Erin, 32, and David, 29
He wants: Physical Touch
She gives: Words of Affirmation
David knows his wife of two years loves him. She tells him every day. And yet, there's one simple thing she doesn't do that would make him deliriously happy.
"I have the best wife, who tells me how much she cares for me, yet the fact that we never hold hands bothers me," he admits.
Physical affection was part of his childhood—David's parents were always arm-in-arm, he says. To him, physical affection signifies security: "I think if Erin held my hand while we were walking down the street, it would show other people that she's committed to our relationship."
"I tell him how much I love him all the time," says Erin, baffled by her husband's request. "I'm just not touchy-feely. But I shouldn't have to hold his hand to show he's important to me."
Dr. Chapman Says:
Physical touch is a powerful way to communicate love. If Erin isn't accustomed to holding hands in public, David might try holding her hand in, say, an empty parking lot first. If she pulls away, he should tell her what it means to him. This is David's language, so he's got the final word, just as Erin does when it comes to teaching him how to make her feel loved. Beyond Hand Holding
* Some names have been changed.