How to Build Intimacy and Keep it Alive
There ARE couples who take time to intentionally connect. They have two patterns in common:
- Ongoing Dialogue
From those you can follow these 3 applications:
Talk about sex, or general intimacy (emotional, verbal, hopes, dreams, fears, etc). See recommended resources/podcasts for ideas and tips.
Maintain friendship – spend time together. We repeat what we enjoy, what feels good. What do you like doing together? Be creative and fun. 😉
Talk about what is holding you back from connecting and then problem solve together. The easy way is to schedule a date night. Even an at-home date can be fun and sexy. Be mentally prepared. For example, light some candles, don’t wear underwear, send flirty text messages!
Note, you also need to be kind in the way you speak to each other and the way you speak about each other even outside the bedroom.
The way to make this a part of your life is to Plan, Prepare, and Prioritize!
God’s word says – in our weakness He is strong. So even if this is hard for you, just ask Him for help.
You actually need to schedule it! If it doesn’t work to be spontaneous, maybe you can just give scheduling a try. Fatigue is the #1 mood killer for women. It’s easier to plan for it if it is scheduled.
Go back to the dialogue. That get’s you more comfortable with your spouse. Ask questions – “what do you like the most?”, “what’s the best way to get you in the mood?”, “did you think about sex today?”, etc.
Problem solve – what’s getting in the way? Kids? Relationship issues? Other? Be creative and intentional as you problem solve together.
Couples who stay connected say “no” to the things that are not best. Even being completely kid centered is not necessary.
It’s about the relationship and the connection, not just about sex, so you need to prioritize that too.
What are the most common struggles?
- Desire discrepancy (the level of desire doesn’t match up). There are lots of reasons for this – don’t think it’s your fault!
- Body image issues – you don’t feel comfortable naked but your husband sees you and just thinks “naked woman, woohoo!”
- Pain or past trauma.
- Some women have never had an organism.
- Pornography struggles or betrayal due to pornography.
Regardless – treatment is available and it can change your life if you are willing. There IS help and there IS hope.
The best thing is to find a local certified sex therapist. The next best thing would be to listen to podcasts or read a book on one of these topics from a reputable source.
- Good doctors – Dr. Jennifer Konzen, or Dr. Erwin Goldstein
- Podcasts – The Savvy Sauce, Java with Juli,
- Books – The Celebration of Sex by Dr. Douglas Rosenau , The Art of Intimate Marriage by Dr. Jennifer Konzen and Tim Konzen, and Clifford & Joyce Penner (lots of books).
Want a regular date night but don’t have the time? Check out Date Night In A Box.
Hacks for Maintaining Balance
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
God is faithful to His word and He knows you. Seek Him first and all those other things in your life will be added.
A huge help is finding anchors in your life so you can be aware if you are drifting. Find repeatable daily habits that can be your anchors.
Examples might be:
- Wake up before kids and get some form of scripture.
- Find a set time and plan the week with spouse and sync calendars to avoid miscommunication.
- Weekly date night.
- Create systems to intentionally spend time away from the kids and or intentionally spend time with them.
- Turn off phone notifications, keep on silent/face-down when with others (bonus: get more done!).
- Get help with your email inbox by using something like Unroll.me.
- Personal bedtime for lights out.
Greatest marriage advice?
Always consider yourself the lucky one.
Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Study your spouse and ask questions, find out about what they love and join them as a companion. Pray that you would continue to get to know each other better. And don’t forget to schedule a weekly date night!
Live out the lyrics – the more we get together the happier we’ll be. Pursue your spouse today and enjoy that gift of friendship!
aura married her best friend, Mark, 9 years ago and they moved around the country 9 times before having 3 beloved daughters, with baby #4 on the way. Laura is a marriage and family therapist and her graduate school specialization was Christian sex therapy. She has counseled in a private practice setting in San Diego, taught college courses as an adjunct professor in Indiana, and in 2018, she launched a 100% interview-based podcast called The Savvy Sauce podcast. Practical Chats for Intentional Living. She spends most of her time pouring into her kids who are all 5 and under, dating her husband, and hosting in her home. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.