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Marriage Intimacy: Reconnecting
Marriage Intimacy: How to Reconnect and Rekindle the Spark
If you and your partner have been together for a while, you might struggle to maintain good marriage intimacy. And that makes sense! You and your spouse are busy people, and it’s easy for that “spark” you once had to fade into the background. (Related article: Marriage Counseling is for Both of You). Plus, sex and desire are complicated, and you may not know where to begin when it comes to improving physical intimacy in your relationship.
So what can you do to bring back the passion in your relationship? Today, you will learn more about maintaining marriage intimacy and how you can rekindle and reconnect with your spouse.
The End of The Honeymoon
When you first met and began dating your spouse, things probably felt like a dream. There’s a reason people talk about “having butterflies”. Your experiences in a new relationship can be exhilarating!
You can thank your brain for that. When you begin a new relationship and touch your partner (or they touch you), your brain will release oxytocin. Oxytocin is a useful hormone; it will help you feel a bond with your partner by giving you a “reward” when you are physically affectionate (Source).
Those initial experiences where you are still infatuated with each other are an essential part of building a foundation of trust for the remainder of your time together. But what happens when the infatuation fades, and the butterflies are gone? (Related Article: Newlyweds). Sex might seem like another chore on your to do list. Where did the spark go in your marriage?
Causes of Intimacy Issues
It might seem impossible to spot the exact source of your struggles when it comes to intimacy and sex. “Intimacy” is a product of the general emotional and physical connection you have with your spouse. Emotional intimacy is a necessary part of having a satisfying sex life with your partner long-term. (Related article: Do We Need Sex Therapy?) And intimacy is created through many meaningful interactions with your partner over the course of your partnership.
That’s why you might not be able to spot just one cause of your disconnection when it comes to sex and intimacy. There probably isn’t just one cause for your frustrations. Although issues with sex most often come from interpersonal marriage struggles (Source). Thankfully small, intentional acts can help to rekindle your emotional connection and improve your sex life as a result.
Ideas for Reconnection
Let’s talk about what those small, intentional acts might look like in your marriage:
-Practice touching your partner affectionately. Good sex with your spouse is not just about what you do during sex; it’s also about what you do before and after. Practicing casual, affectionate touch with your spouse can help to show love for your partner. Some ideas could include sitting next to each other on the couch while you watch TV, or holding hands.
-Approach physical intimacy with curiosity, not fear. Intimacy in marriage is not a test, it is an opportunity for connection with your partner. (Related article: Promoting Partnership). Taking the time to reframe sex as an opportunity to improve your bond with your partner builds trust in them. Trusting your partner is an essential part of intimacy and that “spark”.
-Encourage vulnerability. Good physical intimacy as a couple will start with your ability to open up and be vulnerable with your partner. (Related Article: Building Emotional Intimacy). That might look like opening up to your spouse about a frustration you have in a kind and compassionate way. Or, it might look like thanking them for a thoughtful act. Being willing to communicate openly and honestly with each other will lay the groundwork you need to fully reconnect.
The First Step
There is good news. The fact that you are reading this article and trying to learn how to improve your marriage means you are taking the first step. Small steps go a long way in marriage.
Another way to take a step forward in improving your relationship and marriage intimacy is seeking couples counseling. A therapist can help you to find ways to reconnect and rekindle your passion for your spouse and improve your intimacy. Ready to get started? Start couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins