Does your marriage lack intimacy? Have the physical connections in your relationship gone cold? Although the first, and likely the most obvious, sign that intimacy has cooled between the two of you is a lack of sex, “intimacy” covers other things as well. It can be touching, holding each other, kissing, cuddling; really, 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 surface. One person may become frustrated, angry, and perhaps even blaming. So it’s important to look at the foundation upon which the relationship is built. Are there other elements present in the relationship that can hold it together? Do you have trust, respect, the commitment to make the partnership work, humor, and the drive to get past the issues at hand?
Intimacy can be shared in tender moments. Take an older couple who walk hand in hand and take care of each other day after day. Their intimacy may be displayed in the gesture of holding each other up, in a peck on the cheek, or in the care they show each other.
What can you do to improve the intimacy in your relationship? If you feel the issue is purely physical, then by all means see a medical professional, and keep up with yearly check-ups. However, if you believe there is more to it, then it’s time to take a look at the dynamics in the relationship.
Putting undue pressure on the intimate component of the relationship isn’t going to improve it. A relationship is like a garden, where we invest time and plant seeds. You may need to take inventory of how you are cultivating intimacy. Ask yourself these questions:
- What seeds are you planting to bring back the joy you once felt?
- Are you putting more time into planning dinner than into bringing back the intimacy?
- Are the children taking priority over the relationship?
- If you’re feeling too tired, is there a way to better manage your time?
Sex can become a tool for manipulation in a relationship. That is, sex can be used as leverage to get what one wants from the relationship. Is one partner feeling an expectation to perform at the drop of the hat, but all of the other ingredients are missing from 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 in 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 help improve the situation. It’s all about getting back to being friends again, and talking and acting with loving intent.
Here are four tips that can help you put the intimacy back into your relationship.
- Take the time to tell each other what you love about each other. Some couples may have to dig a bit to find something about their partner that makes them happy. Perhaps you love that your mate takes out the trash. Tell her!
- Be appreciative of the little things that may have been going unnoticed. Start complimenting each other. This can help bring love back into the relationship.
- Start talking about what you need to feel safe and secure, so you’re able to share in intimacy. Take turns talking, and be sure to listen to each other and hear what message is being conveyed.
- Make sure that you yourself are loving, and that you’re 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 that you need to make that could make you feel better? It’s hard to give or receive love if you’re not happy with who you are.
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