Intimacy has been defined as "a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship." It's also been defined as having "familiarity," "close association," or a "detailed knowledge" of something or someone. Another source defines intimacy as having "emotional warmth and closeness."
Generally, when people refer to intimacy between couples we think of the sexual relationship shared. And while the physical component of an intimate relationship is critical (and awesome!), it's not the only component. There are many marriages between physically intimate couples that, unfortunately, end in divorce. What were they missing? Were they not enjoying "intimacy," in marriage?
There are many different forms of intimacy in marriage - each of which is an important building block in creating your "happily ever after." Forms of intimacy include all of the following:
There are others, but you get the point. Creating a truly "intimate" relationship with your spouse is a journey. It takes time. In fact, marriage and family researchers Schaefer and Olson describe intimacy as "a process that occurs over time and is never completed or fully accomplished" (1981). Creating this closeness, familiarity, and intimacy with your spouse should be a top priority.
How do I build an intimate relationship with my spouse? This is a question every married person should consider and revisit on a regular basis. You may have heard the adage that life is like an escalator - it's always moving up or down and never stands still. Marriage is somewhat like this. Like the escalator, you're always moving up or down - progressing or regressing. You and your spouse are constantly moving closer together or further away from each other. There's no such thing as a "stagnant" marriage. If someone feels like their marriage has become stagnant, it's likely that the couple has grown apart - and it's happened so slowly they didn't even realize it.
The key to building an intimate relationship with your spouse is to be intentional. Be intentional in the activities you do together, in the routines and rituals you create, and in the values and characteristics you seek to develop, all while remembering the influence they will have on your marriage.
The benefits of intimacy in marriage are innumerable! Far too many to list here. Ultimately, the reward is true happiness and lasting companionship as you turn your "happily ever after," into a reality.
“Love is the greatest gift when given. It is the highest honor when received.”
- Fawn Weaver
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