Marriage Intimacy Begins With ____!

Of Course You want more Love and Intimacy in Your Relationship

We’re starting this post with the assumption that you want a satisfying and deeply [tag-tec]intimate relationship[/tag-tec] with your spouse or significant other. If so, then it’s important to remember that the most successful relationships start with people who love themselves. The sooner you start giving yourself the kind of love that you’d like to experience in your relationship, the more fulfilling and intimate your relationship will become.

But do you ever wonder what the phrases “self-love” or “loving yourself” really mean, or what they have to do with creating a deeper sense of [tag-tec]marriage intimacy[/tag-tec]? Even if you see the connection, do you wonder how to go about learning to truly love yourself?

Self Love Starts Here

Here’s the very first step: start noticing all the wonderful things about you! We know this might sounds simplistic, but you might be surprised how many people there are who, on a regular basis, simply ignore or don’t notice all the wonderful things about themselves.

“You must first love yourself before you can fully love another…” ~ Jennifer Good

How often do you stop and take the time to acknowledge yourself — to notice the things you enjoy about yourself? The best way to do this is to begin a practice of consciously focusing your attention on the wonderful things about you. Each morning make a conscious intention to notice and write down at least 10 things you enjoy about yourself during the day. When you go to bed at night, take time to review the list and appreciate yourself for these things.

Try It and Then Decide

This might sound a little silly, but when you start practicing this regularly you’ll be amazed how much better you feel about yourself, and how quickly loving yourself at a deeper level will follow. Once you feel this sense of self love and acceptance we guarantee it can’t help but stimulate more love, acceptance and intimacy in your relationship.

So now you know you know how to fill in the blank in the title of this post: Marriage Intimacy Begin With YOU.

So get out there and start consciously loving yourself–no one else can do this for you.

One Surprising Reason for a lack of Intimacy in Relationships

Tag: Marriage Intimacy,Personal GrowthBeth Banning

What’s Fair is Fair?

Are you concerned with the fairness in your relationships? Do you expect everyone involved in the relationship to do their part if they want to share the benefits? Some say that, in order for a relationship to truly work, both people need to contribute equally. This focus of your attention may be leading to the [tag-tec]intimacy problems[/tag-tec] in your [tag-tec]relationship[/tag-tec].

Many people labor under the assumption that only when a relationship is truly “50-50” can it be a better, happier, [tag-tec]more intimate relationship[/tag-tec]. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. We think it’s a myth that should be dispelled.

Why? We find it’s the people who truly believe in this myth who most often find themselves unhappy, frustrated, and lacking the most [tag-tec marriage intimacy]intimacy[/tag-tec] in their relationships.

What Do You “Expect” from Your Relationships?

This happens whenever someone sits around and expects others to behave in certain ways–ways that they have decided are “doing their fair share.” This is a recipe for disappointment. Keeping score is no way to keep your relationship, even a married relationship on smooth and solid ground.

In fact, expecting others to act certain ways or do certain things to “make us happy” actually limits our ability to be happy. If we want to be truly happy then we need to embrace the idea that we are the only ones in control of our happiness.

When you stop expecting particular things from your relationship, you can start working towards happiness, satisfaction and true intimacy in your relationship.

You Can Have What You Want!

This means taking full responsibility–being 100% responsible for your own happiness. This doesn’t mean you stop trying to get what you want from your relationships. It means just the opposite, if something is missing, you take responsibility for making it happen, and this can be done with or without your partner’s help. When you figure out how to get what you want, you can’t help but be happier, more satisfied and create a more intimate relationship.

Don’t leave your happiness solely in the hands of others. Start being 100% responsible for creating true happiness and a deeper sense of intimacy in all of your relationships starting right now.

Are You Looking for Intimacy in All the Wrong Places?

Start with Yourself

Great relationships start with people who already love themselves. [tag-tec]Intimacy[/tag-tec] like any other aspect of a [tag-tec]great relationship[/tag-tec] begins with the love and intimacy you have with yourself. The more you learn [tag-tec]how to love yourself[/tag-tec], the more you can love others–and the more love you will experience in return.intimacy-starts-with-self-love

Regardless of your relationship status–single, dating, married, or divorced–intimacy can only be achieved by learning about [tag-tec]self-love[/tag-tec] or “loving yourself first”. This is the first step to experiencing the kind of fulfillment and deep [tag-tec]intimacy you want in your relationships[/tag-tec].

Start Today!

How do you enhance you ability to love yourself? First, commit to noticing all of the terrific things about yourself, and celebrate when you do. When you focus on what you appreciate about yourself, you’ll find that others will begin to notice them too.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
~ Buddha

It takes a practice to focus your attention on all of the positive things about yourself. It might seem like negative self-talk is the norm. When you focus on only the negative aspects of yourself, not only do you miss your own beauty, you tend to discount the love others express for you.

Start Because You’re Worth It

Few people actually take time to recognize their own wonderful qualities. The sooner that you can start to appreciate your good qualities and love and appreciate yourself for them, the sooner your relationships will become happier, more satisfying, and more intimate.

Make a conscious choice to do this and you’ll find yourself more able to fully love and receive love from others.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

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The Make-Up Gift that also Improves your Marriage Intimacy

Tag: Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

Give a Gift that Everyone Wants

Have you ever had an argument with someone you care about and quickly began looking for the perfect gift to make everything better? Or, have you ever received a gift from someone trying to make up with you? If so, then you probably know that gifts don’t necessarily make you forgive and forget more quickly. But, what if you could find the perfect gift–one that could start improve the [tag-tec]intimacy in your relationship[/tag-tec] more quickly? There is such a gift, and it has the power to start to [tag-tec]repair your relationship[/tag-tec] right away.

It’s really true; there is one gift that cheart_in_handsan begin to[tag-tec] make your relationship better[/tag-tec] right away. This gift will give you the power to understand the other person in a more deeply intimate way. This gift is the gift of your “presence.” Not “presents,” as in Christmas gifts, but “presence,” as in giving your attention and personal connection to someone. When you give someone your presence, you are giving them your willingness to be there, to listen, to interact in a more satisfying way, and to try and truly understand what’s going on with them. Isn’t this the kind of gift you would love to get?

“The first duty of love is to listen.” ~ Paul Tillich

How to Give the Gift of Presence

Giving the gift of presence starts with actually removing yourself from a situation. Only focusing your attention on being present for the other person–100%–without input about your own needs and wants in that moment. And above all else, don’t take anything the other person says personally. You can do this by remember that every action by every person is driven by their attempts to meet their own needs or experience something they value, and really doesn’t have anything to do with you at all.

While you’re being present, your job is to only discover what’s deeply important to your [tag-tec]relationship[/tag-tec] partner– underneath their words and actions. You might ask if they could experience anything they want in this situation what it would be. If they are not ready or willing to explore themselves at this level, you will probably end up hearing things like, “I want you to stop acting like a “know-it-all” and I just hate that.” Now, while this is probably not what you hoped to hear, you have the opportunity to remember this is not about you and don’t take it personally. Even though it may sound like a personal attack, this is not actually about you at all.

Discovering the Hidden Meaning beneath the Words

Instead, consider it a gift to you—one that helps you discover hidden messages about what your partner’s values. Your partner would like you to stop being a “know-it-all,” which may reflect a deeper desire for them to be appreciated for what they know and what they do.

When you make an attempt to understand the other person’s values and desires, you are definitely giving them the gift of your presence. By focusing your attention on improving your [tag-tec] marriage intimacy problems[/tag-tec], it will immediately begin improving. Does your partner hope that they could contribute more to the relationship? Perhaps they would like to have more of this kind of connection. Remember that their words and actions reflect their deeper [tag-tec]values[/tag-tec].

What does it all mean?

“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is essential to all true conversation.” ~ Chinese Proverb

To truly understand someone else, you have to be able to “put yourself in their shoes,” at least for a little while. This is a common cliché, one that we are reminded of frequently. Try “walking in your partner’s shoes” for a while, and give them the gift of your presence.

This doesn’t mean teaching them lessons, proving a point, or telling them what to do. Walking in their shoes means focusing all your attention on identify what hidden values has them say or act the way they do. When you understand the values that drive their actions, you will be one step closer to the [tag-tec]healthy, happy relationship[/tag-tec] that you’ve been wishing for.

And best of all, giving the gift of presence doesn’t cost you anything. So why not start giving it away today–you might be surprised to discover how much your [tag-tec]marriage intimacy[/tag-tec] improves and how much you get in return.

Marriage Intimacy Problems – Is Communication the Issue?

Does Lack of Marriage Intimacy = Communication Problems?

02-series9Does it seem as though the lack of communication in your relationship is creating marriage intimacy problems for you and your spouse? Do you ever hear yourself complain: “Why don’t they ever talk to me about anything meaningful?” or “Our marriage would great if only we had better communication skills.” If so, keep reading. You may be surprised by what is actually at the root of the lack of intimacy in your marriage.

If you’re blaming lack of communication as the cause of intimacy problems in your relationship, you may want to examine this assumption more closely. Now don’t get us wrong, good communication is a wonderful thing. Communication skills are one of the most important things we teach couples that support them in creating healthier, happier and more intimate relationships. But if you’re using the quality of communication in your relationship as your test for intimacy, you may be shooting yourself in the foot.

“You Say Tomato…”

You see, we all define things differently. Your definition of intimacy may be different than your partner’s definition. The kind of communication that supports you in feeling a sense of connection with your spouse may be different than the kind of dialogue that gives your partner a sense of connection with you.

As an example, let’s say you love having long, in-depth discussions. You could sit for hours talking about things you enjoy. Like how you feel when you see the sun rise or the way your favorite poem moves you. This depth of feeling and emotion in a conversation really helps you know you are connecting with the other person. It gives you the sense that they’re listening to you and that they want to know you as well.

This is all well and good if the other person also enjoys this kind of conversation, but not all people do. Some people, perhaps even your significant other, don’t enjoy having conversations like these. For them, a sense of intimacy might come from walking together on the beach or just sitting quietly together holding hands. They may enjoy more casual conversations: talking about their day at work or what you’re going to have for dinner.

This just reflects a difference in style, personality, and preference. The first style doesn’t make you needy or wrong for enjoying this kind of conversation. The second doesn’t make them closed-off or withdrawn for enjoying a more casual style. This only proves that you are different people with different preferences.

orange-and-appleApples and Oranges

So let’s look at the difference between conversational styles and communication.

Many couples believe that they’re having communication problems when they simply have different conversational preferences. We see these as two very different things. The worst part about not being able to distinguish this difference is that couples believe it means they have a lack of communication in their marriage.

Misunderstanding this can easily cause one or both people to become resentful and frustrated, which can easily lead to decreasing intimacy in the marriage. But if you can see this difference for what it really is, you can use it as an opportunity for better communication and greater intimacy.

The place to begin is discovering each of your conversational styles. What kinds of conversations does your relationship partner enjoy having? Explore their preferences and help them explore yours. Help them discover your definition of intimacy and learn what creates their most meaningful experiences.

First Things First

Now, depending upon how long this issue has been going on in your marriage, there may be a need to clean up misunderstandings that have developed along the way. Then you can tackle defining your preferences about conversational styles and intimacy. Your spouse may even be somewhat resistant to opening up about this because they worry it’s just another one of “those” conversations they don’t enjoy.

If you think this might be the case, you could start by addressing this concern. Let them know that you’ve come to realize you each may have different preferences in your conversational styles. Let them know that you’d like to understand their style more fully and what kinds of intimate experiences they enjoy most.

Then ask them straight out if there is anything that would prevent them from being willing to discuss this with you. If there is something that prevents them, then this is the most important thing to take care of. Your conversation won’t get far if you can’t get to a place of real willingness to talk this through. The good news is that you’ve opened a discussion about how you can improve the quality of your conversations in general–and what better place to start than by addressing each of your preferences.

If they are willing to discuss this, then start by revealing your conversational preferences and the kinds of intimate experiences that are most satisfying for you. Ask to see if they understand what you mean. When you’re sure they do, then check to see if their preferences are similar to yours.

If they have different preferences, don’t take it personally. Remember, these are just personal preferences and theirs don’t have to be the same as yours. This just means it’s time to explore their style more fully and learn the kinds of intimate experiences they enjoy most.

Once you are confident you understand each other’s preferences, it’s time to negotiate. We have no doubt you each can find ways to satisfy some of your partners desires some of the time.

One Size Doesn’t Necessarily Fit All

With that said, you still might yearn for more of the kinds of conversations you enjoy–and we think you’d enjoy them more with someone who has the same conversational style as you. We suggest you find someone who likes having them too.

Join a club that discusses the kind of issues you like to talk about. Find a friend who enjoys talking in the same way as you. The point is that all of your needs for conversation, connection, and sharing don’t have to be met all of the time by your significant other. (But that discussion is for another time.)

For now, the thing to remember is to define each of your preferences about conversational style and the meaning of intimacy. Then come up with strategies that will provide the kind of closeness you want in your relationship. We are confident that simply having these conversations will support you in experiencing more of the marriage intimacy you desire.

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