Most people think of intimacy in terms of libido and sexual prowess. However true intimacy in a marital relationship is often more to do with a melding of minds than anything physical. Snuggling together on a Sunday morning in bed and talking. Watching a movie together and discussing all the plot failing and the obtuse characters. Walking after dinner and enjoying the silence as you stroll together. These are instances of true intimacy where a couple shares their life in spoken and silent ways.
The sheer sense of comfort that you feel with your partner for life, has a lot to do with developing intimacy rituals where you both can be yourself. No, this does not mean simply being able to brush your teeth with the bathroom door open. It’s about being able to share your opinion and know that it will be heard without scathing judgement. It’s reminiscing about childhood pets together and trying to figure out whose was naughtier. It’s about sharing the space in the kitchen when you cook different elements of the same meal together.
How Does One Increase Intimacy in a Marriage?
While the first thought may be to begin with a well planned date night, or some sort of romantic evening, it may not be the best way to build intimacy. Please understand that I am not saying that romantic outings planned and executed with perfection are a bad thing, simply that in addition to the times that you make all that effort to make your spouse feel special, there should be times during every single day that you can make your spouse feel special.
Communication is the key here. You need to make time during the day to speak with your life partner. Just as much as it is important to do something together each day. It could be a simple morning ritual where the two of you share a hot beverage early in the morning before the busy day’s schedule takes over. This is a sacred time, just for the two of you. A space where you can speak about past memories, plan about the future or simply sit and enjoy the comfortable silence of being in each other’s presence.
How Do You Improve Your Communication With Your Spouse?
Most ladies are comfortable with sharing their feelings right off the bat. However, most gentlemen are anxious about doing this and showing their vulnerability. A good way for the lady to get the communication started would be to share memories. You can begin with small anecdotes about your own childhood. Something about your pet, or an important school event, just begin with sharing the actual event and how it affected you. Then ask for one of their memories from childhood. This is a very non-threatening way to set the conversation ball rolling.
Once your spouse is comfortable speaking of events in the past, you could switch to something that happened just last week when you were driving the car. This encourages the partner to share more current details of their life. Also remember that there will be times that your relationship needs silence. Don’t turn into a constant chatter box just to keep the communication going. Gradually, these small discussion that disclose different aspects of yourself will evolve into deeper meaningful conversations regarding both of you.
Build a Routine and Your Own Traditions
A routine is pleasing to a well structured mind. This could be things like eating dinner at a specific time on weekdays and following it up with a couple of shows on Netflix. Or taking the dog out for a walk in the evening together. Maybe even one partner helping the child get ready for bedtime while the other clears out the kitchen for the night. The concept of knowing what happens next is a good one for building a stable relationship. This does not mean that you fall into a rut and don’t enjoy yourself spontaneously once in a while.
You can even work spontaneity into your relationship by making a day date night. Here each partner gets to pick the activity for the night on an alternating basis. That way the onus of getting everything right does not lie with one single person. There will be some dates that both will enjoy, while others that both will regret. The idea is to build memories together. The memories that you can discuss and laugh back on when you are sitting with your hot cup of coffee across the dining table with your spouse a week, a month, or a year from now.
Some Ideas to Promote Intimacy on a Daily Basis
Many of you may already have some daily actions that promote intimacy and don’t even realize it. For those of you newly wed and looking to build your own intimacy rituals here are some ideas that you could start with. Not everything is right for all couples, so just find what works for both of you as you delve deeper into your relationship.
A stroll at night after all the day’s work is done. Just holding hands and walking together in comfortable silence.
Cooking a meal together from scratch. This can be a weekend special activity if you do not have the time to do it every weekday.
Picking a song that is yours, perhaps the one you danced to on your first date. Now playing it on the phone and simply dancing softly to it. An excuse to hold each other.