If You Want An Intimate Marriage, Avoid These 7 Things

When you hear the word intimacy what comes to mind?  For me its words like love, closeness, deep connection, loyalty, commitment, dedication, and caring that come to mind when I hear the word intimacy.  So how is intimacy defined?  Let's look at what Dictionary.com provides us: 

A close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person.
— Dictionary.com

Looking at this definition, we can see that intimacy requires more than just one thing for it to be present in a relationship.  Closeness, familiarity, affection, and love are considered to be necessary factors for intimacy.  So we see the factors that promote an intimate marriage, but what happens when intimacy is hindered?  What are those causes?  

1. unrealistic Expectations

Now when I speak on expectations, I am talking about those high expectations that could be considered assumptions.  And we know what assumptions do right? Expecting your spouse to always act in a way that you deem is right is no way to live because more than likely you will be disappointed.  A lot.  I mean a whole lot. For example, the way you respond to a stressful situation may not be the same way your spouse deals with a stressful situation.  So wanting your spouse to respond the same way you do to stressful times is setting expectations that your spouse may not ever be able to meet.  Learning to appreciate your differences in personality and actions is key to letting go of unrealistic expectations.  

2. No foundation of trust 

Intimacy does not have the ability to thrive in a marriage where trust does not live.  The forefront of intimacy is being able to trust the person, so if trust is not present in marriage, neither is intimacy.  

3. Lack of Positive Communication

There is nothing more critical in marriage than being able to communicate with each other in a healthy and effective manner.  When this type of communication does not happen it opens the doors for a lot of assumptions, disappointments and resentments towards each other. This in turn produces an environment where intimacy has little possibility for growth.  

Intimacy begins with conversation.
— Unknown

4. Lack of Affection

Expressing fondness and tenderness towards each other is a much needed factor for intimacy to grow in marriage.  This includes the act of expressing love to each other in a sexual way.  Physical touch is a component of marriage that is critical for enhancing intimacy in marriage.  

Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.
— Margaret Atwood

5. No Appreciation

No one likes to feel that there efforts are not worthy, especially in marriage.  A marriage filled with an appreciation of each other, makes for a great opportunity for intimacy and love to grow. In a study performed by the University of Georgia, it was found that two words were making all the difference in marriages.  Those two words are, Thank You.  Researchers from UGA surveyed 468 married individuals and asked them several questions regarding their financial well being, demand/withdraw communication and expressions of marital gratitude.  The results of the survey showed that the expression of gratitude was the most consistent significant predictor of marital quality.   It was also found that higher levels of spousal gratitude expressions protected men's and women's divorce tendency.    

6. No Encouragement Given 

Everyone needs to know that they have someone in their corner who believe in them.  Who will always cheer them on. It's even better when that person is your life partner. Celebrating each others accomplishments and offering encouragement promotes the growth of intimacy and it also helps support your spouse in becoming the person they were meant to be.     

7. lack of time Spent Together

If there is no quality time spent together in marriage, there is absolutely no way, intimacy can grow.  In fact, it's not just intimacy that won't be able to grow but also other things critical to a happy marriage like: 

  1. Love 
  2. Trust 
  3. Commitment

A great way for married couples to spend quality time together?  Date Night.   I have found that Date Night is critical to the success of a marriage because of the purpose behind it.  When couples actively date each other, they are purposely creating quality time together. Time together that is so important to the foundation and building of a happy and intimate marriage.