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7 Ways to Enhance Intimacy in Marriage

7 Ways to Enhance Intimacy in Marriage

Successful marriages last a long time. While working at the same place for twenty or thirty years can be monotonous, being married for the same amount of time should be anything but. In fact, successful marriages are so long-lasting simply because both parties actively keep things fresh. The love stories you hear about a couple on their 25th, 30th, or even 50th wedding anniversary all have one thing in common: they’ve done everything they can to keep the passion and intimacy in their marriage alive and growing.

They do so by:

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1. Not taking life too seriously.

Life certainly won’t be all fun and games, but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Never lose the flirtatious personalities you had when  you started falling in love. Joke around with each other, play pranks on each other, even tease each other (nicely, of course). Be the one who can pull the other out of the dumps when they’re feeling low, and remind them how much there is to enjoy about life.

2. Follow passions together.

Find things you both like to do, and experience them together as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to try new things, either. I know I would never go to an art fair by myself, but I love exploring the different crafts and gadgets being presented while strolling through an exhibition with my wife. And she would never go to a Yankee game if it wasn’t for me, but we have dozens of inside jokes and memories that stem from sporting events in which we both ended up having the time of our lives. Always be open to an experience you know your spouse will enjoy.

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3. Be physically present and loving.

Being physical in a marriage doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Remember when you were younger and used to hold hands all the time, or kiss each other goodbye or goodnight? Never stop doing that. Always show love and affection for your spouse, no matter how “used to it” you feel you are. You should never be used to hugging your husband or wife, simply for the fact that one day you might not be able to do so.

4. Write out your feelings.

Don’t just tell your spouse you love them; show them in words. Write them little love notes or poems, and send them letters (even though you live in the same house!). Putting your feelings into written words will not only mean much more to them, but doing so will also refresh in your own mind the reasons you love and care for them so much. If you feel like your relationship has hit a snag or has become somewhat stagnant, get out some fancy paper and write to your loved one exactly what you’d say if they were sitting right next to you.

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5. Give thanks and pray together.

Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily lives.

5. Spend quiet time together.

Take time to visit a place that is special to your marriage, and simply enjoy that time with no interruptions or outside thoughts. Take in the scenery together, holding hands while making a short, fleeting moment last forever. Let every other care and worry you have slip away, and know that in that moment, the only thing that matters is your relationship.

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6. Talk things out.

Like I said, not every moment in your marriage will be perfect. Rough times are unavoidable. But they’re unavoidable for a reason. Instead of trying to skirt the issue, or pretend everything is fine, don’t be afraid to talk about what’s bothering you. There’s nothing worse for a marriage than bottled up feelings that will one day explode in fits of anger or rage. If you feel like your marriage has hit a snag, don’t go to your friends for advice; they’re not experts in your relationship. Go straight to the source. Talk to your spouse about the problem you’re both facing. It will be much easier to work through whatever’s irking you than avoiding the issue altogether.

7. Give thanks and pray together.

Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily life.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

1. You’re depressed about your home life.

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

3. You can’t stop snooping.

Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

4. You’re afraid of commitment.

If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

7. You chase past feelings.

It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

Final thoughts

If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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