Remember back to when you and your hubby were first married? You talked for hours in this dreamy state of bliss. To be honest, you just wanted to be around each other.
But then, well, life.
Jobs. Kids. Responsibilities. More kids. Then just like that, there is a tug-of-war for your time, attention, and energy. Sure, you still see each other. You get up out the same bed. You live in the same house. You have the same goals. But without realizing it, you are just going through the routine of life.
If you have ever felt this way as a married person, you are not alone.
Maintaining intimacy in a marriage can be challenging. Your stress level is elevated from starting or quitting a new job. You feel self-conscious because you have rolls in place of your previous tight abs. You are tired from taking care of a sick parent or special needs child. You no longer feel feminine and vibrant. By the time you go to bed, you just want to go to sleep. That’s it. NOTHING more.
Then you find yourself with this sense of disconnect.
Cultivating healthy intimacy is a daily decision to be present in your marriage in spite of the demands of life. Here are a few ways that you can reconnect and increase the intimacy in your marriage.
I know, I know. You have heard about the importance of dating your spouse multiple times. But seriously, this is important. Carving out time to spend together is vital for bonding and intimacy. Take turns planning your outing. If you have kids, partner with other couples so that you can take turns babysitting for each other. Date nights help us to create new memories as a couple in a fun and enjoyable way. You get to disconnect from the stress of the day and reconnect with the love of your life.
Early in our marriage, we often did not have anyone to watch our boys. So we spent many “date nights” at home. Whether we could go out or if we stayed at home, talk about family, bills, or work was off limits. No phone calls. Just the two of us. Talking, laughing and enjoying being friends, lovers, a team. Simply a decision to be in the moment. Date night shoudn’t be complicated. It just needs to be intentional.
Celebrate who you’ve become together
There is something beautiful that occurs when we are in a healthy, Godly marriage. The best of us continues to be in front of us. Every day we can celebrate the life that we have built. Sure there are areas of improvement and lessons learned, but you are learning them together. You are making improvements as a team. Be proud of who you both have become as a person and as a couple.
Say the words out loud. Celebrate your similarities and differences both in private and in public. When we take time to celebrate all God has done in our marriage, it becomes a bridge to cultivating healthy intimacy. Our focus is on bridging the gap between us instead of pushing each other further away. Spend time each week reflecting on why you are great together. During prayer time, thank God for joining you together in marriage. Celebrate one another!
Embrace your now
When we constantly have our eyes on who we use to be as individuals and as a couple, we hold our present and future in bondage. Even if you could lose the weight or the kids grow up to leave the house, we are not the same people. We grow. We change. We evolve. And you know what, so will our relationship and marriage.
If we want to cultivate healthy intimacy, then we should embrace the now. What does support look like in this season? Because I can tell you the support I needed from my hubby as a mom of a newborn recovering from a c-section was not the same support I needed when I went back to school to finish my doctorate. Embracing the current season for my marriage allows me to adjust my expectations and extend grace. You learn to adapt as a couple for the season of your life. Choose to rebuild intimacy based on your life NOW. So what does that look like? Talk to your spouse. Pray about how you can cultivate intimacy for here and now.