A couple of months ago, I shared a secret to increased intimacy in your marriage. Intimacy as in the close like, know and trust in your spouse because intimacy is so much more than the physical that everyone thinks about when they hear the word. I was listening to the One Extraordinary Marriage podcast a while back and Tony and Alisa were talking about the different types of intimacy in a marriage; emotional, intellectual, spiritual, recreational, financial and physical. I hadn't thought about how each of these areas contribute to the strength of your relationship and the overall intimacy (like, know and trust) in your marriage. But how do you work on your intimacy in each of areas? Don't worry, I have some ideas for you below!
- Sit down and draw out your dream home together. Talk about all of your "must haves", what you want your master suite to look like and where you're hoping to live.
- Pick up a copy of Tony and Alisa's Connect Like You Did When You First Met. Joe and I got this book and went through it a little bit earlier this year. I need to pull it out again. Asking each other one question a night will help you connect and discuss things on a deeper level than you might have normally.
- Start a tradition of weekly family/couple meetings and use that time to not only coordinate your plans for the week, but talk about the things that you've been thinking lately. Don't hold back! You can't increase your emotional intimacy without being vulnerable with each other.
- Take Couple Check-up and go through the discussion guide together. It will help you find the areas of your relationship that could use a little fine tuning. Check out this post for a code that will let one of you take the check-up for free.
- Learn something together! Take a community class, take continuing education at a local college, or pick up a book from the bookstore about a topic that you're both interested in.
- Research a mutual hobby that you have. If you like to grill like Joe and I, watch YouTube videos, research rubs and sauces, create a new recipe, etc. Maybe you're planting a garden for the first time this year; find out everything that you can about the things that you are growing and successful gardening in general.
- Read a book togther, fiction or non-fiction. Take turns reading a chapter together every night and talk about it after you're finished. I know a few couples who get two copies of the same book, read it separately and then sit down and discuss the book at the end. It's kind of like a mini book club! You might even have the person who picked the book come up with questions to talk about together. (Couples book club idea from Meredith Tuttle)
- Find a couple's devotional to go through together. I like The Love Dare (aff), do you have any other favorites?
- Study the scriptures together. Work your way through them chapter by chapter, study scriptures on specific topics or study based on different stories.
- Pray together.
- Attend church services together weekly and discuss the things you learned over lunch afterward.
- Find something active that you like to do together. Joe and I like to go on long walks with Bensen and Howie. Maybe you like to go to the gym together, go on hikes every weekend, go on a family bike ride or buy roller blades and hold hands while you skate around the neighborhood.
- Add some culture to your date nights. Go to the opera, a play, see a musical, attend a concert, or visit a local museum.
- Every other date night, do something a little more active than dinner and a movie. Go on a hike, go bowling, play mini golf, go skiing, etc.
- Talk about your finances! Create a budget monthly, set financial goals, and consider combining your bank accounts.
- Have these four financial discussions before you get married (or after if you are already married). Also make sure you are not one of the 45% of couples surveyed who have no idea how much money their spouse makes.
- Check your financial compatibility and see what areas of your financial communication need to be improved.
- Talk about your family's financial future and make a plan. This post talks about five things that we've talked about and are preparing for in the future.
- Make your good-bye, hello and good night kisses last ten seconds every day.
- Hold hands while you watch TV, when you're out on a date, in the car, on your walks, and as you fall asleep at night.
- Give each other a long hug every day, for no other reason than just to hug.
- Show affection in front of your children, this study says that it's good for their health.
When you think about intimacy in your marriage, remember that there's more to it than what happens in the bedroom. The definition has a lot more depth to it than what the media and the rest of the world might tell us there is. Increasing your intimacy in each of the six areas listed above will help to create a better, stronger and more intimate marriage.
What other things do you and your spouse do to increase intimacy in these six areas?