How To Increase Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage

How To Increase Physical Intimacy In Your Marriage | Relationship Coaching

Welcome back to part six of my relationship intimacy series! I cannot even believe that we are already on the fifth type of relationship intimacy; these weeks, I have been so into the things I am teaching, learning, and putting into action that time has gone by quickly. Digging into this series has also created a deeper level of wisdom in my own life around how I show up in my relationship and the dynamic of the intimacy dance between partners. Today we wrap up the series by talking about how to increase physical intimacy in your relationship. Then I’m going to take a little break from the intimacy topic before coming back to explore a few different aspects of physical intimacy that will help you right where you are in your relationship so you can sensitively take steps of exploring where you want to go from there.

In review, if you haven’t listened to my previous teachings on intimacy, please take some time to go back and listen, starting six weeks back with the first episode on What Is Relationship Intimacy.

Let’s start with looking at the definition of physical intimacy.

Intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Physical: relating to the body.

Physical intimacy is a close union of the body, an intimate mixture of physicality.

An intimate mixture of our bodies most certainly brings about a mental image of a couple having sexual intimacy, which most certainly is an intimate mixture, and I don’t think any of us will argue with that, but that is not the only way to be physically intimate with our partners. If we are only intimate in a sexual way, without including other forms of physical connection, we might be having sex in a transaction form, meaning it is being done as a “transaction” or duty rather than for intimacy and connection.

There are many other forms of physical intimacy that we want to consider to build trust and desire for our relationship, physical intimacy, and our desire for sex that isn’t transactional. Touching your partner in ways that let them know that you see them, in ways that aren’t sexual or making the other feel sexually threatened, in ways that don’t tell your spouse that “it’s time to have sex.” These could be touching their shoulder when they walk by, making eye contact when you talk, holding their hands, touching in bed without the intention of it leading to sex, putting your hand on their knee when sitting together, sitting close enough to touch. All of these forms of touch are important in letting your partner know you care about them and making them feel safe. If you are only touching your partner when you want sex, that can create a habit of withdrawal; your partner could take that to mean that the only time you want connection is with the intention of having sex.

How to increase physical intimacy in your relationship.

The pattern you’ve noticed in this series is intention. If you want more physical intimacy in your relationship, you must be intentional about creating it and creating it safely. It’s good to understand that many people have experienced some sexual trauma in their lives, which is a great place to start communication. Opening up about our physical desires and our fears can make us feel vulnerable, and that is what this whole series has been about, being open to the discomfort around exposing our fears and desires. Starting the conversation is a good place to start, always knowing how someone else is acting in your relationship has everything to do with them and their life experience and nothing to do with you. It’s important to be sensitive to this truth.

Start small and be open to exploring what is going on for each other and knowing that you are not responsible for how someone feels. We are always responsible for how we feel; if our partners aren’t initiating the connection, it is about something they are struggling with; it is never about you and your lovability or attractiveness.

Another place to start is implementing physical touch forms that feel safe for you and then observing what happens in your body when you implement these strategies. Talk to your partner about what you are feeling and why; as you explore what is happening for you, you’ll start creating awareness, and you might be surprised about what you discover about yourself. As you start to introduce other forms of touch, you build trust and connection, connection to yourself first; from here, you can start exploring each other in the bedroom as well. You can start observing what you are thinking and feeling when having sex; this in itself can reveal a clearer picture of what might be getting in the way of enjoying sex. Taking time to explore what is going on inside of you will help you take steps towards developing a physically intimate relationship that feels real instead of forced or obligational.

Let’s look at some examples of how you can increase physical intimacy in your relationship.

  • Start small and ask yourself what you would like more of; maybe you want to start with increasing physical intimacy, not through touch but physical presence, eye contact, and awareness. Maybe the two of you aren’t spending much time together; ask yourself how you can increase time together. In many relationships, the less time you are together, the further apart you grow, making it difficult to connect when you are together, again we’re looking at creating intention and talking about it together as a couple.
  • As you start intentionally creating more physical intimacy in your relationship, please pay attention to how you feel, what you are thinking, and how you are showing up, be curious about it. If you’re feeling withdrawn or defensive, ask yourself why. If you don’t know what to talk about, refer back to previous articles, like creating a connection in your marriage and planning things to talk about. Start small, plan short times together if you haven’t been spending intentional time together. Many of my clients start implementing a weekly huddle; you can read about the relationship huddle here.
  • Then experiment with other forms of physical intimacy and touch, continue to explore what happens for you as you practice. Think about these exercises like learning how to weight train and build muscle, but you are building your mind, mental fitness. Try something and see what results you get; if you like the results build on your practice.
  • When it comes to sex, it will be the same; start introducing something different; it could be as simple as exploring how you might want to make suggestions to make the time more pleasurable for yourself. Notice how you think, feel and act while stepping into a bit of empowerment and discomfort; use it to learn and grow instead of seeing how it might appear not to be working.

Learn how to take ownership over what you want and start creating it, remembering that change takes time, one uncomfortable step at a time.

People often ask me why they can’t have the relationship they had when they were dating, and that’s a great question; let’s look at it for a moment. I want you to go back and think about times when you’ve “fallen in love” with someone. Remember how you were willing to do things with them that you might not consider doing with someone else, all because you were “in love.” What often happens when we meet someone and “fall for them” is letting go of our normal relationship boundaries. We let people into our space and “let our guard down” for the sake of love, passionate connection, and the magical moment. The natural progression is for our personal boundaries to snap back into place. When they do, these personal boundaries will keep us from expanding in our love relationship unless we intentionally do the work of stretching them. The work of stretching them is the culmination of all of the things we talked about over this intimacy series.

Intimate relationships are an intimate mixture of two humans with two different sets of relationship boundaries. To grow more intimately connected, work and discomfort are required; if we choose to avoid the hard work, we choose to stay where we are in our relationship. We choose to have a stagnant relationship where we don’t explore ourselves, our discomforts, and our boundaries. Doing the uncomfortable work of growing together creates a dynamic, intimate relationship that keeps growing, that each couple contributes themselves to, looking forward to what tomorrow might bring.

I hope that as you have worked through this series with me, you have been exploring the first four forms of creating intimacy in your relationship. If you have been exploring emotional, mental, spiritual, and experiential intimacy, I imagine you have been experiencing some interesting emotions along the way; it’s even possible that some of those emotions have stopped your progress in creating a more intimate connection with your partner. If this is the case, I want to encourage you to keep moving forward, to look at the steps you have taken as progress, not a failure, and to use what you have done as a way to continue learning about yourself and your partner.

As we start uncovering layers of ourselves and learn more about who we have been in the past when we put ourselves out there, it feels uncomfortable, and our brains want to bring us back to our comfort zone. This isn’t a problem; it’s doing what it has been conditioned to do; the important thing for you is to recognize this pattern and reassure yourself that nothing has gone wrong, that you aren’t in danger, and that you are actually taking these steps to grow and learn. Over time you will build self-confidence brick by brick and see the progress you have made. Remember and remind yourself that you have your own best interest in mind, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

If this series has been helpful for you and your desire to increase intimacy in your relationship, I’d love to hear from you; I’d love to hear how it is helping you and what you might be running up against that might have you holding back from taking future steps forward.

Through this series, I have found a couple of other topics that I would like to explore with you, so please come back over the next couple of weeks as I continue to dig into physical intimacy and affection. Together let’s build relationships that we are proud of, proud because we did the bold work of stepping into what we want to create with our partners.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

How To Increase Experiential Intimacy In Your Marriage

How To Increase Experiential Intimacy In Your Marriage | Relationship Coaching

Welcome to week five of our deep dive into learning what relationship intimacy is and how to create more of it in your closest relationship. If you are joining for the first time with this post, I want to encourage you to go back to the initial post about what relationship intimacy is and discover the different ways to start connecting differently with your partner and experience how these start to increase the breadth and depth of intimacy with your partner. We started with the article on Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy. Then we talked about How To Increase Mental Intimacy. Then we dug into emotional intimacy; you can check that article out here: What Is Emotional Intimacy and How To Get More of it in Your Relationship.

This week we are talking about my favorite form of connecting with others because I absolutely LOVE creating experiences in my life. When I share these experiences with others, it seems to increase the experiential enjoyment triple-fold. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my solo experiences. Still, when I get to share an experience with others, it gives me someone else to talk to about the experience, someone else who experienced it in a whole different way which enriches my experience.

To start learning how to increase experiential intimacy in your relationship let’s start with a definition of what experiential intimacy even is.

Starting with this definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Then looking at the definition of experience: which is a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something as in an event or occurrance.

Combining those two definitions gives us a definition of experiential intimacy being encountering or undergoing something together, in close union; creating an intimate mixture through a personal encounter with your partner.

Why is creating experiences together important in creating overall intimacy?

First, I want to make it clear that having things that you do on your own or with other people, without your partner’s participation, is very important. I wrote this article that you might want to read about How To Create Great Connection In Your Marriage and in it, I talk about creating a list of different ways you crave connection. Then finding people who are great matches for those connections, your partner will not be the one to fulfill all of your connection desires and that’s important, as well as freeing, to know. BUT, it’s also important to know that finding new ways to connect with your partner and being curious about what those ways might be will be another avenue to relationship growth.

I often hear my clients talk about how their partner doesn’t like helping in the kitchen or doesn’t like doing the types of things they like doing, and I like to challenge them to question these thoughts. These types of thoughts keep us stuck in blame, resentment, and avoidance. I like to ask questions around these thoughts and start to poke holes in them, questions like, how might your husband enjoy helping in the kitchen or what are the sorts of things you have done with your partner in the past that either of you might not have fully enjoyed but gladly participated in because it meant spending time with the other? When we have thoughts that close us down from what we want, it’s always helpful to look at how we might be creating evidence that our thought is true.

How to increase experiential intimacy in your relationship.

By this point in the series, you’re probably noticing a repeating theme and that repeating theme is intentionality. Asking yourself what you might try to increase your relationship’s mutual experiences, ask yourself how you could get participation by trying different approaches. Let me start with an approach that most likely won’t increase participation: “Well, I know you don’t like going for long walks with me, but would you like to go anyway?” Ask yourself how you might want to be invited along on an experience with your partner while also knowing that you have the full ability to say “No thank you.” and still feel love and maybe even come up with some compromise. I do not want to encourage you to do something you don’t want to do, but if you want to spend some time getting to know your partner, what about that thing might you want to enjoy participating in? In other words, how might you look differently at the invitation to do something with your partner when you think about your desire to pursue new experiences and connect with your partner. Could you look forward to the afterward part of spending time doing something they wanted to do, something you would never have wanted to do on your own, and see how the time spent was time well worth it when it comes to deepening your connection with your partner.

Besides being willing to spend time doing what your partner wants to do, what is it you want them to do with you and why? The why is what’s important here. Them spending time with you or not doesn’t have to mean that they love you or that they don’t love you; it can simply mean they aren’t interested. Can you be ok with that? From there, how might you generate some interest and willingness in your partner to do things with you? How might you invite them to help out in the kitchen or participate in activities you enjoy doing? Again, look at your approach and how it might be creating a tension that is creating resistance for them in their willingness to join you.

Let’s look at some examples of how you can create experiential intimacy.

  • My background was thirty years of coaching athletes to perform at a higher level, helping them break through limiting beliefs, so let’s go with the example of working out together or, even better, finding something to workout together for, like a competition or a race or an endurance event. Preparing together gives you the experience of helping each other out and supporting each other along the way. After the event is completed, you can look back and have shared memories of the experience.
  • Here’s one for those of you who think your partner doesn’t help out in the kitchen. Meals are a daily event; even though many of your weekday meals might not be much of an event, they are still a process where both can participate and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe it’s sharing duties with one partner creating the main meal and the other partner cleaning up or doing the other dinner necessities like preparing the table, prepping the beverages, cleaning up as you go along. If you think that your partner isn’t interested in participating, I would like you to challenge yourself to question why you think this thought. Could it be possible that he fears doing it “right”? How might you help show him how you would like the table set or how you would like the beverage served, or how could you be ok with him doing it his way and not judging it as wrong? Taking everyday tasks and finding ways to make them enjoyable is how we create deeper connections while working them into our everyday routine.
  • What about outdoor activities? How could you incorporate cooperation? Maybe one person decides what you will do and where you’ll go while the other person takes care of all of the other details, like any supplies you might need to have a comfortable experience?
  • What else do you enjoy doing, or are you interested in doing? Something you could start exploring with your partner? Short mini-vacations or day trips to local towns or cities you haven’t explored or camping or canoeing, perusing through a local museum or art show, the farmer’s market, discover something new and explore while learning more about each other.

Notice what thoughts come up for you around any suggestions and how you might be turning them into “no’s” and why. If your partner chooses to say yes and if while you are sharing the activity, you catch yourself thinking thoughts like “they’re bored,” or “they aren’t having any fun,” or “they aren’t participating.” Explore how you might express your thoughts and feelings, another way to explore deeper emotional intimacy and observe how you are judging them versus enjoying the experience. I love to ask myself how I can get out of his business and how can I enjoy this time together?

Creating experiences with your partner after a dry spell of being separate and not doing many activities together will take some planning, as I talked about in previous episodes; I want to encourage you to go back and listen to my post about Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship and start taking baby steps, use these steps to learn, not to close down and give up, and find out what it’s like to have your own back when it comes to creating the relationship you love.

If you want help with any of the material I shared today, I want to encourage you to reach out; I would love to help you find more ease around creating experiences with your partner.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

What Is Emotional Intimacy and How To Get More of it in Your Marriage Ep 6

What Is Emotional Intimacy and How To Increase It In Your Marriage | Relationship Coaching

Welcome back to part four of my relationship intimacy series, where I help you find new ways to create a well-rounded and deeply intimate relationship with your partner. I kicked off this series by talking about what relationship intimacy is. Then we started digging into five areas where you can create deeper intimacy; two weeks ago, we talked about three ways to increase spiritual intimacy. Last week we talked about how to increase mental or intellectual intimacy. This week, we’re going to dig into what emotional intimacy is and how to get more of it in your relationship.

What is emotional intimacy?

Intimacy shows a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture, and I explained this a bit deeper in my article What Is Relationship Intimacy.

Emotional is relating to a person’s emotions or feelings.

Emotional intimacy would be a close union or combination of each other’s emotions, an intimate mixture of sharing each other’s thoughts and the feelings they evoke.

As you follow along in this series, you will start to notice a common thread, and that is the word intimacy. Since I am defining intimacy as a close union or combination of particles or elements, you will start to see that what all these different types of intimacy have in common is the ability to share, “in-to-me-see.”

Emotional intimacy is the ability to get uncomfortable, get vulnerable, and be honest so that each of you knows what is going on with the other. It’s the ability to share your deepest fears and insecurities, your most outlandish dreams and disappointments, and how you are feeling about anything in your relationship and lives. Emotional intimacy is feeling safe sharing your most intimate secrets without the worry of judgment, humiliation, belittlement, and the strictest of confidentiality. Knowing that what you have shared in privacy stays between the two of you and won’t be shared outside of the relationship.

Why is emotional intimacy important in your marital relationship?

Remember the “in-to-me-see” definition of intimacy from Focus On The Family? The more transparent we are with our partners, the deeper our connection, the deeper our desire will be. This includes sharing honestly how we are feeling, not feeling like we have to keep it to ourselves for fear of embarrassment or your partner being dismissive and invalidating how you feel.

How to create more intimacy in your relationship.

Learning how to become more emotionally open about what is happening for you is where you start and then sharing expectations. Together with defining expectations that what is shared in the privacy of your shared space won’t go beyond that space goes far in one’s willingness to share while not having to re-iterate the qualifications. If a partner breaks the set expectations, honesty is necessary; sit down with your partner and share your disappointment while not blaming and belittling.

It’s also important to remember that there will be times when our partners will share things that we might not want to hear and using these moments as opportunities to look inward. When we look inward, we can determine why we don’t like what our partner has shared and start shining a light on something that might be insecurity within ourselves.

Learning how to process your own emotions is a key skill to learn when becoming more emotionally present with your partner and yourself. When we can process our own emotions, it keeps us from blaming others for how we feel and allows us to see where that emotion is coming from, which is always something we are thinking. After you’ve worked on processing your emotions, share in a direct, non-qualifying manner and tell them how you feel, making sure to be clear that you are creating this emotion, not blaming it on them.

I love this quote I found from psychologist Helene Brenner, Ph.D. “Take the risk not to protect yourself. You can’t simultaneously protect yourself and be emotionally intimate. Let your heart be seen.” Not protecting yourself by blaming allows you to be seen.

Another way to increase emotional intimacy is learning how to ask great questions. When we listen with curiosity and compassion while our partners are sharing, we can ask questions that help them process their emotions and create a more intimate and safe connection that encourages future open communication.

Some examples of how to be more emotionally intimate.

  • Being open to having sensitive conversations about what each other wants out of their relationship and even what might be worrisome to them about the relationship. This sort of conversation allows a couple to move closer to each other with more individual understanding.
  • Being open and honest about a partner’s interaction with other people might make them uncomfortable and having empathy around their concerns versus making excuses and insinuating that the other is paranoid.
  • When one person shares something from their past, the other partner is attentive, offering emotional support.
  • They openly share struggles they might be having within themselves and trusting the partner to offer comfort, support, and possible solutions, if wanted, instead of dismissing their feelings.

All of this open and honest communication starts by doing this work within ourselves; we cannot be open and honest with our partners when we haven’t done the work of doing this for ourselves. Holding back from sharing keeps us from the intimate connection that we desire. That’s why the work we do in AwakenYou is valuable for re-building a relationship that feels good and keeps feeling better.

The process of learning how to open up and be vulnerable can be a scary one, and that’s why it’s so much easier when we have someone guiding us. That is what I do for you in my one-on-one coaching program; I help you find the courage to show up in your romantic relationship in a way that feels good for you.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

How To Increase Mental Intimacy

How To Increase Mental Intimacy | Relationship Coaching

Welcome back to part two of this deep dive into learning how to increase intimacy in our marriages. If you’re joining for the first time today, then I am so glad you are here, dig in and then please go back a few weeks to my article on what relationship intimacy is and last week’s message on how to increase spiritual intimacy. Please come back over the next three weeks as I explore three other intimacy areas with today’s article about increasing mental intimacy.

When most of us hear the word intimacy, we automatically go to the picture in our minds of holding hands, touching, cuddling, and this is definitely one important area of intimacy, but when that is the only type of intimacy we have as a couple we soon find ourselves feeling empty. We often resent our partner and withdraw physically because we aren’t getting any other intimate nourishment, and that’s where this series comes in.

In this series I am helping you explore other areas of intimacy and learn how to start introducing them into your relationship.

Let’s review the definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Then let’s look at the definition of mental which means being related to the mind.

When I combine those two words and meanings I get a definition of mental intimacy as a close union of minds, an intimate mixture of our minds.

Let’s look at how to increase mental intimacy.

First of all, you want to have the desire to increase intimacy in your marriage because if you’re not interested, then none of this will work. You have to be willing to explore your reasons for not wanting to put effort into connecting with your partner intellectually. Is it truly a lack of desire to explore topics, or might it be a fear of not sounding intelligent enough? No one expects someone else to know the answers though together you might explore the topic and discover new things; the whole point is to explore each other’s minds and seek growth, new understandings.

Think about times when you’ve read a book or listened to a teaching; a good Sunday sermon could be a great example. When you’ve actually listened to the words you are absorbing, does it make you dig a bit deeper into the concept? Is it something you keep revisiting and exploring in your mind? This is what can also happen with your partner; you can discuss a movie, a book, a course, something someone brought up at work, or even the Sunday sermon. Share your observations and what you might be thinking about them, what you might be questioning, ask your partner what their takeaways were and start a conversation. I always find it interesting to hear what other people heard because it’s usually something different than what I heard. Often we hear what we want to hear, something that applies to us and our life, then we start going somewhere with it, and someone else is hearing something completely different as it pertains to them and their life.

Increasing mental intimacy has to be intentional.

If you are used to quiet rides together in the car, that is completely fine, but taking a few moments to think of something to explore doesn’t take much time; it takes practice. I also find that my weekly huddle leads couples to discover things they’d like to explore on a deeper level. Create a note on your phone and write down what may have come up in the huddle and what you’d like to explore further.

To some people, this all sounds like so much work that if they were with the right person, this would all be so much easier. The work is what brings about the result you are looking for; if you want more intimacy and connection in your relationship, you have to create that result. When we get to learn more about each other, it makes us appreciate each other more. Check out my article on scheduling time to improve your relationship with ideas to create that time.

Too often, we get out of higher education and stop learning; we stop growing while expecting everything to happen for us. Sure, we’ll put in extra time at work to learn the new project we’re developing, we’ll take a few courses to learn more about that hobby we’ve been exploring, yet we won’t take a few moments to come up with strategies to deepen our desire of the one we’re with.

As I started exploring this area of increasing different areas of intimacy in my relationship with Jeff, I started falling deeper in love with him because I started exploring him and myself on a deeper level. This allowed us to start connecting on a deeper level and that felt really good, so we kept on exploring new ways to increase this connection. The same thing starts to happen in the relationships of the women and men who go through my AwakenYou program; as they build a loving and trusting relationship with themselves, they start becoming more comfortable exploring that with their partner.

I’d love for you to join me on that journey of relationship growth and exploration of what is possible for you and your romantic relationship.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy

Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy

Last week I started talking about what is relationship intimacy. In that article, I gave an overview of intimacy, how important it is to develop in our romantic relationship, and then shared five types of intimacy. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each of those different types of intimacy, starting the series off today with spiritual intimacy.

Let’s start with defining what spiritual intimacy is and of course, this is my definition of spiritual intimacy which I’ll explain why in a moment.

In last week’s article I shared this definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Now let’s combine that with the definition of spirituality which is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in our lives.

To me, spiritual intimacy is being able to share your ideas about spirituality with your partner and allowing your partner to do the same in a supportive, non-judgmental way. Spiritual intimacy is the mixture of our ideas coming together, not to change one’s belief but to understand better and appreciate our partner.

To be honest though, the selfish part of me wants to say that spiritual intimacy is him having similar spiritual desires as me.

With that said, let me explain my definition. When I went searching on Google for the definition of spiritual intimacy, many Christian definitions came up. Though I highly encourage couples to pursue this area before a marriage commitment to make sure they are equally yoked, the truth is that many of us aren’t. This is true in my relationship, and it is definitely an area I seek to challenge myself to grow in, so this is why I didn’t include spiritual intimacy as a sense of unity and mutual commitment to God’s will in our lives and marriage. I highly encourage couples to pursue an equally yoked spiritual belief because you are going the same direction and bring different strengths to the walk, which creates a deeper connection with each other and your belief.

I believe that my definition spans over all committed relationships, whether both are believers or unequally yoked. When we share our beliefs, it keeps us open and honest around our struggles, not defensive because the other one doesn’t believe what we believe.

Increasing Spiritual Intimacy

Let me share my personal experience with spiritual intimacy in my marriage relationship because this is definitely an area that I have struggled with and am gingerly pursuing with curiosity. Since intimacy is about creating a close union between a couple, all topics want to be brought up and explored together; nothing should be kept inside and not shared because that restricts the union from growing closer. My personal experience has been that I have been insecure in my own spiritual beliefs and felt awkward talking about them out loud. This is where the problem started early on in my relationship with my husband.

This is what it looked like:

Me: “Are you Christian?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “My relationship with Jesus is important to me, is that ok?”

Him: “Yes.”

That’s pretty much where it ended and that caused a lot of drama later in our relationship, so much so that it was the foundation of why I started seeking relationship help. There was a point in our marriage where words came up around who was more important to me, God or my husband, and my innocent response spiraled a threat of separation. In the end, it was one of the best things that could have happened for me, my relationship with my Saviour and my relationship with my husband, Jeff.

As I continue to pursue a better, more close relationship with my Saviour and my husband, I see that the area of spiritual intimacy is missing. Because of that, we have put up a barrier to connecting more deeply intimately.

The first step to increasing spiritual intimacy in your romantic relationship is to let go of expectations.

It’s time to stop judging and start exploring each other’s beliefs. I love the emotion of curiosity; it helps me explore other people’s beliefs and consider them within the context of my own beliefs. Does someone else’s belief increase my current belief? I say always. When we listen to someone else’s belief with an open mind, we get to dig deeper into the why’s behind our own belief. Yes, it might pull us away from what we currently believe, but we wouldn’t feel compromised by this pull because we’ve done our own research and re-created our own new beliefs.

Secondly, be open and honest around your spiritual beliefs.

Even if that means that you haven’t thought much about it, the invitation to talk about our beliefs helps us to explore what it is we want to believe and why.

Why do you think we close up when a topic is brought up? It is often because of fear, fear of judgment, fear of someone disagreeing with our opinion, fear of sounding stupid, or worse yet, someone telling us that we’re stupid. As we continue to do this work of re-wiring our brain what we learn, as I spoke about in my previous article about other people’s opinions, other people telling us we’re dumb doesn’t need to mean anything if we believe that we’re not dumb. Only when we believe what someone tells us is that we get defensive and lash out or withdraw.

The third way to increase spiritual intimacy is to embrace the discomfort around putting yourself out there.

If you and your partner have not explored your spiritual beliefs together as a couple, starting now will feel uncomfortable. In pursuit of a more intimate connection in your relationship, what would you choose to do? I am a big believer in planning, and this is no exception.

When you think about the goal of wanting to increase spiritual intimacy, what steps might you want to take? This is completely personal but here are a few suggestions:

  • Think of a good, simple question to ask; an example could be: “What do you think happens when we die?” This question has brought several interesting conversations for Jeff, my daughter, and me.
  • Don’t have any expectations or judgments around their response, but one rule I have is that they can’t say “I don’t know.” Included in no expectations is that your question may not be reciprocated. They may not want to know what your response is, especially if they judge themselves as not knowing the correct response, yet the truth is, there is no correct response, just their response.
  • After the conversation, you can look at what worked, what you learned, what didn’t work (maybe you got defensive), and what you might do differently next time. This process allows you to look at what you accomplished positively and learn how you might take the next step forward.
  • I also love using the following phrase, which helps open up the conversation to going further versus shutting it down, “What I love about that is… and…” With this approach, every idea is appreciated rather than judged before the next idea is generated in reaction to it.

Once we start opening up to sensitive topics, we start learning more about each other, which increases our desire to be with them and fuels the desire to know more.

Also, to be aware of the word “sensitive.” Take time in your planning to understand why you haven’t talked about these things and why they feel sensitive. One of the biggest reasons we feel sensitive is because we are opening ourselves up to be judged as wrong or ill-informed, and the process is learning how to be ok with that and not making it mean that we are wrong. These exercises of opening up to a more intimate relationship with our partner are about exploring and learning, not judging one as right or wrong.

I’d love to hear about your journey to becoming more spiritually connected with your partner and what you have done to obtain that result. If you’d like more help learning how to start the process of becoming more spiritually intimate with your partner, please reach out; I’d love to chat with you about it.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

What Is Relationship Intimacy?

How To Increase Mental Intimacy | Relationship Coaching

There might be one of two reasons you decided to read this article; maybe you want to learn how to be more intimate in your current relationship or want your partner to be more intimate. I’m super curious what comes to your mind first when you hear the word intimacy; if you’re anything like me, the first thing I think is physical intimacy. My work in this upcoming series on intimacy helps you think differently about intimacy, know all the different ways we can express intimacy, and get you on the path of exploring the intimacy you want in your relationship. With that, let’s talk intimacy!

What is relationship intimacy?

The Google definition: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

I sort of love this definition of intimacy because it talks about two people’s blending in all aspects. I also am in love with a description of intimacy from the Focus On The Family website, where they talk about intimacy being “in-to-me-see.” It’s a blending of our heart with another’s, so we can “see into” who they really are, and they can “see into” us.

The truth is, as Erwin Raphael McManus simply puts it, “our souls crave intimacy.”

We go to great lengths to attract the opposite sex for that reason and that reason only, intimacy and love.

True relationship intimacy can only happen when you are connected to your own heart

Pure, connected intimacy in your relationship can only occur when you truly know who you are. “In-to-me-see” can only occur when we are fully connected to our own heart; that is when we can let someone fully in to see all that is us. Until we know who we are, what we are afraid of, what our wild and seemingly crazy dreams are, what our hopes and desires for this life are, we won’t be able to let someone else in to see.

True intimacy comes when we have nothing to hide, when we’ve worked through all of our insecurities from our past, our shame and guilt over what we’ve done or haven’t done. The process of getting to a place of being fully loving and accepting of who we are, all of who we are, is the first step to open up to intimacy in our romantic relationship fully.

Can you do this process in the middle of a relationship? Can we start this work when our relationship doesn’t feel intimate at all? Yes! It’s the first place we start in my 1:1 coaching program.

Five types of intimacy:

• Physical intimacy

• Mental intimacy

• Experiential intimacy

• Emotional intimacy

• Spiritual intimacy

When we start learning how to be fully transparent in our relationships, we can start to look at all of the different intimacy areas and decide what they mean to us. As we develop our own love personality, we start to get in tune with what we want to believe for ourselves, and we create an open mind about other people’s beliefs. When this happens, we can open up to conversations that don’t make us shut down because we disagree with their perspective. Instead, we get to open up to their perspective, learn more about them, and grow closer through the process.

Over the next five weeks, I will break down the different types of intimacy and help you explore who you are, who you want to become, and how you want to open up to all areas in your intimate relationship with yourself. This will lead you to the beginning of creating an intimate relationship with your partner that is honest, seen, and full of love.

Want to read more about how to bring intimacy back into your relationship? Go read this post: Four Steps to Bring Sexy Back to Your Relationship

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.