Touch Facilitating Marital Intimacy: Married Women’s Experiences in Nairobi County, Kenya


Ifeoma Okonkwo, MA in Counseling Psychology Candidate; Rev. Cosmas Kagwe, Ph.D., Tangaza University College Kenya; Rev. Sr. Chika Eze, Ph.D., Veritas University Abuja-The Catholic University of Nigeria, Bwari Area Council, Abuja FCT, Nigeria

Abstract

In a marriage relationship, touch is viewed to promote among others, physical warmth, love, affection and intimacy in the course of couples’ daily interactions. In this context, intimacy represents the sum total of couples’ experiences of togetherness, affection, sex and positive emotions. In the absence of these positive emotions, marriage relationships could lead to divorce. study sought to explore married women’s experiences about the influence of touch on their marital intimacy in Lavington area in Nairobi County. Exploratory qualitative research design was employed. Interview guide was used in data collection from 13 married women. The study was guided by the attachment theory which propagates that a child who attaches him/herself to a significant other receives some protection that leads to emotional growth and security due to the bond they share. Purposive sampling via snowball technique was employed to invite participants. Pretesting of tools was carried out in order to ensure that research questions are well developed. Thematic analysis was used in analyzing the data collected. The result showed that all the participants interviewed experienced touch in their marriages and testified that touch impacted positively on their spousal relationship in terms of spousal bonding, display of love and affection, sexual intimacy, emotional security and spousal reconciliation among other benefits. The findings of this study have useful benefits to married individuals and those in helping professions relating to marriage and family. They include marriage and family counselors, priests, and motivational speakers among others.

Keywords: touch, love, affection, marital intimacy, wellbeing, bonding, reconciliation

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