4 Steps to Prepare for Growing Intimacy in Marriage
Updated: Mar 4
The radical hope of the restoration of your marriage during a long and dreary pandemic.
In previous blog posts I’ve written about loving mowing my lawn. It’s one of my favorite activities to physically work in the elements and make a visible difference in the world. The satisfaction of a freshly mowed lawn makes me smile every time.
My lawn is disgusting right now. The grass is short and smashed down. It’s completely yellow. I see dirt where grass should be. The lawn I love to enjoy lies hard, cold, and dull. Brutal winter continues, even the groundhog agrees and retreats.
Spring is coming. We see the sunshine more often now between grey windy storms. Daffodils, the first signs of spring, are somehow emerging from the frozen ground.
As I write this March 1, 2021 we’ve been in a pandemic world for nearly one year. A year of winter. Increased stress, disagreement, and division. Our priorities and normalcy got rearranged and canceled.
Now in Idaho, where we live, the number of COVID cases are gradually decreasing. I have no idea if it’s because people refuse to test, there are actually less cases due to the vaccine, if it’s temporary before another spike, or if we are at the beginning of the end of COVID.
Uncertainty has been our steady diet over the last year. It’s been a long and dreary year in so many ways.
Spring will come. Although the tradition of asking a groundhog when spring will arrive is silly, the profound truth is spring WILL come. The warm days and green grass will return.
The radical reality is restoration and renewal will return to your marriage. You can experience a fresh excitement in your relationship with your spouse.
This time of year it’s easy to get discouraged by all the damage winter has caused to my lawn. But now is the time to get it ready for the growth that can come. Getting it prepared now makes for even better results later. The same is true for your marriage.
4 Steps to prepare for growing intimacy in marriage.
1. Clean up the crap.
This winter we’ve been lazy at cleaning up after our dog. Usually we have our kids pick up the dog poo every couple days at the most. In the winter we don’t bother for a month or more. This morning our boys shoveled up 47 piles -gross!
To prepare for your marriage to grow in intimacy again get rid of the crap.
Stop criticizing each other.
Stop sabotaging their efforts to connect with you.
Stop your grouchiness and negative attitude about your spouse.
Get rid of the gross ways you treat each other first.
2. Soak up the sunshine.
One of my favorite parts of spring is the return of sunshine. Sure, the sun shines in the winter but it’s a frigid sunshine. The sunshine of spring contains the hint of warmth that invigorates my soul and stimulates the grass to grow again.
To prepare your marriage to grow in intimacy again stop and look around.
Consider your blessings.
Even the smallest hint of blessings can invigorate your soul if you take the time to notice.
3. Rake out the worst of the death.
Near the end of the winter my lawn contains so much dry dead grass it suffocates the good grass. I like to rake out the worst places and it’s always amazing to me how much dead grass I get out of a small area. What remains is often a relatively few strong green blades of grass with room to grow.
Examine the parts of your relationship that need some tending to.
Does your communication consistently misfire?
Does your time together only consist of figuring out what’s for dinner or fighting about how to parent your kids?
Is your intimacy infrequent and unexciting?
Do you neglect greeting each other warmly or saying “I love you?”
Do you always experience conflict when it’s time to pay the bills?
Take notice of the tension points in your relationship, get intentional about improving those areas.
It always feels a bit overly optimistic when I put on the first round of fertilizer on my lawn. I fill my push spreader with fertilizer and it throws the little white balls all around the dead yellow grass and they just sit there on the surface. The little balls of fertilizer really don’t seem to do much right away, but then they seep under the surface and unleash their magic, accelerating lush growth.
To prepare your marriage to grow in intimacy, aggressively pursue positive connections.
Greet each other with a kiss and say “I love you” or I thank God for you.”
Buy some flowers just because you love them.
Pursue their heart and spend time listening.
When they tell you about their day don’t just comment about the details, also comment about how you respect and appreciate them.
Go out of your way to express love in ways they best feel it.
At first it may seem like your efforts fall flat but keep investing and the deep connection and intimacy produced will certainly be worth it.
If you or someone you know would benefit from counseling to restore mental wellness or relationships, I’m accepting new counseling clients. Call 1-208-996-3433 for an appointment.