Passion in marriage can improve if you understand what intimacy means. Your lament, “How to save my relationship?” has many answers. Here’s one about intimacy.
Is intimacy unconditional love for or from your partner? Is intimacy being understood, emotionally supported, and getting a response from your partner that validates and affirms you? Does intimacy come about because you communicate or negotiate well, have lots of sex, or have learned relationship techniques? The answers to all of these questions are a resounding NO!
In a long-term relationship, intimacy develops through challenges and conflicts that cultivate your ability to say who you are to your partner with no guarantees or assurances that your partner will still love and want you.
Many couples feel that their honeymoon phase is when they feel the most intimate with their partner. Actually, “the honeymoon” is when a couple feels the most reciprocal affirmation and validation. Even though it feels euphoric and is an essential developmental stage, the deep intimacy of a long-lived marriage is unsurpassed — if you can muster up courage to learn how to save a relationship.
If you are afraid to be vulnerable, you will protect yourself by waiting for your partner to make the first move, or by emotionally distancing yourself, or by withholding your love. You won’t dare to express who you are or who you want to become. Consequently, you will remain hidden to your partner and to yourself. This inexpressive stance will not further passion in marriage.
The dictionary definition of being intimate is — expressing what is innermost about you. How can you do that? Only by being brave enough to take the steps to express yourself in the face of not knowing whether or not you’ll be rejected or accepted. This isn’t easy, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to keep growing and understanding how to save your relationship.
Answer these 2 questions: Are you waiting for your partner to make the first move to advance your relationship forward? Are you withholding love? If you say YES to either of these, do a Quick-Write asking yourself why. Set the timer for 2 minutes. You’ll probably realize that intimacy has a lot more to do with you than it does between you and your partner.
I had to redefine lots of relationships concepts. Intimacy and desire are not what I thought they were. Now I conceive of them in brand new ways that shed light not darkness on my relationship.
Does this marriage cartoon sound familiar?