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Intimacy Advice Article

Marital Advice for Increasing Intimacy

By Susie and Otto Collins

Many married couples say they'd like to get closer and feel more connected with one another. After all, true intimacy requires that the two in the relationship have a close connection.

But the reality often is quite different. Sometimes one or both of you put up walls-- perhaps this is unintended or even unconscious. These walls usually create distance and often a sense of defendedness.

Have you ever known someone who seemed to be holding back from you? Perhaps it was a friend to whom you confided something personal.

This friend, although kind and nice to you, didn't reciprocate by later sharing that same sort of information about him or her.

Your friend's actions are neither right nor wrong, but you might notice that he or she doesn't seem to be as open with you as you are with him or her.

That could create a wall in your friendship. It might still be a fine friendship, but it won't be as close as it might have otherwise been.

In your marriage, you might be the one who holds back in some way. This holding back or defendedness may be when it comes to sexual intimacy or it could happen when you are sharing emotionally with one another.

You can still have a good marriage filled with trust and love. And your level of intimacy and connection can be even closer when you both let down these walls and allow one another in.

The benefits of your relationship growing in this way can be downright amazing!

Jessica really wants to be more intimately close with her husband Philip. She's aware that there are many times in which she stays guarded around him.

Although Philip has never hurt Jessica, she seems to be trying to protect herself by creating space. This especially happens when they are making love and also when it comes to sharing deep emotional feelings.

Jessica knows that there is a distance between she and Philip. Yes, they are happy, but she feels like Philip is somewhat disappointed with her.

He spends hours talking about his innermost thoughts and dreams and she is unable to share with him in a similar way. She just can't seem to
open up more than she already does.

What's holding you back?
If you or your partner tend to hold back or stay defended to one another, it's time to take a look within. Start by checking in with and identifying the feelings that arise within you during the times when you feel like there is distance or a wall between you and your mate.

It could be that a past experience or even something that happened previously in your marriage has not been resolved for you.

Even if it appears to be a minor incident, if trust was weakened in some way and healing has not yet
occurred, this could be contributing to your hesitation to opening up completely in your marriage.

Jessica was sexually assaulted by a boyfriend in college. She went through counseling and truly thought she was "over" the whole trauma.

In fact, she doesn't like to acknowledge that this happened in her past and never has confided the experience to Philip.

Jessica suspects that part of her tendency to be guarded during lovemaking stems from the sexual assault, but she is resisting talking about it with her husband.

At the same time, Jessica really wants to experience a deeper closeness with Philip and so she decides to finally share with him this secret from her past.

At the same time, Jessica decides to meet with a counselor again, at least for a few sessions. She sees that there is another level to her healing that could happen.

Take steps to lower your walls to intimacy.
When you realize where you are guarded and perhaps even why, it can be easier to know what your next step could be. As you take steps to make completions about the past, you might find yourself freer to open up to your present.

You can enjoy a growing intimacy one step at a time. It might require you to be more honest with yourself and your spouse than you've ever been. This could feel like a risk.

We encourage you to take that risk with a clear and aware mind.

Go as slowly as you need to and keep checking in with yourself. Share as much as you are able to with your partner.

Your patience and willingness to expand can allow
you to move closer to your mate and enjoy an intimacy like you've never had before.

It's worth it!


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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