Valentine’s Day, that wonderful day of love. As a married couple, you have either come to love this day or potentially dread it. It’s either a day that allows you to celebrate your love, or it’s a day that has you wondering where it went.
If you’re still hopelessly in love—good for you! That means you probably already have this incredible gift in your marriage—the gift of emotional intimacy. Couples with emotional intimacy are couples that, well, can be emotionally intimate.
It requires great vulnerability to share your authentic and whole self with someone, but that is one of the greatest gifts of marriage. Having a relationship where you can share your deepest struggles, your greatest desires, your failures, your full emotions and even your corniest jokes or silliest thoughts, is a huge marriage win.
Best Ways to improve your marriage with the gift of emotional intimacy
Share how you really feel. If this is a new concept for you, don’t get caught up in the way your spouse responds to or receives your feelings, but do give them the gift of knowing them. Also, give them permission to be uncomfortable with more intimate conversations. Practicing uncomfortable things takes grace.
Ask connecting questions. You may not be married to the best question answerer, but that’s ok, ask anyway. Let this be your attempt at fixing your marriage communication and turning things around. Ask open ended questions like, “How do you feel about…?”, or “What are your thoughts on _______ situation?”
*For more specific help, go grab this free printable marriage worksheet for Simple Steps to a Weekly Check-In or It’s Time to Talk for stressed out couples
Become a great listener. Now that you’re asking questions, it’s most important to learn how to listen. Every person wants to be heard, and when you’re in a marriage where you each have voices and concern for one another’s thoughts and feelings, that emotional intimacy will surely begin to take place.
Take a break from judgement. It’s so easy, especially when you’ve drifted apart, to begin to focus on all that is wrong in your marriage and all that your spouse is doing wrong as well. That kind of focus will only drive a bigger wedge between the two of you.
So, if your spouse is making a lot of mistakes or not giving back the same effort you are putting forth, pause and give your judgment a rest. Keep doing what is right and give them the space to self-correct. You’d be surprised how much the Holy Spirit jumps in for this if indeed your spouse is not acting or doing as they should.
How about this Valentine’s Day you start moving towards one another in a more connected way? After all, emotional intimacy is the difference between being in a husband and wife relationship or in a roommate one. Don’t be afraid to share your real self with your spouse, even if it means you going first on your own.