5 Tips for Restoring Emotional Intimacy in a Marriage

A lack of emotional intimacy in a marriage can be just as painful as a lack of physical intimacy. A common dilemma is for a marriage to slowly lose emotional intimacy over time so that before you know it you are no longer communicating about the things that really matter, and your formerly deep connection now feels weak and shallow. The good news is that as long as both partners are committed to a strong, lasting marriage, it is never too late to rebuild this feeling of emotional closeness and connection. Just follow these tips, and soon you will feel closer than ever:

Try Couples Counseling

Couples counseling can really turbo-charge your efforts to become closer to your spouse. Over years of being together, small and large resentments can really pile up and drive an emotional wedge between you. Counseling will help you both identify these emotional obstacles and process them so you can move on. Counseling will also help you remember the things you love about each other and teach you more effective ways to communicate.

If your partner is reluctant to attend couples counseling, emphasize that the goal is to bring you closer together rather than to attack or blame each other. Make an appointment with an organization such as Associates For Counseling & Psychotherapy to get started. 

Share New Experiences

Regaining emotional intimacy doesn't have to just be about sitting in a room together discussing your feelings. In fact, getting out in the world and sharing novel new experiences has been shown in studies to foster greater relationship satisfaction and closeness. Taking a dance class together, going skydiving for the first time, or visiting a new city together can help you shake off the feeling of boredom and stagnation, reinvigorating your relationship with new life and excitement.

Focus on the Little Things

Sometimes the little things you do to show each other you care fall by the wayside over time. Luckily, these things can easily be brought back to your relationship whenever you feel like it. Leave sweet, unexpected notes in your partner's lunch or coat pocket. Bring them their favorite coffee drink or defrost their car windows for them on a snowy morning. Over time these small gestures can add up to major closeness and emotional trust.

Let Go of the Mundane

As a matter of practical necessity, marriages often become very focused on the mundane details of life. If all of your conversations with your spouse have to do with your grocery list and car-insurance premiums, it can feel as though the fun and closeness have been sucked out of your marriage. Make an effort to limit the conversations, texts, and emails about mundane details, perhaps by setting aside a couple of times per week to discuss these things and then letting them go in between.

Instead, send flirtatious texts, make funny observations, and remind your partner of funny or romantic memories from your relationship. This can shift the entire tone of your relationship from business partnership to exciting romance.

Be More Physically Affectionate

Physical affection can actually strengthen your emotional intimacy by releasing important bonding and feel-good hormones in your brain. Sometimes when we feel emotionally distant we become less physically affectionate as a result. If you instead become more physically affectionate, you may be surprised to soon feel much closer emotionally to your partner.

Instead of waiting for them to initiate affection, give them a hug when they come home from work, hold their hand when you walk to the store, and rest your head on their shoulder while the two of you are watching a movie together.

By implementing these emotional intimacy tips into your marriage, you will soon feel closer and more deeply connected to your significant other.