Getting married is a big step. It takes commitment, responsibility and a lot of hard work to make a marriage successful. It is easy to allow work and parenting demands to come between you and your husband, making you feel more like roommates than intimate partners. Taking steps to strengthen your marriage emotionally can make you feel like best friends again.
Spend Time Together
The most important tool to help you improve the emotional intimacy in your marriage is time, according to Peggy Ferguson, Ph.D., in her article “The Most Important Tool for Restoring Emotional Intimacy to Your Marriage.” When partners miss the closeness they used to enjoy, a lack of time together is often a major part of the problem. Check in with each other before the day starts. Put the kids to bed early so you can discuss the events of the day without interruption. Plan regular date nights, and schedule them on the calendar just like you would any other important engagement.
Improving communication can lead to greater intimacy, says Kalman Heller, Ph.D., in the Psych Central article “How Can I Improve Intimacy in My Marriage?" Conversations that involve work, family and other interests nourish the sense of being best friends. Phone conversations, texts or emails count towards filling your communication needs. If you're not sure what to talk about, try some couples' communication questions. Be emotionally honest, and discuss conflicts in a mutually respectful way. Try to solve problems as a team instead of accusing or placing blame.
Many women feel the need for emotional intimacy before they can engage sexually, according to Heller in his article Psych Central article “Sexuality and Marital Intimacy.” However, he says it is important for wives to overcome the excuse of emotional disconnection and have sex with their husbands as often as possible. That allows both partners to feel closer, and it creates a more intimate environment to resolve other issues. If you have a hard time finding time to make love, schedule it as you would any other date night. Although you may be concerned about a lack of spontaneity, scheduled sex is just as satisfying and enjoyable as spontaneous sex.
No one person can meet all your needs, points out Derek Willis Hagey and Amber L. Brewer in the article “Increasing Intimacy in Marriage.” It's important to pursue individual interests and to encourage your partner to do the same. This helps each of you to be a happier, more interesting and well-rounded companion. Try to find at least half an hour each day to spend just on you. Read a book, work on a hobby, develop a talent, soak in the tub, go for a walk or take a nap. Refilling your reservoirs will make you a better partner.
Based in Southern California, Shelli Proffitt Howells has written numerous articles about family life, marriage and parenting. She is a member of the American Night Writer's Association. She has a Bachelors of Science in zoology from Brigham Young University, which she has found surprisingly helpful while raising a large family.