You have a great marriage and a happy family. But you sense you could have an even-better relationship with your wife by learning how to deepen your emotional connection to her. Aren’t sure how to begin? Here are some tried-and-proven ways to make and reinforce your emotional connection with your wife, ensuring a happy marriage filled with communication and a sense of unity.
Talk to her
Women love to talk, and they love it when their men take the time to sit down and really discuss things with them. Where men use conversation to move information, women use conversation to connect with others. Meet her need to converse and share all the details and tangents about the subject at hand by being an active participant in the conversation. This shows that you find value in her opinions, which draws her closer to you. Nothing weakens a relationship faster than ignoring your partner, or not understanding her need for conversation. Ever seen one of those married couples whose marriage seems more like a roommate situation than a real couple? Where there is little verbal interaction and the husband responds to the wife’s questions with small grunts? Don’t be that couple. Your conversations do not always have to be about big topics. Just sitting down before the evening chores overwhelm everyone and tuning into each other is enough to show her that one of your greatest pleasures is hearing what she has to say.
Do more than pay attention: point out all the wonderful ways your wife adds to your life. And not only on her birthday. Express your gratitude for how well she manages the needs of everyone in the house; how well she takes care of herself all while having to tend to others; how thoughtful she is towards your parents. Stating your appreciation for the multitude of niceties your wife does each and every day will add to your emotional connectivity “bank account” and make her feel recognized and lucky to have you as a husband. Because you truly see her and everything she does.
Break out of your routine from time to time
Nothing turns emotions into feelings of boredom faster than a strict schedule that never deviates. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each day, but make some small, unexpected tweaks in your routines once or twice a month. Instead of your weekly dinner date, meet her for lunch. (If you can work this in as a surprise, bonus points!). Always go to the cabin for summer vacation? Traditions have their value, but why not book an exotic holiday this year? The point is to keep things from getting stale, and to look forward to planning new things together.
Do something together that is out of your comfort zone
Research shows that when couples experience and meet a physical challenge together, it heightens their sense of connection. It’s as if the adrenaline rush translates into a sensation of bonding. So take a rock-climbing class, or try a challenging ski run together. The knowledge that you two experienced risk and came out on top of it will give you a sense of unity.
Make her laugh
“Laughter is great foreplay”, according to the French, who are famous for their seduction techniques. But provoking her smile is not just good for getting her in the mood; it is a great way to connect emotionally with your wife. From inside jokes built on your years together, to riffs on what’s happening in the world today, use comedy to enhance your intimate connection with your better half. (It can also be a handy conflict diffuser should you sense a storm on the horizon.)
Know what your wife’s passions are, and encourage them
Your wife gets a lot of joy from her hobbies and activities, and loves when you ask her about them. You don’t need to involve yourself in them—in fact, it is beneficial to your relationship for her to have something of her own—but when you express interest in these hobbies, it helps your connection. And you will love seeing her face light up as she describes a new challenge she met in her yoga group, or how she figured out how to add images to the website she is building.
Take her hand when you are out and about. Put your arm around her as you are watching television. Give her a quick shoulder rub as she does the dishes. All of these non-sexual touches convey your emotional connection to her. Bonus tip: don’t limit your touching to preludes of sex.
Speaking of preludes to sex: the best foreplay starts in the heart and mind. If you invest in connecting emotionally, you will see that that leads to greater connection sexually. Most women cannot go from zero to bed without feeling a reinforcement of the emotional bond first. Take notice of this and you will see how it plays out the next time you have an absolutely great discussion where you both feel completely in sync. More likely than not, that discussion will take you from the table to the bedroom, because she will want to extend that feeling of togetherness.
The husband who puts energy towards improving his emotional connection with his wife is doing valuable work towards making a strong marriage. This effort will not be met unrewarded, as the wife will in turn make sure that her husband feels supported and happy in the relationship. The benefits for this investment are boundless, and will continue to reveal themselves as time goes on.