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One of the big questions I get often is how to reignite our intimacy and passion. When people struggle with their relationship, one of the areas to check out is the intimacy levels. Intimacy and passion is crucial and should be nurtured in every relationship. It is a basic need of every human need, according to Maslow’s, humanistic theory; love, acceptance and belonging is a basic need, so if you are craving it, no apologies necessary, pursue it.
To build a relationship founded on a strong foundation of intimacy and passion, other ingredients of trust, self-disclosure, respect, appreciation, interdependence, unconditional positive regard are necessary. Intimacy is the closeness, oneness of your relationship with spouses; emotionally, spiritually, recreationally, intellectually, sexually, and in many other ways intimacy is a journey that lasts throughout your marriage life. Marriage and family researchers Schaefer and Olson (1981) describe attaining intimacy as “a process that occurs over time and is never completed or fully accomplished”.
As you and your partner grow and develop, both of you will change with time as you continue to grow and develop. If you are not able to find common ground as you grow, you may find yourselves becoming strangers in the same room. In their opinion, “married people tend to be healthier, live longer, have more wealth and economic assets, and have more satisfying sexual relationships. Mental health is also better for couples with healthy intimacy. It is therefore in the benefit of every couple to grow their intimacy levels throughout their marriage life.”
Intimacy can have different meanings for different people and at different stages of marriage however let’s look at the following types of intimacy:
This is the closeness created through sharing feelings. The first step to emotional awareness is to pay attention to your feelings, identify them, and think of possible reasons for them. Emotional intimacy can occur as a result of self-awareness, coupled with an environment on trust where one is able to become vulnerable with their partner expressing feelings freely. To reignite passion emotional intimacy needs to be in check.
Sex is a vital component of marriage and married life. Sexual desires are a part of our being as human. It only goes to say that you are a normal functioning person if you are physically attracted or sexually aroused. Attraction and arousal are the natural, spontaneous, responses to the physical. Healthy sexual intimacy includes sexual frequency. One of the most common sexual concerns is mismatched libido. Good physical intimacy happens when couples work to bridge their differences; recognise their strengths and weakness and purpose to work together for mutual benefit.
Be careful not to criticise your partner but instead give them credit and communicate with unconditional positive regard in areas where they could work on to enhance the game. Couples who agree in their definition of sexual satisfaction and comfortable discussing sexual issues have a more fulfilled physical intimacy levels. I wish to share a tip on reigniting your passion
If sex becomes illusive, it may be helpful to schedule it. Communicate with your partner and agree on days and times that work for both of you. However, that does not mean it will in any way affect spontaneity, it only goes to say if the month is down and neither has initiated sex, it’s time to schedule it without blaming one another. You could also consider mornings, when both of you are feeling more energised. It would be helpful to get to bed earlier than the time you are ready to retire and are too tired. Unwind an hour before bedtime, it is advisable to avoid the serious mental engagement or heavy issues, particularly conflict-related issues should not be discussed just before bed time. It kills the passion and will certainly not reignite the passion; instead it works as a stressor. If necessary, change your evening routine. Make your bedroom a safe heaven, neat and tidy with good aroma that enhances relaxation, a place that spells welcome and not war.
The writer is a Relationship Coach and Author, Marriage Built to Last. www.jenniekarina.co.ke
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