Intimacy is a necessary ingredient for a successful marriage. Dictionary.com defines intimacy as a “close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person.” In essence, the very definition of intimacy is the way most people would like to describe their marriage. Feeling close to your spouse, after all, is what keeps the marriage off the respirator. Like most everything in relationships, intimacy requires a bit of effort on the part of the married couple.
But it is a fun and rewarding kind of work, so take heart. Here are 5 ways you can increase intimacy in your marriage:
Share your feelings.
Since you have gotten married, you have probably heard and read that communication is key to success about one zillion times. It’s an old, broken record. But it also happens to be true. When trying to increase intimacy, you must communicate what’s happening in your heart. Specifically, you have to share your feelings. Tell your spouse how he or she makes you feel and why your life is better now that you’re married to one another. You should also tell your spouse about all the things he or she does – from handling the bills to leaving love letters in your lunch – for which you are grateful. Most importantly, tell your spouse, “I love you,” on a daily basis. He or she will probably follow your lead and share feelings, as well. The advantage of sharing feelings is that the mind gets fed the message that you are loved.
Feeling loved will help carve the path to increased intimacy.
Words alone won’t increase intimacy. Although communication is important, you also must demonstrate your feelings with action. Back up your loving words with kisses, hugs, hand holding, and touch. These actions should not always lead to sex; in fact, they are sometimes more meaningful when they are executed as a way of sharing feelings and not just to get the other person to satisfy your animal needs.
For instance, while washing dishes together, you may brush your soapy hand against your wife’s, or you could take your husband into your arms when he walks in the door after a long day at work. The point is to be demonstrative and enhance the feeling of love between you and your spouse.
Open your mind and heart.
This one sounds like a cliché. But opening your mind and heart simply refers to your willingness to talk to your spouse about anything and everything. Neither one of you should have fear of broaching a topic – even issues as scary as finances, child rearing, death, or mothers-in-law – with the other. You should be best friends, which means talking about whatever moves you. Venting problems and finding resolutions should be a major component of your relationship. To ensure you can do this successfully, you both have to be open to the other’s opinions, wants, needs, and thoughts. This also means that you both have to be willing to compromise on occasion.
You have to let yourself be vulnerable with the other person, which goes back to sharing and showing your feelings through words and affection. Someone who is not open to being loved or loving someone else can never build intimacy.
Frankly, opening your mind and heart might be the most difficult step in increasing intimacy. If you find yourself being closed off to the idea of love or being able to talk to your spouse about certain issues, you might consider marriage counseling. A third party might be able to help you realize why you build walls and how to tear them down.
Build comfort and security.
Trust is a big part of building intimacy. Knowing your partner is dependable goes a long way to helping you feel comfortable and secure with him or her. This means that you should be where you say you’re going to be, remain faithful always (no physical or emotional affairs for you), and come through on promises. When you trust your partner, the walls you might have built come undone. And fears, such as being naked with the lights on or worrying about being judged for your past, tend to fade away.
This helps the intimacy to grow. You learn more things about each other and feel ever more comfortable in the other’s presence. That, in turn, makes you feel more secure in the relationship. You suddenly don’t think that the little spat you had yesterday means the end of your marriage.
While affection does not always have to lead to sex, it should sometimes. Those animal needs aren’t always a bad thing. Men tend to want to be closer or more intimate if they are having sex. Women want sex when intimacy increases. So, having sex with one another on a consistent basis can help both man and woman get what he or she wants. Don’t just go through the motions either. You should try to really get in the mood for love with extra foreplay; be sure to make your husband or wife feel desirable. Let them know you enjoy having sex with him or her. Of course, couples that are having a fulfilling sex life tend to be happier and feel closer to one another, which is the purpose of increasing intimacy.