Interview with Leona Carter from She builds @intimacy_with_her_husband
Intimacy is my jam, and I’ll tell you why.
“I’m an international empowerment speaker. Im a six times best selling author, I’m a talk show host, but I do all these things so that I can empower women to build intimacy with their husband through the power of dating again. In my life, I have vowed to be the mentor that I longed for… I’m so passionate about building intimacy because when I got married 25 years ago at the age of 18, I knew nothing. I knew absolutely nothing. The only thing that I did know is that this was the husband that God had for me. And even before then I actually had no intention on getting married. I was pursuing my college degree. I knew where I was going. I had no intention on getting married. I didn’t date guys early in high school because it wasn’t part of my plan. I was just purpose driven young lady.
Marriage wasn’t in my plan. One day I was at a church service and all of a sudden got deposited this in feeling my heart, in my spirit that I would be married. I’m like, wait what? You know, because my best friend, we’ll talk about it…. She wanted to be married. God dropped this in my spirit that I was going to be a wife and I was like, I simply said, well God, if I’m going to be married, I’m ready to meet who I’m going to marry 17 days later we started dating in high school and have been dating every since and that was 28 years ago and so, but I got married.
I had a beautiful wedding and once the honeymoon came, that’s when the nerves came. Right?
And so I’m expecting all the feelings, the arousal, the anticipation… I’m expecting it. Because that’s how the TV does it, right? That’s how it is in magazines… right? But guess what? On the honeymoon night, those feelings never came from me.
They never struck me like lightning. They never came. And I was like, well, what was going on? Of course, we consummated our love and had a great 10 day honeymoon. But when I got back, I said, wait a minute, I need to work on being a better wife. I don’t know if I can do this, right? Well, you know, here I am..
… we didn’t know the difference between having sex and building intimacy and that was the struggle, and here I am today, empowering because of that struggle and it’s still apparent today.
So that’s kind of why I’m so passionate because I knew from the wedding night something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what that was.” – Leona Carter
This story resonates with so many couples. I think we all go into it into marriage feeling like there’s going to be that passion and excitement and that romance and the amazing sex – life long- and then we get married over and were all like… wait… that’s not what was on TV!
This is this is real life. And yes, we all have to work at marriage, and work really really hard at it.
“I work with lots of women today. There’s some extra barriers to building intimacy. In life we have the house, the bills, the car, we have some extra barriers… and for me, that extra barrier was when I finally got the guts through shame and embarrassment finally went to the doctor and say, you know what I think? I think something’s not right. I mean, I married a great guy so it never was him, right? Well they did tests and all the things and they found out I was hormonally imbalanced. And so the neural transmitters and the firing for other people… that wiring wasn’t in me. And because of that, I had to build a whole intentionality structure around prioritizing intimacy.
My husband actually went to the store and got libido enhancement. And he put Libido enhancement in my coffee every morning for seven days. And he’s like, well maybe she just needs a little boost, right? He put it in my coffee for seven days and he vowed to not initiate sex or anything like that. He wanted me to be the initiator, right? Well, at the end of the week, he holds up the thing and said, you know what? You know this that I got from the store? Well, it doesn’t work. I was like, what do you mean? And so he explains it. I put this in your coffee every morning and it doesn’t work for you and I and a no unknown to me, I’m like, you know, I actually felt relief because he had more insight to know, I promise. It’s not just me thinking, I don’t want to connect with you… You know? And so and it’s so common.” – Leona Carter
I think when we hear the word intimacy, a lot of us, especially men, think of sex immediately, intimacy equals sex. But there’s there’s so much more than just sex for intimacy and so, so many different types of intimacy.
I think people need to understand what the different types of intimacy are because as those different types of intimacy get met, then it’s easier to move on to the sexual aspect of intimacy.
“There’s over 14 different types of intimacy. So no wonder, intimacy is so huge. Wonder is bigger than the bedroom, right? One of the 11 intimacy types that some people don’t realize is recreational intimacy. That’s why it feels so amazing to take a walk with your partner, take a walk with your husband down the street, right? That’s a form of intimacy. You think about the intimacy, spiritual intimacy. Listen, that’s a whole topic in itself, right? How amazing that we’re called to be covered by her husband as God covers our husband and so many times us wives, we’re longing for that spiritual covering from our husband that we’re not getting. And many times, if women aren’t getting that spiritual covering, they get it from somewhere else. And so that spiritual covering is so important.” – Leona Carter
But I think most of all the one of the most common ones is emotional intimacy. We learned early in our marriage, it’s that emotional… I have to completely be filled up emotionally to be safe and comfortable and open for physical intimacy or sexual intimacy. One has to do with the other.
“Let’s talk about what it is and what we can do simply in our lives to create better emotional intimacy in our marriage.
I like to compare emotional intimacy to the fireplace.
Imagine a fire burning and you’re sitting down with your babe on the couch and the fire is burning with the fire kind of dwindles just a little bit. One of you are like, wait, you’re gonna put the log on, or am I gonna, somebody needs to stoke this fire because it’s going to go out, right? And then when you put that log on that, you’re like, okay, you sit back and enjoy it for another couple of hours until it’s time to soak it. Again, it’s the same with emotional intimacy. And so we have to constantly stoke the fire of emotional intimacy. And I say, connect in the kitchen long before you get to the bedroom. And kitchen is a metaphor, but you know, let me use it in the practical. Me and my husband were coffee drinkers…. when we get up in the morning.. its who gets to make the coffee first because we’re coffee drinkers and we connect in the kitchen, you know, connect over coffee. Talk about with the day looks like, you know, we’re pouring and stoking that emotional intimacy with each other.
Then he goes to work, you know, in my family dynamic, I’m the entrepreneur from home and he’s the 9 to 5 at work. So we text throughout the day and check on each other and you know, have lunch together if we can… and it’s a continuation. So that by the time he comes home, we’re continuing where we left off. It’s not we’re not going to the fireplace, you got the light, I have the match…. We’re not trying to restart a fire because it’s been kindling all day long. And so for me, because of my unique wiring, right, I need that emotional kindling. So that by the time I get to the bedroom, it’s just a continuation of what I’ve been doing all day long.
But what couples fail to realize that all types of intimacy affects the bedroom. That’s why you can be in the bed next to your husband and feel miles away because of the emotional disconnect and it’s real. Sometimes there’s reasons why we’re emotionally disconnected… then there’s sometimes that we’re just not kindling, right? He didn’t do anything. You didn’t do anything, you’re not mad at each other, but you’re not connected because you haven’t stoked that intimacy fire.” – Leona Carter
That is such a great analogy. If you’re out in the forest or desert or whatever, and that fire goes out and you don’t have the proper equipment to restart that fire… It’s a really hard thing to do. That totally relates to relationships as well. Why wait until the fire goes out? And you’re saying just keep feeding the fire and keep that fire lit. And if that fire is lit, then that passion and that romance and everything else is just always going to be there in that relationship.
Maintaining is a lot easier than restarting.
What advice do you have for the women or men out there that feel like they’re fire has been put out completely. How do you restart the emotional intimacy process?
“It is time to reset and recalibrate your marriage by dating again. Reset what dating again looks like, because kids, bills, careers, it’s all gets in the way and we use to be high priority for each other, but we’ve moved down the list. Everything else gets dealt with before we connect with each other. And so dating again is about getting to know each other again. You remember when you were dating and everything was cute, I mean, he digs in his nose and you’re like, that was cute, right? But now, because of so many distractions, everything gets on your nerves. What was cute before it gets on your nerves now.
It’s time to start dating again, we are all very different than we were when we first got together. And so as a couple you need to get to know each other as they are now. years later. One of the things that I have, is called 28 dates intimacy coaching program, and I literally take you through 28 days of dating. When women are overwhelmed, couples are overwhelmed, they don’t even know where to begin. I help and teach you how to begin again. So you don’t have to figure it all out. Dating again is how you reset because what you loved before, can change after kids and business.” – Leona Carter
I think that’s one of the ways the adversary in a Christian marriage really tries to get in into a family or break a family apart.. is distractions. A lot of times we don’t think distractions are necessarily a bad thing, a distraction could be all, hey, I’m killing 20 minutes on my phone looking at the news or whatever or social media or you know, but if we look at the distractions and see that they’re taking away precious time with our spouse, that could be having great conversation instead, or creating emotional intimacy. It is easy to see how distractions can slowly put a divide in or tear a couple apart. Dating as well… getting rid of those unwanted distractions and have a good discussion will help get that relationship closer together again. It makes all the difference.
“With distractions, we are drawn to something we feel we’re missing inside. And so it’s that internal void that draws us to the distraction.
Spiritual Intimacy in one of the big equal components in intimacy. What is spiritual intimacy? How do we grow that with our spouse?
“For Christian marriages, it seems like it’s easy, right? You know, he loves God, I love God, no big deal… we love God together, but you know, marriage is a covenant and you can’t think for a moment, you love each other so much that spiritual warfare won’t try to attack your very loving marriage. So it is important to really come together with a plan of how you’re fostering spiritual intimacy. Sometimes in marriages one is more spiritual if you will, than the other spouse, but it doesn’t matter because you cover each other. And even the Bible talks about how the one spouse is sanctified by the other.
And so that spiritual covering is super, super important to really choose to celebrate your spouse or where they are without stumbling over who they’re not.
In that spiritual intimacy, or covering each other, it allows you to do that. That spiritual covering, especially designed in the church, God is over the husband and the husband is over the wife. And so that spiritual hierarchy, if you will is so important. Men have a mandate, husbands have a mandate over their wife to be that spiritual coverage. It doesn’t mean the boss or the leader or the dictator… But it’s that spiritual covering together. And so when we both come together and really prioritize that, because your marriage is a target for the enemy that come in at any given time, that spiritual covering together is super, super important.”- Leona Carter
I love the analogy where it’s like a triangle in the marriage, God sits at the top of the point and then the husband and the wife at the bottom of the other points. Well, the closer the husband and wife moved towards God, the closer to the husband and wife get towards each other as well. And so as they move towards God closer, and strive as a couple to move closer to God and all things, it truly does bring a husband and wife closer together.
The other thing about that diagram in your mind is that the husband and wife are equal in that triangle, they’re completely equal. And the great thing about what you’re saying is different levels is that sometimes I’m more on a spiritual higher, he’s on more on a spiritual high, we can balance each other out and be for each other spiritually. We do have our own spiritual levels of our own, and when I feel like I am closer to Christ, I am a better wife because I have more compassion, like Christ, I have more forgiveness, I have more charity. All those Christ-like qualities are just so important for your marriage to have.
“It is important to know who you are in Christ. It’s not up to a spouse to make you happy. It’s the joy and the happiness and the purpose that God has given within you. Your spiritual assignment is individual.
Yet when you meet your spouse or you connect with your husband there an addition to who you are already, they’re not creating who you are. That spiritual individual relationship with God is so important. Listen, when Im prayed up, I’m a better wife too.” – Leona Carter
There is several things a couple can do to keep the passion and fire lit in their relationship. One of the most important ones we’ve kind of hit on is maintaining good communication. Why do you feel good Communication is so important in marriage? And what what happens when you feel the communication starts breaking down?
“Listen, when the communication breaks down and there’s disappointment, one of the things I ask women is, okay, so how did your husband feel when you told him that that’s what you wanted? You know what they said? Oh wait I didn’t I didn’t actually tell him. Oh… so you did you didn’t tell him? Okay. And so many times what we’re finding is we all have expectations. What we’re finding is we have our spouse held to the expectation that we’ve never communicated to him. And then when he doesn’t meet that uncommunicative expectations we are disappointed.
There are women that are fearful in communicating any and everything, especially in the bedroom. You know in your marriage, you can get to the point that you can communicate anything about anything, but it’s your timing and tone in how you communicate that.
When I let go of those unexpected uncommunicative expectations and communicating everything, things flow better. We think we’re doing our spouse a service when we don’t communicate or nag. But it’s actually it’s the opposite.
Sometimes we assume that our spouse should know what we want. But really we just need to be told.
I thought when I got married, my husband had a master’s degree in Leona Carter from Leona Carter University, you know, specialized in me and know exactly what I want. And when I found out that wasn’t the case, I was like, wait, you don’t even have your diploma. What? ;)” – Leona Carter
It took me 15 years of our marriage for me to actually express this, which is why I designed the entire Ultimate Intimacy app for me to come out and say “this what I would like to try in the bedroom! I’m kind of bored, let’s try something new!” and open up that communication which I had been scared to do for years and years and that changed everything in our marriage. It’s only got gotten 100 times better since then. It wasn’t always just in the bedroom stuff either, I didn’t want to nag, I didn’t want to be the wife that was “will you please do this, can’t you see that this isn’t done or I’m really stressed out because I’m doing this and this.” All it takes is for us to ask and talk to our spouse. Open up! Fix things so you don’t dwell on them.
From intimacy in the morning, in the kitchen, like you say until at night in the bedroom, it changes marriage when you can get vulnerable like that and actually express what you need and what you
want. It really is that simple, or it can be.
Instead of assuming that they should know how you’re feeling and when you start communicating and open up that communication, it really does solve so many issues.
How do we show love for our spouse instead of just assuming that they already know that we love them, what are the things that we can do in our marriages?
The five love languages, that Gary Chapman talks about in his book, that is a phenomenal starting point.
I mean it’s a transformation for a lot of marriages and it was for mine because I was like, see somebody understands me right? Really understanding and communicating again how your spouse best received love and you know, because I am an acts of service person and that’s one of the five love languages. My husband, he was giving love to me the way he receives it and didn’t understand what the problem was. He wasn’t using my love language. It’s okay to ask your spouse, you know how you want to be loved? Do you know what lights your fire? How do you want me to show you love?
What are some simple things we can do daily to increase the excitement for physical intimacy that can sometimes die out off after so many years of marriage?
When I think of physical intimacy, even though it’s regarding the touch and things like that, it is separate than sexual intimacy. And so that physical intimacy, it’s those hugs in the morning, kisses on the cheek. It’s the ongoing touching, right? There is a study that says, couples need approximately 12 hugs a day to really be at their emotional high. So me and my husband, when we wake up we start with hug #1! For me, knowing that I can physically connect with you, without it always leading to sex. That was a big thing for me, because it would, and this is common.. women will withdraw the physical touch because to the husband, it means let’s get it on.
But sometimes when I’m showered and dressed for the day and I’m getting ready to do an interview, I’m not I’m not trying to go to the bedroom, but if I can touch you and you understand that I’m going to my podcast interview, not go to the bedroom, then we’re ok.
Every couple is different. You know, it could be a hug, it could be grabbing your spouses butt, it could be so many different things, just physical things that aren’t sexual that show your spouse that you love
them. And I think that’s where communication comes into place because I have to be very careful.. like when I do these things, it just means I love you. It doesn’t mean I want to take you into the bedroom. Once again… communication.
“Talking about the bedroom.. it’s it’s okay to try new things, to shake things up a little bit. I think that’s one of the things that can really, you know, bring the excitement or keep the excitement in the marriage as well as you know, just be spontaneous and try something new. Whether it’s to get a hotel for the night or surprise your spouse with something new, try something new, don’t be afraid to. And obviously, if you both feel comfortable.
What I tell women is, use the art of curiosity when you’re wanting to try new things. And what that means is when I’m curious about something, there’s no commitment why? Because I’m just trying it out, just seeing if I like it. So if a woman needs to communicate to her husband in the bedroom and she wants to actually try different things, we’ll use curiosity, and so outside of the bedroom or in the kitchen, you would say something like baby, you want to try something new?
I was kinda wanting, you know, I took the kids to grandma and maybe we kind of try something new tonight and he’s gonna be like, okay, hey, well she’s thinking about it, she’s initiating, boom, sign me up, right?
And then when your in the bedroom, you actually be curious. Well, let’s try this. Okay, well let’s try that, you know, try different moves, different positions, and don’t have to commit to anything, right? Because you’re only trying new things. So if you’re telling your husband hey, do this, or I like it when you do this. He’s gonna be focused on pleasing you, right? He’s gonna be thinking about what you say you want in that moment. And that’s how you can you change things. Maybe you’re not feeling that move you used to do, but you want to do something else without hurting his feelings. You just praise what you do want and don’t worry about the other move that you don’t want and he’s perfectly happy, right? And so that art of curiosity is it changes the game seriously in your marriage when you’re not confident yet to have that bedroom conversation.” – Leona Carter
I feel so many people in relationships think, oh the husband just wants to have sex… But really, I would say 95% of the husbands out there.. whatever the actual percentage is, probably really high, they just want to take care of their wife and please their wife first. And I bet a lot of times they don’t always know how to do that… or maybe they’re afraid to ask. Or the wife isn’t verbally saying, here’s what I would like. So it comes back to communication in the bedroom. If my wife asks me to try something on her, I’m gonna be the first one to say “absolutely what whatever I can do for you to serve you and make you feel the best.” – Nick
If people are struggling with intimacy, one of the things that could help is just being more open and communicating about it.
That is where the Ultimate Intimacy App is very helpful.
I empower women to build intimacy with their husband through the power of dating again. And so I help you track that course through 28 dates intimacy coaching program. This month I actually have 28 dates masterclass that’s available. And the topic for the master class is conversations between the sheets, Right, what else? And so, you you can learn more about me and about the master class at Leoniacarter.club.
Take my quiz on my website: How is the intimacy in your marriage? And find out how good the intimacy in your marriage is.
You can find Leona Carter by clicking on the image below!
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