As husbands, we must make an effort to build the intimacy in our marriages. When we say intimacy, it does not automatically translate to sex. Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, a psychologist and writer for PsychCentral.com, notes that intimacy is more than just the physical connection between two people.
She claims that actual intimacy involves knowledge, acceptance, understanding of differences, the feeling of security, compassion and empathy, and emotional relatedness. To nurture intimacy with your wife, you will need to follow these simple and effective tips:
Great Tips for Men to Grow Intimacy in Marriage
1.Turn off your phones and other devices.
When you are with your wife, you should give all your attention to her. How can you develop an intimate connection with your spouse if you are getting distracted by social media posts, uploaded photos, and tweets?
You must put your phone down when you are spending time with your spouse. Turn off any notifications and alarms. Even calls must be diverted to avoid unnecessary disruptions to your connectedness.
Other devices must also be removed, especially in the bedroom. Laptops must be switched off. Tablets and even smartwatches must not be kept beside you. Do not allow any interruptions when you are talking to her. Focus your eyes on her.
2.Build the trust in your marriage.
Your relationship with your wife is all about love and trust. If you want to grow the intimacy in marriage, you must create a safe environment that allows both of you to freely share anything about yourselves.
This means that you must put all judgment and prejudice out the window. You have accepted your wife for who she is and who she is not. Don’t forget that you vowed to love her in good times and in bad. Make your marriage a haven for sharing what’s in your mind and your heart.
You can start by sharing intimate details of your past with her. Think of information that will help your marriage mature. You can tell her of a relationship that you had before. You can reveal issues that you had with your family that might be affecting your relationship with her.
Do not hesitate to go all out with her. If you are to provide a safe environment to her, you must be totally vulnerable with your emotions. Once she sees that you are open to sharing parts of your life with her, she will also start to be comfortable with revealing her heart to you.
3.Go to a retreat together.
To grow intimacy in marriage, you must look for activities that will bring you closer together both physically and emotionally. One way to do this is by joining other couples in marriage retreats.
Programs and activities are set by organizers to allow husbands and wives to communicate with each other on a deeper and more intimate level. You will be more connected and bonded in the retreat.
A thing to remember with these marriage enrichment activities is that you have to spend a considerable amount of money, because most of the time, these retreats require you to book a hotel or villa where you get to spend time together. But think of it this way: you are already putting money into investments to earn more money. Treat these retreats as an investment in your marriage. You will gain more if you place your money on building your relationship.
4.Balance your time for yourself and your spouse.
For intimacy to be nurtured in your marriage, you have to enjoy every minute of the connection between the two of you. You can only do this if you are not exhausting all your time with your spouse or failing to take time for yourself.
A healthy marriage can only exist if you allow each other to have some space as individuals. Before you got married, you were two separate persons with their own dreams and aspirations. Marriage should not remove your identity as individual people.
You should still allow each other to spend some time with their friends. Each of you should pursue their hobbies and interests. Being complete and satisfied as two distinct beings will help you build your intimacy as a couple.
5.Date your wife.
Can you still remember the days when you prepared for your date before you got married? You picked nice clothes, got the best seats, and reserved expensive tables in restaurants. How is your dating life today with your spouse?
For most husbands, dating has become more of a chore than an enjoyment. You say to yourself, “I need to date my wife to make her happy.”
Bring back the times when you eagerly wanted to spend time with your wife. Treat dating as your way of getting more intimate with her. Hold her hand. Assist her when she is getting out of the car. Listen intently when she is talking. Focus your attention on her. Dating her with the purpose of knowing her better will bring you closer together.
5.Get a book and read it together.
You can look at the bestsellers list and find books that you can read together. It does not have to be romantic. You just need to get one that is to both of your liking.
Once you select a book, you should set some time to read it together. After reading a chapter or two, discuss your opinions toward the material. You can also talk about the things that went through your head as you were reading it and the emotions that you felt about what the characters did.
By knowing how your wife thinks and feels, you can get a better understanding of who she is as a person. You can also know how to approach her when somewhat similar situations occur.
6.Find out more about your differences.
Aside from just looking for your similarities, you should also find out your personality differences. Look for the things that make you react differently. Learn about your pet peeves.
Some instances can trigger your anger and annoyance, but with her, it’s just nothing. The same goes for her, too. Some situations may cause her to be irritated but may just be fun and enjoyable for you.
Knowing about your differences can help you adjust to one another’s personalities. If you are in specific situations that can activate frustrations, you should be there for each other to alleviate the emotions.
Differences may also be in the form of your various strengths and weaknesses. If you can determine what you are good at, you can complement each other’s lives. Where you are weak, she can be better. And where she needs help, you can be the one to help her.
7.Develop the friendship.
Your intimacy can also be expressed by being a friend to your spouse. You should always be available for your wife. Be her best friend. You should be ready to hear her stories about work or your kids. You should give a shoulder for her to cry on. And you must be her number one cheerer and motivator.
By lending an ear to your spouse, you are assuring her that she can pour out her thoughts and emotions to you. You will always stop what you are doing and listen to what she is saying.
A friend is someone you go to when you need strength. By being the friend that your wife can go to, you are nurturing your relationship and increasing your connection.
The best friend should also be the number one fan. If she aims to be promoted, you should encourage her and give her words of affirmation. Tell her that she is doing great. If she is stressed and demotivated, you should be the loudest person in the crowd and say to her that she can do it.
8.Shower her with physical affection.
Do not forget to kiss her every day. This is not the normal peck on the cheek or smack on the lips. This is the sensual type that lasts 30 seconds to a minute. You can do it before you go to work and after you arrive home. You can also do it at random times—when she is cooking, when she is reading a book, or when she is just watching TV.
Hug her. A hug does not always need to lead to sex. This is a physical appreciation of your wife. A warm hug can remove any anxiety or nervousness in an instant.
Hold her hand. You can do this both publicly and privately. When you are walking in the park or mall, you can reach for her hand and just continue strolling. If you are just at home and sitting together on the couch, you should also hold her hand. Before you sleep, you can also just wrap your fingers around her hand.
Growing the intimacy in marriage is not just an expectation that we, as husbands, must meet to protect our marriage. True intimacy is meant to be enjoyed by both the husband and the wife.
The connections that you will have, the appreciation of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and the acceptance of who you both are as individuals and as a couple will make you feel secure and safe in your relationship. Give sufficient time and energy to foster the intimacy in your marriage.