For most of my life, when I heard the word intimacy, all I could think of was sex. Sex is awesome and important to your marriage. However, in our culture, the words intimacy and sex are mistakenly used interchangeably. And in the same way that we don’t really talk about sex, we don’t really talk about intimacy.
But in the last few years, I was challenged to think about intimacy in a much deeper and more profound way. Intimacy is about connection and closeness. If you feel like you have drifted from your wife, or if you think you’re just not as close as you used to be, chances are your marriage is missing intimacy. Here are 3 types of intimacy your wife needs.
1. Emotional IntimacyListening communicates that you are present with your wife and that she deserves your time and attention.
I know I can be emotionally unavailable. It is hard to shake me. When things are good or when things are bad, I stay pretty consistent with my emotions. But your wife needs emotional intimacy. She needs you to empathize with her pain and celebrate her joy. The low hanging fruit for growing in emotional intimacy is listening. Listening communicates that you are present with your wife and that she deserves your time and attention. Another way to work on your emotional intimacy is to share your emotions with your wife. In your next conversation, use feelings terms when telling a story about your day, like “This really made me frustrated at work because…” or “When this happened, I was sad because…” This is not natural for most men, so we must work at connecting with our spouses emotionally.
2. Physical Intimacy
Yes, sex does count as physical intimacy—but it’s not the only type of physical intimacy your wife desires. She wants to be held and loved and cherished. Hold her hand, lightly slap her booty when she walks by (but only if she likes that sort of thing), hug her in the morning. How you engage in physical intimacy needs to be appropriate and specific to your wife’s needs. Before deciding to initiate physical intimacy in a certain way, consider whether she likes being physically intimate in that way. And what may help with physical intimacy is being intentional to work on emotional intimacy. They are connected.
3. Spiritual Intimacy
This one may be the hardest of the three, but I think it’s the most important. In my own marriage, I have learned that this is a big one my wife desires from me. Spiritual intimacy is in recognizing that our lives and our marriage are not an accident. I believe my wife and I are married to each other for a reason. Spiritual intimacy brings unity. This doesn’t mean we don’t argue. It just means we believe that what God has put together, no man can separate. When we are both closer to God, we are closer to each other. Spiritual intimacy looks different for every couple, but I would challenge you to evaluate this for your marriage. Do you believe your marriage is an accident or do you believe you have been put together for a purpose? This is a great conversation for you and your wife—and it’ll cultivate some spiritual intimacy.
Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife: 1 Major Thing You Can Do to Fix a Lack of Intimacy in Your Marriage.
Sound off: How are you connecting to your wife in these three areas?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “If there were one thing you would change about our relationship, what would it be?”