Believe it or not sex is only one part of physical intimacy. That’s a shocker because early on in our marriage I use to think it was all about the sex. It seems like back in the early days of our marriage Carlton and I would hop in the bed together and VOILA magic happened and we were instantly connected in a way like nothing else.
However as time marched on we’ve come to realize that there is more to physical intimacy than just doing the deed. As our lives filled up with more demanding jobs, children’s activities, and other obligations it seems like making it to the bedroom can be a challenge. So we’re faced with the questions of how to make sure that we stay connected between those encounters and when we do find ourselves between the sheets how to get the most out of those intimate moments. Unfortunately, those little things like cuddling on the sofa, holding hands while walking through the mall, and a kiss after work can easily get lost in the shuffle of a busy life.
Although those may seem like small things, they play a big part in physical intimacy. These gestures go a long way towards keeping that spark alive in your marriage. Recently I’ve started to think of physical intimacy as two parts – there’s sex and then there are all of the other non-sexual physical parts. The non-sex areas really help us to stay connected between having actual sex. These interactions make your partner feel desirable, attractive, and loved even if the days since your last romp in the sheets start to add up. And then there’s the really fun part – SEX! While having sex with our spouses may seem like the obvious path to a physical connection, we may be able to improve in this area as well. Are we sure that we’re really meeting our partner’s needs? Are we asking the tough and sometimes awkward questions to communicate about our thoughts on sexual intimacy?
I’d encourage you to be brave and take the chance to ask your spouse these questions. You’d be amazed by their answers and how a little transparency and vulnerability will increase the physical intimacy between you and your spouse and make you all feel more connected. But remember to not get on the defense when listening to your spouse’s responses, instead be open minded and nurture the intimacy between the two of you.
- Can a marriage survive without physical intimacy?
Their answer will help you all discuss the future of your marriage or even allow them to talk about how they view the current state of physical intimacy within your marriage.
- Is our marriage physical enough for you? How do you feel about our sex life lately?
This is a good question for setting expectations in your relationship. If you don’t know where you stand, how do you know where you can improve?
- Outside of having sex what other types of things can we do to keep us physically connected?
This question will help you understand what your partner likes outside of the bedroom. Like I mentioned these things can seem small in isolation, but they will undoubtedly be missed if they begin to disappear from your day to day routine.
- What could we do to improve our sexual intimacy?
This is a broad question where the answer surprisingly may not be directly related to sex. In order to improve sexual intimacy, your partner may request that you spend more quality time together, help out more with household chores, or even work out with them. Be willing to implement at least some of the changes and watch what a difference it will make.
- How can I show you that I’m sexually attracted to you?
You may think the obvious answer here is ‘have more sex with me’, but there’s bound to be more to the story. Feeling attractive doesn’t always tie to the amount of sex a couple has but it ties to the emotional boost that a spouse gets from knowing that their partner has a deep desire for them.
- What ways do you show me that you’re initiating sex?
Let’s face it sometimes our signals can be too subtle, leaving our spouses wondering if we even are even interested in sex. Asking this question will clear up any mixed signals and make sure you both are on the same page and aren’t missing each other’s “hints”.
- What is one way I can make an effort to enhance the physical connection between us?
Here’s a question where you open yourself up to your spouse’s wishes. When asking something like this be sure to listen to their answer and take concrete steps towards making a stronger connection with your spouse.
- What are three physical acts of affection you really enjoy from me and you wish I would do more often?
Physical intimacy starts outside of the bedroom. We have to make sure that we are giving our spouses more of what THEY like and need and not what WE want.
- What do you need to be in the mood for sex?
We can’t just expect that our spouses will wake up ready to have sex. It’s good to know what puts them in the mood and what circumstances and situations can be turn offs for them.
- What are some barriers to physical intimacy that you have that impact our marriage?
This doesn’t just have to be about sex, it could be anything that makes them not feel physically connected to you. In order to overcome these barriers you have to communicate often and be open to being vulnerable with each other.
There can be many barriers to physical intimacy, from the everyday stress of a busy life to emotional baggage in your marriage or past relationships. Overcoming these barriers can be challenging but these questions can get the conversation started towards strengthening the physical connection between you and your spouse.
What questions would you add to the mix? We’d love to hear from you—post in the comment section. And please share the post, you never know whose marriage you may be helping!