Intimacy is the closeness of your relationship with your spouse -- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually, and in many other ways. Intimacy is not an end goal but rather a journey that lasts throughout your marriage. Intimacy can have different meanings for men and a women. For instance, women are often portrayed as having the desire for emotional intimacy while men are portrayed as only having a desire for sexual intimacy. However, intimacy can take many forms, including the following:
Emotional intimacy is the closeness created through sharing feelings.
Mental or intellectual intimacy involves a mutual understanding about all the important issues in your marriage.
Recreational intimacy is enjoying activities together, like running, golfing, or reading.
Financial or monetary intimacy comes with discussing and sharing your finances.
Sexual intimacy is one of the most important dimensions of healthy marital intimacy. Healthy sexual intimacy includes sexual frequency that both partners are satisfied with, sexual activities both partners enjoy, and an open dialogue about sex.
Relationships with healthy intimacy have several factors in common, including the following:
Mutual trust builds a sense of security for both spouses.
Tenderness includes g entle expressions of caring.
Acceptance is unconditional approval in a relationship.
Open communication is the ability to discuss anything with your spouse.
Caring is genuine concern for your spouse's well-being.
Apologies are the remedy for mistakes that spouses inevitably make.
Forgiveness is the process of letting go of anger, desire for revenge, and obsessive thinking about times your spouse has hurt you.
Appropriate boundaries are the limits you place on a relationship.
Intimacy is an important part of a vibrant, loving marriage. Intimacy can be experienced at many levels, including physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial and recreational. Intimacy is nurtured through mutual trust, tenderness, acceptance, open communication, caring, apologies, forgiveness and respecting boundaries. Couples can work together to increase their intimacy in each area as they build their marriage through the years.
Relationships all need a tune-up from time to time. Looking at the list above, what are some ways in which you can work to improve the intimacy within your relationship in 2012?