Marrying someone means that you would live with that person for the rest of your life and spend all your moments – good, bad, ugly – with them. For this, you need to develop intimacy in your marriage. Intimacy is not just physical closeness and sex, but means several other things.
What Is The Meaning Of Intimacy In A Marriage?
Intimacy is the kind of relationship and proximity you share with your partner. It could denote being honest with one another and having an open communication, sharing personal thoughts and desires, having a spiritual or intellectual connect, and of course connecting with your partner on a physical and sexual level.
No two couples are the same. Therefore, what fits your friend may not fit you. This means that you may have to work out your relationship a bit differently from the rest. Over the years, as you grow together in the marriage and on a personal level, your levels of intimacy will also undergo a change.
The Importance Of Intimacy In A Marriage:
While there are not too many studies that show the importance of intimacy in a marriage, an increasing number of researchers are turning their attention towards it. Social experiments are being conducted to collect and analyze data and understand couples better.
The authors of a particular study spoke to 335 couples to understand their communicational, emotional, and sexual intimacy. The same was done to understand the level of satisfaction that they shared in the relationship.The study found that when a couple was sexually intimate with each other, it greatly helped to improve their level of emotional intimacy in marriage.
However, this was not true the other way round. The level of emotional intimacy did not always relate to the level of sexual relationship that they shared. In fact, researchers also found that the level of emotional and sexual connection that a couple shared could determine how intimate they felt and how much more they wanted to be.
6 Types Of Intimacy In A Marriage:
How intimate are you with your partner? At what level do you want to connect with him? You can understand this once you know the types of intimacy.
Emotional intimacy: When you share your thoughts, desires, and anything related to feelings, you are sharing an emotional connect with your partner. It may be the way you listen to your partner without interrupting or the way you understand each other without always having to express it. It is also your ability to guess how your partner will feel about or react to a particular situation or words.
Physical Intimacy: This isn’t sex per se, but also small gestures to show that you love each other. You can share a healthy physical intimacy with your partner by giving each other a hug, kiss, holding hands, etc. regularly.
Sexual intimacy: Connecting with your partner on a sexual level can help you both be more comfortable with each other. Having a healthy sexual relationship with your partner will bring in confidence into your relationship. Healthy sexual intimacy is one in which you can share your sexual thoughts and desires with your partner, without being judged, ridiculed, or sounding weird. When you find sexual satisfaction in your marriage, it can help strengthen your marriage and make it happy and fulfilling.
Intellectual intimacy: This intimacy allows you to have open discussions about various issues and come to a consensus. This would be good for your marriage and your family as it reflects on your team effort.
Spiritual or religious intimacy: When both of you give each other the freedom to choose certain religious or spiritual practices and follow them together, you are spiritually intimate. You may also decide to do certain rituals together and plan the same mutually.
Financial intimacy: Having a combined plan of action and improving and planning the financial situation of the family translates to financial intimacy. You may have a joint account,or separate accounts, but as long as you both share your financial position and discuss things mutually, things would work like a charm.
7 Ways To Increase Your Levels Of Intimacy With Your Partner:
Here are some key ways in which you can increase the amount of intimacy you share with your partner:
1. Trust your partner:
You can be intimate with your partner only when you both can share an immense amount of trust. Mutual trust is very important for any relationship to flourish, and helps a marriage attain various levels of intimacy. When you trust your partner, and vice versa, it means that you are respecting one another.
This would show that you want to be with one another and that you are putting in your fullest.
2. Have an honest communication at all times:
It is very important to have an open and honest channel of communication with your partner at all times. Listen to one another without interrupting and make it a two-way communication.
Your conversations may not always have to be about serious topics. You could talk about how your day was, what type of people you may have met or interacted with, any incident worth mentioning, if you had a bad phase in the day, anything that made you feel sad or depressed or made you miss your partner.
When you discuss the most trivial things with your partner, along with the serious ones, it will truly give you both a lot of avenues to connect on.
3. Care for your partner:
Caring for one another brings out a special bond and intimacy in marriage. It means that you should be attuned to the things that will make your partner happy as well as be good for your partner’s health and overall well-being.
When you care for your partner, you will make sure that everything is done in such a way that it is beneficial for your partner. Sometimes, you may have to do something that your partner may not approve of. If you think it is important, talk to them about it and make them understand.
4. Do not hesitate to apologize when you are wrong:
The secret to making any relationship work is to say those magic words – thank you, I love you, and sorry. Just as you would want to be appreciated when you do something nice for your partner, make sure you are also ready to say sorry when you know that you have done something wrong.
You may or may not have made a mistake by choice, but if you understand that you have erred then take responsibility for the same. This would increase your value in your partner’s life. If you do understand where you were wrong, you can try and work on the same and avoid it the next time.
When your partner notices this, he will make an effort to take responsibility for his actions as well. Remember that saying sorry or accepting that you are wrong will not make you a weaker person, but will make you a trustworthy and positive person.
5. Accept your partner’s weaknesses:
You love all the good things about your partner and love him for those. In a similar way, learn to accept the negatives in your partner as well. Remember that you are not all good yourself, and are a mix of both.
Even when you know your partner’s negative characteristics, do not point them out each time. If you do so, your partner will feel that all you do is nag and it could affect your intimacy in a negative way. Instead of always worrying or getting upset about your partner’s negative traits, try to focus on the positives and encourage your partner to do the same.
6. Set clear limits in your relationship:
Just because you are married to each other does not mean that you have to agree to everything that your partner expects of you and the same holds true for your partner as well. Every relationship should ideally have some boundaries, and when you set boundaries in your marriage, it will keep your relationship healthy.
Setting boundaries in your relationship will also help you respect each other. Some things may be against your values, or that make you feel uncomfortable, and you would have the freedom to say no to them. When you are comfortable in the relationship and are sure that you will not have to compromise or go against your values, it will help you be more intimate with each other.
7. Learn to be forgiving:
When you learn to forgive, it will automatically make you less angry and resentful, and more peaceful with yourself. Mistakes should be forgiven if they are minor, and you should make sure that they are not repeated. Holding a grudge would only lead to negativity.
Remember that when you learn to forgive your partner, you will also learn to trust again, which will help you build on your intimacy skills. Make sure that you tell your partner what made you feel bad and that you are willing to look past it and move on. However, remember that if you want your partner to behave in a certain way, you would have to follow the same example.
5 Reasons Why Your Husband Does Not Want To Be Intimate With You:
Here are a few reasons why your husband may not want to be intimate with you, or does not initiate any physical or sexual intimacy:
Living with parents or in-laws: If you live with your parents or your in-laws, your husband may not always be comfortable and may avoid getting physically or sexually intimate with you.
Away from each other for long periods: Another angle to this could be that you visit your parents a lot, or are away from your marital home for a long period of time at a stretch. It is also possible that your husband has to be away from the marital home for long periods of time, and as a result may not be able to connect on an intimate level. This could bring an intimacy distance between the two of you.
Priority to your role as a mother than a wife: When you have children in the picture, it may be difficult for your husband to be able to connect with you as you are more devoted as a mother than as a wife. It is possible that your time with kids eats away your time with your partner. This could lead to a loss of intimacy.
Giving up on physical aspects: It is possible that you have reached a stage in your relationship where you feel too comfortable and settled, as a result of which you may end up looking after yourself. You may have gained some extra kilos over the years, or you may not try to be as presentable as you used to be earlier. As a result, your partner may not feel physically attracted to you and may not want to be intimate.
You never initiate intimacy of any kind: If there is a lack of intimacy from your end towards your partner, it can turn into a very one-sided relationship. Your partner may feel that he is the one who is always forcing you to get intimate. As a result, he may lose interest and may not want to continue the same way.
Intimacy in a marriage is all about connecting with your partner at different levels. When that happens, your relationship can turn into a strong and loyal partnership, where you are friends as well as lovers. Take the necessary steps to create intimacy in your marriage for a mutual connect.
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This article was originally posted on Mom Junction