Is your marriage lacking intimacy? Has the affection gone from your relationship? Although the first (and most obvious) sign that things have cooled between the two of you is a lack of sex—or even mundane sex where you feel no connection with your partner—”intimacy” covers other things as well. It can be touching, holding each other, kissing, cuddling… any form of physical contact that creates a positive emotional response in you.
If there are sexual difficulties, there may be another culprit lurking beneath the exterior. One may become frustrated, angry, and perhaps even blaming. So it’s important to look at the foundation the relationship is built upon. Are the other elements present in the relationship that can hold it together? Do you have trust, respect, the commitment to make the partnership work, laughter, and the drive to get past the issues at hand?
Intimacy can be shared in just one tender moment. Take an elderly couple who walk hand in hand, taking care of each other day after day. Their love may be shown in the mere gesture of holding each other up, a peck on the cheek, or just in the care they show each other.
So what can one do to improve the intimacy in a relationship? If you feel the issue is purely physical, then by all means see a doctor and have a yearly check up. However, if you believe there is more to it, then it’s time to take a look at the dynamics in the relationship.
Is One Partner Feeling Pressured and Guilt-tripped?
Putting pressure on this part of the relationship isn’t going to make it any better. A relationship is like a garden where we invest our time and plant seeds. You may need to take inventory of how you cultivate intimacy:
- What seeds are you planting to bring back the joy you once felt?
- Are you putting more planning into dinner than you are in bringing back the intimacy?
- Are the children taking priority over the relationship?
- Is there a way to better manage your time if you are feeling too tired?
Sometimes sex becomes a tool for manipulation in a relationship and sex is used as leverage to get what one wants in the relationship.
- Is one partner feeling an expectation to perform at the drop of the hat, but all the other ingredients are missing within the relationship?
- Do you feel that you can say no or are you going through the motions without the depth and feeling you once had for each other?
Communication is essential to bringing back joy and love into a relationship. Take notice of the tones you are using with each other; communicating in a positive way is like attracting a bee to honey. Spending time together in a loving manner can change the situation. It’s all about getting back to being friends again, and talking and acting with loving intent.
Here are 4 tips to put the intimacy back into your relationship:
1. Take the time to tell each other what you love about each other
Some couples may have to dig to find something about their partner that makes them happy; perhaps you love that your mate takes out the trash.
2. Start complimenting each other and be appreciative of the little things that often go unnoticed
This can help bring love back into the relationship.
3. Start talking about what you need to feel safe and secure to share in intimacy
Take turns talking, and listen to each other and hear what message is being conveyed.
4. Make sure that you yourself are loving and are not expecting someone else to fill a void that only you can fill
When taking an inventory of your situation, it is important to consider if you are happy with yourself. Are there any changes you need to make which can make you feel better. It’s hard to give or even receive love if you are not happy with who you are.