The answer seems to be have a happy marriage, at least for femmes. Married ladies were stressed out & maybe given a hand to hold; their husband’s, a stranger’s or no hand. Their stress-management worked much better with their husband’s hand than with a random hand, which in turn was a little better than no hand.
Interestingly enough, the response was much more than purely mechanical, as ladies who rated their marriages highly got a better reaction from their husband’s hand.
The biggest decrease in stressors was amongst pain-management cells. This implies that the attitude “my husband is a pain” might have more of an impact than was previously assumed. (-: