Finding time for your spouse can be just as hard sometimes as finding time for yourself with all the responsibilities of life happening all around you. From Household duties, kids activities, work, church, and your spouses' activities who has time to do anything special but sleep. This is the reality for a lot of married couples. Many couples have become transactional in their relationships forgetting what brought them together in the first place. I talk to a lot of couples and the confide in me regarding the intimacy of their marriages. This is a topic that I feel is overlooked in the church and needs to be address. Here are four things to consider when trying to bring back the spice in your marriage
Prerequisite: Understanding Intimacy
There are many different perspectives of what intimacy looks like especially from a gender perspective. Intimacy by definition is a state of being intimate, private or close moments. Some lenses of closeness can be in a touch, acts or service, personal conversation, in time that we spend, and even in the location that the time was spent. The 5 love languages by Gary Chapman has so much truth to it. The way a person loves you matters, and it shows by how you respond to it.
If interested in taking the quiz to find out your love language is click the button on the side.
In my book Matter of the Heart: A Path to Healthy Relationships I spent a lot of time on this subject because I feel like it not talked about enough. According several articles, reviews, and observations I have read, communication was the number reason for divorce in America. We work for the wedding and the title but once accomplished many get lazy in keeping the maintenance of their marriages. God gave me a revelation regarding marriage, and how people respond in their relationship. Many treat their spouses like they treat God, a non priority factor once they have the blessing. Many put the needs of their spouses on hold for the sake of their child(ren)'s need. Children are a blessing from God but they should not come before your spouse. My aunt once told me this and it has stuck with me. She said " When your kids get older they are going to leave the house. When they leave it will just be you and your spouse. Don't neglect him now for the sake of your kids. You will pay for it later." You cannot become so self-absorbed in how you hear things that you don't take the time to hear your spouse perspectives on things too. Remember when you said I do you and your spouse became one. No matter how or what they are you signed up for it. Women are taught to be expressive in our feelings and emotions freely. That is not the story for the average man in this day and age. They are taught to keep their feelings to themselves. Showing emotion is a sign of weakness. Communication is a crucial life source to every marriage. It requires patience, and wisdom. The objective is to have their trust. Ladies he has to trust you with his ego ( being vulnerable) to share his heart with you. Guys she has to know you are covering her heart and emotions. Don't try to manipulate the situation to your delight. Take the time to hear each other's heart, their vision, their dreams, their fears, and their weaknesses it will surprise you to how much you all are both a like, and it will help you to go to God in prayer for their lives. It will also help you to be an example and better raise your children together. Your child(ren) needs both it's parents.
2.) Setting Goals
Every married couple should set goals together not just for the family but the two of them. This brings so much intimacy to the marriage because it is the one thing besides your beautiful babies you are creating together that requires both of you to be transparent in the desires you want to see in your marriage. It also is a really fun activity to have with your spouse. Me and my husband created a vision board as we were preparing to marry. It was advised to us by our marriage counselors. It helped us work together to reach our goals naturally, spiritually and physically, and financially in life. It also helped us also to better prepare are family vision board with the goals we needed to set for our children as well. Setting goals together builds momentum in your marriage because you're building an empire together that your family overall will benefit from
3.) Scheduling Quality Time
This is crucial to any relationship especially your marriage. Quality time builds intimacy in a way that no other person can break if done correctly. The key is that both parties have a active creativity in preparing and planning the quality time. Date night is a must! Date night allows you to unwind. It lets both parties "let their hair down" so to speak. It provides time for you to learn more about each by your actions during the date. It also helps to stimulate the remembrance of why you got together in the first place. One vacation with just you and spouse is crucial to; It can really spices things up. Everything does not have to be sexual but hey if it leads to it awesome! You are married.
4.) Putting in the work
If you want more intimacy in your marriage you have to be willing to put in the work. There is no switch to fix the lack of intimacy in your marriage. You can't worry about what the other person is doing. You have to focus on your part, and how you can make it better. If you don't like something go to God in prayer. He will guide you on what to do. Encourage your spouse. Do not try to manipulate them in completing your couple goals. Create plans for quality time activities with them. Manipulation only slows down the process. When you put in the work together it pays off. If feels good to know your spouse is paying attention to your needs and prays for you. With two committed parties it will work itself out.
Erica Williams is Life coach, Motivational Speaker, Writer/Author and Entrepreneur who thrives at helping women find and live in their divine purpose. She is a Christian Believer, wife and mother of 3.