When your relationship has a high level of emotional intimacy, you share your feelings, needs, fears, successes, and failures knowing you will continue to be loved and cared for by your partner.
Building strong intimacy in your marriage can give your marriage the satisfying fulfillment you desire.
Here are 6 exercises to strengthen emotional intimacy in your marriage:
1. Do something new and engaging together.
- Prepare new, exotic meals together from beginning to end. Search recipes for some cuisine the two of you would like to try. Together, buy the groceries, prepare the meal, and of course, eat together.
- Learn a new language together. Focus on learning relationship-specific words that will help you express appreciation, be affectionate, and flirt.
- Create a marriage bucket list and then get started on completing your list.
Research shows that doing new activities can reignite the passion in your relationship. They help the two of you experience challenges, successes, and failures together. You’re able to see each other’s authentic self without the pressure of being perfect.
2. Show affection.
- Each day, give each other a deep, passionate kiss for at least 20 seconds. Your body will release chemicals in your brain helping you to increase the connection between you. (We aren’t responsible for whatever happens next.😉 )
- Each day, give each other a great big hug for a minimum of 20 seconds. This has a similar effect of increasing the bond and connectedness. Just good, old-fashioned affection.
- Cuddle. Yes, that simple. Cuddle and rest in each other’s presence.
3. Do marriage enrichment together.
- Take a class.
- Attend a retreat.
- Participate in a marriage webinar.
- Read a book together and talk about it.
- See a good marriage counselor.
All are good ways you can invest in your marriage to help you share, grow closer to each other and strengthen emotional intimacy.
4. Make time to talk.
- Practice focused, uninterrupted talking and listening. Take 15-30 minutes each day to share whatever is on your heart. Your one goal is to make sure that each of you feels heard and understood. Some days the conversation may be a rundown of the day. Other days you may each reveal deeper levels of transparency and vulnerability.
- Be curious. Ask each other questions. Be vulnerable and transparent as you share your thoughts. Increase your intimacy with these 200 conversation starters for couples.
- Set aside regular time to connect. Dr. Linda Duncan, a marriage researcher and Professor Emeritus at Tarleton State University, shares that couples can build intimacy by intentionally connecting at four distinct points throughout their day: 1. When you wake up. 2. Before you depart for the day. 3. When you reconnect after work/school. 4. As you go to bed.
How you connect at each of these four moments can have a tremendous impact on the intimacy within your relationship. “Connecting” can be as simple as getting your spouse a cup of coffee and saying “Good morning,” giving them a kiss goodbye, and saying “I love you,” giving them a hug when they get home, and some pillow talk before saying “goodnight.”
5. Celebrate your togetherness
- Stroll down memory lane, revisit memorable date nights, or look at pictures and videos while reminiscing on the experiences you’ve shared.
- Take 15 minutes to exchange genuine compliments or express appreciation for each other.
6. Make the most of pillow talk
- Eliminate the tech devices and potential distractions. Invest that time into one another.
- Give kids a bedtime or at least a quiet time when they are in their rooms for the night leading up to bedtime.
- Share with each other how they can make you feel safe, cherished, and valued.
- Talk about what arouses each of you.
Each of these 6 exercises on their own may not strengthen your emotional intimacy. However, if you do these with a heart of gratitude and appreciation toward your partner and you make them a habit, you’ll begin to feel closer and more connected. You’ll find yourself sharing more of yourself and getting to know your partner more fully.
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***