A post by J at Hot, Holy & Humorous and another by Julie over at Intimacy in Marriage got me to thinking about intimacy in marriage and, no, I don’t just mean sex. This is how I’d like us to define intimacy for this and all our discussions:
Intimacy is the act of allowing someone to truly know the real you.
When we’re talking about sex we’ll say “sex.” We won’t use “code words.” We’ll say what we mean and intimacy isn’t just physical.
I can think of at least three forms of intimacy within each marriage, physical, emotional and spiritual. First let’s apply our definition of intimacy to the first two, physical (yeah baby!) and emotional. Typically there will be a higher drive spouse for each of these in a marriage. Rarely will the one that is high drive for physical intimacy also be the high drive for emotional intimacy though I guess it does happen. Again, typically what will happen in a marriage is that we expect other people to be like us. We expect our spouse to have the same level of desire for physical and emotional intimacy that we have and when they don’t we have a hard time reconciling that with our experience. Likely our spouse is having the same issue with us. They don’t understand why we are not like them.
At some point in my marriage I realized what was happening. I was having a hard time sharing my heart with my wife because she was having a hard time sharing her body with me. At the same time my wife was having a hard time sharing her body with me because I was having a difficult time sharing my heart with her. Do you see the cycle that was playing out in our marriage? Do you see how frustrating this type of situation can be? Do you see how to break the cycle?
The first thing you have to do to break a cycle is to first recognize it. Once it has been identified you are well on your way to breaking the cycle IF you’re both willing to step up and do your part. This is where we talk about growing up. We each had to realize that our experience wasn’t the “truth” we thought it to be. We had to agree that God didn’t mess up in the way that he made either of us. That neither of us was morally superior because of our preference. We each had to grow up and make changes and choose to meet the desires of our spouse. In doing so we each made it easier to be more intimate both emotionally and physically with one another.
Be looking for part two of this discussion in the next few days.
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