Do you know why I write about marriage every Wednesday? No, it’s not because “wedded” and “wednesday” are really cute together. But – bonus! – am I right?
I write about marriage on a weekly basis because I need help! I’m not a natural at self-sacrificial love or submission or even being halfway decent to my favorite person on the planet. Yeah. I’m kinda selfish.
When I am constantly giving in to my selfishness, my marriage suffers heavily. We get in one of those slumps where you think, What happened? I swear just yesterday we were best friends and having the time of our lives. Then Samuel’s pee all over the bathroom acted like a catalyst and BOOM – no more friends, no more lovers, no more awesome marriage.
Could be that’s just me?
What happens is that something we’ve done has broken down the intimacy in our marriage. I’m not talking about just sex, although that’s certainly an element of intimacy.
Intimacy is that connection, that spark in your marriage, that you share with no one else on the planet.
When I feel like our intimacy has evaporated, I’ve discovered two things are missing. OK, more than two things are missing, but these are two that are really easy to add back in!
1. We lack eye contact.
That’s right – we’ve stopped looking each other in the eyes, even when we’re talking only to each other!
Our conversations might be side-by-side, like in the car or on the couch.
Or, we might sit across from each other at dinner, but we’re looking at our food our Samuel the entire time we’re “talking”.
Or maybe we’re trying to have an “intimate” conversation to get some connection going, but we look at our hands or the floor instead of right in the eyeballs.
You’ll know this is something you’ve been missing when you find it hard to look your spouse in the eye, maybe not because of some sin even, but just because you’re out of practice and looking someone in the eyes connects you to their soul. (It’s why I always put on my date night eye makeup ;))
2. We have stopped touching.
Again, this could be sex, but often, we’ve stopped touching in other ways. My hugs are weaker than ones I give to a friend. We haven’t held hands in public in weeks. We sit with space between us rather than smooshed right up against each other. We don’t kiss unless it’s time for sex.
I love that Redbook’s April 2012 issue had an article titled Don’t even think about divorcing until… There were some really good (and some not so good) suggestions in this article to analyze what you really want when you start thinking about divorce. One expert, Hilda Hutcherson, their monthly “Intimate Answers” columnist finished the sentence by saying “… you try touching.”
Her entire quote on touching (which included why and how) was so right on.
So try it. When the intimacy is lacking in your marriage, look in your mate’s eyes. RIGHT IN THE PUPILS. Hold that gaze. And sit so close that you can’t breathe. Sacrifice your physical comfort at night to be close to them in bed. Practice PDAs.
And ZAP – intimacy increased!
You’re welcome. 🙂