As I revealed in a past post, I wasn’t exactly a natural at marriage. Few people are, I suppose. The good news is people can grow and change! My husband and I have spent the last few years building intimacy in our marriage. We’ve boiled our “research” down to a few incredibly easy ways to start building intimacy.
Yes. I’m serious. Just hear me out. As odd as it sounds, I was listening to the radio one day and there was a story about how hugging can actually improve your health. It piqued my interest so I came home and did some more reading. I found articles like this that discuss the health benefits of hugging. Which lead me to articles like this that tout the benefits of cuddling with our partners. Essentially, hugging and cuddling trigger the release of oxytocin, which plays a role in social bonding.
I decided to give it a try. What did we have to lose? I made a point of intentionally hugging my husband every day. We also started carving out time to cuddle more often. As silly as it may seem, I genuinely felt more bonded to my husband due to my “experiment.” It quickly became our favorite part of the day.
It’s amazing how something as simple as asking your mate, “How was your day?” goes a long way. We live in a big world and it’s easy to feel like you get lost in the shuffle. Coming home to someone who is genuinely interested in your well being is refreshing.
To take things a step further, my husband and I make a point of asking about each other’s passions, hobbies, and interests. My husband loves sports, theoretical physics, and heavy metal. Three things I’d never really thought about. I’m passionate about wedding planning, cooking, and blogging. Three things he’s not too keen on. However, in an effort to support each other, we ask one another questions and learn new things all the time.
Speaking Their “Love Language”
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The Five Love Languages.” Basically, it boils down the essence of how people feel loved into five main categories: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. You can take the free quiz here.
We took the test and discovered I am a “quality time” kind of girl and he’s a “words of affirmation” kind of guy. So what does that look like for our marriage? We’re insanely busy. However, no matter how crazy our schedules get, my husband chisels out time for us to have a few quality moments every day. I love it! Since I know my husband feels loved through words, I write him a little note every week to tell him how much I love him, compliment something he’s succeeded at, or thank him for something he’s done. In fact, just last night he thanked me for the notes and told me he appreciates every single one.
Life gets crazy. Money gets tight. People don’t always have the time (or the money/energy/opportunity) for candlelight dinners or walks on the beach to kindle intimacy. However, simple things like hugging or cuddling, showing interest, and speaking each other’s love language can get the ball rolling.
What about you? I’m always interested in hearing other people’s “secret sauce” to healthy relationships. Let me know in the comments below.