Ideas for marital intimacy


#1

Based on my observations from this forum and from my own life, I think it would be useful to share ideas on how married couples can achieve a special level of intimacy that is unique to their married state and not similar to say a relationship with a friend, sibling parent etc. There are a lot of couples out there that can’t have normal marital relations for years due to either medical concerns or for psychological reasons (for example issues with past sexual abuse that surface after several years of marriage, severe PPD). For me anyway the lack of sex is one thing and tolerable, the real tough thing is fighting the feeling that you in some ways aren’t really married (of course you are) and in a special relationship, missing out on sharing loving experiences. Anyway there seems to be a real need to connect in an intimate way without running afoul of the moral law. It is important so the couples don’t drift apart nor seek intimacy elsewhere.

Here are a couple of simple things that I have come up with.

  1. Go to bed at the same time and fall asleep together. Simple but it not only keeps you close and connected, it does so in a way that no other person can really do. (It also keeps people away from any late night temptations while the other is asleep.)

  2. Give neck, head and feet massages in the morning as the other spouse wakes up. For us this is not a time that would normally associate with marital relations so it remains personal and intimate, but not anyway connected with sex or causing sexual desires that can not be fulfilled.

  3. Have a routine to drink morning coffee or tea together before the kids get up and talk. This can be done with anybody true, but not consistently 5 minutes after you awake every day.

Does anybody else have any ideas along these lines? I think it could be helpful for a lot of folks. Thanks.


#2

Make eye contact often--just because.

Always be courteous, even when upset.

Learn some hobby together, such as ballroom dancing or model building or painting, etc.

Be complimentary and look for ways to please one another.

Help each other with ordinary tasks.


#3

Thanks Della! Those are great practices too.

I'm am going to keep a consolidated list of ideas and post them periodically as well as share them with others I encounter.


#4

I could really use any ideas right now :smiley:


#5

Have one life, starting with letting every job be "our job". Look for ways to encourage or help with each other's work. Enjoy and celebrate work successes together, as joint successes. Decide how to cope with failures together. Keep each other up on what is going on and consult each other when scheduling your time.

This requires letting the other person have room to tell you what he or she is up to without the fear that you will take over with your opinion or won't let them do some things his or her own way. My husband and I call this "not grabbing the crayon." If you don't do this, your spouse will hide things from you when he or she doesn't believe you will approve. He or she will tell friends, instead, particularly when he or she is unsure how to deal with a problem, because "mere friends" have no power to take the ultimate decision away. Friends are forced to be respectful of each other's adulthood, if they want to remain friends. This doesn't change when you marry.

This also means that once you've come to a compromise, even if it is to let one person or the other have their way completely, the decision is "our decision." If it goes badly, there is no "I told you so." Rather, it is "we decided, this is the result we got, we will cope with it together."

The closeness that comes from being able to trust your spouse in this way is irreplaceable.


#6

Last week, I had this cute idea to fold blank index cards in half, cut them into heart shapes so that the heart opens from the bottom, and put little messages inside. On the outside of the heart, it says, "I Love..." and on the inside, I put something specific about my husband.

For example, one card reads, "I Love... to watch you cook." (He likes cooking.) Another reads, "I Love... you in a sexy pair of jeans." Or, "I Love... your wisdom and insight." Little things like that. I have well over 100 of them, so far. Every other day or so, I take one out of the little baggie that I keep them in, and I hide it in some random place. Today, he found a heart in a shirt pocket (I hid it 2 days ago). So, I hid two more today. One in the egg carton, and one in the Sherlock Holmes book he's currently reading. The first three I ever did, I grouped together and put them on the steering wheel of the car, so he found them after he'd already left the house on his way to work in the morning.

So far, he likes finding his little love letters from me. Just like when we were dating back in high school. :love:


#7

[quote="Truly_Beloved, post:6, topic:202238"]
Last week, I had this cute idea to fold blank index cards in half, cut them into heart shapes so that the heart opens from the bottom, and put little messages inside. On the outside of the heart, it says, "I Love..." and on the inside, I put something specific about my husband.

For example, one card reads, "I Love... to watch you cook." (He likes cooking.) Another reads, "I Love... you in a sexy pair of jeans." Or, "I Love... your wisdom and insight." Little things like that. I have well over 100 of them, so far. Every other day or so, I take one out of the little baggie that I keep them in, and I hide it in some random place. Today, he found a heart in a shirt pocket (I hid it 2 days ago). So, I hid two more today. One in the egg carton, and one in the Sherlock Holmes book he's currently reading. The first three I ever did, I grouped together and put them on the steering wheel of the car, so he found them after he'd already left the house on his way to work in the morning.

So far, he likes finding his little love letters from me. Just like when we were dating back in high school. :love:

[/quote]

that is incredibly sweet!


#8

Great idea, Truly Beloved. Another thing my dh and I do is hold hands whenever possible: from the car to the church/grocery store/walking, while sitting at Mass (discreetly, of course), at the movies, etc. Just that little bit of physical contact is reassuring and helps keep us communicating even when we’re fussing with each other.


#9

There isn't anything more intimate than praying together.....


#10

Envision, design, and build or remodel something together. Nothing says "I love you" better than ripping the old toilet off the floor and replacing it with a new water efficient one, and lovingly laying out the new tile together....
and those long romantic walks hand in hand down the aisles at the home improvement stores on warm summer evenings just cannot be beat! Sigh....
The clerks have got us memorized and laugh when they see us coming: "*must be 'date night' again!" *
Well yes, of course....


#11

[quote="former_Catholic, post:10, topic:202238"]
Envision, design, and build or remodel something together. Nothing says "I love you" better than ripping the old toilet off the floor and replacing it with a new water efficient one, and lovingly laying out the new tile together....
and those long romantic walks hand in hand down the aisles at the home improvement stores on warm summer evenings just cannot be beat! Sigh....
The clerks have got us memorized and laugh when they see us coming: "*must be 'date night' again!" *
Well yes, of course....

[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:


#12

Great thread topic! Thanks, whm.


#13

[quote="turtle18, post:9, topic:202238"]
There isn't anything more intimate than praying together.....

[/quote]

So very, very true.
And...this is a great thread!


#14

Great idea!

DH and I will sometimes just "go for drives" through parts of town where we haven't been, or out towards the country and just talk. It's a great opportunity to reminisce and just be together.

We also like going for walks together, especially through some of the cute little town centers near us.

Picnics are always nice on an evening that is not too warm. We have some beautiful parks near us and I'll make some special foods for the picnic, bring a bottle of wine, and just sit and talk. There are often free events like concerts and performances in the summer that make for great cheap "dates" :)

DH and I always go to bed at the same time--it's unusual for either of us to be up later than the other. We have other newlywed friends that just don't do this and have their own independent sleep schedules...I don't know, that just wouldn't work for us. We've had some great chats as we're both trying to fall asleep and just the physical closeness is important.

In general I think it's important for spouses to spend time with one another--"quality time". For us, there is a difference between sitting in the living room watching random tv shows while we're each surfing the net on our laptops and sitting together on the couch to watch a movie or show we've selected together. Even better than that is playing a game together (Scrabble!). Running errands together, even silly stuff like the grocery store or Target, can be fun!


#15

Pray together. :)


#16

[quote="whm, post:1, topic:202238"]
Does anybody else have any ideas along these lines? I think it could be helpful for a lot of folks. Thanks.

[/quote]

BUMP!

I've just started reading a book from a Christian bookstore called "Love Busters: Protecting your marriage from habits that destroy romantic love" by Willard F. Harley, Jr. (from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group). After analyzing his six "love busters" and going over techniques to resolve conflicts, he has two chapters on restoring love after addiction or infidelity, and then two chapters on "Building Romantic Love with Care" and "Building Romantic Love with Time." When I get to them, I'll let you know if they have any good info. :)

As long as I'm talking about books, I very much enjoyed "A Maze of Grace" by Trish Ryan (from Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Group). It is a very nice read about love, hope, and faith in a marriage in the context of contemporary society.

Praying for us all,
- curl


#17

as another poster said , its so important to have ONE LIFE .. My husband and I lived together for many years before meeting God and marrying . During that time we continued to be two separate people , we did not chose to find things in common nor to learn new things ( to us both ) together . It was disaster .
After meeting God and growing some and learning to pray together and for eachother we decided to look for things to do together , including our hobbies . We learned to whittle , sew , weld , read out loud taking turns , build things , cook new dishes , bake . The list goes on and on and on . We always go to bed together and spend 15 min cuddled up and talking over the day , or the last project or the newest dream ... Our life now is nothing like our lives then .


#18

My husband and I go to bed at the same time too. He works late hours so I make sure to spend some times with him when he gets home. Another thing that we do is read books together. I usually read a chapter a night from any of the books that we have. Currently, we are reading the Lord of the Rings together :). We also try to pray together every night, even if it is just a few prayers. We try to pray the rosary as well but sometimes we aren't able to pray it late at night. Another that that we due to surf the net together or we just lay in our bed talking. As a result, we are best friends as well as lovers.


#19

This is a great thread! And I'm finding it at a very appropriate time in our lives, so thank you very much!

One thing Hubby and I do is try to play games together. Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Uno...whatever one of us suggests. It's true that you can play games with others, but it's time we purposefully set aside for each other, and that's important to us.

We also try to shower together on the weekends during Bean's morning nap. We've had some of our best conversations that way, and solved many problems!


#20

[quote="former_Catholic, post:10, topic:202238"]
Envision, design, and build or remodel something together. Nothing says "I love you" better than ripping the old toilet off the floor and replacing it with a new water efficient one, and lovingly laying out the new tile together....
and those long romantic walks hand in hand down the aisles at the home improvement stores on warm summer evenings just cannot be beat! Sigh....
The clerks have got us memorized and laugh when they see us coming: "*must be 'date night' again!" *
Well yes, of course....

[/quote]

You got that right! DH cleaned up the kitchen this morning and I am going paint the bottom of the kitchen island. We painted the walls together last week. My son came down from college this weekend to help DH repair the oven. The clerks at Lowes know us on a first name basis. :D Renovation is a labor of love and fight to death. ;) We decided to divide the jobs by what best suits our gifts and talents. I like painting...it relaxes me. My DH likes the building part.....and sometimes my 81 yr old mother will visit us and knock out a wall or two. Demo Granny.

At night after a good cool shower....we lie in bed at night talk about our accomplishments we made together. My DH has MS and fights it every step of the way......by making himself work for our home and for "us".

It is about "us".


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