Recognizing and Overcoming the Barriers to Physical Intimacy
The intimate connection you share with your partner is what makes your relationship special. Yet, you may find yourself unable to open up fully to your spouse. This can result in sexual problems, communication issues, and other marital problems.
Whether there are pre-existing issues in the relationship or in you are struggling with your own demons, barriers to physical intimacy can have a devastating effect on your marriage.
Overcoming barriers in marriage take time. It involves a lot of self-examination. You’ll need to grow both as a person and as a romantic couple. Don’t let emotional, mental or physical barriers prevent you from having the marriage of your dreams.
Here are 6 ways to recognize and overcome intimacy issues.
Married partners who do not have trust in one another should seek therapy and work hard at being accountable to one another. Especially if there has been a past indiscretion in the marriage.
Statistics show that online infidelity is one of the biggest issues in modern marriages today. This makes it important to show your spouse that you are honest, trustworthy and transparent.
Show you are true to your word by doing the following:
- Answering your phone/texts when your spouse contacts you
- Show up at an event/at home when you say you’re going to
- Always call if you are going to be late
- Live up to your word
- Be honest
- Communicate your feelings regularly
- Give your spouse your undivided attention when you are together
- Let your social calendar be an open book
A lack of trust is the number one killer of intimacy in marriage. After all, who wants to share an intimate moment with someone they can’t trust?
No Friendship in the Marriage
Being friends with your spouse plays a large role in how successful your marriage will be.
Studies show that marital satisfaction is higher when both spouses think of the other as their best friend. When a friendship grows in a marriage, couples are more likely to trust one another and enjoy each other’s company on all occasions instead of just for romantic outings.
On the other hand, a lack of a friendship in your marriage can cause you to think of your spouse solely as a romantic partner. This may cause you to prefer to going to a concert or other fun event with your friends instead of your spouse.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does prevent a deeper connection from forming in the marriage.
Communication is the key to a happy, lasting marriage. Without communication, you would never know how your partner felt, what they thought, or how happy they were and vice versa.
Another barrier to physical intimacy in marriage involves the way you speak to your spouse. If you are constantly arguing and blaming your spouse for any unhappiness you feel in your marriage, neither of you will likely want to be intimate together.
Instead of blaming your spouse for your problems, work on improving your communication.
If communication is lacking in your relationship, you will no doubt feel it becoming a barrier to physical intimacy.
Communication involves speaking honestly, kindly, and listening respectfully to your partner as they respond. Couples should not overreact, yell, or use anger to communicate.
When it comes to talking to your partner about sex and physical intimacy, share your preferences for sexual frequency and indicate any aspects of affection you would like to see more of in your marriage.
A common barrier to physical intimacy in marriage has to do with low self-esteem. Studies show that women who have a positive view of their sexuality report higher levels of passionate love.
However, when you are not confident in your skills or your physical appearance, you will be less likely to want to engage in physical intimacy with your spouse. Even smaller forms of intimacy such as hugging or holding hands may make you wary, worrying that these actions may lead to something more.
You can easily solve this problem by doing things that make you feel better about yourself. Join a gym or start going for a run every morning before work. This will help produce dopamine and endorphins which will make you happier. Maintain a healthy diet to get your energy up.
Experimenting in the bedroom as well as open, honest communication about physical intimacy will help you understand what your partner enjoys and can make you feel more confident about your sexual skills.
An Emotional Connection is Lacking
One barrier to physical intimacy is a lack of an emotional connection. Couples tend to feel safer and more uninhibited when they have emotional intimacy.
You can build emotional intimacy with your partner by spending more time together. Share your thoughts, feelings and goals. Talk about your favorite memories together. Even if you have been with your spouse for a number of years, there is always something new to learn.
The more quality time you spend with your spouse, the deeper your connection will grow.
No Physical Intimacy in Marriage
If sex has been missing or infrequent in the marriage for some time, it can create a barrier between you and your spouse in all forms of physical intimacy. Even something as simple as a hug before work or a smooch before bed can be impacted by a lack of sex.
Sex is important to a marriage. It reduces relationship anxiety. Studies show that physical affection is also one of the biggest predictors of love and satisfaction in marriage. Sexual satisfaction also predicts heightened emotional intimacy in couples.
Physical intimacy in marriage is essential for keeping your emotional connection alive. Work hard to overcome barriers that might cause problems in your relationship such as a lack of trust. Establish positive communication, make date night a regular occurrence, and practice self-love. These will help you overcome barriers to intimacy with your spouse.
Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.