The primary focus for this blog is to gain an understanding of how to build intimacy with your spouse. No two people are the same which means that it is highly likely that not everyone has the same need for closeness. In my clinical experience, couples struggle when one partner has a stronger desire to be close while the other partner is comfortable with less affection. As you can imagine, this situation can lead couples to feel frustrated. In couple’s work, I tend to help partners work out a balance of intimacy, aloneness, and social activity that satisfies both individuals. The good news is that your partner does not have to be the one to meet all your needs. You can adjust your schedule to have your needs met from a variety of places. An agreement between partners can look something like this:
Partner A – desires stimulating conversations and affection
Partner B – comfortable with less dialogue but enjoys physical touch
Partner A is strongly encouraged to obtain stimulating conversations with family members, friends, colleagues, church members, etc. while saving intimate dialogue for Partner B. Partner B can enjoy some ‘alone’ time spent at home relaxing or reading a book and look forward to physical and verbal affection with Partner A later in the evening.
This scenario demonstrates the ability for two partners with incongruent desires to have their needs met through other avenues yet come together and enjoy intimate time together.
To meet intimacy needs, the acronym VALUE is exercised:
V = Value Your Partner
A = Affection
L = Love Making
U = Use Positives
E = Employ a Calendar
Value - your partner creates a feeling of closeness and intimacy like nothing else.
Affection - Be tender and kind with each other. Remember romantic occasions, express verbal affection in words, and express appreciation to your partner.
Love Making - is important to enhance your connection; if this is challenging, seeking professional counseling may be helpful
Use more positive interactions - 5 positives for every 1 negative interaction will satisfy and stabilize your relationship.
Employ a calendar - is how you use your time. See if you can shift or eliminate activities to make more time for each other.
Your relationship deserves your attention to these tips on how to value yourself and your partner! Do not wait to start these actions, start now!!