There are hundreds of tips for making a marriage last from people who have made it work and also from those who wish they could have. But the one thing you’ll hear time and time again is that intimacy in marriage is crucial. And it’s not just sexual intimacy, either.
Being close emotionally is even more important than having a healthy sex life. You need to bond and maintain a close connection all throughout your marriage. If you don’t, it’ll be really hard to make your love last through all the hardships marriage brings.
Many people believe a marriage will just function on its own
Because you’re married. You’ve already proclaimed your love and so you feel like there’s nothing more to do. But that’s just not how love works. You need to be actively working toward a healthy relationship all the time.
It takes a lot of work and effort to make a marriage last. Those who get married thinking their love can last based on how much they care going into the marriage will find themselves very disappointed. A relationship can only last if both people are putting in the effort to maintain the intimacy. [Read: 10 ridiculous myths people believe about marriage]
Why intimacy in marriage is crucial to a happy, long-lasting relationship
If you think a relationship can survive without intimacy, you’re wrong. Here’s why you need to be aware of how close you and your spouse are, both emotionally and physically.
#1 You’ll care more. I know this might sound weird. You married your spouse. You love them. Of course you care. But when you grow further and further apart, you care less about them.
The closer you are to someone emotionally, the stronger your feelings grow. And if you care more, you’ll put forth a lot more effort to make them happy. This amount of effort will help your love last. [Read: 11 sweet and intimate ways to show how much you care]
#2 You’ll learn more about your partner. We’re always changing and growing as people. So is your spouse. If you stop communicating and talking to each other, you won’t learn anything new about them and it’ll keep you at a distance.
By having a deep emotional intimacy, you’ll continuously learn more about your spouse and this can help you both stay close. The more you know, the more in love with them you’ll continue to fall.
#3 You’ll be more aware of sensitive issues. When you communicate regularly with your partner, you’ll easily be able to tell when certain topics are a little sensitive for them.
Many people who don’t talk to their significant other enough or don’t listen to them have issues with offending them. They don’t realize a certain topic will anger their partner and this can often lead to arguments and fighting.
#4 Communicating is much easier. When you’re already close, talking about your problems and insecurities and even your desires becomes so much easier. You don’t have to worry about feeling awkward bringing up things that might be a little sensitive. And since communication is the most important part of a relationship, this helps your love last. [Read: 14 steps for better communication in a relationship]
#5 You feel more confident. This has everything to do with physical intimacy and having a healthy sex life. Sex is a huge part of a relationship. If you’re not having sex with each other, you’ll both feel a little bit worse about yourselves. So maintaining a healthy level of physical intimacy helps you feel more confident and in return, you’ll avoid issues associated with insecurities.
#6 You avoid bigger issues. When you’re emotionally intimate with someone, you tell them everything. That includes things that are upsetting you. Because you’re actively talking to each other and working on staying intimate, you avoid issues that can arise when that intimacy is gone. [Read: 25 tips to avoid marriage problems early on]
#7 Your family will be healthier. This is obviously only if you already have a family or want a family in the future. Having a very strong emotional bond as a couple can really help your children learn about healthy relationships.
This is super important for your relationship because when your family is healthy and happy, you harbor less negative feelings. When you’re happier in life, your relationship will be happy, too.
How to increase intimacy in marriage
If you feel like your marriage is struggling a little bit in the intimacy department, here’s how you can change that.
#1 Ask more questions. Your partner might not be the best at communicating and if that’s the case, you may need to help them. Just ask more questions than you are. Ask about their day and what they did for lunch. Ask how they feel about something you did recently.
When you ask questions, you start talking more. Talking is essential for growing closer and increasing intimacy in marriage. [Read: 50 questions to check if someone’s right for you]
#2 Initiate sex even if you’re not feeling it just yet. We’re not always really horny every time we start to have sex. Sometimes you just need to be the spark that gets the fires roaring. Initiate sex! Go up to your spouse and pull them into you. Whisper something naughty in their ear and get your sex life back on track.
#3 Talk about controversial issues. If you really want to bond, discuss controversial issues going on in the world. See what they think about them. This can help you fall more in love with their mind and how you see things. You can also bond of your similar opinions and discuss in greater detail things you don’t always agree on. [Read: 12 meaningful topics that ignore an intellectual conversation]
#4 Enjoy your alone time together. This might be a little more difficult to do once you have a busy family but it’s essential you get alone time together. And more importantly, that you are present and enjoying that time.
It’s really easy to want to use your time as a couple and just catch up with social media or your favorite TV show. But you really have to focus on engaging with one another romantically if you want to get that intimacy back. [Read: 13 very romantic dinner date ideas for two]
#5 Seek therapy. Sometimes it’s really hard to see what the real problem in your relationship is. Going to relationship counseling and seeing a professional can help more than you think. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need a little extra help to get your marriage on the right track.
If there’s something you two just can’t work through and you’ve tried everything yourself, then it’s time for a professional to lend a hand. You eventually go to the doctor if an illness doesn’t go away, right? This is no different.
[Read: 12 easy ways to keep intimacy alive in a relationship]
You may not know just how important intimacy in marriage is and it could be costing your relationship a great deal. Make sure you’re maintaining a deep emotional and physical connection with your partner.
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