Hug and Hold


Written by: Brent & Carina Cantelon

Last year my husband Brent and I were speaking to a group of couples and telling some of our story, things we have learned and things we are still growing in as a couple.

We do this it seems a few times a year in different cities with different groups and by far one of the most appreciated illustration we give to married couples is the HUG AND HOLD.

People tell us all the time how it has impacted their lives and that makes us very happy.

When we illustrate it and then give the couples in the room a time to try it for themselves with some instructions….. there is hardly a dry eye in the room. I just love sharing it.

Now here is the truth, we can’t for the life of us remember where we first read about this or perhaps heard about it… we can’t really give credit to an author or speaker. It is possible we came up with it ourselves but we usually say we are not that smart. 🙂

However we ARE smart to have implemented it into our life and marriage and we can tell you it is one of the best things there is to help smooth some rough patches, bridge that gap when you need to find each other again.

We all know that life gets busy. At times it gets hard and for what ever reason we can find ourselves having drifted apart.

We may not have meant for this to happen but kids take over our schedules, work has us particularly busy or we are distracted by pressing matters….and then we feel the distance.

One of us may feel it more than the other.

In our case it was probably Brent who would notice that I was completely absorbed in kids lives and activities and the many MANY pressing needs around me, and there we were, almost in two different worlds.

So here it is, this is where it comes in. THE HUG AND HOLD.

I know many of you have the same thing happen in your lives and marriages. And very often one of you is going to have to draw the other one in. And when they do, if you are on the receiving end of the one initiating, then I’m telling you right now accept the invitation. You will be so glad you did.

How it works is you both come together, when you come home from work.
Picture both of you in the kitchen coming together for a hug.
Now, NO pat, pat on the back. Like “there, there”…
And no smooching either. Completely forbidden for this exercise !!!! 😉

You simply hug and hold. Hold on and don’t let go. Maybe a minute. Brent usually says at this point to the guys in the audience when we go through it “oh and guys, this isn’t going anywhere” haha!

Here is what you do next :
You don’t say anything !!!
You don’t speak out loud, but what you do is you think about your spouse. Thoughts that focus on him or her. Thoughts that remind you of who they are to you.

Let me illustrate what I might think about Brent.
( let’s say this was back at the busy time with kids and our busy church life)
I would think…….. This is my husband ! Lord You gave him to me. He comes first, even before the children !!!
He is so kind and gentle, I do love him
I don’t like this distance….he is my best friend in the whole wide world.
He makes me laugh and I want to be close to him. He needs me and I need him……

Now while I am thinking those things, Brent would have his thoughts and wonderful things to go on and on and on about me —HAHA!

To have a re-connecting effect, do this every day three or four times in a row.
I hope you will try this…. explain what it is to your spouse and give it a try. Here is the strange thing…. it may feel awkward. Yes, it may. Because remember it is designed for times when you are feeling distant in your relationship. A remedy of this sort is actually an exercise like I said and it may seem scripted or calculated. But trust me, get together in an embrace, think and remind yourself of the things you know to be true and you will both be so glad you did.

I hope this will really be a blessing to you
All my love