you do a little exercise, I call it heads together. You put your four heads next to each other. So, you really can't focus on each other. You're too close, but you just talk to each other and debrief. This is what I felt during hugging to relax.
The first time my husband and I did this, he's much taller than I am. He's six-three, and I'm five-three. So, we were doing this, and I just noticed him kind of leaning on me. Every few seconds he just started to lean in and put his weight on me, and I'd kind of stand up straight and kind of readjust. And so, afterward we talked about what this meant for our general relationship. It brought up weeks' worth of conversations that were pretty intimate for us, that we were really getting down to some core issues, some foundational elements that maybe were a little off-balance, just like our hugging to relax was off-balance.
And I would suggest that women will really benefit from hugging to relax. It's touching, but it's definitely got this boundary that it's not sexual, and it's going to bring up all sorts of emotional topics that need to be explored.

Corey Allan: Right. And that's a great insight on just that exercise, right? Just because the whole premise being, if I'm standing on my own two feet and my spouse is as well, how do we stay close to each other without overreacting to each other, but settling myself enough?

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah.

Corey Allan: To be near them?

Chelom Leavitt: How do we interact? And it's not easy. It's complicated, and it changes from phase to phase of life. So, it's a nice touchstone to just come back to and say, "Okay, what do we need to tackle? What do we need to address?"

Corey Allan: Yeah, because that's that idea of what you mentioned earlier, is the learning to tolerate some of this, which is an interesting word, because tolerating oftentimes means it's going to be something uncomfortable. But so interesting about this too is the fact that there are always elements of touch for people that initially are uncomfortable. And I'm meaning appropriate touch here, right?

Chelom Leavitt: Yes.

Corey Allan: That are uncomfortable. And if I have somebody come up that I don't know, and we hug, and they hold on a little bit long, and it's like, "Okay."

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, "What are you doing?"

Corey Allan: But all of that is data that I can then look at, was it me? Was it them? Am I the representation of something for? There's a lot different things that I could start to unpack. And then if I had the courage to go forward and say, "What was that? I just changed our relationship to possibly go really deep."

Chelom Leavitt: You're right. There's the curiosity, right? Instead of judging it and cutting it off, you're curious and saying, "Tell me more," about whatever.

Corey Allan: "What was that?" Okay. That's great. I like that. Okay, so Chelom, as we wrap up the first part of this, how can people find you so they can learn more about your work?

Chelom Leavitt: Yeah, just on my website, www.chelomleavitt. And that's spelled C-H-E-L-O-M, L-E-A-V-I-T-T.com.

Corey Allan: Perfect.

Chelom Leavitt: And we have some classes that we offer once in a while on these types of things, and mostly it's just information, right? We're just trying to help people have stronger, healthier relationships, including sexual relationships, right? Where we're all just a little messed up from our culture that we live in, and so we have lots of blogs on that.

Corey Allan: Perfect. Well, Chelom, thank you so much. And blessings on the continued research and work that you do and the help that you provide.

Chelom Leavitt: Thank you.

Corey Allan: So it's a treat to always have Dr. Leavitt back on the show, somebody that's got the Schnarch background too, but also-

Pam Allan: Yeah, that's super-fun for you. I love that.

Corey Allan: It is. It is for me, yes, because we can talk shop, and she sees things very, very similarly. But as you've listened to the conversation, I'm curious, what jumps out to you?

Pam Allan: So, I had a couple things. One was more of a definition that I think was good for me, but I'll go to that in a second. When you're not connecting physically, you're not tuning into the emotional cues of those around you.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Pam Allan: And within the marriage relationship, I think that that is huge. How often can we go two or three days when we're just dealing with business? We're just dealing with-

Corey Allan: Logistics.

Pam Allan: ... The logistics of life. And you get in bed and are falling asleep and thinking, "I'm not sure I even touched my spouse at all today."

Corey Allan: Or maybe even looked at them. inaudible Right.

Pam Allan: Maybe we gave each other a peck on the cheek or on the lips. And I just identified with that, in how touch is so important, and how I've recognized that in my own life. And when I do feel connected or don't, and paying attention to those cues.

Corey Allan: And I love how she was pulling out how we long for that. There's something that's so good that comes from that, that we are desperate for, and how society has shifted in some ways for the good, but also sometimes we have a tendency as a culture to go too far to an extreme.

Pam Allan: Yeah, pendulum back and forth.

Corey Allan: Bad things happen, and so we go all the way to the other extreme, and so therefore, any touch, nope, bad, can't do it. Do I have your permission, blah, blah. And on and on and on it goes, when it's based out of good things, but it's still a necessity of what we need. And then what was your definition that-

Pam Allan: Oh, when you're talking about mindfulness, I think of that as kind of this new age, this or that, whatever, but being focused. So mindfulness, being aware, not judging, but really taking that lack of judgment to be curious.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Pam Allan: It's not that I'm not going to judge, it's that I'm actually going to be curious and learn more. I'm going to use this as a tool to learn more.

Corey Allan: Right. And curious is a huge word in our household.

Pam Allan: In our house, it is for sure.

Corey Allan: We use it a whole bunch.

Pam Allan: inaudible

Corey Allan: And don't be judgemental. Thank you, Ted Lasso.

Pam Allan: Right, right.

Corey Allan: Be curious, not judgmental. But it is one of those things that is so fascinating to think about, the interweaving of what goes on in marriage, and how we can get so focused on one thing, we neglect another, and how it's so important to keep that bond and that connecting, and touch is a great way to do it.

Pam Allan: Absolutely.

Corey Allan: Well, if you liked the show, you can help us out by rating and reviewing SMR on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or however you listen. Your comments help us spread the word about the show and help others frame their conversations about what goes on in their marriages. Transcripts are available in the show notes on each of the episodes' pages, all the advertisers deals and discount codes are also found on each of the episodes' pages at passionatelymarried.net. Please consider supporting those who support the show. Greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those that you care about, particularly those that you want to touch in your life.

Pam Allan: That's right.

Corey Allan: Remember, we improve those around us when we improve ourselves. So take on yourself first by applying what you hear each and every week. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.