Whether you’ve been together for a handful of months or several decades, it’s very easy to get swept up in the daily demands of life. This becomes even more difficult when faced with the stark uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, when the attention and energy you’d otherwise give to your relationship is easily directed elsewhere. Especially if you or your partner happen to be working from home.
As couples spend more time in the same space during this lockdown, it’s not surprising that tensions sometimes rise. Anxiety about work, disrupted routines, child care issues, lack of social connections, and struggles to be productive at home may lead couples to vent their frustrations on each other.
Here are some tips for building intimacy with your spouse during this stay-at-home season.
1. Commit Small Gestures of Love
Everyday gestures that express fondness and appreciation for your partner are essential to feeling close and connected
“Feeling close and connected is important for all aspects of vibrant partnership. Also, keep in mind that thoughtful gestures are a part of great foreplay.
Every person is unique regarding the types of gestures they’ll appreciate most, and you know your partner best. Ideas include:
– sending them a lovey text message in the middle of the workday (Even if you’re only a few feet apart)
– tackling a dreaded chore he or she usually tends to
– sincerely asking for ways to be of help to them
The increased amount of time you’re spending together provides ample opportunity to make at least one small gesture every day. It will make you feel good to offer these tokens of love, as well.
2. Encouraging Each Other
Become each other’s cheerleader. Learn how to encourage and support your spouse’s activities. Listen and really take an interest in the things your spouse likes to do. Express respect for your partner. Every chance you get, compliment them in public and in private. Build up your spouse in front of others. Let your spouse truly know you appreciate him or her. The more we build up our spouses, the more they will feel valued by us and build us up in turn.
3. Touching Each Other
The power of intimate touch cannot be underestimated. You must develop a healthy habit of touching each other beyond just the bedroom. Intimate touch is the love connection of holding hands, cuddling, stroking each other’s hair, arm or leg, and other ways of showing physical affection. Too frequently I run into couples who do not touch each other, especially in public. Touch is the basis on which couples develop a healthy desire for each other. Touching your spouse protects you from wanting to touch others in a world of many lonely people. Touch protects you from finding a substitute for what God has designed for your marriage. Intimate touch does not have to include sexual touch, but we must develop a language of sexual touch with our spouse as well. If you learn to touch your spouse, you will lose your desire to touch someone else.
4. Communicate your feelings
One of the biggest barriers to growth in marriage is the absence of discussion. Couples must talk about their feelings. Life is not perfect, and marriage is not perfect. Your spouse is not perfect and neither are you. You need to talk to your spouse about how you feel and what you struggle with. Traveling with unresolved issues can actually cause a heart to grow colder. Set aside time each week for just the two of you to go out and talk. Tell your spouse what happened each day and what challenges you had personally. If you learn to invest time together while you’re at home, your time on the phone will increase in meaning and depth while our on the road.
5. Forgiving and Being Forgiven
You must not let resentments build up in your marriage; you must learn to forgive your spouse and yourself. Conflicts in marriage happen, and you need to give your spouse permission to tell you what they are struggling with. Everyone’s feelings are valid. We must get to know how our spouses feel on issues that cause conflict between us. If you do not share and forgive, you are not in a place to see your spouse or yourself properly. We cannot express love and receive love properly if we do not forgive.
6. Practice Gratitude.
Showing gratitude and appreciation for your spouse or partner. A sincere “thank you” will bond you much more than criticisms of what didn’t get accomplished or performed correctly. Talk together about what you’re grateful for.
Life isn’t going to be perfect all the time. The value of a relationship is that you stick by each other for better or for worse. This pandemic isn’t a permanent situation. Try to stay focused on the good things that are happening.
What ways are you employing in bonding deeply with your spouse this season?