Restoring Emotional Intimacy

Restoring Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is often conceived of a spiritual phenomenon, comprising feelings of love, romance, and connectedness, to a partner. Although it certainly is spiritual for some, emotional intimacy is also a very practical and necessary element of marriage. It relates to communication, security, respect, and closeness.


In marriage, couples sometimes find that their daily routines have come to own them, that they are just going through the motions, and they may feel their relationship has suffered. They may even discover something missing, but are unable to identify what it is. Often the problem is that they are not properly nurturing their relationship, but they fail to realize that the relationship isn’t being properly nurtured.


Indeed, just like plants, relationships need nurturing.  They need to be supported and they do require ongoing maintenance. Many people feel hopeless because they believe that marriage is fundamentally perfect; that the union, if it is right, should never feel dull, should never be lacking.


First, remind yourself that no marriage is perfect. Even the happiest marriages have ups and downs and even lack in romantic feelings at times. Being married takes work, and if you haven’t been doing your share, it’s time to start. You may have some catching up to do.

The tips below will help you in restoring emotional intimacy back in your marriage and get things on track.


1. Work on yourself first          

As they say, you must love yourself before you can love a partner. If you’re wallowing in despair, you aren’t going to affect positive change. The first step is going to have to include going to the gym, taking a class, baking a pie, or seeing a therapist. The point is, whatever it takes to boost your self-confidence, self-worth, and personal happiness – will be a crucial instrument in your marriage. Some say that the happiest couples are those that lead their own individual lives, have individual interests, and are generally self-satisfied and happy. The key word here is individual. Go out and find yourself.


2. Improve communication

This is the most important work that you and your partner will do, and every marriage can use it. Communication, including empathy, active listening, and awareness of non-verbal cues, are a few important elements to consider. The type of communicate you’ll need to support really depends on the specific needs of your marriage and you’ll have to identify those. If you feel your partner is ready to do the work, tell him what you need. If you’re just not there yet, there is plenty that you can do on your own to get things started. If this is the case, your partner may follow your lead. Read a book on communication such as The Five Languages of Love or, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, to get you thinking and make some positive changes.


3. Schedule time

It goes without saying that you and your partner need to spend quality time together in order to restore emotional intimacy to the marriage. But how will you do this?  Set aside a scheduled time at least once per week to start with. Energize this time with all of your passion and creativity.  Don your nicest outfit, make yourself dazzle. Plan the time together so that there is no lull in the conversation, no awkward moments of just looking at each other, and absolutely no argument-starters. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it is an enjoyable activity for you both; and on a level in which you can both connect. If things do not change right away – do not panic, and most importantly, do not give up.  In time, you and your partner are sure to reconnect if you are dedicated to the process.


4. Be romantic

Being romantic means you perform small but thoughtful gestures that symbolize your love. Giving love notes, cooking a romantic dinner, or presenting him or her with a wrapped gift for no other reason than to say “I love you” are examples of romantic behavior. Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone, exercise some creativity, and then stick with what works. If something isn’t working, vary the strategy. Most importantly, you should not give up as long as both of you are putting in an effort.

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Kelli H
Social Worker
Kelli Hastings is a writer, social worker, and proud advocate for women. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Oregon in 2007 and worked as a behavior support specialist and program manager. She is inspired to support couples,
teach them skills that lead to healthy, happy and romantic partnerships. Her interests include cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, visualization practice, and related therapies.

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