Do You Want an Intimate Marriage?
The lord god said, “it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. ”. - Genesis 2:18
Intimacy is the glue that will hold your marriage together. But do you know what it is? It’s not just sex—that’s just one expression of it. And you can have sex without intimacy. The dictionary conveys the ideas that follow.
Intimacy suggests a very strong personal relationship, a special emotional closeness that includes understanding and being understood by someone who is very special.
Intimacy has also been defined as an affectionate bond, the strands of which are composed of mutual caring, responsibility, trust, open communication of feelings and sensations, and the nondefended interchange of information about significant emotional events.
Intimacy means taking the risk to be close to someone and allowing that someone to step inside your personal boundaries.
Sometimes intimacy can hurt. As you lower your defenses to let each other close, you reveal the real, intimate, secret you to each other, including your weaknesses and faults.
With the real you exposed, you become vulnerable to possible ridicule from your partner. The risk of pain is there, but the rewards of intimacy greatly overshadow the risk.
Although intimacy means vulnerability, it also means security. The openness can be scary, but the acceptance each partner offers in the midst of vulnerability provides a wonderful sense of security.
Intimate couples can feel safe and accepted—fully exposed perhaps, yet fully accepted.
Intimacy can occur outside of marriage commitment and without the element of physical love. Women can be intimate with women and men with men.
The closeness of intimacy involves private and personal interaction, commitment, and caring. We can speak of intimacy between friends as well as intimacy between spouses.
Intimacy can exist without marriage, but it is impossible for a meaningful marriage to exist without intimacy. For two hearts to touch each other, intimacy is a must.
If you don’t know how your partner thinks and feels about various issues or concerns, he or she is somewhat of a stranger to you. And for two hearts to be bonded together, they cannot be strangers.
It is often assumed that intimacy automatically occurs between married partners. But I’ve seen far too many “married strangers.” I’ve talked to too many husbands and wives who feel isolated from their spouses and lonely even after many years of marriage.
I’ve heard statements like:
“We share the same house, the same table, and the same bed, but we might as well be strangers.”
“We’ve lived together for twenty-three years, and yet I don’t know my spouse any better now than when we married.”
“What really hurts is that we can spend a weekend together and I still feel lonely. I think I married someone who would have preferred being a hermit in some ways.”
No, intimacy is not automatic.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books