I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have dedicated my life to supporting women and families that face the special challenges of anxiety, depression, and merging two families together.
A few months ago, I was picking up a cup of coffee at a local mom and pop
coffeehouse and as I will typically due, I scanned the walls to survey pictures,
flyers, and came across a quote that read “If you spirit is dampened, don’t be
discouraged. Without moisture nothing will grow.” -Rob Ma. I thought this was
such a powerful quote that can apply to intimate partner relationships.
While it is common for couples to run into difficulties, or for relationships to
become stale, you don’t have to wave the white flag and surrender to it. Quite
the contrary, couples who put in the effort to work on reconnection often find a
deeper more meaningful relationship.
If you would like to build intimacy with your partner, here are some easy ways
to start that journey:
I see it all the time in counseling sessions with couples, I will ask a question
and one of them will answer and then BOOM there it is that look of shock and
the response “I never knew that.” Sometimes that’s good, and other times not
so much. What’s important to know here, is that we either are married to, or in
a relationship with a person who had a whole entire life before we met them.
Taking time to intentionally have conversations that include asking about what
“makes you tick” are wildly informative, and help your mate feel seen, heard,
and valued. A well-known Pastor in the Cleveland, OH area once shared a
story that he noticed a mark on his wife’s arm and asked about how she got it.
That turned into an all-night conversation that enriched their marriage and
their friendship. If you want to build emotional intimacy in your relationship, be
curious about your mate.
Be intentionally vulnerable
Even if you have been with your mate for years, it can still be hard to let down
your personal walls. While you can not force one another to be more
vulnerable, what you can do is be more vulnerable yourself.
Often exposing our feelings can be scary, even if we are exposing them to
ourselves. Yet, by acknowledging and accepting how we feel is critical to how
we show up for ourselves, and for others. Start small with something like what
was the best/worst part of your day and how you feel about it. If you want to
build emotional intimacy, start with being willing to share yourself with your
So, who said building intimacy had to be all work and no play? When couples
meet, they usually spend a lot of time together doing things that are FUN! If
you all have not engaged in some good old fashion fun, then I encourage your
to do so. Having fun together is one of the best ways to reconnect, and
rediscover why you were attracted to your partner. You may even discover
some new things about one another and refresh your relationship. If you want
to build emotional intimacy, have some fun.
For some couples, building intimacy can require even more work, especially if
there are trust issues. In these cases, working with a couples’ therapist can
help partners feel safe enough to work through their issues so they can
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring therapy, please contact
me. I’d be happy to discuss how I can help.