Intimacy literally means ‘closeness.’ Two people that come together to form a marital union, must have what’s called emotional intimacy in order for their marriage to be successful. Emotional intimacy is a sense of closeness and bonding that can be spiritual and therapeutic. It can also refer to emotional maturity, in which bonding is achieved through our ability to divulge our vulnerabilities, our deepest, most personal emotions, and to listen attentively to our partners. Physical intimacy, in which we give one another affection, is equally important to us as humans. Experts have discovered that there are certain pheromones, hormones, and endorphins that are released, when we engage in physical intimacy as well as emotional intimacy. These endorphins flood the reward pathways of the brain, leading us to experience joy. Joy is absolutely vital to any marriage that’s going to last.
Intimacy isn’t just about sex, so often, I think people confuse the two. Intimacy is more about sharing and caring. Being with someone in a way to let them know and feel the love that you feel for them. It allows your partner to see a little of what you are feeling for them. I think the most intimate thing I’ve ever seen, was an elderly couple at the hospital. This gentleman was in the emergency waiting room with his wife. She looked like she had been doing pretty poorly. She was hooked up to an oxygen machine and in a wheelchair. She looked so frail. I was sitting across the room, so I couldn’t hear the conversation, but the elderly gentleman got up and before he walked off, she reached out her hand to him, it was like he sensed her behind him. He turned around and went back to her and leaned down, presumably so he could hear her. She reached up with one hand and pulled her oxygen mask off and the other hand she cupped his face. I don’t know what she said, but they sat there like that for a number of seconds before he carefully kissed her on her brow and put her oxygen mask back over her nose/mouth and walked off. In full view of anyone to see, they completely phased out everyone else around them and had their intimate moment.
A healthy marriage is based on the fact that someone wants to be with you and loves you in all the possible ways a human being can love another person, and this makes intimacy so important. Intimacy means showing that person in a bunch of little ways how much you really do care for them. And it’s not just sex, it’s caring, and listening, and understanding.