rebuilding intimacy in marriage

4 Ways to Get to Know the Stranger You Married

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What happened to the woman you married? You remember her? You agreed on almost everything, and what you disagreed on you found cute. She seemed to hang on your every word. Heck, she even thought your jokes were funny. Now, all that’s changed and sometimes you feel like she’s almost a different person. But rebuilding intimacy in marriage is possible.

Life has a funny way of changing people. And when that happens, we can sometimes find ourselves feeling distant from our wives, like two strangers living together. Rebuilding intimacy in marriage is going to take some work but you can do it. Here are 4 ways to get to know the “stranger” you married.

1. Look in the mirror.

Our knee-jerk reaction to change in our marriages is to point the finger. We think, “I’m the same person. She’s the one who has changed!” But marriage is a two-way street. It’s highly unlikely that the distance between you is the result of her movement alone. And just like creating distance is a two-way street, rebuilding intimacy in marriage takes both of you. This journey begins with a gut check.

Key question: “Am I making choices that are creating distance between my wife and me?”

2. Pursue your wife.

If your wife feels like a stranger, then take that as an invitation to pursue her.

Let’s face it, once she says “I do,” many of us get lazy. Whether we’re consumed with work or family or other things, we shift our attention to other pursuits. If your wife feels like a stranger, then take that as an invitation to pursue her. Imagine you’ve met her for the first time. What might you invite her to do? Go to a movie? Grab a cup of coffee? It might sound odd, but begin treating your wife like someone you want to know.

Key question: “How would I date my wife if today were the first day that I met her?”

3. Get interested.

If you feel like you don’t know her, what a great opportunity to get curious! Start asking her questions about what she’s thinking, how she’s feeling, what she’s passionate about, where she sees her career going, where she sees your marriage in five or 10 years. Rebuilding intimacy in marriage begins with being interested in who it is you are married to.

Key question: “What does your wife imagine when she dreams about the future?”

4. Be interesting.

I know, I know—you’re a super interesting dude. But maybe, just maybe, it’s hard for your wife to show much interest because your life consists of work, watching TV, and meeting up with friends to grab a beer. What if you became more interesting? I’m not saying you need to become a different person. Rather, I’m saying, invest in your own growth. Learn something new. Challenge yourself in healthy ways. The more healthy and fulfilled you become, the more interesting you’ll be.

Key question: “What is one step I can take in the next month to invest in my own growth?”

Sound off: What is one way you’ve learned to build intimacy with your wife?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “When do you feel most connected to me?”