What Is An Intimate Marriage? Revealing Your True Selves Through Learning, Growth, Pleasure, And Even Conflict
Having an intimate marriage that is rich with connection and pleasure happens when learning and growth are central to how you connect with one another. Through being curious and continually interested in one another’s inner worlds, you’ll both expand your sense of being seen, and the intimacy between you will naturally deepen.
In an intimate marriage, gratifying connection and evolving passion flavor your time together, both when you are having a wonderful time together, and when you are in a disagreement.
Yes, you read that right. Conflict can stoke passion and strengthen your intimacy!
Ironically enough, even though conflict causes disconnection for many couples, once you learn how to express yourself during disagreements with integrity and open mindedness, conflict can bring you closer together. This happens because you are getting to know one another better as a direct result of having different perspectives on something and choosing to vulnerably share it with one another. Speaking your truth honestly and respectfully in the heat of the moment is a powerful way to build intimacy. It comes as a result of allowing yourselves to be seen in tender, (complicated) aspects of your personalities. Revealing your challenges, insecurities, and viewpoints in an open and honest way means you are bringing more of who you are to your relationship. When that is done with respect, it leads to more closeness and connection.
The key to using conflict to create more connection is to fully embrace whatever is revealed-don’t just write it off as a consequence of the heat of the moment. Instead, consider that some aspect of your partner is now available for you to perceive it. It is common for people to avoid saying things which feel too confrontational, and then in the heat of the moment it just slips out. Put differently, sometimes it takes a conflict for someone to openly share how they really feel and if you can receive it, and make it safe to have shared it, that will definitely contribute to more intimacy in your relationship.
By embracing whatever is revealed during conflict, you have a chance to truly open your heart and accept your own and your partner’s vulnerability. This will then pave the way for new flavors of intimacy in your relationship and more safety in sharing with one another. This in turn gives you access to a level of sensuality and lusciousness you may otherwise never reach…
Does this mean that every moment of every day will be infused with lusciousness and sensuality? You may be lucky enough to have a phase like that every now and then, but our busy lives keep such moments rare. So when you do experience times of deep sensuality with your partner (especially during unexpected times), savor them!
Some of my favorite moments of intimacy are subtle moments, like when my husband walks by me while I’m cooking and gently brushes the back of my neck. I know that’s his way of saying, “I see you, I love you.”
I used to smile but stay focused on cooking, maybe even take the moment for granted. But now I savor it, taking a deep breath, and allow myself to really enjoy the way it makes me feel–only then does my mind return to the pan in front of me.
An intimate marriage is filled with such poignant, discreetly erotic moments. They can pass pretty quickly while still being extremely meaningful in the greater context of the whole relationship. In just a few seconds erotic connection, affection, and mutual respect are activated, along with the awareness that we don’t know what the future holds, but we are committed to leaning in and discovering it together.
Ultimately, “intimate marriage” is the term that I use to describe a really solid, dynamic connection. One that consists of stability and familiarity, but also playfulness, spontaneity and sexiness.
This type of relationship can seem too good to be true. After all, we grow up believing that we can’t have it all. However, it doesn’t need to be as complicated as all that. A true intimate marriage is built day-by-day, in moments of vulnerability, in the courage required to open your heart and listen generously, in prioritizing the relationship and giving it attention, and even in times of conflict. Unexpected discoveries of emotional intimacy, sensuality, and knowing one another more deeply, naturally results in increased intimacy, presence, and ultimately, love.
For more on this topic, listen to this episode of The Intimate Marriage Podcast
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about how to stoke the passion in your relationship, read my book Uncompromising Intimacy.
Or check out my article on Intimacy Coaching in long term relationships.