I believe great communication is more important than intimacy in marriage because great intimacy requires great communication. Here are three things you can do with words to improve physical intimacy and your overall marriage relationship.
1. Study Your Spouse
Your spouse should be the one person in the world you can be completely yourself with – the one person who knows you better than you know yourself. Never stop learning about one another.
Recently, I bought my wife a rose-scented body wash as a little “thinking of you today” gift. She loves gifts. Katie thanked me and asked if I liked the smell. It’s not my favorite, but I found out she doesn’t really like it at all. In all of our 13+ years, she had never told me that she didn’t like the artificial rose fragrance; however, I had never really asked, either. She loves real roses, but not rose-scented things. Looking back, I have never noticed her buying anything with that scent before, either; I just didn’t take time to think about it or to ask. So keep asking questions; keep learning about each other. Your likes and dislikes may change over time as you and your relationship mature. Keep studying and discovering new things about your other half.
2. Partner with Your Spouse
One flesh is more than just “on the same team.” It means you can’t do this without the other person. Marriage is not meant to be done by one. It takes two. Work together on stuff. Share everything. Talk about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING: money, responsibilities, work, children, calendars, dreams, sex.
When you begin working (or living) independently of one another, you start doing your own thing, which gives greater opportunity for misunderstandings. Hidden information (even if not intentionally hidden), when revealed, can create hurts and problems. Keep your spouse in the loop of all you do, even if (like me) it’s hard for you to verbalize your thoughts. Force yourself into the habit. Sharing your heart and your thoughts with her can reinforce your emotional intimacy; it can reinforce that you trust her with what goes on in your head and heart. Greater trust also improves physical intimacy.
3. Love Your Spouse
She can’t read your mind, or you hers. Asking about and/or voicing your likes and dislikes – even with physical intimacy – helps each of you to understand, serve, please, and love one another better. What would you like? How can I please you? What do I do (or could I do) that makes you feel loved and treasured?
As a man, I often expect the answers to those questions to be BIG things – manly, conquering-the-world kinds of things. When I asked my wife what makes her feel cherished, I was surprised to find that it is as simple as a gentle embrace from behind and kisses on her neck. So easy, such a small gesture, and yet it communicates strongly and loudly to her my love and her value to me. I wouldn’t have known if I had not asked. When she feels loved and valued, our physical intimacy is so much sweeter.
So here are some questions you can ask your wife today to start improving your communication and your intimacy:
- What can I do to make your day better today?
- What can I do to make you feel loved and cherished/treasured?
- What do you fear about the future?
- Is there anything you’ve been dying to ask me, but felt like you couldn’t?
- What are some of your dreams or life goals?
About the author:
Tap Hornor is husband, lover, and best friend to Katie and the father of five amazing kiddos. Together as missionaries and expats, the Hornor family ministers to the Spanish-speaking homeschool world through their Lemonhass® homeschool curriculum, blog, and speaking ministry based out of Campeche, Mexico. Visit tkhornor.com or lemonhass.com to learn more.