When the topic of intimacy in marriage is mentioned what comes to mind is emotional closeness, mutual trust and a deep sense of connection. For many couples there is a longing for more of this in their relationship. Even when you are happily married, there is often a feeling that “things could always be better” and this can be a good incentive to keep working on your relationship and finding ways to improve intimacy with your spouse.
All human beings consist of three main areas, namely body, soul and spirit. Another way of describing these areas would be physical, emotional and intellectual, and spiritual. When two people get married all of these areas are involved and increasing intimacy in marriage will necessarily entail being aware of the whole person-hood. Although there is some overlapping, it can be helpful to address each area in turn as you look for ways to become more intimate with your loved one. The following insights have been grouped into these three areas:
Insights for increasing physical intimacy
Sometimes there is a misconception that intimacy in marriage is mostly about making love or having sexual intercourse. This is indeed a very important factor and should be a frequently enjoyed part of a happy marriage. However, there is so much more to intimacy than sex, and the more “intimate” the couple becomes in all the other areas of their lives, the closer and more fulfilled they will feel in their love life together.
Goodbyes and hellos: Make a point of prioritizing little moments of closeness throughout the day, especially when you say goodbye in the morning as you go your separate ways to work or whatever your day may hold – take the opportunity for a lingering loving kiss and an assurance that you will be thinking about each other during the day. Then again when you are reunited at the end of the day, there is nothing more heart-warming than a welcoming smile and a long, strong hug to say “I’m so glad we are together again.”
All night long: Try to go to bed at the same time, and always say a warm and loving goodnight to each other. This is the opportunity to wipe away any tensions there might have been during the day, say sorry if you need to and reassure one another of your love and hope for another new day to be together tomorrow. Whatever your individual most comfortable sleeping positions are, always try to have at least one point of your bodies touching while you sleep. This helps you to feel connected, and as you stir and turn in the night you will know you are not alone.
Insights for increasing emotional and intellectual intimacy
Probably the single most important way for a couple to improve intimacy in marriage is through conversation: talking, talking and more talking! As it is well known that most of us are not able to “mind-read” so therefore we need to share our minds (and hearts) with those we love and trust.
Take time to talk: Talking takes time and in our busy daily schedules, sometimes this can be pushed aside as a “waste of time”. On the contrary, if you are serious about increasing and maintaining intimacy in marriage you will need to schedule good quality time for uninterrupted, face to face conversation with your mate every day. Find what works for you: perhaps an evening walk around your neighborhood, or perhaps a breakfast or lunch date once a week. And if you can manage a night or weekend away from time to time, even better.
Play games together: When last did you play your favorite board game together? Of perhaps you prefer going to the gym, kayaking or cycling? Whatever it is you both enjoy, do it together and let it be an opportunity to grow closer in your relationship and to learn those surprising little insights into your spouse’s personality and preferences which you may never have noticed before.
Insights for increasing spiritual intimacy
We are all spiritual beings and whatever our spiritual beliefs or choices are, it is important that these are shared by a married couple. When both partners are in agreement regarding their spiritual convictions and practice, this is a great blessing and enhances their intimacy on a spiritual level.
Pray together: Joining hands and praying together regularly is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your beloved. Special moments for prayer may include giving thanks before meals, or at bedtime, or as you leave home in the mornings.
Read good books and scriptures together: Another way to increase spiritual intimacy in your marriage would be to read together. There are any number of uplifting and encouraging books available nowadays, some of which have short potions for daily reading. Or you might want to read your particular chosen scripture or devotional material together, and discuss how you each feel this applies to your life and your marriage.
Worship together: Meeting together in a place of worship with others who share your beliefs is also greatly beneficial. Every couple needs like minded friends for support and encouragement, as we all journey together on this path of life.
As you work on implement these and other insights you will no doubt find the intimacy in your marriage increasing, not only physically but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.