Believe it or not there are several elements to experiencing true intimacy, and it isn’t just about sex.
Couples tend to use a lot of code words when they begin counseling. They’ll say “they’re not feeling close” to each other, that there’s “distance” between them, that they miss the “affection” they used to share, or that they feel a loss of “intimacy.”
And, as counselors, we know instantly that sex might be at least what one partner is referring to. It’s funny in a way, because sex is a central part of our lives. We’re created through sex, the desire for sex plays a key role in attraction and romance, and we often define marriage as a sexual relationship … but we still get uneasy talking about that three-letter word. Couples often whisper and become embarrassed when they first mention the word to us.
Sex is a normal, enjoyable part of a healthy marriage. It can be a beautiful expression of a couple’s love, it can be a playful activity that relieves stress, and even an excellent cure for insomnia. And when couples admit that they’re not quite happy with their sex lives, it can provide insight into other problems within the marriage.
As humans, we’re made up of mind, body, and spirit, and the most fulfilling sex occurs when all three of those elements are working together for both parties. If one element of the three is out of sync, sex just isn’t a satisfying. For example, your body may be sending signals that you want to have sex, and your mind may be thinking about it, but if your hearts just aren’t connecting, you’re probably not going to find it as fulfilling. Or, your mind and your heart might be ready, but your body isn’t … perhaps you’re too tired or just not feeling well.
In some cases, people will say that their body and mind is ready, but something in their heart is getting in the way. That can happen, for example, when trust has been compromised, or when there is unforgiveness looming. Believe it or not financial pressures and parenting disagreements often cast a shadow in hearts, and it can drive a wedge in the relationship, causing less than satisfying sex for both husband and wife.
The best sex occurs when both husband and wive’s minds, bodies, and spirits are aligned and operating in sync. That’s when it becomes the most physically and emotionally fulfilling. And the truth is that many couples may need some guidance to make that happen. Sometimes, it’s as simple as setting up a date or following a particular routine. It’s hard to feel magical when you’re exhausted after putting the kids to bed and the alarm is set for 5:30.
If you suspect that your sex life isn’t what it could be or you feel out of sync with regard to intimacy talking with a counselor may help you identify the reasons and find strategies to get you both on track. Rediscovering intimacy may may take work … but it’s definitely worth accepting a little guidance. Why not give us a call and see how we can help you find it?
Find out more about John and our counselors here.