How intimate are you and your spouse? (Outside the bedroom)

I don’t know about you, but it was never my intention to be married, but to live as roommates with my spouse. I actually wrote a blog a while ago focused on helping couples stay OUT of the Roommate Zone.

The roommate zone is when you and your spouse have started to operate more like two people cohabitating and not two people building a life together.  You know what I mean? You pay bills, “help one another out” with the children, and take care of the business of marriage, but the bond between the two of you is friendly at best.

So again, my dreams, my intentions, my expectations of marriage were never to simply be roommates with my spouse.

I am sure that was never your intention either.

I am also sure it is not far-fetched to state that most of us desire to be intimately connected to our spouse.

Okay, let me be clear. While you may not wake up in the morning saying “wow, I want to be intimately connected to you…” what you may be saying is:

I want our sex life to be on point.

I want to be able to talk to my spouse about anything.

I want to know my spouse has my back.

I want to know we are on the same page and working towards the same goals.

I want us to pray together.

But guess what.  All of those things equal up to a desire to be intimately connected to your spouse.

[Click HERE to take the “So You Think You Know Your Spouse” Quiz]

Intimacy is so much more than what happens in the bedroom (or wherever you and your spouse choose to “participate”).  Trust me when I say, sex is only one type of intimacy.

The desires listed above encompass not only Physical intimacy, but Spiritual, Intellectual and Emotional Intimacy as well.

Physical intimacy deals primarily with our sexual connection, but also includes non-sexual touch such as holding hands, kissing and just cuddling.

Spiritual intimacy deals with how we engage in godly enrichment and growth as a couple. This can be expressed through Bible study, prayer, attending worship service together regularly and building your everyday life around shared values.

Intellectual intimacy involves being on one accord with life goals, your basic view of humanity and what truly matters most in your worlds. This can also include, as with spiritual intimacy, how you make decisions about everyday life issues such as parenting and finances.

Emotional intimacy is centered around the ability to share with one another openly, without fear of retribution about the issues/areas of life.  It is a willingness to be vulnerable and available beyond the surface with your spouse.

And let me help you with this nugget — when any of the other areas of intimacy are greatly hindered, trust me…your physical intimacy (SEX!) will eventually be impacted as well.

I realize this is starting to be my swan song, but I have to say this until every married couple gets it:

When you are not intentional about nurturing your relationship, it will begin to suffer from unintentional neglect.  And anything that is neglected will begin to falter. Only what is nurtured will have a chance of survival.

So can I ask you a question? How are you and your spouse nurturing all areas of intimacy in your marriage?

Okay, so maybe at this point you are with me.  You realize that if you truly want great sex, open and productive communication or an improved spiritual connection with your spouse, you must be intentional about intimacy in every area of your life.  But the question you now have is how? What do you need to do, now that you know what’s at stake?

First, I believe you need to consider what has hindered your intimacy.  In order to fix a problem once and for all, you need to know what is causing the problem.  Over my years of working with couples, I have found 4 primary reasons that intimacy has been hindered.  Click HERE if you want to read up on the 4 areas I have discovered.

Next, I believe you need to follow these suggestions to build the intimacy in your marriage:

  1. As a couple, identify the area in your marriage that lacks intimacy 

Let me take some of the pressure off of you.  Every  married couple has some area in their marriage that needs to be improved.  I want you to think about the couple that you respect the most.  Do you have that couple in mind?  Okay, now…Trust me; even THEY have areas ripe for improvement in their relationship.  So its okay for you and your spouse to identify which area in your own marriage needs the most improvement.

You can start by identifying the area that you have the most conflict and then identify what is the real issue.  So for example, if your greatest area of frustration is finances, maybe the issue is a lack of trust (Emotional intimacy) or the issue may be that you are not on one accord when it comes to your life goals (intellectual intimacy).

Once you identify the area that is lacking, seek resources (or even professional support) to begin to nurture that area.

  1. Make a decision to do YOUR part when it comes to improving intimacy.

It is so easy to place blame on your spouse, but what are YOU doing to improve the intimacy in your marriage?  Have you made it a point to major in your spouse? What is your partner’s love language?  What draws your spouse towards you?  What is your spouse’s most pressing prayer request?

Intimacy boils down to our willingness to dive deep into the life of our spouse, to stay connected beyond the surface and to learn and grow together.

(Keep reading.  I have something to help you with this).

  1. Make a commitment to stay consistent.

Building intimacy in marriage is a lifelong commitment, not a one-moment-in-time decision.  That it is why it is critical that you remember the principle I shared earlier.  Let me repeat it:

When you are not intentional about nurturing your relationship, it will begin to suffer from unintentional neglect.  And anything that is neglected will begin to falter. Only what is nurtured will have a chance of survival.

Your marriage deserves a lifetime commitment of building and maintaining your intimacy, in all areas with your spouse!

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So, I want to help you!  Remember I said that intimacy boils down to our willingness to really know our spouse , to connect beyond the surface?  Here is a FUN, EASY to Do Quiz to help you see how well you really know your spouse! Click HERE to gain instant access to this QUIZ!

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