One difficult phrase and concept that I try to get clients to understand is “Mind Blowing Intimacy.” This is no surprise as we are inundated with “Mind Blowing Sex” on reality TV, magazines, the internet, and movies. “Mind Blowing Sex” gets the highest media ratings, as well as most couples’ attention. In truth, Mind Blowing Sex is nothing compared to Mind Blowing Intimacy. In real life, Mind Blowing Sex cannot save a marriage nor can the lack of it destroy one. Mind Blowing Intimacy can save a marriage and the lack of it can destroy a marriage.
Many of us are confused because we think the two are one in the same. They are not. Intimacy must come first in a healthy relationship or the relationship will not be well supported. I have worked with many couples who told me (while in the process of divorce) that the sex was still good, but there was no intimacy anymore. Women have a tendency to give men a bad rap in this area. Women generalize men; they believe men don’t care about intimacy and just want sex. This is not what I see in my office. In fact, when a man over 30 years of age is not happy in his marriage, it usually stems from a lack of intimacy. Men report that when their wife has sex, just for him, but isn’t into it for herself, it is not meaningful. This is a clear example of him wanting more intimacy.
How did we get so far away from intimacy? Part of the reason is due to the virtual world. We connect through emails, texts, face book, twitter, and other social networks. We no longer have to meet each other, even the telephone takes more time than we are willing to commit. We don’t touch anymore at home and we forget to check in with each other while at work. We don’t take time to share meals together, and we are in such a hurry to get our errands run, and our work done, that we have stopped listening to one another. Following that, sex is a sterile performance, and something we need to do to keep each other happy.
Marital or relationship happiness is dependent upon Intimacy, as is our health. The media may not promote it, but go to your doctor with a heart problem, cancer, stress related illness, or sexual dysfunction and they are going to tell you that becoming more intimate in your relationship will help you heal. When couples haven’t had sex in a long while or are estranged, they come in with the complaint of how to have sex again as it feels awkward. This is not uncommon, but my approach may be. I join their marriage team and ask each of them to begin by telling each other what intimacy means to them. Putting sex on the sideline for awhile (since it really isn’t the problem anyway) they can begin to be intimate with each other.
Here are a few suggestions of how you can develop “Mind Blowing Intimacy” in your marriage:
1. Have protected time built into your schedule that is just for the two of you.
2. Listen without interrupting. Before you respond, make sure you censor it so it is true, but still kind.
3. Chose one day of the week and take note of how many times you ask your partner to do something, help with something, or provide you with something. Focus on being the giver instead and actually do and say the things your spouse would appreciate.
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