Physical intimacy with your spouse is a very important part of your marriage. It is the glue that holds you together in your unique bond as a couple. But this level of intimacy doesn’t only involve increased sexual activity. It involves other ways to engage your spouse throughout the day and week to make your times of sexual union more enjoyable and meaningful.
Deepening intimacy outside the bedroom.There are several strategies you can use outside the bedroom that will increase the feelings of intimacy between you and your spouse. It’s just as important to pursue emotional intimacy with one another as it is to pursue physical intimacy. When you take steps to increase the emotional intimacy in your marriage, your physical intimacy will be blessed. Here are some tips you can try outside the bedroom.
Deepen your friendship.
The best marriages are based on a foundation of friendship. Friends simply enjoy one another’s company. They are bound by a choice to be together, not an obligation. Engage in activities that both of you enjoy regularly. For some couples, this may be playing or watching sports together.
For other couples, this may mean watching funny movies together or taking walks after dinner. Think about the kinds of activities you enjoyed when you were dating and make those part of your weekly friendship goals for your marriage. This will deepen the emotional intimacy in your marriage.
Serve each other.
Galatians 5:13b (NIV) says, “Serve one another humbly in love.” Every day you can find a way to serve your spouse in love to increase feelings of emotional intimacy. You know the things you do that your spouse appreciates the most.
This may look like pitching in with household chores or watching the children so your spouse can have a night out with their friends. Do some homework and ask your spouse which acts of service and love mean the most to them. Then put them into practice regularly to strengthen your bond.
Improve your quality of conversation.Intimacy with your spouse will grow exponentially when you better understand how they think and feel. You can gain a greater understanding when you improve the quality of your conversation. This means using listening skills to hear what your spouse is saying under the surface. Simply asking thoughtful questions such as, “Can you tell me more?” will get your spouse to open up.
When your spouse knows that you care enough to listen well, they will feel safe enough to trust you more, and your level of intimacy can increase. Keep in mind that there is a difference between listening and hearing.
Listening is an act that does not always reflect understanding, empathy, or care. Hearing, however, goes beyond just listening to what is being shared and adds to it emotional understanding that comes from your spouse’s tone, body language, pace of speech, and facial expression. Conversation is always communication of the values that matter most your spouse.
Increase non-sexual affection.
Acts of affection that don’t lead to sex can significantly increase the emotional intimacy in your marriage. Daily hugs and kisses when you leave in the morning and come back together at nighttime are essential for stoking love and warmth between you.
Other acts of affection like holding hands and patting each other on the arms or shoulders create an atmosphere of caring and kindness between you. Simply give these acts of affection as gifts to one another without the expectation that it will lead to bedroom activities. This will take the pressure off both of you and remind you to simply enjoy each other’s presence.
Offer verbal affirmations.
So many of us feel worn down by the burdens we face throughout the day. We may encounter many negative interactions with others and feel depleted by the time we get home with our spouses in the evenings. You can increase the emotional intimacy factor in your marriage if you offer daily words of affirmation to your spouse.
Make a list of all the qualities you admire in your spouse and tell your spouse at least one of these every day to give him or her a boost. This verbal affirmation will help your spouse relax and feel your love.
Cover everything in prayer.Do you ever pray about your intimacy level with your spouse? Many people do not cover this matter in prayer because they don’t think it’s worthy of God’s attention. But God is the creator of marriage and intimacy, and he deeply cares for every aspect of your life, including your emotional and physical intimacy with your spouse.
Commit to praying that God will help you do what you need to do to deepen the emotional and physical intimacy with your spouse. Trust that God will show you new things that you can do to bless your spouse.
Deepening physical intimacy inside the bedroom.
Once you have employed all the other strategies outside the bedroom, you will have created an atmosphere of warmth, love, and trust, which will help your spouse relax and enjoy the physical intimacy you share when you are alone together. Here are some tips to deepen your physical intimacy inside the bedroom.
Be patient and kind.
It’s rare for both spouses to have an evenly matched desire level every time they become intimate with one another. But patience and kindness will go a long way in helping spouses get their desire levels matched up. Be patient during foreplay activities, knowing that your spouse may take longer than you to become aroused.
Also show kindness to your spouse by being tender and gentle, especially in areas where you know your spouse is sensitive to criticism. A spirit of kindness will cover those areas like a protective shield.
Ask your spouse what they want.
Here is another opportunity for you to serve one another in love. Sex can be hard to talk about, but if you ask your spouse what they want, you’ll have a better idea of how to serve them in the bedroom.
If you have created a safe space of communication with all the work you’re doing outside the bedroom, your spouse may be more willing to be honest with you about what turns them on. Encourage honest sharing by sharing honestly yourself. Then try to meet your spouse’s needs in the ways they have expressed them.
Try one new thing.Whether you have been married a short time or a long time, you may have gotten into a rut in your physical intimacy with your spouse. By trying one new thing when you’re in the bedroom, you can freshen your sex life and deepen your intimacy.
This can look like purchasing new lingerie, taking baths together, eating fruit or whipped cream off one another’s bodies, or trying a different sex position. You are free to be creative in your bedroom as long as your spouse is comfortable with what you are doing. Have fun and enjoy one another by trying new things together.
Follow up well.
What you do after sex with your spouse can also boost the physical intimacy in your relationship. You may want to cuddle and linger together in bed for a while after sex when both of you have the highest level of bonding hormones active in your body.
You may also want to say loving and affirming words to one another or have a fun ritual every time, such as enjoying a late-night snack together. When you follow up well, you and your spouse will know there is something good to anticipate at the end of your sexual union, and this will whet your appetite for more physical intimacy.
Christian counseling for physical intimacy in marriage.
If you put these tips into play and you’re still experiencing challenges with physical intimacy in your marriage, fight the urge to feel discouraged. Many marriages can use a refresher to get unstuck from a challenge in the bedroom. Meeting with a Christian counselor can help you move past whatever physical intimacy issue you may be facing with your spouse.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for the objective guidance you need to connect on a deeper level with your spouse. We have helped many other couples overcome obstacles in the bedroom and form stronger bonds with one another, and we can help you as well.
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