If you want more sex in your marriage, here are five easy ways to establish the intimacy that leads to sex.
Even though Attraction is the primary driver of sexual desire, it must go hand-in-hand with emotional intimacy in order for her to feel comfortable enough for sex.
If you feel that attraction is solid in your marriage but a lack of emotional intimacy is holding back her response, read on.
I am getting a lot of traction with the couples I work with using these five easy ways to establish intimacy in your marriage.
3 Love Systems
If you’ve been reading here at Peak Marriage for a while, you know there are three love systems involved in romantic love:
- Attraction system (powered by dopamine)
- Connection system (powered by oxytocin)
- General Sex Drive (powered by testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone)
You also probably have a clear idea that lack of attraction kills your sex life since I’ve covered that extensively.
What you might not realize, though, is that a lack of connection or emotional intimacy can have the same negative effect.
Lack of Intimacy Impacts Her Desire for Sex
When your wife doesn’t feel connected or bonded to you, she won’t feel comfortable having sex with you, no matter how attracted she is.
She may have sex, but not as often, and not nearly as freely as she would if she felt more connected.
Wondering if your connection is too low to allow good sex?
Here’s your test:
Do you hear her saying things like this?
- All you want me for is sex.
- You don’t care about me; you just want to get off.
- I want sex, but it’s like there’s this little voice telling me I shouldn’t.
- If you need an orgasm, go somewhere else.
- All you want is a blow-up doll; my feelings don’t matter to you.
Does she do things like this?
- She’s making out with you and seems to be into it, but all of a sudden, she gets upset and comes to a dead stop.
- She may try initiating a conversation in the middle of sex, and you’re left high and dry, going, “What just happened?”
Does she frequently ask questions like this … especially before … or even during … sex?
- Why don’t you ever tell me you love me?
- Do you care about me at all?
- What is it about me that made you date me in the first place?
- If we never had sex, would you still want to hang out with me?
- Do you miss me when I’m not around?
Women Need to feel Close to Relax into Sex
Men and women are different. As Billy Crystal says, “Women need a reason, men need a place.” It’s a cliché because it’s true.
In general, once men are married, they feel they’ve established all the intimacy they’re ever going to need and can move on to the good stuff.
It’s different for women. It’s not a coincidence that many women use the euphemism ‘being intimate’ to mean having sex.
For women, sex and intimacy go hand-in-hand; that’s not generally as true for men.
A woman needs ongoing closeness and communication in order to feel comfortable having sex, even when it’s with her husband.
I know that seems crazy to most of the guys out there, but I promise you it’s true. It’s a feature, not a bug.
The good news is that it’s not all that hard to build the intimacy she needs to feel comfortable having sex with you.
Specific Ways to Build Intimacy & Comfort
Building intimacy and comfort is a matter of spending time together, but it has to be a certain kind of time. It’s not enough to simply be in the same room, looking at your respective devices.
There are five specific types of interactions that catapult you into intimacy with your wife.
5 Easy Ways to Establish the Intimacy that Leads to Sex
I talk about CandleTime here, and how just taking a few minutes each night by candlelight, talking about specific topics that increase intimacy can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Every couple needs to have ‘MealTime’ together each evening, even if they’re on different meal plans, or don’t even eat all that much. It’s the connection that’s important.
You need to have fun together at least once every week. It doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive activity, just something that creates dopamine between the two of you.
- Working out together
- Dance lessons
- Neighborhood walks
- Ice skating
- Roller blading
- Bean bags
Try this little hack …
Each of you write down three or four ideas for fun/dopamine activities on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl.
Take turns drawing one out of the bowl each week and doing that activity.
I’m continually amazed at how little time couples actually spend together without looking at their devices. Each of you staring off into your respective screens is not together time; it’s simply parallel time.
Try this … talk to your wife and the two of you agree on device-free times and zones. For example, maybe you decide that your bedroom should be a device-free zone – that your bedroom is for sleeping and sex, and that’s it.
You could also make certain times of the day device-free.
Maybe it’s MealTime, maybe it’s in the morning when you two have a cup of coffee in bed.
Whatever works for you.
5. Weekly Planning Time
One of the most important things you can do as a couple is have a Weekly Planning Meeting.
Pick a time of the week where you won’t be interrupted and sit down together and plan your week. Weekends are ideal for most couples. Go out somewhere if you have a sitter or do it in the living room.
You can start small with logistics and parenting stuff, but eventually you move on to bigger things … family goals, budget and investment goals, career goals, etc.
This is one of the best tools I’ve found for bonding a couple and helping them feel part of the same team.
Make sure to take notes. What doesn’t get recorded doesn’t get done. Follow up periodically during the week for accountability.
How to Start
Don’t overwhelm yourself by starting all 5 tools at once.
Start with FunTime and Weekly Planning Time. Those will get you jump started.
Add the rest as you get time.
That’s all there is to it.
Is this a time investment?
Sure, it is.
However, if you’re consistent with it, you and your wife will both find yourselves looking forward to the time together, and eventually your day/week won’t seem complete without it.
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