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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Beyond just sex, finding real intimacy with your spouse

Intimacy includes the realms of emotional, social, mental, spiritual, experiential and sexual closeness. Intimacy is defined as “a close, familiar, and personal relationship with another person; a detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, person, period of history; or an expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like.” While society often focuses on sexual expressions of intimacy, sex is only one kind of a token — a symbol or evidence of — one realm of intimacy, not actual intimacy itself. How then, can a couple fill the deeper need for true intimacy beyond their sexual relationship?
Pray

Talk together to God as if he is the Father who cares because he is. Talk to him as if he is the God with power to help because he can. Pray individually, but also pray as a couple and as a family. Praying together will also teach you the concerns and gratitudes important to your spouse. My husband and I have already noticed that praying together softens our hearts and prompts us to positive changes we can make individually and together.
Focus on the other

One couple struggled because neither of them felt any intimacy needs were being met, but realized they spent most of their time brooding internally about feeling neglected by the other. Consciously looking for ways to serve their spouse not only helped them get to know each other better, but also helped them each feel more loved. Small and simple acts of service for each other will go a long way toward melting hard hearts and returning your relationship to a place of tenderness.
Listen

Being attentive to someone you love is the best way to learn who he is and how to meet his needs. We learn and grow every day, and so are not the same as we were yesterday — much less 10 or 20 years ago. Listening well to your spouse will help you feel connected to him, understand where he is in personal development struggles, support him in challenges, and discover ways you can help.
Counsel together

There is a lot of “business” in a relationship, from childcare to finances to housekeeping. These are shared responsibilities for both partners, and so it is important to take time to discuss these issues regularly and often. How does your spouse feel about the job? What’s been hard with the kids lately? Where can pennies be pinched, and what are you doing well? What spiritual guidance has each felt that needs to be applied as a family? What has there not been enough time to say, and what are you especially grateful for this week? How do you need help, and what is going well? These are all important things to communicate with your spouse, and the answers from your spouse will give you new pieces to who she is today and who she wants to become.
Spend time together

Couples often forget they are a “couple,” above all else. Work, kids, caring for aging parents, and community responsibilities are all a good part of life, but couples need time together when they are just a couple. Make time for regular date nights and find activities you can do together — apart from the regular “business” meetings together. You can be creative, rekindling your courtship without spending a lot of money or neglecting other duties. Include the Passion Plan as part of your time together!
Encourage instead of criticize

Sex can meet some of our needs for touch and closeness, if shared lovingly as a couple focused on the other. But some of those same needs can also be met by appreciating our spouse, celebrating her successes and engaging in non-sexual touch. When we appreciate, our spouse will recognize success and be motivated to try harder. When we hold hands, touch our spouse’s back as we reach past them for something or even dance together in the kitchen, these communicate closeness and touch in tender ways.
Remember the three T’s

Laura M. Brotherson, the author of “And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment,” points out that women need talk, touch and time to feel loved and to be prepared for physical expressions of that love. Talking will help you feel emotionally connected, time will help you both feel appreciated and understood, and non-sexual touch will help her feel loved without the pressure of expectation. This creates a safe and inviting environment in which she can respond with her own demonstrations of love and affection. It is emotional intimacy that improves physical intimacy.

Intimacy is more than just sex, and sex alone does not fulfill our needs for intimacy. It means to know someone well, and to work hard at loving well. To love someone else means to serve willingly, and with good cheer. It means to forgive, apologize, and appreciate. Increase love by expressing it. Express it internally through positive thoughts and appreciation. Express it outwardly through continued and ongoing courtship. Serving each other will help you see your spouse the way God sees him or her.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Love

 

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Ways to show your husband you love him

 

    Men and women share a lot of similarities. But they’re also vastly different. And I don’t just mean anatomically. Men have different drives, desires and motivations than women. And because men and women are different sometimes there are a lot of misunderstandings between the genders.

    Nowhere are men’s and women’s differences more apparent than in how men and women feel loved. Because you love your husband you want him to know it. But because he’s a man sometimes it’s difficult for you to show him you love him in ways that he will see. So sometimes you feel like he really doesn’t understand how much you love him. Well, here are three things you can do to show your husband that you really do care.
    Plan the date once in a while

    There’s an unspoken expectation that men are supposed to be the ones to plan the date. And, usually, they’re happy to do it. But after a while they begin to feel that it’s misbalanced for them to always be the one to do it. After all, you’re both married now so why does he have to be the one to do it all the time?

    Planning the date shows your husband that you care about your marriage enough to break old gender stereotypes and plan the date once in a while. And this will show him that you care in big ways that he will see and appreciate.
    Send random texts

    Everyone has seen postcards that say something like “wish you were here.” And when you received one of these postcards it makes you feel good that someone was thinking about you enough to lick a stamp and send it to you. It’s not a big, long letter expressing undying love. It’s just a simple postcard. But it still made you feel loved.

    Nowadays, e-communication has taken the place of snail-mail and postcards. But e-communications can still have the same effect. And one of the ways of showing someone you’re thinking of them is text messaging. When your husband gets a text message saying I love you it’s like getting a “wish you were here” postcard to him. It makes him feel happy that you thought about him enough to send a simple message. Even though it’s simple, he still likes it and knows that you love him.
    Have sex with him…often

    I know it’s cliche. But this cliche is true. Men feel close to their wife when they know that you want (and like) to have sex with him. If you don’t want to have sex with him, he begins to wonder why. He begins thinking that maybe you’re not in love with him, or maybe there’s something wrong with him. After all, when you’re married there are no other reasons to not have sex.

    Sex is a great way to show intimacy and passion in ways that you can’t show with anyone else. So when your husband knows you want to have sex with him it makes him feel special. And he feels loved as a result.

    Yes, men and women really are different. And nowhere is this more apparent than how men and women feel loved. But knowing these things can help you show love to your husband in ways that he sees and appreciates. And when he sees and appreciates how much you love him, you two will grow together in loving, intimate ways that you never knew you could.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Love

 

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