Does it matter which side your husband is on?

I’ve always thought of my left side as my more emotional side.

  • When it was my turn to direct music in my high school music theory course, I noticed that I would use my right hand to indicate the beat and my left hand to direct the aspects of music that convey feeling, such as volume and the articulation of notes (e.g., staccato, glissando, and legato).
  • I carried my babies on my left side (except when I was carrying both twins at once, of course). For that matter, as a little girl I carried my dolls in my left arm, too. Even now that my kids are adults, touching them with my left hand makes me feel more connected to them than touching them with my right hand.
  • When I reach out to comfort someone, I almost always reach out with my left hand and left arm.

Left side of body, right side of brain

Apparently other folks have noticed this as well.

Research was published early this year shows that most mothers (70-85% of them) carry their babies on their left side. Human mothers—both right-handed and left-handed ones—do it. Even animal mothers tend to place their offspring to their left. Women who are not mothers do the same thing. (Fathers carry on the left, but men who are not fathers don’t show the same tendency. I’m not sure what to make of that, although I find it interesting.)

It turns out it’s a brain thing: Physical touch on the left side of the body elicits a response in the right side of the brain—which is the side that interprets physical cues and emotional signals. Moms who carry on the left are better able to understand and respond to an infant’s needs and emotional state.

In Why most women carry babies on their left side, the author explains it this way:

When a baby is held on the left, the right side of the mother’s brain lights up, and this physical activation of the right side of the mother’s brain helps her bond with her baby.

The article fascinated me. (Take a look, as it explains the research quite clearly and includes links to the studies.)

It got me wondering about whether there are any implications for sexual intimacy—and it turns out that there may be something to this, too. Item #2 in What Turns You On? 10 Fascinating Facts About Sexual Attraction (an older article, also with links to research) addresses this very thing: The left ear is more effective than the right ear when it comes to awareness of emotional words.

What does this mean for marriage?

When I consider my own marriage, I definitely see a left-side emotional preference in my relationship with Big Guy.

Ever since we began dating, when my husband and I are walking hand-in-hand, he is on my left. When he’s on my right, it feels wrong.

When we are in the car, he drives—and where we live, the driver is on the left side of the car. We often have good conversations in the car that help me feel connected. I always thought it was because of the idea that men do better side-by-side. Maybe our conversations are good because he has a preference for side-by-side conversations and because I do better with the emotional impact of the left ear.

When we stand and hug, I prefer to have the left sides of our faces touching rather than our right.

All of this raises interesting questions:

  • If a woman is touched on her left side, will she have a stronger emotional connection with her husband?
  • Will touching her husband with her left hand help her feel more loving in her actions?
  • Will having her husband on her left help her better respond to his words of love, even if they aren’t in a sexual setting?
  • If a woman is struggling to feel emotionally connected with her husband, will it help if she has her husband on her left?

What is your experience with your left side and intimacy? Do you have a preference for one side of your body when it comes to emotional connection?

In Song of Songs 2:6, we read,

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.

He isn’t on her left side, but if he is touching her with his right hand, I like to think he is touching the left side of her body.

Do you find that connecting on your left puts you in the right mind for love?

Image credit|Christianpics.co

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12 Thoughts on “Which Side Is Your Husband On?

  1. Okay, this is weird. I think I have a preference for the right side; what does THAT mean? But then, my husband is left-handed, so I think it feels more comfortable for him to hold my hand on that side.

    However, he is currently on my left side in bed, though we’ve done it both ways. (I get whichever side is closest to the bathroom. 🙂 )

    • One more thought! I wonder what you’d then make of Song of Songs 2:6: “His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.”

      • That’s mentioned at the bottom of the post (but I’d forgotten to include it when I first posted, so if you’re reading in a feed reader, you might not see it). In that position, when my husband is embracing me with his right arm, he is usually touching more on the left side of the body. My right ear is kind of squished and can’t hear anything, so his words fall only into my left ear. If I were lying on my back it wouldn’t be like that, but when we are in bed and he is embracing me, I’m typically turned toward him.

        If I still had Barbie and Ken dolls, I’d get them out and pose them to demonstrate what I mean. LOL

    • When 70-85% of women have a preference for one side, it means that 15-30% have a preference for the other side. So it isn’t like you’re a lone ranger. 🙂

      I don’t know how to count what happens with sleeping. I sleep on my stomach and side, and my husband sleeps on his back and side. I have no idea what that counts as. Plus, bathroom access often has to trump everything else!

  2. Doug on June 14, 2017 at 6:59 am said:

    I think the sleeping arrangements probably speak to a long evolving compromise between two people, as much as anything else. I know that at home, my wife generally gets to “pick” which side of the bed she sleeps on, and I take whatever side that leaves, but when I travel alone, something that I have done extensively, I invariably sleep on the side closest to the window. Depending on how the room is laid out, sometimes that puts you on one side of the bed, and sometimes it puts you on the other. Never realized that before just now, and if you Had asked, I would have said I didn’t have a preference. Apparently I do, it just has nothing to do with left or right.

    • My husband’s preference is always to sleep on the side closest to the door as a matter of protection.

      • Doug on June 14, 2017 at 8:02 am said:

        I notice that I do pick which side I walk on, as a matter of protection. If we are side by side in a park, I find that I generally walk on her right which might be a subconscious nod to taking the position of authority. In the military, the senior individual is walks on the right. When walking in a parking lot, or on a city sidewalk, I typically place myself between traffic and my wife.

        • My husband places himself between traffic and me as a protection practice. When possible, we will change where we walk in order for him to be in the protective position while also allowing me to hold his hand on my left.

  3. Libl on June 15, 2017 at 4:37 am said:

    Hmmm….I am the one who tends to drive, though I would tend to prefer the more traditional man driving.

    My husband sleeps to my right simply for practical reasons. It is an easier and a more direct route for me to get out of bed and attend to the children during the night.

    I notice we tend to sit across from each other rather than next to.

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