In many ways, marriage is like a plant. So many possibilities when first planted. Then, if you feed it, nurture it, and just take care of it, it will grow.
Every plant is different and needs slightly different nutrients in the soil, or more or less water or sun. But in learning about that particular plant’s needs, and then responding by giving it what it needs, it will flourish and reach its full potential.
Likewise, when you only do the bare minimum—or worse, not enough—to keep the plant alive, you can easily tell a difference.
It gets droopy. The leaves may get dry and cracked. The roots may not be as healthy as they could be. The flower or fruit is not as big or beautiful as it could have been. Even more than seeing it, you can just feel it.
Marriage is like this too. When you or your spouse don’t feed and nurture the marriage, then it can’t grow. It becomes stale and lifeless, and then life, in general, becomes less magical. Less amazing. Less loving.
How important is intimacy in a relationship
Love and intimacy in a marriage are non-negotiable. In fact, intimacy and marriage are intertwined.
There are many things you need to do to feed a marriage, but there is one thing that your marriage simply won’t survive without. It’s like oxygen to the plant.
What we are talking about is emotional intimacy. Now, some people think of intimacy as just the act of sex, but in a marriage, it is so much more than that. It’s love in its fullest and purest form.
So, how to rekindle a marriage scale the levels of intimacy in a relationship? Here are some ways to help improve the emotional intimacy in your marriage.
1. Love in the way your spouse needs to be loved
It’s no secret that men and women are different. On top of that, each individual has different needs.
Not all women will say that they feel loved when their husband does XYZ; so in order to have an emotionally healthy marriage, you need to look for and ask for what your spouse needs from you.
Maybe one on one time means more than a hug, or maybe you doing something nice for them means more than buying gifts.
2. Communicate what you need from your spouse
In marriage, sometimes we expect each other to be mind readers. That is just setting things up for disappointment. If you need physical intimacy more often, then say so (pick your moment and pick your words wisely).
Always be careful to not hurt feelings as you suggest things; maybe have a special time when you both can freely share these types of ideas so you both feel comfortable with it.
Engaging in open and honest communication about each other’s needs when it comes to intimacy is important in a marriage.
3. Love without conditions
People are imperfect creatures.
Even the most loving and well-meaning person makes mistakes. We have a bad day and say things we don’t mean. Perhaps we notice our spouse giving less to the marriage so we feel the need to love less, too.
Don’t let this happen. Don’t put conditions on your love. Even if your spouse is not being as loving as you want them to be, don’t withdraw your love.
Never put marital intimacy on the backburner as the need for intimacy and emotional connection in marriage is irreplaceable.
4. Put each other first
If you both are being really honest with each other, you can probably say right away what your number one priority in life is.
Is it work? The kids? Making money? Your side business? Fitness? Books?
There are so many good things that can take us away from keeping marriage ranked as the number one priority. If your marriage isn’t your number one priority, then work on making it that way.
Set up weekly dates. Do more little things together, like cook or go on walks. Hold hands. Think of your spouse before yourself and you will be well on your way to building intimacy in marriage.
5. Let go of competitiveness
Often people in relationships scour for help on how to emotionally connect with a man or a woman. A piece of key advice for them – to be secure in relationships, and cultivate a strong emotional bond, is to stop keeping score and instead focus on your partner’s positives.
No more keeping score. No more “I did the dishes last night!” Instead, offer your help, or work together. Keeping a score never helped any marriage in building intimacy and has instead led to more marriage intimacy problems for couples.
Instead of thinking that you each need to give 50% to make one whole, each of you should instead give 100% to make your marriage truly amazing. Being competitive gets in the way of this. Let go and in the process work together and become one.
6. Be a giving lover in and out of the bedroom
Intimacy is a complicated thing.
You have the physical side and the emotional side. Sometimes we have all the physical without emotional commitment, and other times we have the emotional commitment without physical intimacy.
Lack of emotional intimacy in marriage hampers individual well-being as well as marital happiness. Don’t let everyday stressors and uncertainties affect the health of your relationship. Break poor communication habits and give your partner the respect they deserve.
Remember, the most important tool in restoring love and intimacy in marriage is your willingness to build a marital friendship, without which you cannot build and maintain emotional closeness as a couple.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.