A healthy, loving marriage is a beautiful thing. If you look at Christian couples who’ve been married for decades, you know something extraordinary is at work. Husbands and wives must weather the tough times together to celebrate the good times. And that kind of dedication and devotion requires the Lord’s help and a healthy dose of intimacy. But can marriage without intimacy survive? Only if the intimacy is re-established. This post explains more.
Intimacy in Marriage is Necessary
Husbands are to be intimate with their wives. The Apostle Paul summed up in his Epistle to the Ephesians how husbands are to treat their wives:
“Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…”
Husbands and wives need intimacy to make their marriages last. But contrary to popular opinion, intimacy is not simply limited to sex. Physical intimacy is essential to a marriage, but it can’t be the foundation of the marriage. There’s so much more to a relationship than “relations.”
Forms of intimacy in a healthy relationship:
- Physical. Sex might be the first thing that comes to mind related to physical intimacy. But this type of intimacy can also be sitting near each other, cuddling, kissing, and even holding hands.
- Spiritual. Getting God involved in your personal lives and your relationship is a critical form of intimacy. Praying, studying the Scriptures, and worshiping God together draw you closer to Him and each other.
- Intellectual and Experiential. Do something together that involves equal effort from each of you. If your partner enjoys an activity or hobby, try doing that together. And talking – honest, open, two-way communication – will only strengthen your bond and bring you closer.
- Emotional. Speaking of communication, sharing your feelings is an excellent way to be emotionally intimate. You probably shared your hopes and dreams in the early days of your relationship. As time goes on, you also need to share your insecurities, fears, and anxieties. You have to be open and vulnerable with each other.
Physical intimacy enhances a marriage. But other types of intimacy are also necessary to make a marriage work and thrive.
Can a Marriage Without Intimacy Survive?
When you and your spouse are deeply intimate on all four levels, you strengthen your relationship and each other. But you, your spouse, and your relationship may suffer if even one type of intimacy is missing.
A marriage lacks intimacy when:
- Most of Your Physical Contact is Sexual. It’s great to be physically intimate with your partner, but sex alone doesn’t make a marriage work.
- There’s a Lack of Communication About Your Feelings. You must lower your emotional walls and share what’s going on in your mind and heart.
- You Have Feelings of Disconnect. You may feel disconnected from your spouse if emotional intimacy is lacking. It may feel like you’re not on the same page or don’t see things the same way.
- You Don’t Look to Your Spouse for Advice or Guidance. When your spouse knows more about something than you do, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t ask them for help.
A marriage lacking in one or more types of intimacy is usually unstable. It may have problems surviving unless that intimacy is re-established.
Can You Repair Intimacy Issues?
You can repair intimacy issues, but not without a lot of love, honesty, and effort. It involves improving and promoting communication between you and your partner. It takes admitting that there’s something wrong in your relationship and want to repair it. And it takes help.
When you and your wife are empathetic with each other, you have a foundation to repair your intimacy. Often, intimacy issues stem from unresolved trauma. But tackling the trauma and its effects can help you address your intimacy issues.
How Boulder Recovery Can Help
At Boulder Recovery, there are treatment options available for you and your spouse for trauma and issues with intimacy. In our 14-Day Men’s Intensive, we take a Christ-centered, Scriptural approach to addressing men’s intimacy issues.
And since wives are also affected by their husband’s intimacy disorder, we offer our Partner Support Program for them to begin the road to healing. The private group is for the wives of men who are in the intensive. It helps women understand trauma and intimacy issues. It also gives them a plan to help themselves and their marriage recover.
To begin your journey to healing from intimacy issues, contact Boulder Recovery today. Your marriage doesn’t have to suffer. We can help you recover, rebuild, and restore it.