Intimacy is one of the most important factors when it comes to success in marriage. After all, real understanding can only be achieved when you have a deep connection with your spouse – both emotionally and physically. Even if you’re already working on your problems, you may be surprised by some of the things that can affect your marriage and your level of intimacy.
Today, we’ll discuss five little-known factors that could affect your marriage intimacy problems more than you realize.
1. Different levels of interest
The first six months of a relationship, most people wear rose-colored glasses. Moreover, many are willing to do everything to please their partner. It’s possible you subconsciously tried to adjust your own needs to match those of your spouse. That may have worked in the beginning, but at a certain point, it’s time to face the truth. Maybe you used to be intimate with your spouse every single day, but now started to lose interest – or vice versa.
If you’re facing intimacy problems in your marriage, this doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with either one of you. Ask yourself how often you used to be close with previous partners. If you see a common theme, different levels of interest may be causing your marriage problems.
While this may not sound like a big deal, interest levels are not something you can easily – if at all – change. In many cases, marriage counseling is the only way to deal with this problem effectively.
2. Stress affecting your body image
We all know stress can affect us in several ways. And while it may be a direct factor in your marriage problems, sometimes it has a lesser known effect. Due to its ability to cause hormonal imbalances, stress can affect your body image, cause depression and even weight gain. If you feel uncomfortable shedding your clothes in front of your partner, try to determine what’s causing your stress levels. Even if it’s not possible to avoid the cause of stress entirely, there are many things you can do to alleviate the tension resulting from these situations. Yoga, meditation and walking 30 minutes a day are all simple ways to reduce stress.
3. Intimacy problems due to a negative perceptions
Your childhood greatly determines how you perceive many things in life. The same holds true for marriage and affection. If you watched your parents fight a lot, chances are, you’re experiencing the same in your own marriage.
What about intimacy? Did you ever see your parents openly show affection towards each other? Or did you walk in on them while they were making love? All these seemingly insignificant moments may have given you a negative perception of physical contact in your partnership. As adults however, it’s not always easy to recognize the perceptions we subconsciously hold. And yet, without changing these negative thought patterns, it’s near impossible to fix intimacy problems in your marriage.
A great way to find out whether your perceptions about closeness in a relationship are holding you back is to simply write down the first 5 words you come up with when thinking about making love. Analyze the results. Do you see a negative theme? If so, you need to actively change your perception of intimacy to make a difference in your marriage.
4. Show some attention
Women have a tendency to blame their appearance when their partner doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in making love (I know I do!). Do you ever wonder if he is cheating on you with someone more beautiful? Do you feel unattractive to him when he is not in the mood?
These thoughts may seem perfectly sensible to you, but in most cases intimacy problems are completely unrelated to how you look. Instead of blaming yourself, spend some more time with your spouse.
For example, when was the last time you had a good conversation with each other (other than talking about work or kids)? Being able to communicate in meaningful ways creates a deeper emotional connection and ultimately opens the door to physical and emotional affection.
5. Not aroused? No problem
Many couples mistakenly belief that it’s necessary to be aroused before being intimate with each other. The truth of the matter is that arousal is merely a response to intimacy, not a precursor. The next time you politely reject the offer, maybe you should go with the flow and see how your body responds. You may end up enjoying it more than you thought.
Intimacy problems don’t have to indicate the end of a marriage, but they need to be taken care of. If all else fails, couples therapy could help to revive your relationship and take your intimacy to the next level.