Emotional intimacy is the foundation of a strong and fulfilling relationship. It is the deep connection and understanding between two people that allows for vulnerability, trust, and growth. However, when life circumstances or external factors force us to spend time apart from our partner, maintaining this emotional intimacy can become a challenge. Whether it’s due to a long-distance relationship, work commitments, or other reasons, the physical distance can often lead to emotional distance as well.
For about 6years I was not staying in the same town with my wife who ordinarily was committed and consistent. I started feeling the heat of lack of emotional intimacy when my wife of 25years started doubting me, could no longer trust me with outsiders and one day woke up to ask me: “do you still want this marriage?”
In this post, we will talk about how to unlock the key to emotional intimacy after time apart from your partner and re-establish that strong bond
IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIPS
Emotional intimacy serves as the lifeblood of every profound relationship. It’s a mutual bond that allows you to openly share your deepest insecurities, aspirations, and dreams without the fear of being ridiculed or criticized. Imagine having someone by your side who you can reveal your soul to, a person who makes you feel safe, cherished, and truly appreciated. This is the essence of emotional intimacy.
This deep connection is so much more than a nice-to-have element in a relationship; it’s absolutely fundamental. It plays an extremely vital role in creating trust, a necessary element for a relationship to thrive. Not only does it foster trust, but it also paves the way for uninhibited communication. Your voice is not only heard but also valued, and this openness creates a fertile ground for authentic sharing and understanding.
But the role of emotional intimacy doesn’t stop at just communication. It also serves as a relationship’s adhesive, binding two individuals together. Think of it as the magic ingredient that transforms ordinary relationship into a meaningful, lasting one. The depth of the bond that emotional intimacy creates is what differentiates a fleeting fling from a deep, enduring love story.
So, if you’re aspiring to take your relationship to new heights of understanding, warmth, and mutual respect, nurturing emotional intimacy should be your starting point. And remember, just like the strongest of trees grow slowly and steadily, building emotional intimacy requires time and dedicated effort.
ESTABLISHING EMOTIONAL INTIMACY FOLLOWING A TIME OF SEPARATION
Both our personal and relational wellness depend on emotional intimacy. Numerous factors might contribute to our experiencing feelings of estrangement from our intimate partner, including changes in schedules, physical distance, mental preoccupation, and the inevitable ups and downs of life.
When we see intimacy as a level of unique connection, we can see how even “good” things can cause us to grow apart. Deep investments in activities that may not include our partners are often a component of “good” transformations or personal accomplishments. A promotion at work or lending a buddy a helpful hand during a difficult moment are two examples.
You and your spouse may benefit from rekindling your intimacy, and if that’s the case, consider some of these suggestions.
MAKE YOURSELF VULNERABLE
Start by making yourself vulnerable. Open up about your feelings. Share how the separation affected you and the emotions it stirred. This isn’t a sign of weakness, rather, it’s a demonstration of courage and trust in your partner. Don’t be afraid of the silence either. Let your words sink in, allowing both of you to understand and appreciate what’s been said.
Remind yourselves of the shared history that binds you. Talk about the precious moments you’ve shared, the hurdles you’ve overcome together, the dreams you aspire to achieve. Not only will this ignite the spark of connection, but it will also reorient your minds towards the future, infusing hope and excitement for what lies ahead.
SET ASIDE TIME FOR JOINT ACTIVITIES
Absolutely! Dating is crucial. However, you won’t be strengthening your bond if the outing is merely a routine in which you sit across a booth and check email or gossip about your teen’s most recent daring school incident.
Engaging in activities that foster a stronger connection means putting your attention squarely on each other and your relationship. Do something fun like taking a cooking class, clean the tub together, or go on a drive through gorgeous areas to grab ice cream. Establishing intimacy is more effectively accomplished by discussing everyday problems in a less stuffy environment, like a restaurant, than by discussing them at home, at the kitchen table.
When we get too attached to the validity of our own views, we fail to inquire as to the motivations of those with whom we disagree. To develop empathy (without sacrificing your own opinion) and to experience intimacy, it is helpful to understand your intimate partner’s perspective and try to understand why they are doing the way they are. Learning about another person’s perspective doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but it shows how much you care even when you disagree.
OFFER YOURSELF IN A VARIETY OF FRESH WAYS.
Choosing to be more accessible to your spouse than you normally are is a certain method to bring an immediate surge of intimacy into your relationship. Just because you can, not because you should or “owe” them anything. One way to surprise someone is to offer to do something you normally refuse to do, like taking them on an outing or cook them a meal they love while you snuggle up to watch a movie you can’t stand. Another is to offer to go along on something you always decline, like going on a hike. An enormous intimacy builder is unexpected giving.
CREATE A “NICE” LIST
It’s simple to find fault with one another, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Sit down and make a “Nice” or appreciation list of all the things you love and appreciate about your relationship. You may do this by yourself or with your partner. Despite the inevitable annoyances that arise in intimate relationships, even doing it alone can help you refocus on the qualities that first attracted you to the person.
SHOW COURAGE, NOT AGGRESSION
The intimacy that is lost when people avoid each other is lost all together. Your relationship will deteriorate over time if you and your partner avoid talking about difficult but necessary issues. Avoiding a problem for too long causes it to deteriorate gradually, bit by bit; while the effects may be imperceptible on a daily basis, the damage will become obvious after a while. One major factor that drives intimacy is the level of vulnerability needed to initiate a necessary but challenging conversation. The message you send to your spouse is that the relationship’s well-being is more important to you than avoiding pain.
Because of our great distance, we seldom keep up with one other’s daily lives. That is precisely the point at which the relationship’s emotional estrangement begins to show. One certain strategy to keep your spouse informed about your life’s happenings is to keep them updated on a regular basis. Your spouse will be more able to empathize and comprehend you if they are aware of your present circumstances, so don’t stop sharing even if you think you’ve gone on too long. Conversely, disaster may strike if you remain far.
RESPOND TO SEXUAL NEEDS
Responding to your partner’s sexual needs plays a vital role in rekindling emotional intimacy. By understanding and fulfilling these needs, you create a shared space of trust, care, and vulnerability that facilitates deeper emotional connection. This is because sex is more than just a physical act; it is an emotional experience that holds significant potential for bringing partners closer.
Communicating openly about sexual desires helps both partners feel seen and understood, thereby promoting a strong emotional bond. It can foster trust, mutual respect, and help both partners feel loved, desired, and appreciated. Moreover, the satisfaction derived from a fulfilling sexual relationship has a ripple effect, reinforcing a positive relationship dynamic that boosts overall emotional intimacy.
PUT YOUR ELECTRONICS ON SILENT.
True emotional intimacy might be difficult to achieve through electronic contact. The never-ending stream of work emails, social media, and entertainment may quickly become habits that take over your life and prevent you from engaging in real, personal conversations.
The caliber of human contact determines the depth and significance of emotional intimacy in a relationship. Staying in touch and getting practical things done when you’re away and too busy to converse is made easier with texting and emailing.
One way to fight this is to not have electronic devices on when you’re together. This includes the TV, computer, gaming console, mobile phone, and tablet.
- Take a moment to gaze at each other, share something, and converse.
- Disconnect electronics before eating.
A common practice among happy couples is to put their phones in a designated area when they get home, such as a basket or box, and then agree to not use them for at least half an hour while they’re spending quality time together.
ESTABLISH AND REALIZE OBJECTIVES IN RELATIONSHIPS
Try to keep things fresh by deciding what you want out of the relationship. Feeling overwhelmed? What do you think about creating meeting agendas? A meeting can consist entirely of watching Netflix and catching up on each other’s lives. Joining forces over shared culinary experiences might be the focus of the next get-together. Gathering with your partner’s local network of coworkers is a great way to catch up on each other’s news and celebrate recent successes. In addition to keeping things exciting in your relationship, setting and accomplishing these goals can help you forget about the distance between you.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND EMOTIONAL INTIMACY
Nurturing emotional intimacy thrives on the art of effective communication. It’s not merely about increasing the frequency of conversations, but it’s more about mastering the quality of your dialogues. Involve yourself in a heart-to-heart with your partner. Let your expressions cover the spectrum of emotions – the jubilant, the gloomy, and everything in between.
Embrace the role of a compassionate listener when it’s your partner’s turn to articulate. Provide them with the uninterrupted, focused attention they deserve. Encourage them to unravel their deepest emotions and thoughts. You must refrain from passing judgments, opinions or solutions unless asked for. Maintain an environment of safety, trust, and respect that permits the free flow of thoughts and feelings.
The authenticity of your interactions can be a game-changer. Keep your words sincere and genuine. With the power of effective communication, you can accelerate the process of restoring the emotional connection with your partner. Remember, the beauty of communication lies not just in the words you speak, but also in the silence you share.
REKINDLING EMOTIONAL INTIMACY THROUGH PATIENCE
Rekindling emotional intimacy is not an instantaneous process; it’s a journey of growth and discovery that requires both patience and persistence. Picture it like crafting a beautiful piece of artwork, each stroke of the brush brings you one step closer to the complete masterpiece. Just like art, emotional intimacy is a work in progress that cannot be rushed.
Make it a point to savor each and every achievement, regardless of how little it may seem. The fact that you are making progress toward a more profound connection with your spouse is a demonstration of your dogged perseverance and unwavering dedication. And if the path seems slow and winding, don’t lose heart. Understand that every journey has its pace. It’s not about how quickly you reach the destination but the insights and experiences gathered along the way.
In the pursuit of renewed emotional intimacy, remember to extend kindness not just to your partner, but also to yourself. Embrace each other’s flaws and appreciate the transformation that each of you is undergoing. Recognize that mistakes are part of the journey, and they provide valuable lessons. It’s these very experiences that will shape your emotional bond and make it stronger than ever before.
Lastly, remind yourself of the worthiness of your pursuit. The path to emotional intimacy may be arduous, but it leads to a beautiful destination – a relationship steeped in understanding, trust, and mutual respect. So, gear up, stay patient, keep going, and remember to cherish each moment of this beautiful journey towards deepening your emotional connection.
In summary, there’s no shame in seeking assistance when the road gets tough. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of reviving emotional intimacy in your relationship, know that professional help is readily available. Counselors and therapists are trained to provide you with the tools and guidance you need to bridge the emotional gap with your partner. They provide a non-judgmental and comfortable setting where you may openly express your feelings, and they can also assist in promoting better and more efficient communication. Remember, sometimes, an outside perspective can shed new light on old problems, helping you to navigate the challenges and rebuild your emotional connection. The journey may be tough, but you don’t have to face it alone.