Sunday, November 24, 2013 – Day 17: Love Promotes Intimacy
Think about the person who is closest to you. Perhaps it’s a friend you’ve known since you were a kid, or a sibling, co-worker, or a parent. Yet nothing can come close to the closeness that can be achieved between a husband and a wife. Marriage is supposed to be the most intimate of any other relationships in an emotional, physical and spiritual sense.
We want to have a best friend who we can share everything with; to whom we can open our hearts and have them be a person who understands who we are. We can tell them our deepest secrets and know that no matter what, they will still accept us. It means being “fully known and fully loved.”
It’s unfortunate that many marriages lack that today. But, just as rewarding as having this type of relationship can be, there are also drawbacks. This person has either the ability to love us to an extent we never could have imagined, or conversely, can hurt us to depths we may never be able to recover from. Therefore, it’s essential that we create a safe place in our marriage where being intimate can really grow and thrive.
Does intimacy thrive in your marriage? Do you talk with one another openly or do you keep yourself closed off? Do you trust one another with your secrets? We need to create that environment in our marriage, otherwise there will be a large void. Despite the current situation in your relationship, if you allow love in, it can help you rediscover how to be intimate with your spouse. When you marry, you bring your personal baggage and flaws to the table. Yet, you need to still push forward, beyond those things that can hold you back.
We need to learn to accept our spouse for who they are, even if there are things about them we don’t like. We need to make the choice to accept them and let them know they can come to us with their mistakes and we will not judge them as a result. Unless they feel safe to do so, they will close themselves off.
This depth of intimacy can take a long time to build. But in time, it can come. Start listening to them, start talking openly. Accept them genuinely and love them deeply. The time you invest will be worth it. The more you give, the more you will receive. That bond will forever be strengthened and a connection will form that no one can break.
Dare of day 17:
Questions for pondering: Given that the safer people feel, the more they open up, what does this say about your marriage in the past? How hard is it for you to listen and hold back from saying something critical or otherwise? What have you learned about your spouse today, simply from listening?
I know that in the past I may not have listened as well as I should have when Scott spoke to me. I know that sometimes I would be distracted with other things or (admittedly) zone out at times, (in my defense, this happened the most when I was really in my ED…another reason it’s good to get rid of it) and didn’t listen as attentively as I should have…which I feel badly about. But I’ve been really working on it lately. I want to listen to him now. I want to hear what he has to say, what he’s thinking, what he’s feeling. So I listen, I really truly listen.
We didn’t get much of a chance to talk today. He went up to the Packers game and I went to the symphony with my family, so we only chatted briefly. But yesterday I actually got the opportunity to let him open up to me after we saw Catching Fire. It was nice just listening to him and letting him share something with me that he never shared with anyone before. It’s good to know he felt comfortable enough doing so. I hope he continues to share things with me like that. It really makes me feel closer to him. I love that feeling.
Day 17 down, 23 to go!