There are several different types of intimacy in marriage, and all of them are essential to having a very happy and healthy relationship. However, many of these are overlooked as people tend to think of intimacy as just physical or emotional, and while those are two very important ones, there are others that are often overlooked. Here are the different types of intimacy:
Examples of physical intimacy include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Oral sex
- Holding hands
- Sitting close together
Physical intimacy is extremely important in a marriage. There are MANY benefits from Physical and sexual intimacy.
Sex strengthens your bond together as a couple
Sex improves physical health
Sex makes you happier
Sex can relieve stress
The more intimate couples are with each other, the happier they tend to be. In fact, research shows that people who have sex at least once a week are happier than those who don’t have sex at all.
It may seem obvious that married people should have regular sex with their spouses, but many couples fall into the trap of thinking they don’t need it anymore once they’ve tied the knot.
Sex is important for your relationship. It’s a way to bond, to express love and affection, and it can even help you feel closer to your spouse. But in some relationships, sex is a struggle.
If you’re in a marriage where one or both partners don’t want to have sex, this can lead to resentment and hurt feelings — especially if a spouse feels like their needs aren’t being met.
Research shows that couples who have sex at least once a week are happier and more satisfied with their relationship than couples who have sex less often. So if you’re not having sex often enough, it’s worth figuring out why.
Emotional intimacy is the ability to share your feelings with your spouse. It’s being able to talk about what’s troubling you, and be heard by your spouse. Sometimes it can be hard for couples as you have to let your guard down and be vulnerable, which can be scary. But for couples that have good emotional intimacy, their marriages thrive.
- A couple has a long conversation with each other about what they want out of their relationship and goals they have short and long term. They come out of the conversations feeling closer together as a couple and on the same page.
- A husband comes home and tells his wife about about some stressful things going on with work and asks her advice. His wife sits down and not only listens to him, but asks questions and offers her advice on how we can handle it.
- A couple sits down and has a in-depth and vulnerable conversation about their sexual intimacy in their relationship, and things they want to do to make it even better.
Intellectual intimacy is being curious about each other and wanting to learn more about your spouse, how they feel about certain things and discussing many differing view or even opinions.
- A couple discusses a certain political view they see differently on, but want to understand each others rationale to why they believe what they do. Neither feels the need to be right but just wants to share their thoughts and opinions.
- A couple discusses the meaning of life. Neither one of them really know, but want to get each others perspective.
- A couple reads and discusses a book together and wants to compare what each other took from the book.
We often think of spiritual intimacy as being a personal thing, but couples can build a great relationship through spiritual intimacy by praying together, studying together and talking about your beliefs.
These beliefs often are the driving force of many of the big decisions you make in life together.
- A couple prays together and asks God for guidance in their lives and together as a couple.
- A couple reads scriptures together and discusses them before they go to bed every night.
Social intimacy as a couple would include doing date nights together, or spending time together having fun and laughing. This could also include social events with friends or family.
Experiential intimacy is all about trying new things together and experimenting to see what you like or dislike. These can take place both in and out of the bedroom.
- A couple decides to train for a marathon together. They push each other and support each other in a common goal and see how well they can do, and if they enjoy it.
- A couple wants to take their sexual intimacy to another level and decide to try new positions or ways to make love. This could include trying a new toy to see how it works :). They experiment different things to see what they like or dislike in the bedroom.
Financial intimacy covers anything to do with money matters. It could include discussing buying a new car, budgeting goals they have, where and how to spend money and all other financial decisions.
- A couple has a good discussion on if they should buy a new car, what kind of car they should get and payments they are both comfortable with.
- A couple sits down together and discusses their income and expenses and how to put together a game plan to get out of debt.
What keeps couples from creating stronger marriages through these types of intimacy?
Couples that just expect these things should happen instead of discussing them together.
Blaming each other when things don’t happen.
Not making the time for intimacy.
Focusing time and attention elsewhere.
If you want to have a very happy and healthy marriage, it is vital to communicate openly in each of these types of intimacy. Couples that can do that will see ALL areas of intimacy thrive in their relationship. Identify what areas of intimacy you are struggling with and make a plan to address them and you will see things change in your marriage!
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