Val Kleyman, Esq., a New York divorce lawyer and principal of The Kleyman Law Firm, says that small random gestures of physical affection for your spouse can keep your marriage out of his office. 

“Most divorce clients complain that their marriages were missing or lacking physical affection,” Kleyman said.

According to Kleyman, many couples think that physical affection just means sex, but it’s actually a common misconception. While sex and intimacy are certainly important ways married couples show each other physical affection, there are many other ways to let the other person know you are physically attracted to them such as kissing and hugging.

“As divorce lawyers, we always hear about sex. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find out that many people that choose to leave their marriages do so because their partners stopped showing them affection on a daily basis,” said New York divorce lawyer Kleyman.

It’s quite simple. Think of how romantic relationships start. First, its eye contact, followed by body language and verbal communication. Then it turns into contact by touch, putting an arm around the person, hugging, hand holding, and kissing. Even fun goofing around with appropriate physical contact lets the other person know you are interested in them.

Leaving your spouse without physical affection day to day and only relying on sex may be risky and can lead to a breakdown. The average adult gets some action 54 times a year—or about once a week, according to a 2017 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. That is certainly not enough, according to New York divorce lawyer Kleyman, and puts a strain on marriages.

“I often hear clients tell me that sex became routine or scarce, which brought them to my office for divorce. However, all other forms of affection like hugging, kissing and other simple gestures of affection were long gone in those marriages, even before problems in bed, and those were the first signs of trouble” Kleyman said.

So what does a New York divorce lawyer advise couples to do to avoid a trip to his office?

“Go over to your spouse randomly and give them a hug. Kiss them on a cheek. Put your arm around them. Be playful. Do this as much as you can. You don’t need an invitation. But don’t try to transition it into sex. Just leave it there. It’s a small and easy gesture that goes a long way,” Kleyman says.