Therapy in Chester, NJ and Florham Park, NJ
Last month's blog focused on marital resolutions to build a stronger emotional connection with your spouse. How are you doing with that? As promised, this month I'm going to give you some tools to build a better physical connection. Many couples think it's just about sex but it's actually so much more than that. The physical and emotional connections are interdependent and therefore some of the tools listed below may include an emotional component.
Actively seduce each other not just that night but a week before. Imagine the anticipation of a romantic sexy night by dropping hints and clues to your partner (sexting is great for that!) every day until the big night. Plan on doing something in the bedroom that you haven't tried before. If you can't come up with anything read "Fifty Shades of Grey" again to get ideas... lol!! The surprise and suspense will drive your partner wild with desire and is critical to creating a smoking hot sexual relationship. Make a promise to do this once a month.
2. Same bedtime
Many couples go to bed at different times which creates a barrier to intimacy. Some spouses actually do this on purpose in order to avoid having sex (sex avoidance is a whole other topic that I'm not going to get into in this blog). If one of you needs more shut-eye than the other see if you can come up with a good bedtime that you can both be comfortable with. Going to bed at the same time gives couples a chance to connect and unwind with each other after a long day. You don't necessarily have to have sex. Cuddling, talking, touching, and being affectionate with another is also another way to build intimacy.
3. Touch outside the bedroom
Remember when you dated each other and you took a walk holding hands or cuddled up together on the couch. Why does that have to end when you get married? Babies need the human touch to thrive and adults do too. Feel-good chemicals in the brain are released when touched so go ahead and make your partner feel good! Touching each other in non-sexual ways keeps you bonded and connected to your spouse.
4. Just do it!
Many times we are not in the mood to exercise or go to the gym but as Nike says, "just do it". The same goes for sex. Sometimes we are tired from a long day at the office or taking care of the kids and the last thing on your mind is sex. Even if you are not in the mood or feeling passionate, just do it!! Very often once you start the passion and desire will follow. As they say, "if you don't use it, you lose it"!
Very often couples are not always on the same page regarding sexual frequency. One spouse may want it 7 days a week and the other once a month! It is so important to communicate with your spouse about how often you want it. If you don't talk to each other about it resentment builds upon both parts as well as a whole host of other issues which I'm not going to get into right now.
In addition to communicating with your spouse about sexual frequency it is just as important to communicate with each other about what you like and don't like in the bedroom. Being vulnerable in that way not only leads to a very satisfying sex life but it also makes an emotional connection much stronger.
7. Three's Company (NOT!!)
Only the two of you belong in the bed. It is not a family fiesta! Having your 3-year-old child sleep with you is definitely not good for your sex life. Neither is the dog! You'd be surprised how many couples are more affectionate with their dog than with each other. So get your child and your dog back in their own beds so both of you can enjoy yours.
8. The Kiss
In the movie "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts plays a prostitute who vows never to kiss her client because it's too intimate. So, since you aren't a prostitute start kissing your husband or wife! Kissing in and out of the bedroom doesn't have to lead to sex. The kiss in and of itself is intimate. Even while you are having sex remember to kiss each other and never underestimate its value.
9. Your Surroundings
Create a romantic atmosphere. Play some music and light some candles! A messy bedroom with dirty laundry on the floor or harsh lighting won't get you in the mood for making love. Also, think of changing your surroundings once in a while to spice things up. If the kids aren't home, get creative, and do it in places other than the bedroom.
10. Realistic Expectations
If your goal is to have your love life resemble a Hollywood movie think again. It is very important that you have realistic expectations about the physical and emotional health of your marriage. Don't compare yourself to what you see on the big screen or what you think your friends are doing. Nobody really knows what is behind closed doors. Instead, focus on the strength of your own marriage and how you can please each other to create more intimacy.
So this Valentine's Day give your sweetheart the gift of intimacy along with the box of chocolates and flowers!
If you need any more tips on how to build intimacy in your marriage I am always here to help!
Call us at Modern Family Counseling at 732-742-0329 for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment with our therapists!