Christian Counselor Seattle
I would like to take you on a brief journey of how these couples have been able to accomplish their goal of having a marriage that has reached new levels of emotional intimacy. My hope is that you will find this information helpful in learning how to do the same.
Defining Emotional Intimacy
The starting point in our journey is defining emotional intimacy. Here is one of the best ways I have found to define emotional intimacy in a marriage:
An emotionally intimate marriage is one in which spouses can literally discuss any aspect of their relationship, without reservation, and feel absolutely safe in doing so.
Many of you reading this article may wonder how to even start the process of building this kind of marriage. The truth is that it takes time, practice, and a heart that is willing to risk being “naked” in front of your spouse. This may sound intimidating, but taking the risk of allowing yourself to be truly exposed, open, and vulnerable with your spouse is an essential component of experiencing a healthy emotional intimacy in your marriage.
Creating a Secure Foundation of Trust
Having defined emotional intimacy, we can begin to address the second part of our journey, creating a secure foundation of trust. A secure trust serves as the basis for increased levels of emotional intimacy in any marriage. It is the bedrock upon which spouses stand when they venture into taking the risk of being truly open with each another.
Creating this level of trust largely depends on how married couples interact with each other day by day. Every time spouses respond to each other with kindness and respect, communicate with each other by slowing down and taking the time to listen to what each member is going through, and regularly affirm their love for each other, they continually strengthen the trust between them.
Couples who refuse to engage with each other in this way, or who engage in gross violations of trust (i.e., infidelity, using pornography, or any form of dishonesty) ultimately block the trust-building process. My experience in working with married couples who are seeking to recover from instances of broken trust has shown that they are able to establish great levels of intimacy. However, the process is clearly more difficult, and painful, as trust has to be rebuilt from the ground level.
Exploring Their Potential For IntimacyWhen trust is established, it leads to the safety that couples need in order to embark on the final part of their journey. This process includes wading into sharing their deeper needs, longings, hurts, and desires with each other in a much more intimate or “emotionally naked” manner.
It is an incredibly honoring experience to see spouses share their hearts with one another in a way that, for many, is unlike anything they have ever experienced in their relationship. Ultimately, they come away from these experiences with a greater sense of their potential to create a deep and lasting intimacy in their marriage.
Seeking Christian Counseling to Help Build Greater Intimacy
Christian counseling can be a very effective resource in helping you learn how to build greater intimacy in your marriage. If you and your spouse would like more information on starting the Christian counseling process or additional information on my clinical practice, please visit our website at seattlechristiancounseling.com.
The photos in this article are the sole property of Eric J. Gomez, MS LMFT MHP.
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