Meet Mary. Mary has been happily married to her second husband for 4 years, and is raising two children from her previous marriage. Mary’s first marriage failed miserably. She and her partner were incompatible, but that wasn’t the only reason. Rather than enjoying college life, she chose to get married at 18. Big mistake. And yet, her first marriage taught her valuable lessons on how to survive in a relationship and how to fix problems instead of running away from them.
Here’s what she learned.
Stop Pushing to Fix Intimacy Problems in Your Marriage
The moment Mary’s kids were born, her relationship changed completely. With a newborn to take care of, it’s only natural for a couple to spend less time together. But for her, intimacy was almost non-existent. Several years later, she noticed a universal trend among men. Push them to do something and they’ll do exactly the opposite (…although, according to Mary, this may very well apply to women as well).
Since she didn’t understand her problems or how to deal with them, she became pushy. She was constantly nagging about the lack of attention, asking her partner if she was unattractive to him, and even accusing him of cheating. None of these issues were true of course, but it was the only way she knew how to relieve her anxiety and make sure they were still doing alright. She wanted reassurance. Yes, she was 18. And yet, it took another 10 years for her to realize she was actually making matters worse. She now knows that understanding and patience make up the first step of fixing intimacy problems in marriage.
Let Go of Your Insecurities
If you’ve ever been worried about getting naked in front of your spouse, join the club. It’s common for women (and even men!) to feel insecure when getting undressed in the presence of their partner. What’s worse though is that it’s not your clothes that are holding you back; it’s your own fears that keep you from establishing a deep emotional connection with your spouse. After all, if you’re unable to open up, are you truly ready for intimacy?
What Mary realized during my previous marriage is that men don’t really care about muffin tops, saggy skin or other imperfections. Intimacy between two people goes beyond the shallow walls of your appearance. Consider Julia Roberts’ famous line in Eat Pray Love: “Have you ever been naked in front of man and he’s asked you to leave?” Unlikely. Insecurity can do more harm than you think. It can cause resentment, trust issues and overall dissatisfaction with your relationship. The solution? Accept yourself for who you are – life is too precious to spend it worrying about how you look. Maybe easier said than done, but a goal worth striving for.
Don’t Let Jealousy Get the Better of You
During the first two years of her marriage Mary was consumed with jealousy. It even got to the point where she didn’t speak to her ex-husband for days if he so much as looked in another girl’s direction. Over time, this feeling of jealousy became uncontrollable and affected every part of her relationship. They didn’t share many moments of closeness with each other, and as a result, they drifted apart.
The turning point for Mary was a conversation she had with her sister who went through pretty much the same thing. ”There will always be someone more beautiful, more intelligent and more charming than you. So why waste your time thinking about it?” She was absolutely right.
Intimacy is not about your appearance or what happens between the sheets. It’s about mutual understanding, looking beyond the imperfections of your significant other and ultimately, getting to know each other on a deeper level.
Find out how much more there is to learn about the person you’re spending your life with, and you’ll soon discover that jealousy, pushiness and insecurities have no place in a healthy, intimate relationship.