Emotional intimacy is how close you feel emotionally to your spouse. It speaks to the type of connection that you share with one another, the non-sexual affection that you show, and how you communicate, openly and honestly. In its simplest terms, emotional intimacy speaks to the friendship that you share with your husband or your wife. Here are four key ingredients to creating electrifying emotional intimacy in your marriage.
Talk to Each Other Just Because
Remember back when you and your spouse were dating and you would call him or her for no reason at all. You would pick up the phone just to hear her voice and say “Hey.” You would send a text that said something pointless like “what u doing?” Have you done that recently? Or do your phone calls and texts these days sound something like “When was the last time the car had an oil change?” or “Can you put the white clothes in the dryer?”
You’re married, so falling asleep talking on the phone is unnecessary, especially because you’re ideally sleeping in the same bed. Still, it’s nice to feel that emotional connection that comes from knowing that your spouse still values your conversation. Those conversations are an important part of being able to continue to connect and maintain your intimacy.
Start trying to re-connect by making it a point to sometimes call just because not to talk about errands, or the kids, or what’s for dinner, but just to talk. You may not be able to have a long conversation. Even if it’s just to call and say “Just wanted to say I love you,” you’ll be stronger for it.
Say Thank You
How many times have you taken the time to say “thank you” to your spouse this week? Sometimes in the day-to-day frenzy, expressing gratitude can get lost. Think of one thing that your spouse has done over the past week and take a moment to express your gratitude. It’s a little thing but goes a long way in making your husband or wife feel appreciated.
Doesn’t it feel good to be able to sit with someone and crack up laughing at the same things? Doesn’t it automatically make you feel close to someone when you can share your own little inside jokes? Marriage doesn’t have to be all serious, with “let’s sit here and reflect on our commitment” conversations all the time. Being able to laugh with your spouse helps strengthen your emotional connection and brings you closer to one another. Thankfully, we live in a world with cable, Netflix, and YouTube, so if you find yourself trying to figure out things to laugh at, just search “funny” and you likely will not be disappointed.
Give a Good Greeting
One of my favorite things about coming home or going to pick up my son from school after a long day is the greeting I receive. As I walk up, I can see him looking out the window and smiling in anticipation for me to open the door. Once I do, I get a loud “Mommy!” as he runs to me with open arms. This moment in my day makes me feel like all the other tomfoolery I’ve had to put up with from him before (and that I know I’ll put up with after that moment) more than worth it.
How good would it make your spouse feel to be welcomed home in a way that made him or her feel like you were blessed and excited to be back in their presence after however long you’ve however long you’ve been apart? Now I’m not suggesting that you stand in the window as he or she walks up the driveway and knock him or her over with a hug at the door. But you can do a lot better than yelling “hey” from your laptop when your spouse walks in.
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Take a full minute to stop whatever it is that you’re doing when you see your spouse this evening. That means get off of the phone, close the laptop, move away from the television, and greet your spouse like you actually haven’t seen him or her all day and that you’re happy for the opportunity to meet again. A hug, a kiss, a “How was your day”—all of these things that take seconds go a long way in letting our spouses know that they’re special.
Have a Regular Date Night
Making time for the little things is important to maintaining your intimacy, but your marriage can’t be all little things all of the time. You do need to have some time now and then where you actually have to bid the kids goodbye and leave the house. I know that this is hard. Childcare and finances will play a big role in how often you will be able to go out on a real “date.”
The frequency with which you are able to do this will vary greatly from couple to couple based on circumstances. There is no “magic number” as to how often you have to do it. The important thing is that you do it. Pick a date, whether it’s this weekend or three months from now, make it your date night, and block it out on your calendar.
If you know that money or childcare is an issue, block it out for far enough in advance so that you can start managing the logistics between now and then, but make sure that you block out that date and let nothing but an act of God stand between you and it.
BMWK, are you ready to create electrifying emotional intimacy with your spouse?