Category Archives: Emotional Intimacy

Emotional Intimacy in Marriage: A Primer

emotional intimacy in marriage

When you hear the word “intimacy,” you may think of lovemaking or romantic physicality in general—two people being physically intimate with each other. (Or perhaps the concept of intimacy scares you and makes you want to run in the opposite direction…) That image isn’t “wrong”—intimacy does represent the profound, powerful, physical connection between two people.

Sexual intimacy in marriage: Four tips for re-igniting sexual interest

Sexual intimacy in marriage

Due in large part to the proliferation of spontaneous, “no-effort” sexual scenarios in movies and on TV, the prevailing collective ideal of sex in relationships is one of unbidden (but fulfilling) fireworks. Sexual intimacy in marriage seems to be some magical thing that just happens when two people share a mutual attraction. This unrealistic ideal

How to Rekindle a Marriage That Is Stuck

How to rekindle a marriage

When couples ask me about how to rekindle a marriage or relationship, they are acknowledging that they are stuck in some way. A relationship rut has taken hold, leading one or both spouses/partners to feel bored or frustrated. Long-term relationships and the challenges of domestic life have a way of blanketing us in ho-hum-ness, the

Intentional Love-Making: How to Enjoy Sex

Making Love

“Intention is the core of all conscious life. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.” ~Master Hsing Yun What does it mean to be intentional? And how can intentional love-making help you achieve a better sex life? In a world of competing priorities, never-ending “to do” lists, and rapid-fire gratifications, it’s easy to mindlessly skim through

Why Is Sex So Important to Men?

Men and Sex

According to research, men think about sex more often than women. This probably isn’t a surprise to most of us, and it only becomes an issue when a man’s sexual appetite starts to interfere with other parts of his life, or when it prevents nonsexual aspects of a relationship from being nurtured. Some examples of

Relationship Security and Sexual Intimacy: Good Bedfellows

sexual intimacy

The need for connection, for attachment and relationship security, is inherent to who we are as people. We are born into relationships (with parental figures) and this need is always with us. Our relationships shape us in profound ways, and the fact that early relationships deeply impact us is now a scientific given. When our

Men and Sex: What Women Need to Know

Men and Sex

“If sexuality is one dimension of our ability to live passionately in the world, then in cutting off our sexual feelings we diminish our overall power to feel, know and value deeply.”  ~ Judith Plaskow Whenever someone talks or writes about gender-specific issues, there is always the danger of overgeneralizing what is being addressed as

Sexual Turn Ons: Understanding Your Libido

sexual turn ons

“My husband gets turned on at the drop of a hat. At times I can just give him a hug and I can feel he’s getting hard. If his libido was a car, it would be a Ferrari with a full tank of gas and his foot already revving the engine. My libido is very

Fear of Intimacy in Men

Fear of intimacy in men

In every loving, intimate marriage or relationship, the potential for damaging shame is close at hand. Why is this? It’s been said that of all emotions—including love, hate, fear, happiness, grief—there is only one so powerful that the passage of time cannot dilute the feeling. That is shame. In other words, recalling the specific circumstance

The Making of a Sexless Relationship (Installment #2)

Making of a Sexless Relationship

This is the second blog post in a series that follows Becca and Hugo, a couple struggling to recapture the sexual and emotional intimacy that once existed in their marriage. You can read the first installment by clicking sexless relationship. Misunderstandings and conflict, and the emotional wounding that ensues, are a normal part of any

The Making of a Sexless Relationship (First Installment)

Sexless Relationship

“The Making of a Sexless Relationship” is the first blog post in an ongoing series that follows one couple through the ups and downs of their relationship as they try to make sense of their struggles with emotional and sexual intimacy. While you may not identify with every aspect of their story, there will likely

Fear of Intimacy? You’re Not Alone!

Fear of Intimacy

Is a fear of intimacy hurting emotional intimacy and sexual connection in your marriage/relationship? For many of the couples I work with, this is indeed the case. Let’s explore how a fear of intimacy negatively impacts relationships and how couples can overcome this all-too-common experience. Overcoming a Fear of Intimacy: A Lesson from Therapy One

Self-Connection Is the Foundation for Emotional Intimacy

emotional intimacy

When you think of how to spice up your marriage or relationship, when you desire deeper emotional and sexual intimacy with your partner, do you ever consider the relationship you have with yourself as the starting point? Many of us don’t, and this is a mistake. Let’s look at why our relationship with ourselves (self-intimacy

What Affairs Teach Us about Sexual Passion and Desire

Sexual Passion and Desire

According to a recent MSNBC/iVillage survey of 70,000 people, around half the respondents said that they’ve been unfaithful at some point in their lives. Clearly, infidelity isn’t an anomaly involving just an unlucky few. Other studies suggest that approximately one-third of married men and one-fourth of married women have strayed—and approximately seventy percent of marriages

Intimacy in Marriage: Is Sex Deepening Emotional Intimacy?

Intimacy in marriage

Say the word “sex” to twenty different people and you are likely to get twenty different reactions. Why is that? Sex is an emotionally-charged experience with few rivals—sex and sexuality are not neutral phenomena, devoid of meaning. In fact, it is the psychological/emotional meaning that sex is imbued with (a meaning shaped by unconscious beliefs

5 Reasons Why Married Sex Can Be Amazing

benefits to married sex

You might have read about—or personally experienced—the challenges some married couples (or couples in long-term relationships) face when it comes to keeping sexual desire and sexual passion alive. The newness of a relationship clearly brings with it certain perks, one being the euphoria and excitement that seems to envelop every aspect of our life (including

Using Sex to Avoid Intimacy

Using sex to avoid intimacy

It isn’t a given that sex deepens emotional intimacy and connection. And, frankly, you may have sex at times and want little to do with emotional closeness. There is nothing wrong with sex for the sake of pure pleasure, occasional escapism or sexual abandon—a feeding of our more primitive selves. Sex may have different meanings

Is a Fear of Intimacy Hurting Your Sex Life?

Sexual Passion and Desire

“For a marriage or relationship to flourish, there must be intimacy. It takes an enormous amount of courage to say to your spouse, ‘This is me. I’m not proud of it — in fact, I’m a little embarrassed by it — but this is who I am.’” ~Bill Hybels Emotional intimacy involves a connection that

Better Sex in Marriage: Trust and Vulnerability Are Key

Better sex in Marriage

What steps can a committed couple take to have better sex in marriage (or in a long-term relationship)? This was the question that led the couples at the intimacy workshop into a two-hour discussion about how marriage impacts (for better or for worse) sexual passion and fulfillment. And the consensus for many was that marriage

Keeping Emotional Intimacy Alive After the Orgasm

Intimacy in Marriage

Orgasm. You may be thinking that this powerfully-charged word says it all, that orgasm is the whole point of sex. But if you’re married or in a committed relationship and leap out of bed after your orgasm, you’re missing an important opportunity to nurture your marriage/relationship and you’re neglecting a rich facet of intimacy and

Emotional Intimacy and Security: The Foundations of Sexual Intimacy

Building Emotional Intimacy

Great sex involves much more than physical attraction; and a fulfilling sex life goes way beyond good sexual technique. It’s not that physical attraction and technique aren’t important–they are, of course, but they are only part of the sexual puzzle. Meet Joan, a wife who didn’t want sex with her husband Joan and her husband

Spice Up Your Relationship With Great Communication

spice up your relationship with communication

Great sex starts with great communication. “It’s no surprise that the more my husband and I talk about sex, the better the sex is. I don’t know why it took us almost ten years to figure this one out!” ~ Pamela, married thirteen years to Ed Sexual intimacy and fulfillment start with your own self-understanding:

Emotional and Sexual Intimacy: Nurturing the Emotional Components of Sex

sexual intimacy emotional intimacy

Sex is physical, and obviously your body takes center stage during sexual activity. Sex is inherently a multidimensional sensory experience, with all the senses stimulated and alive at different times during the sexual experience: Touch and a wide range of physical sensations; The scent and smell of your lover; Taste through kissing, licking and oral

Sexual Intimacy & Self-Consciousness in Marriage

sexual intimacy and self-consciousness

Awareness during sex is key to sexual fulfillment—awareness of the shared mutual sexual pleasure you and your spouse are giving to each other. But sometimes awareness goes awry and turns into self-consciousness. When we speak of being aware of something, of being mindful, typically we speak of taking a relatively unbiased view of what is

How to Spice Up the Bedroom: Your Mindset is Key

spice up the bedroom

Great athletes don’t begin their game on the field or the court or even the locker room. No, they begin their training long before they reach the arenas where the action takes place…they start the process in their minds. Most of us aren’t in the athlete category, but we can all take a lesson from