Love, Sex

How A Messy Home Can Destroy Intimacy In Your Marriage — Plus 7 Ways To Fix It

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How A Messy Home Can Destroy Intimacy In Your Marriage — Plus 7 Ways To Fix It

As if marriage and relationships weren't hard enough on their own, it turns out that part of what can destroy your intimacy as a couple isn't just the regular day-to-day emotional issues, but also whether or not you have a clean or messy house.

When it comes to connecting with your spouse in a healthy relationship, cleanliness is an important part of feeling calm, safe, and loved.

RELATED: 7 Types Of Intimacy & How To Have A Strong, Healthy Relationship By Incorporating Them All

A recent study found that over one in four people who live with their partner frequently argue about their home's messiness.

Of the couples living together, where one partner was clean and the other messy, reported a decrease in satisfaction with the relationship. One in 10 people had a relationship end due to cleanliness-related issues. The top reason was one partner was too messy (49.5 percent).

Being messy has its problems, of course. You can lose track of valuable items. It can be difficult to find things. It can also create clutter in your mind, making it difficult to focus and get things done, which may ultimately impact your relationship.

Does how messy you are determine the success of your relationship?

In some ways, yes, it does.

Let's face it: Studies have found that your relationship has a 50/50 chance of making it. Throw a messy house and some clutter in there, and it's certainly not going to tip the odds in your favor.

I know you want your relationship to last, but you're always changing. You can't avoid it. Society hammers the idea into couples that you must stay together forever, but that doesn't work for everyone.

It's natural to want intimacy. But if you're with the wrong person, you could be putting your mental health at risk. And if you think you are doing your children a favor, think again.

So, if you're feeling trapped by a messy house and clutter to the point that it's threatening intimacy in your marriage or relationship, it's time to re-evaluate what you need to do in order to feel close again — and to clean up that house!

Here are 7 tips to help you create intimacy in your relationship while you're working on decluttering and cleaning up your messy home.

1. Make cleaning up a game.

It's easy to get caught up in life and sometimes, you stop making time for your partner.

All those little rubs add up. Physically rub up against your partner in the kitchen while they're doing dishes. Touch your partner's arm or back while you're dusting together.

Stop and give your partner a kiss in between putting the dishes away. This will not only help create closeness in the relationship, but it'll make your chores seem less tedious and more fun!

2. Make sex and intimacy a priority.

Unfortunately, this is a common intimacy issue. "I'm too tired," or "I don't have time," are common excuses.

If your home's cleanliness or clutter is causing sex to wane, then it's time to set aside something special. No one wants to have to clear off the bed before they can climb in!

Schedule sex with one another — it can still be fun and spontaneous, and it will give you the time to get your bedroom in order.

Make sure that your room is clean and tidy; add some romantic elements like candles or flowers. Make your space for intimate physical time as uncluttered and carefree as possible to promote that same energy in your relationship.

RELATED: What Your 'Clutter Personality Type' Is (And How To Finally Tidy Up Your Home)

3. Schedule quality time together.

This means schedule time together to have fun. This may have come easy at the beginning of the relationship, but after a while work, a house, and children can take priority. Again, make sure that you're somewhere without clutter or distraction when you're really giving your attention to one another.

Start to make your relationship a priority again. Set aside time to "declutter" and reconnect with your spouse to make sure you're both mentally present in a healthy way.

4. Carve out time for yourself.

This is also known as "self-care." Organize a time and place where the mess of your day, be it work, your home, your kids, your relationships, are left at the door.

Take a bath, watch a funny video, or spend time with friends. Remember, self-care is something you practice daily. It's taking care of your mind, body, and spirit. You don't want to live in a messy house — so why would you settle for a messy mind?

5. Keep your heart and mind open.

Ask questions and listen. This helps create a loving and supportive environment. Talk about the little things that happened during your day.

Take a genuine interest in what your partner has to say. Know at least one important thing happening in your partner's day.

Listen to one another and find ways you can make things in the home more peaceful and supportive.

6. Turn off your cell phone.

This will help you stay focused on what your partner has to say. It will also help you tune out distractions. Start today by setting 20 minutes aside to talk about your day with your partner without a screen.

Cell phones are a huge distraction. They're easy to turn to when other things are bothering you, whether it's issues outside of the house or messes within. Give your partner your express attention without a phone to truly connect.

7. Talk about your dreams.

Do you still dream? If not, why? Optimism is good for your mental health. Share your dreams with your partner. They don't have to be the same, all the better if they are, you just need to be supportive.

Relationships don't have to be difficult, but they do take work and time. What types of messages are you telling yourself about relationships? Do you find you're often complaining? Or that the space in your home seems to be filled with negative energy, or that your messages always have a negative spin?

Properly tidying up your house and relationship starts with your thought process. You'll feel better, both mentally and physically.

Start with a couple of these tips today. You will see your relationship change, your home will be cleaner, and you'll feel better with more love and intimacy, too.

RELATED: 3 Ways To Bring Back The Spark And Intimacy In Your Marriage After A Period Of Emotional Detachment

Lianne Avila is a marriage & family therapist helping couples in San Mateo, CA who are looking to rebuild a close emotional connection and get their relationships back on track. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website where you can subscribe to her newsletter to learn more about her services and expertise.

This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.