A marriage without intimacy isn’t a fulfilling relationship, and it’s not what you expected when you got married. Here are a few ways to cope with the problem of no intimacy in marriage.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re struggling to increase marriage intimacy is that you need to stay focused on your spouse. This means you should not become emotionally involved or develop close, intimate friendships with members of the opposite sex. Connecting emotionally with someone outside your marriage will further increase the lack of intimacy you already feel.
“Keeping members of the opposite sex out of your intimate way is crucial to the success of marriage,” writes Gary Neuman in Emotional Infidelity: How to Avoid It. “In today’s world, it takes focus and planning.”
Everything about marriage takes focus and planning! The healthiest, happiest marriages take the most work. But, a lack of intimacy in your relationship isn’t a sign your marriage is over. It’s just a sign your relationship needs some TLC (tender loving care – and if you didn’t know that, then you definitely need more intimacy in your life!).
How to Increase Intimacy in Your Marriage
Not experiencing intimacy in your marriage isn’t a problem that can be easily fixed, but the solution depends on you and your spouse. There are so many factors to consider: how long your intimacy problems have been going on, what caused or exacerbated the disconnection, who is involved in your marriage, what solutions you’ve tried in the past.
Get specific about your intimacy concerns
Are you unhappy with your physical intimacy or your emotional intimacy? They are intertwined; in some marriages, a lack of emotional intimacy leads to a lack of physical intimacy. For other couples, it’s the other way around (eg, a lack of physical intimacy creates problems with emotional intimacy in marriage). If you have no intimacy in your marriage at all, you may have trouble figuring out what the “biggest” problem is.
If you feel like you don’t know your husband, read 5 Secrets Husbands Keep From Wives.
Don’t expect to change your spouse
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t do anything about your spouse. You can only work on changing yourself. Think about your attitude toward your marriage, your expectations, your plans, your disappointments. I don’t know if you’re being unrealistic or demanding – only you can answer that. If you can’t see your motivations clearly (and most of us can’t!), it might help to talk to a counselor.
Own your feelings
If there is no intimacy in marriage, you may be thinking things such as “He never listens when I talk…” or “She doesn’t understand me…” However, your partner isn’t responsible for making you feel happy, fulfilled, or successful. It’s your job as an adult married person to get in touch with your feelings, and own them. This means that if you feel misunderstood, for example, you don’t blame your spouse. You take responsibility for your feelings, and you work on ways to process them within your marriage relationship.
Learn how your partner feels loved
To create intimacy in marriage, learn the delicate balance between nurturing and loving your partner, and taking care of yourself. To learn how your partner gives and receives love, read Examples of the Five Love Languages. It’s possible that your problems with intimacy in marriage are related to a simple lack of understanding of how you both give and receive love.
Take responsibility for your health
You can’t change your partner, but you can change yourself! Don’t use “he won’t go to counseling” as an excuse not to deal with no intimacy in marriage. Instead, go to counseling on your own. Get healthy, strong, and independent. Learn how to see yourself as a whole person, without depending on your spouse for validation or connection. The healthier and happier you are, the more you will contribute to your marriage.
I welcome your thoughts on no intimacy in marriage below. I can’t offer relationship advice – as I said, there are no simple answers or quick fixes! Successful marriages take work – but a happy, connected, intimate relationship is worth the time and effort.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
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