12 May The Power of Marital Intimacy
Sexual intimacy in marriage has the potential to make or break a relationship. For many married couples, sexual intimacy takes a back burner to children, work, and all the demands of the modern lifestyle. However, if taken seriously and given conscientious effort, marital intimacy can be a couple’s greatest asset towards their marriage fulfillment.
Although there may be a few lucky couples who have never had issues with intimacy in marriage, it is common to experience difficulties in the bedroom. There are as many reasons for this as there are struggling couples, but there are some common issues that many couples experience: lack of communication about intimacy, not knowing what to expect, fear, emotional or physical pain, and misunderstanding. In some circumstances (and from my experience working with clients, it’s not uncommon), negative childhood experiences such as abuse, shame, neglect, or even parental divorce, can contribute to negative sexual experiences within marriage.
Sexual fulfillment within marriage is the greatest opportunity to strengthen marriage on all levels. It takes a conscious effort of openness and communication to create a satisfying sexual relationship within marriage, and it is worth every bit of that effort. Not only is intimacy much more fun and fulfilling, but it’s amazing what happens to the marriage relationship in all other aspects as well. As our intimate relationship has improved over the years, my husband and I have found that there is more mutual respect, more willingness to forgive, more physical touch, more fun, more understanding, and greater enjoyment of just being in one another’s company. Mutually fulfilling marital intimacy has the potential to change and even heal marriages on all levels.
Marriage intimacy expert Laura Brotherson gives an interesting view in her article, “When Husband’s Aren’t Interested”. Although many times women struggle with gearing up for sexual activity within marriage, Laura discusses how to help men who struggle:
“One woman had an “ah-ha” moment one night regarding the dynamics of sexual desire in her marriage. She wrote the following:
“I remember one evening seeing in my husband’s eyes that he was not exactly in the mood.’ The cares of the day and the weight of work pressures were heavy on his mind, not to mention the fact that he was just plain tired. All of a sudden it dawned on me that I was seeing my husband the way he usually sees me, in a ‘not-interested-in-sex’ state of mind.
It was a strange sensation to be on the other side of the coin, because I was interested in sex that night. To imagine my husband not being automatically interested in lovemaking was a new concept.”
Men Need Foreplay Too
Given the many stressors of life and especially as husbands age, men may need a little more foreplay too. Foreplay is something that helps relax and prepare the mind and body for sex.
Sometimes women like to think that they have the corner on the market when it comes to needing some help to shift from daily cares to more sensual activities.
But men, too, like to be touched and kissed and caressed both verbally and physically. As we can see from the scenario above, it was the husband who particularly needed some connecting foreplay to get him headed in a more sensual direction.
We sometimes forget that it isn’t just women who long for connection and want to feel loved, appreciated and wanted. And don’t think that men don’t also need the same courtesies outside the bedroom and throughout the day that women do.
Couples may need to be a little more intentional with their lovemaking and understand that sex does begin at breakfast for both husband and wife.
When the Husband’s Not Interested……Read more