One of the hardest things for married couples to achieve is building intimacy in a marriage.
In his survey of marital satisfaction among 101 adults who have been together for as little as a year and as long as 42 years, psychologist Robert J. Sternberg has found that although passion important, it is intimacy that rates the highest.
Intimacy can be defined as the sense of another person fully knowing who you are, and loving you because or in spite of it. This kind of connection requires you to be really honest about yourself and allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable.
For some, intimacy is that increased sense of calm pleasure whenever you see a loved one’s face after some absence. Or it may also be that sense of being “home” in the presence of your partner.
As a married person, it is important for you to realize that building intimacy is the key to a fulfilling and happy life. The good news is that even the tiniest acts of love and affection can turn your married life around. The following are four activities which can help you build strong intimacy in our marriage.
5) Disclosing more will make you feel closer together.
According to Joel B. Bennet, author of Time and Intimacy: A New Science of Personal Relationships, intimacy is a process of discovery with another. Sadly, it is easy to lose that urge to keep on discovering everything there is to know about one another over time without continued attentiveness. To some individuals (psychologists refer to them as “openers”), having intimate conversations with others is really easy as something about them encourages disclosure. For other individuals (dubbed by psychologists as “self monitors”), opening up or making it easy for others to do so is really difficult, making it hard for them to form and maintain close relationships.
4) Make time to have deeply emotional conversations with your partner.
Having deeply emotional conversations is one of those precious times when couples feel the closest to each other. Sharing each other’s thoughts at the end of the day is one of the most intimate things a couple can do so be sure set aside some time for these conversations.
3) Do something new or big together.
According to one woman who answered in the survey mentioned above, having a productive talk about something upon which they disagree is one of those moments when she and her partner feel closest. But another thing that is also very important, she adds, is when they do something unfamiliar together. It could be raising some cats or doing some volunteer work or something nice for friends and family. Doing these kind of activities will lead you to feel more in sync with each other.
2) Ensure each other that is safe to open up.
If ever you are part of a mismatched couple and you crave a deeper level of communicative openness from your partner, it is advised that you continue to work at becoming a non-judgemental listener and to keep in mind that comfort levels with verbal sharing typically increases with practice in an emotionally safe context.
1) Make it harder to walk away from each other.
When Susan Tyler Hitchcock and her husband noticed that their relationship was stagnating, they made it a point to have a year-long sailing trip in the caribbean. According to Susan, all the planning and commitment involved with the extensive journey made her and her husband feel “pulled together”. And since both of them are confined in a cruise ship, neither of them could just walk away from each other, allowing them to learn to talk to each other on a deeper and more honest level.