Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

  1. 5 love needs of men and women
  2. A wife’s top five love needs
  3. A husband’s top five love needs
  4. 6 Useful Tips on Growing Love and Intimacy in Marriage
  5. How important is intimacy in a relationship
  6. 1. Love in the way your spouse needs to be loved
  7. 2. Communicate what you need from your spouse
  8. 3. Love without conditions
  9. 4. Put each other first
  10. 5. Let go of competitiveness
  11. 6. Be a giving lover in and the bedroom
  12. Men and intimacy
  13. What is intimacy?
  14. Difficulties for men
  15. What Married Women Can Tell Us About Growing Intimacy
  16. Sexual intimacy can be complicated, doesn’t just click instantly, and can take effort
  17. Sex is not a generalized skill but very personalized
  18. Sex within a committed relationship marriage can be better than uncommitted sex
  19. Emotions play a large role in sex
  20. Lust can get in the way of intimacy
  21. Intimacy can reveal areas that need healing
  22. Vulnerability is a must
  23. Sex can be a spiritual experience
  24. Over time, your sexual relationship mirrors overall relationship quality
  25. Increase Intimacy — 30 Ways to Increase the Intimacy in Your Marriage
  26. How to Increase Intimacy in Marriage
  27. Increase Emotional Intimacy
  28. Sit down and draw out your dream home together
  29. Sit and talk for a while
  30. Find a way to connect each week
  31. Meet weekly to talk and coordinate
  32. Create and build your love maps
  33. Increase Intellectual Intimacy
  34. Learn something together
  35. Find a new mutual hobby
  36. Start a book club for your marriage
  37. Take a class to improve your marriage
  38. Increase Spiritual Intimacy
  39. Work through a couple’s devotional
  40. Study your religious text
  41. Pray
  42. Go to church
  43. Talk about religion
  44. Attend other faith worship services
  45. Increase Experiential Intimacy
  46. Be active
  47. Add culture to your dates
  48. Plan active date nights
  49. Make a meal together
  50. Increase Financial Intimacy
  51. Create a budget
  52. Talk about money
  53. Pay off debt
  54. Talk about your financial future
  55. Take a finance course
  56. Increase Physical Intimacy
  57. Share a 10 second kiss
  58. Hold hands
  59. Hug each other
  60. Be affectionate always
  61. Share meaningful touch
  62. Play a fun game together

5 love needs of men and women

Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

It’s something we hear from couple after couple: «Men and women are so different! How can my spouse and I learn to understand each other?»

Men and women sure are different! It doesn’t take science to tell us that. All we need to do is look at how any group of guys or girls interact to begin to see some differences. Obviously, these are generalities, but here are just a few of the differences between men and women:

  • When guys need encouragement, they typically go for the slap on the back from the guys on the court. When women need encouragement, they want hugs from their supportive friends.
  • Men look to their friends to be just company. Women want emotional connection in friendships. For women, it hasn’t been a good time if they haven’t had a good laugh or a good cry.
  • Men think of intimacy in physical terms (S-E-X); women think of intimacy in emotional terms (T-A-L-K).

So how are you supposed to know what your husband or wife wants and needs? Well we’ve done part of the work for you! For our book, The 5 Love Needs of Men and Women, we surveyed more than 700 couples from across the country and asked them to rank what they needed from their spouse. The results may surprise you!

Here’s a look at the top five love needs for husbands and wives – and how you can meet your spouse’s needs.

A wife’s top five love needs

#1: Unconditional love and acceptance. Imagine your spouse loving you completely, without even hesitating over your mistakes.

Sounds just Christ, doesn’t it? That’s the core of unconditional love, and He is the source of it.

You can reflect God’s love for her and your love for her by encouraging her, standing with her, complimenting her, respecting her opinion, talking with her – and listening, spending time with her and serving her.

#2: Emotional intimacy and communication. When your wife hears the word intimacy, she thinks about emotional connection and communication.

She wants a marriage that has vulnerable sharing of inner thoughts, feelings, spirit and true self. Listen to her. Show her an understanding heart. Give her attention and affection. Build rapport with her.

Resolve conflict and safeguard your relationship.

#3: Spiritual intimacy. A wife wants a marriage as a cord with three strands: God, husband, and wife. She wants God to be inextricably woven throughout the marriage relationship.

She needs to be growing spiritually and watching you grow spiritually and leading the home.

To do so, encourage her spiritual growth, encourage her fellowship with you and others, encourage her to express her spiritual gifts and encourage her with your prayers.

#4: Encouragement and affirmation. To keep a bounce in her step, give her daily doses of encouragement.

Tell her she’s your best friend, that she’s the best wife, give her some space when she needs it, leave her thank-you notes and give your wife extra help with chores.

Encourage her by understanding her wiring, giving her first place, pointing out her potential and appreciating her contribution.

#5: Companionship. To your wife, friendship means heart-to-heart communication, special time away with you and growing old together. It involves togetherness. She needs you to work hard at your marriage – to laugh together, play together, stay the course and work out the inevitable differences between you.

A husband’s top five love needs

#1: Unconditional love and acceptance. When your husband needs your unconditional love, it simply means that he needs you to love him and receive him no matter what.

Unconditional love starts with God: He loved us even though we didn’t deserve it. He loves us even though we are full of pride and self-centeredness.

In the same way, put aside your own needs to meet your husband’s needs.

#2: Sexual intimacy. Less than 50 per cent and up to 90 per cent of a man’s self-image is locked up in his sexuality. Sex, passion, pleasing the woman he loves – that’s what makes a man feel a man.

Consequently, when a man experiences sexual rejection from his wife, he may shut down, pull away – or worse – do something morally stupid. To meet his sexual needs, talk to God about any hesitation you have.

Start with your own heart; learn what satisfies your husband and commit yourself to meet his needs.

#3: Companionship. Are you the one person your husband can count on when the rubber meets the road? Your husband needs your friendship.

He needs to know – deep down – that he is safe to explore with you what is churning around in his heart and mind. Let your husband know you want to be his best friend.

Make your relationship a safe place for your husband to face his pain and be willing to love sacrificially.

#4: Encouragement and affirmation. Your husband will feel discouraged and defeated when he doesn’t hear you cheering him on – or he’ll seek the applause somewhere else.

When he knows that he’s the only one in your world, the walls around your marriage grow stronger. Encourage him to hear your applause. Encourage him by reminding him of God’s work in his life.

Most importantly, pray for him to hear the applause of heaven – to know God is on his side!

#5: Spiritual intimacy. Your husband needs to be growing spiritually. He needs spiritual connection with God, with you and with other men.

Being the spiritual leader of your family is the toughest job your husband will ever take on, and he needs your help.

Encourage him to spend personal time in the Word, talk about Scripture with him, pray with him, pray for him, and make time for fellowship and worship together.

Meeting your spouse’s love needs is one of the most important responsibilities you have in your marriage. So, take the time to learn your spouse’s love needs – and meet them! It will bring you closer and help you build an extraordinary marriage!

Married for over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touches people of all ages.

Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counselling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and Biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families through their interactive daily radio program, conferences and marriage and family resources.

If you d this article and would to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below.

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6 Useful Tips on Growing Love and Intimacy in Marriage

Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

Are love and intimacy in marriage irreplaceable?

In many ways, marriage is a plant. So many possibilities when first planted. Then, if you feed it, nurture it, and just take care of it, it will grow.

Every plant is different and needs slightly different nutrients in the soil, or more or less water or sun. But in learning about that particular plant’s needs, and then responding by giving it what it needs, it will flourish and reach its full potential.

wise, when you only do the bare minimum—or worse, not enough—to keep the plant alive, you can easily tell a difference. 

It gets droopy. The leaves may get dry and cracked. The roots may not be as healthy as they could be. The flower or fruit is not as big or beautiful as it could have been. Even more than seeing it, you can just feel it.

Marriage is this too. When you or your spouse don’t feed and nurture the marriage, then it can’t grow. It becomes stale and lifeless, and then life, in general, becomes less magical. Less amazing. Less loving.

How important is intimacy in a relationship

Love and intimacy in a marriage are non-negotiable. In fact, intimacy and marriage are intertwined. 

There are many things you need to do to feed a marriage, but there is one thing that your marriage simply won’t survive without. It’s oxygen to the plant.

What we are talking about is emotional intimacy. Now, some people think of intimacy as just the act of sex, but in a marriage, it is so much more than that. It’s love in its fullest and purest form.

So, how to rekindle a marriage scale the levels of intimacy in a relationship? Here are some ways to help improve the emotional intimacy in your marriage.

1. Love in the way your spouse needs to be loved

It’s no secret that men and women are different. On top of that, each individual has different needs.

Not all women will say that they feel loved when their husband does XYZ; so in order to have an emotionally healthy marriage, you need to look for and ask for what your spouse needs from you.

Maybe one on one time means more than a hug, or maybe you doing something nice for them means more than buying gifts.

2. Communicate what you need from your spouse

In marriage, sometimes we expect each other to be mind readers. That is just setting things up for disappointment. If you need physical intimacy more often, then say so (pick your moment and pick your words wisely).

Always be careful to not hurt feelings as you suggest things; maybe have a special time when you both can freely share these types of ideas so you both feel comfortable with it.

Engaging in open and honest communication about each other’s needs when it comes to intimacy is important in a marriage.

3. Love without conditions

People are imperfect creatures.

Even the most loving and well-meaning person makes mistakes. We have a bad day and say things we don’t mean. Perhaps we notice our spouse giving less to the marriage so we feel the need to love less, too. 

Don’t let this happen. Don’t put conditions on your love. Even if your spouse is not being as loving as you want them to be, don’t withdraw your love.

Never put marital intimacy on the backburner as the need for intimacy and emotional connection in marriage is irreplaceable.

4. Put each other first

If you both are being really honest with each other, you can probably say right away what your number one priority in life is.

Is it work? The kids? Making money? Your side business? Fitness? Books?

There are so many good things that can take us away from keeping marriage ranked as the number one priority. If your marriage isn’t your number one priority, then work on making it that way.

Set up weekly dates. Do more little things together, cook or go on walks. Hold hands. Think of your spouse before yourself and you will be well on your way to building intimacy in marriage. 

5. Let go of competitiveness

Often people in relationships scour for help on how to emotionally connect with a man or a woman. A piece of key advice for them – to be secure in relationships, and cultivate a strong emotional bond, is to stop keeping score and instead focus on your partner’s positives.

No more keeping score. No more “I did the dishes last night!” Instead, offer your help, or work together. Keeping a score never helped any marriage in building intimacy and has instead led to more marriage intimacy problems for couples. 

Instead of thinking that you each need to give 50% to make one whole, each of you should instead give 100% to make your marriage truly amazing. Being competitive gets in the way of this. Let go and in the process work together and become one.

Also watch:

6. Be a giving lover in and the bedroom

Intimacy is a complicated thing. 

You have the physical side and the emotional side. Sometimes we have all the physical without emotional commitment, and other times we have the emotional commitment without physical intimacy.

Give to your spouse the kisses she loves so much, or the sex that he desires. In those moments that your spouse is fulfilled, you will be as well.

When you can balance the two in marriage, you have something truly harmonious.

You have two people who feel they love each other, and they also show each other this. Do this by being physically and emotionally loving in and the bedroom.

There is no dearth of ideas or ways to be intimate without being physical and when sex is not on the top of your mind, look for other avenues to enjoy love and intimacy in marriage. 

There are several marriage intimacy exercises that will help you foster a stronger connection with your partner. 

It would also be helpful to check out ideas on how to be more intimate in non-sexual ways with your spouse. 

Lack of emotional intimacy in marriage hampers individual well-being as well as marital happiness. Don’t let everyday stressors and uncertainties affect the health of your relationship. Break poor communication habits and give your partner the respect they deserve.

Remember, the most important tool in restoring love and intimacy in marriage is your willingness to build a marital friendship, without which you cannot build and maintain emotional closeness as a couple.


Men and intimacy

Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

Some men struggle with intimacy. Here MensLine Australia explores the notion that men have been socialised to appear to be strong and in control while intimacy encourages and enables vulnerability when connecting with another person.

Some men struggle with intimacy, as many men have been socialised to appear to be strong and in control.

While intimacy encourages and enables vulnerability as you connect with another person. This perceived need for men to hide any weakness can interfere with their ability to experience a real closeness, since real intimacy always involves some degree of vulnerability.

What is intimacy?

The experience of emotional closeness. It occurs when two people are able to be emotionally open with one another, and reveal their true feelings, thoughts, fears and desires.

This can only occur when both people are able to genuinely trust one another, and feel able to take the risk of being vulnerable. It is a universal human need; without it we have the experience of loneliness.

A perceived lack of intimacy is one of the most common reasons for relationship breakdowns.

Difficulties for men

Men may abandon relationships and intimacy because they fear that they will lose their sense of independence. True emotional closeness is about balancing the sense of yourself while still being connected with another.

Men often confuse sex and intimacy. These are not the same thing. Sex without it can be very unrewarding, just as sex with it can be deeply passionate and fulfilling. It is also possible to experience intimacy without sex.

Some men confuse intimacy with the ‘honeymoon’ stage of a sexual relationship. It is a hormonally driven, heightened sense of being in ‘love’, often with a corresponding high sexual desire.

This stage lasts for the first 6-36 months of a relationship and when/if it ends a relationship may seem to lose some of its initial intensity. This does not mean that intimacy needs to be lost entirely.

What it does signal is the beginning of a new phase of the relationship, in which both partners need to invest effort to maintain the emotional closeness that seemed to come so effortlessly early on.

Men may also experience difficulties achieving intimacy because of a lack of ‘emotional vocabulary’. Men often feel less able to express the way they are feeling than women, and may feel uncomfortable with discussions about emotions. However, it is important to remember it is a skill, and as such can be learned.

Recognise it is a skill that takes practice. It is not always easy. It’s okay to be apprehensive about it, but don’t let that stop you trying.

Achieving emotional closeness involves an emotional risk. If you open up to another, there is always the risk of being hurt if the other person does not react in an accepting way. Trusting the other with your feelings, however, will often lead to them opening up to you as well. If you always wait for the other to open up first, you may never achieve closeness.

Even if the other person does not accept the thoughts and emotions you reveal, the relationship will often be better off for your honesty.

Learning to manage the uncomfortable feelings you have when someone does not agree with you, without resorting to attacking or withdrawing, is an important skill.

You can ‘work’ on your intimacy whether you have a partner who wishes to or not. It is never too late to begin again.

When emotional distance has become a habit, relationship breakdown is increasingly ly. The risk to the relationship of not opening up is far greater than the risk of being honest. Challenge your limiting beliefs about masculinity such as ‘men are always in control’ or ‘boys don’t cry’. Seek out an individual or relationship counsellor if you need help with developing intimacy.

Further information on intimacy can be found in the latest Relationships Australia booklet:

Renovate your Relationship(PDF: 8.46MB)

Renovate your Relationship is a booklet about men maintaining their relationships and is designed to get men to think about the practical side of relationship maintenance and how to do it.

This resource has been created and updated by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) and MensLine Australia.

 RAV has over 70 years’ experience providing family and relationship support services across Melbourne and Victoria and is committed to inclusivity, providing safe, inclusive and accessible services for all people.

MensLine Australia has professional counsellors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing confidential and anonymous information and support for all relationship issues.

Call us on 1300 78 99 78 or access online counselling.

Renovate your Relationship is a resource for men dedicated to helping men maintain their relationships by getting them to think about the practical side of relationship maintenance.

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What Married Women Can Tell Us About Growing Intimacy

Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

Much mainstream coverage of sex refers to the physical aspects only. But most people know, whether from experience or intuition, that human connection is more nuanced.

So, we decided to explore the more deep, personal meanings sexual relations can have, drawing from the experiences of people in committed relationships.

We invited women to anonymously share their experiences with their first name only or with a pseudonym, not sharing technical details about sex but instead reflections on relational areas of growth that intimacy in marriage may have brought to the fore.

Several themes emerged from the experience of these women. Perhaps the most commonly shared experience was growing in intimacy, growing in a relationship more generally, is a work in progress.

Sexual intimacy can be complicated, doesn’t just click instantly, and can take effort

Connie from Minnesota shared one thing she hadn’t expected is that “intercourse only generally doesn’t result in climax for the woman,” but, she added, “this created open conversation and honesty between us.

Our main goal was to express love through welcomed pleasure for the other; it is not our personal fulfillment we strove for, but our spouses; that grew the intimacy.

It is what we can give, not receive; but if we both feel that way, we both receive in ways that put smiles on our faces.”

KP from Florida shared that she wishes she knew beforehand that sex “takes a lot of effort mentally especially for women!” Emily from the Midwest shared that she hadn’t realized “it was going to be six months before we knew what we were doing . . . three weeks before we were even successful.

I wish I would have known how to take care of myself better at first, I had so much pain and discomfort for months.” Jane from New York City noted that she learned “foreplay is part of sex, and shouldn’t be rushed!” After marriage, she “realized I needed to feel ready for intercourse, and if I wasn’t then I needed more foreplay. My husband and I learned each other's pacing. . . .

My husband has been great about helping me feel empowered and feeling ready during the act.”

Sex is not a generalized skill but very personalized

Marta from Poland learned that sex is not just a skill that one develops, but “that one needs to learn having sex with the specific person; that the sexual relationship is something that spouses create and build.”

Deon in Canada shared, “Intimacy in my marital relationship revealed how my spouse and I both needed to learn what we each wanted and needed individually and with one another. It has revealed how difficult and important it is to discover our needs and then to ask for and communicate them.”

Ann from Texas shared, “I wish I knew that it would take time for us to learn each other and that was good. I wish I knew that you could talk to each other while you were having sex—what feels good, what doesn’t.” Sophie from Connecticut added that sex “definitely revealed layers of selfishness and gaps in communication and understanding each other.”

Sex within a committed relationship marriage can be better than uncommitted sex

Sophie shares that she was surprised “how much better [sex] can get as intimacy and the relationships grow, contrary to the idea that wild youthful sex is the best or most perfect kind.”

Allie from the Washington D.C. area shared that she found “sex while married is drastically different from premarital sex (my husband and I hadn’t had sex with each other prior to marriage, but both had sex with other people). The commitment of marriage made it better.”

Joy from Ohio shares that she didn’t know “how talkative and ‘love drunk’” she would be afterward, or how the love they shared in intimate moments would “spill over into loving my husband in the day-to-day aspects of life.”

Briana from the Midwest shared that she learned in marriage that their sexual relationship “chemically bonds the couple, building a stronger relationship. . . . It adds a deeper layer to its function.”

Emotions play a large role in sex

Elizabeth shared that intimacy revealed, “I need more emotional connection and emotional intimacy to feel even remotely interested in sex.”

Helen from Texas shared that she wished she’d known how “sex in marriage can be hard and isn’t always ‘good.’ It’s okay and not shameful to be unhappy with your sex life and work on it with your spouse.

” She added that now she thinks “men and women experience sex so differently. I guess I ‘knew’ that, but seeing it play out in real life was a bit of sticker shock. Men are so physical but women want the emotional component.

Intimacy in marriage has been about finding how to make both of those things be present for both parties.”

Lust can get in the way of intimacy

KP shared, “I believe the social changes [surrounding sex] have hurt us. . . . I mean the distortion of sex’s importance and deep connection has been thrown out the window.

Casual sex was detrimental to my mind and body—and it led to a lot of pain and barriers to intimacy later in life. I still struggle with breaking past them all and enjoying complete pleasure due to my past.

” Briana shared that marital intimacy helped her identify she needed “healing from lust and learning that sex is not a shameful thing when appropriately lived.”

Vivian from the East Coast explained, “We’ve both been wounded by pornography and masturbation and were concerned about that.

Part of our marriage prep was meeting with a marriage counselor and something he said stood out to us: your past experiences don’t have to ruin your future experiences. You can make new memories, form new neural connections.

Even if you’re damaged, it doesn’t mean you’re tainted. Our intimacy as a married couple has helped us to heal.”

Ann shared that, “22 years into my marriage I learned my husband had a sexual addiction (pornography, infidelity, etc). Praise God he is being healed, and so are we.”

Intimacy can reveal areas that need healing

Sophie shared, “Growing in our intimate relationship revealed opportunities to grow in trust and acceptance and respect for each other, and in love for and acceptance of ourselves, some healing of body image negative patterns, and vulnerability, and much more.”

Allie shared, “I had been in abusive relationships where sex was coerced and forced, and I had a lot of mental changes and healing to do to see sex as good and healthy and generous.” Linda shared that the intimate relationship led to “deeper healing for me than what I expected regarding the effect that early sexual abuse had on my emotional health.”

Patty, who is no longer married, shared her experience: “When I was married, I realized our sexual intimacy brought up my own fears and insecurities as a woman, while also bringing back to mind sexual assault when I was in high school. When those memories started to trigger me and resurface, I quickly discovered that I had more healing to do from that experience than I realized.”

KP shared that intimacy revealed “so many” areas that needed healing: “Unresolved hurts/trauma from the past that weren’t the typical abuse per say, but incorrect forms of thinking through experiences early on. It needed to be addressed and healed, allowing intimacy to grow between us.”

Joyce shared, “Healing of my past experience with sexual manipulation and abuse was necessary for a positive marital relationship.

In the beginning, I didn't realize how much trauma-baggage I was carrying until I saw that being intimate with my husband would make me cry. He is wonderfully loving and very patient, and it was upsetting to him to see me so upset.

With his encouragement, I worked through my past hurts with a lot of prayer, talk therapy, and discussing with him exactly how I was feeling.”

Emily shared, “We’ve both been in individual counseling because of severe problems in both of our family of origins. This is helping the communications and helps us feel we’re not alone in figuring things out.”

Vulnerability is a must

Allie said a necessary element to intimacy is “radical openness and honesty.” Marta says her essentials are “trust, patience, giving ourselves time, and not making expectations.”

Joyce shared that what helped her relationship over time is “openness about everything: where you are at emotionally, what your [menstrual] cycle is doing, how things feel physically. And learning to laugh when being so vulnerable takes a turn for the embarrassing (pregnancy belches, postpartum jiggles, or exhausted-parent muscle fatigue).”

Cary says what helped her marriage intimacy is “being comfortable and knowing that my husband wants me and still chooses ME, as I do him, even with 20+ pounds and stretch marks!”

Helen shared, “Good communication is always hard, but communication surrounding intimacy is even harder. It’s hard to talk about ways to improve your sex life without it feeling it’s a blow to the other person’s ego . . .

perhaps because issues surrounding intimacy can make one seem such a failure.” Ultimately, Helen says, “it’s about you BOTH working and talking through problems, not a reflection on one person’s failing.

Intimacy should always be about the two of you together.”

Sex can be a spiritual experience

Ann shared, «I wish I knew about how spiritual it is. That it is not just a physical act.” Cary, also from Texas, shared she was surprised to experience “the spiritual aspect of sex. . . . Every time you have sex, you create a soul tie. . . .

Sex is not just physical and emotional! It’s spiritual.” KP shared, “Generally speaking mainstream media does not allude to the deep mental, emotional, and spiritual impact sex has on us as humans. . . .

[Ignoring those dimensions of sex] is doing us a disservice.”

Some added how their faith boosted their married life. Briana from the Midwest shared, “My marital relationship completely changed and became more than I dreamed when we put God in the middle [of the relationship] where he belongs.

” KP shared, “Ultimately becoming more intimate spiritually with my Creator helped me release a lot of things that I needed to in order to be intimate with my husband physically.

Also, understanding our differences as man and woman and how that contributes to a healthy sex life.”

Joy put it this way: “I don’t think I understood how sacramental sex within marriage was.” Now, she says, “We make it a point to pray together first before sex.

It has given me a deeper insight into the great depth of God’s love for me, because the love of my husband is so overwhelmingly wonderful, but yet it is insignificant compared to the great love that God has for me.

Also, we have found that when we give of ourselves completely, that then we feel the most loved.”

Over time, your sexual relationship mirrors overall relationship quality

Jane shares, “We’ve created a trust and comfort with each other that could only be achieved with the fierce commitment to each other, our marriage, and family.”

Sophie shares, “I think our challenges and relationship tough moments were played out in the intimate relationship, and in growing and working hard to have a great sexual relationship, it’s carried over and benefited all elements of our relationship.

” Sophie says it helps that they prioritize time for each other and take regular romantic getaways, even while they have small children. “I had no idea how much better and better [our intimacy] could get, as knowledge and appreciation for each other has grown.

A lot of open communication and expressing your desires as well as asking the other to voice theirs has been really helpful for us.”

Joy shared how things improved in both the relationship and intimate life as their relationship grew: “The better we know each other and are willing to give ourselves to each other the more intimate we can be with each other. When we are willing to focus on giving ourselves fully to each other, and focusing on each other more so than our own wants, we both receive greater joy from the experience.”

Vivian shared how one’s sex life is really just one part of a fruitful relationship: “If you are blessed enough to be able to have sex for 1 hour, there are still 23 other hours in a day. Make sure you’re marrying someone for the 23, and you can work together to make that 1 amazing for both of you.


Increase Intimacy — 30 Ways to Increase the Intimacy in Your Marriage

Tips for Men on Growing Intimacy in Marriage

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A Prioritized Marriage contains affiliate links. This means that I make a small commission off of purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Links are provided for your convenience.

Yesterday, I shared a secret to increase intimacy in your marriage. Intimacy as in the close , know and trust in your spouse. Because intimacy is so much more than the physical that everyone thinks about when they hear the word.

I was listening to the One Extraordinary Marriage podcast a while back. Tony and Alisa were talking about the different types of intimacy in marriage; emotional, intellectual, spiritual, experiential, financial, and physical.

I hadn’t thought about how each of these areas contribute to the strength of your relationship and the overall intimacy (, know and trust) in your marriage. How do you create intimacy in your marriage in each of areas? Don’t worry, I have some ideas for you below!

Related: 11 Ways to Pull Your Marriage an Intimacy Rut

TIP: If you’re looking for a specific way to improve the physical intimacy in your marriage, I highly suggest this book, The 7 Days of Sex Challenge, from One Extraordinary Marriage. They have an intimacy lifestyle message that has made a big difference for a lot of couples!

How to Increase Intimacy in Marriage

Related: The One Thing You Need to Know to Increase the Intimacy in Your Marriage

Increase Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is created when you share your feelings, thoughts, desires and dreams with each other.

Sit down and draw out your dream home together

Sit down and draw out your dream home together. Talk about all of your “must haves”, what you want your master suite to look and where you’re hoping to live. Make sure you share the why behind your dream home features. Draw all of your features together and save your dream home “blueprint” somewhere. Then you can pull it out and refer to it when you get to that point in your life.

Sit and talk for a while

Pick up one of these great conversation starters for couples. Asking each other one question a night will help you connect and discuss things on a deeper level than you might have normally. Using these resources means that you won’t have to think about what you want to ask each other or talk about, and you can focus on connecting.

Find a way to connect each week

Connect, beyond date night! Find something fun you can do together. You might go for a walk together, grab your favorite drink and talk in your car, play a game, or watch a new episode of your favorite show and talk about it afterward.

I love this 52 Weeks of “I Love You” card deck that provides you with a fun way to connect every single week.

These are simple things you can do amidst the chaos of life! Use code APM10 for 10% off your 52 Weeks card deck or anything else in the Inspiring Intimacy shop.

Meet weekly to talk and coordinate

Start a tradition of weekly family/couple meetings. Use that time to not only coordinate your plans for the week but talk about the things that you’ve been thinking about lately.

Don’t hold back! You can’t increase your emotional intimacy without being vulnerable with each other.

You might also consider these tips for having a “state of our marriage” meeting, which is a similar concept.

Related: Things to Discuss During Your Weekly Marriage Meetings

Create and build your love maps

Use the app, Gottman Card Decks, from The Gottman Institute.

This app has suggestions and questions for discussing sex, expressing needs to your spouse, learning to listen, letting your spouse know they are appreciated, create love maps, and more.

Love maps are Gottman’s term for getting to know your spouse’s world and continuing to get to know them as they grow and change throughout life.

Related: Eight Easy Ways to Flirt with Your Spouse

Increase Intellectual Intimacy

Intellectual intimacy is created by learning together. This learning usually relates to an important issue, topic or interest in your marriage.

Learn something together

Learn something together! Take a community class, take continuing education at a local college, or pick up a book from the bookstore about a topic that you’re both interested in.

Find a new mutual hobby

Research a mutual hobby that you have. If you to grill we do in our marriage, watch videos, research rubs and sauces, create a new recipe, etc. Maybe you’re planting a garden for the first time this year; find out everything that you can about the things that you are growing and successful gardening in general.

Related: 10+ Hobbies for Married Couples to Enjoy Together

Start a book club for your marriage

Read a book together, fiction or non-fiction. Take turns reading a chapter together every night and talk about it after you’re finished. I know a few couples who get two copies of the same book.

They read it separately and then sit down and discuss the book at the end. It’s kind of a mini book club! You might even have the person who picked the book come up with questions to talk about together.

Related: Starting a Book Club in Your Marriage

Take a class to improve your marriage

Take a class on a topic that the two of you are struggling with or can’t seem to get on the same page about. This might be a budgeting or finance class, parenting class for toddlers or teenagers, or a health issue that someone in your family is facing. Learn everything you can and work together to support each other in the different areas of your lives.

Related: Six Apps Every Couple Should Have on Their Phone

Increase Spiritual Intimacy

Spiritual intimacy is built around your shared religious beliefs and they way you choose to practice your religion together.

Work through a couple’s devotional

Find a couple’s devotional to go through together. Read your devotional together each morning, or before you go to bed at night. Really take the time to discuss your thoughts and what you’ve learned. One popular couple’s devotional out there is The Love Dare. But I know there are others you can find just by searching online or asking other couples in your religious community.

Study your religious text

Study the scriptures together. Work your way through them chapter by chapter, study scriptures on specific topics or study different stories. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t quite understand a concept.

And be open to learning from each other and hearing what the other spouse has to say. Everyone receives different impressions and absorbs different things from what we read, even at different times in our lives.

We can learn a lot by taking notes and sharing our insight with each other.


You can pray together. And you should be praying for each other.

Go to church

Attend church services together weekly and discuss the things you learned over lunch afterward.

Talk about religion

Discuss how you plan to incorporate your religion into your home and family as it grows. How will you encourage your children to grow a testimony of their own and explore their own spiritual beliefs?

Attend other faith worship services

Attend worship services for other faiths. Go with the idea that you will participate fully in their services. And have an open mind to the things they have to share.

Maybe do a little research about the faith before attending, so you have a basic knowledge going in and can ask questions to learn deeper while you are there. Look for the ways that your two religions are the same.

And be curious and kind, not defensive or judgmental about why their religion believes the way that they do. Go with a goal to learn, understand and accept.

Related: How Having a Set Bedtime Could Benefit Your Marriage

Increase Experiential Intimacy

Experiential intimacy is created by actively enjoying life together and participating in various activities.

Be active

Find something active that you to do together.

Maybe you to go to the gym together, go on hikes every weekend, go on a family bike ride or buy roller blades and hold hands while you skate around the neighborhood.

You might participate in a sport soccer, swimming or softball and join a team together. Or join separate teams and watch each other play. Maybe you simply take walks together every night as the sun is setting.

Add culture to your dates

Add some culture to your date nights. Go to the opera, a play, see a musical, attend a concert, or visit a local museum. Become season ticket holders or members at one of the venues. This could be a great gift that you purchase for yourselves each year for Christmas, to enhance your relationship and your lives in the coming year.

Plan active date nights

Every other date night, do something a little more active than dinner and a movie or different than your regular date night activities. Go on a hike, go bowling, play mini golf, go skiing, etc.

Make a meal together

Share the kitchen and make a meal together on a regular basis. You might choose to work together on all aspects of the meal.

Or assign each spouse to different tasks (main dish, sides, dessert) so you’re not stepping on toes. You could also buy various cookbooks online and work your way through them together.

Learning to make new dishes or mastering a specific way of cooking (grilling, smoking, baking, slow cooker, pressure cooker, etc.)

Related: 13 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive in Your Marriage

Increase Financial Intimacy

Financial intimacy is created by making a plan for your money and being willing to communicate in the process.

Create a budget

Talk about your finances! Create a budget monthly, set financial goals, and consider combining your bank accounts. Have a budget meeting each week while you get the hang of things. Then pull back and have your meetings every pay day.

Talk about money

Have these four financial discussions before you get married (or after if you are already married). Make sure you are not one of the 45% of couples surveyed who have no idea how much money their spouse makes.

Pay off debt

Discuss how you will tackle debt together, if you have any. Viewing your debt as a team will make you more successful when trying to pay it off. Find some sort of chart you can use to track your progress. Then set rewards for different milestones along the way.

Talk about your financial future

Talk about your family’s financial future and make a plan. This post talks about five things that we’ve talked about and are preparing for in the future. If your finances are the goals that you have, you will be more ly to manage them well.

Take a finance course

Take a finance course together to help you get on the same page financially. The way you talk about money in marriage is a lot about what you value and your goals.

But it’s also emotional and can become a stressful topic. I love the Family Finance Rescue course from Pennies into Pearls. I have personally taken that course with my husband.

It has helped to get us get back on the same page and working toward our financial goals again.

Related: Why You Need to be a Team with Your Finances, ALWAYS

Increase Physical Intimacy

Physical intimacy is created through meaningful and loving physical touch.

Share a 10 second kiss

Make your good-bye, hello and good night kisses last ten seconds every day. Kiss each other you mean it, and you did when you were dating.

Hold hands

Grab your spouse’s hand while you watch TV, when you’re out on a date, in the car, on your walks, and as you fall asleep at night.

Hug each other

Give each other a long hug every day, for no other reason than just to hug. Simply hold your spouse. Don’t talk, don’t be anxious to let go, just enjoy being held by each other.

Be affectionate always

Show affection in front of your children, this study says that it’s good for their health.

Related: Why Your Kids Need You to Prioritize Your Marriage

Share meaningful touch

Reach out and touch your spouse’s arm or give them a little squeeze as you walk past each other throughout the day.

Play a fun game together

There are a lot of great games out there created with the goal of helping couples connect in new ways physically. I personally love The Game of Love, 12 Days of Flirty Foreplay, and Inspiring Intimacy. They’ll help you explore your physical connection and step away from your normal routine. You can use code APM10 to get 10% off anything in the Inspiring Intimacy shop.

Related: Why Your Spouse Needs at Least 8 Meaningful Touches a Day

When you think about intimacy in your marriage, remember that there’s more to it than what happens in the bedroom. The definition of intimacy has a lot more depth to it than what the media and the rest of the world might tell us there is. Increasing your intimacy in each of the six areas listed above will help to create a better, stronger, and more intimate marriage.

What other things do you and your spouse do to increase intimacy in these six areas?


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