Igniting Intimacy 5 Different Ways (Part 1)
|Most of us did not get married in order to find a convenient way to cook meals, wash dishes, do laundry and rear children. We married out of a deep desire to know and to be known; to love and to be loved. To have a genuinely intimate relationship. How does this lofty goal become experiential? It helps to look at the five essential components of an intimate relationship. This week, we will discuss the first two.|
Sharing My Thoughts
First, there is intellectual intimacy. So much of life is lived in the world of the mind. Throughout the day we have hundreds of thoughts about life as we encounter it. We also have desires, things we would like to experience or obtain. Intellectual intimacy comes in sharing some of these thoughts and desires with your spouse. These may focus on finances, food, health, crime, music, or church. These thoughts and desires reveal something about what has gone on in your mind throughout the day. In marriage, we have the pleasure of learning some of the inner movements of the spouse's mind. That is the essence of intellectual intimacy.
Sharing My Emotions
Emotional intimacy is another component of an intimate relationship. Feelings are our spontaneous, emotional responses to what we encounter through the five senses. I hear that the neighbor's dog died and I feel sad. I see the fire truck racing down the road and I feel troubled. You touch my hand and I feel loved. I see you smile and I feel encouraged.
Your inner life is filled with emotions, but no one sees them. It is the sharing of feelings that builds emotional intimacy. Allowing your spouse into your inner world: being willing to say, "I'm feeling a lot of fear right now" or, "I am really happy tonight." These are statements of self-revelation.
Learning to talk about emotions can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Such sharing requires an atmosphere of acceptance. If I am assured that my spouse will not condemn my feelings or try to change my feelings, then I am far more likely to talk about them.
Next Week: Igniting Intimacy 5 Different Ways (Part 2)
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