What comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘intimacy’? We bet after reading this question, most of you must have related the term to sexual intimacy between partners. But ‘intimacy’ is not just about satisfying each other’s sexual needs in a relationship; it is also about connecting with one another at the emotional level. This ability to know each other inside out is called ‘Emotional Intimacy’ and we are going to help you get acquainted with it.
Infact, a relationship goes through types of intimacy in its life, and is much beyond than bonding on the bed.
What is emotional intimacy?
Emotional intimacy in marriage basically means that the couple is able to emotionally connect with each other and feel safe with one another. Both of them get the opportunity to share not only their dreams but also their failures with each other. This kind of intimacy allows the relationship to become meaningful and helps it prosper in an appropriate manner. However, in order to establish emotional intimacy in a relationship, three prerequisites are extremely essential: trust, openness and transparency. Without these, any couple cannot hope to have a happily ever after.
Signs of emotional intimacy in a marriage
Let us go through some of the signs of emotional intimacy so that you can get to know when your relationship is devoid of such intimacy and accordingly work on developing it again.
- You both give priority to one another’s needs and are always ready to lend a helping hand to each other
- The communication link between the two of you is so clear and strong that there is no scope for misunderstandings
- Both of you respect each other’s personal time and space
- You both are able to accept each other completely despite the flaws and never try to transform one another
- Your perspectives and principles about life become aligned with your partner’s perspectives and principles
Until and unless a couple can relate to one another at a deeper level, they cannot hope to survive the test of time. Without emotional intimacy, true love cannot flourish in a relationship. Serious commitment to the marriage will be missing if there is no emotional intimacy. Plus, a stable family life will not be able to develop. Therefore, the importance of emotional intimacy in a relationship should not be underestimated.
10 tips to develop emotional intimacy in a marriage
Are you feeling disconnected from your wife/husband? Do you feel lonely and unhappy despite being married to the person you love? Are you wondering what has happened to your marriage? If your answer to these questions is yes, then probably your marriage is going through the problem of lack of emotional intimacy. Here are 10 tips which will help you develop a suitable level of emotional intimacy in your marriage.
1. Understand the root cause
Before you take any action to work on your relationship’s intimacy levels, you must try to find the root cause behind the lack of emotional intimacy. Think hard as to when exactly the intimacy started vanishing. See whether your partner is at fault or you have done something wrong, because of which your relationship is facing such a problem. Is it some tragedy or grief that has caused a rift between you two? You need to figure where it started going off the tracks, and that too, fairly.
Do not play the blame game but assess the entire situation fairly so that you can find a solution conveniently. Once you are able to pinpoint the cause, you will be able to deal with this entire situation appropriately.
2. Learn to express yourself in a better manner
Emotional connectivity in your relationship is only possible when you are able to express yourself in a clear manner. So, in order to boost emotional intimacy, you first have to introspect and find out if you are able to share openly with your partner or not. If you find that you are unable to properly express yourself, then working on it would be the right move.
Understand your emotions in a better manner so that you can share them with your partner without any misunderstanding. Jot down how you feel in a diary or journal, that way you will get better at expressing yourself.
3. Spend more valuable time with your partner
You cannot expect intimacy to develop in your relationship without spending time with your spouse. Until you give time to one another, sit down and talk to each other, do some common activities together, emotional intimacy will not reach an optimum level. It is the little things that you do everyday that will help you bond again together in your marriage.
Thus, make sure you schedule your entire day in such a way that you both get time to have heart-to-heart conversations with each other. Try to pursue some new hobby or interest together in order to remind yourselves of your matching wavelengths.
4. Ensure that fights do not escalate uselessly
It is truly a crisis situation when your relationship is void of emotional intimacy. Due to the lack of this intimacy, you both will notice that useless arguments characterise your relationship. Infact, sometimes you end up fighting for the same reasons, and they keep on increasing in frequency and subsequent hurt. So if you want to save your marriage, then you have to ensure that fights between the two of you do not escalate unnecessarily.
For instance, avoid making any critical and rude remarks on your wife/husband and do not give silent treatment to your better half. All this will just cause more trouble. Instead, discuss any serious issues straightforwardly and try to find solutions together. This will deepen the trust and intimacy in the relationship.
5. Focus on physical intimacy as well
Working on emotional intimacy requires you to work on the physical intimacy as well. To be able to touch one another, cuddle and kiss each other, etc. should come naturally to you both, as a couple. But because you both are not connected emotionally, you both might distance yourself physically too.
Therefore, you must make efforts to be close to your partner and become sexually intimate with him/her. And there are non-sexual ways to feel connected with each other as well. Do not shy away from kissing or holding your spouse’s hands. Try to be fun and exciting in bed. All this will go a long way in fostering not only physical intimacy in your relationship, but also emotional intimacy.
6. Give each other the required personal space and time
Emotional disconnect characterises a relationship when the couple is not able to respect each other’s personal space and time. One of the partners might feel suffocated in the relationship and thus become emotionally distant with the other.
In order to remedy such a situation, you have to set certain boundaries in your relationship. Make sure that your spouse respects your boundaries and gives you enough ‘me-time’. Whenever you feel that your partner is interfering with your personal space, you must express your disappointment and encourage him/her to improve.
7. Become a better and a more responsible person
If your relationship is suffering from a lack of emotional connectivity, it does not mean that you give up on your marriage and shun the responsibilities that accompany a married life. Instead you should become a better and more responsible person so that your partner can trust you again.
Development of emotional intimacy depends on the trust that you both have for each other. If you show your spouse that you are taking the relationship and your responsibilities seriously, then you can salvage your marriage from any damage.
8. Appreciate one another often
When there is no/less emotional intimacy in the relationship, it seems as if you are lonely and no one appreciates you. Perhaps your spouse might be feeling the same as well. Thus, what you can do is start appreciating one another more often.
If your wife/husband does something especially for you, then make the effort to say thank you. In this way, he/she will know that you are noticing his/her gestures and will never be hesitant to do anything for you. Once you start appreciating your spouse, you will reach a different level of emotional connectivity.
9. Listen to your partner
In the relationship, you might be taking care of your desire to vent out. But if you are not giving the opportunity to your spouse to vent out and share his/her feelings with you, what is the use of such a relationship?
Remember, any partner in an emotionally distant relationship wants to be heard more and wants to get the reassurance that you are there for him/her no matter what. So that is exactly what you have to do. Listen to your significant other’s doubts and concerns. Make him/her believe that you are always there by his/her side.
10. Approach a counsellor or therapist
If you know the problem is with you, then you can approach a counsellor or therapist who can guide you suitably. A counsellor/therapist is well versed with the ways in which to develop emotional intimacy in marriages, so rest assured that you will be guided in the best way.
If your partner is the one who has caused such an emotional distance between the two of you, then you can convince him/her to visit the counsellor/therapist with you. A few sessions with the expert might help both of you come to terms with the whole situation and find a good solution to the problems.
Emotional intimacy in the relationship cannot be developed overnight. So you have to learn to be patient and remain committed to ensure that you are able to restore the relationship to the previous intimacy level. All the very best, beautiful people!