Many couples struggle with creating more trust and intimacy in their relationships. Life circumstances, the pressures of work, financial issues, and the stress of raising a family, can all contribute to reducing the feelings of intimacy between you and your partner. Luckily, there are many tools and strategies you can use to increase the intimacy and trust in your relationship.
Intimacy is directly related to trust and communication. When you feel safe enough to communicate what you are truly feeling to your partner, it opens up the door for greater intimacy. Often times a breakdown in communication creates stress, tension, and a feeling of separation between people. A style of communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg, uses a four-step process to open up the lines of communication and develop greater empathy, compassion, and intimacy in relationship. These steps include; making an objective observation about a circumstance, clearly communicating your feelings using “I” statements, identifying an unmet need that you have, and lastly, making a realistic request to your partner regarding what you need. The process requires practice and takes time to implement. The book by the same name, explains the process of Non-violent Communication in-depth, and can be found from most online book sellers.
Taking time each day to meditate with your partner can create an opening for greater connection. Sit with your partner in a peaceful environment with dimmed lights and free from noise. Sit cross-legged, or in a chair, for 20 to 30 minutes, focusing your attention on your breath, and relaxing your body with every exhalation. When the meditation is finished, discuss with your partner how the meditation felt. By spending this relaxing time unwinding, it can create a foundation for greater intimacy and connection.
Deep Breathing Exercise
Using the breath is an ancient technique to balance energy and release tension in the body. Using breathing techniques with your partner could be considered a form of tantra, and can increase intimacy between you and your partner. Begin by sitting cross-legged facing one another, matching your breathing by taking deep, slow, and natural inhalations and exhalations together. As you breathe, allow your body to relax and feel the peaceful feelings of sharing this experience with someone you care about. If your mind becomes active, refocus your attention on your breath. Allow your body to soften and relax as you breathe, feeling your energy field expanding and merging with the energy of your partner. The key is to keep your attention down in your body and on your breath, rather than in the mind. It may help to have some physical contact with your partner, such as placing your palms together, or sitting so that your knees are touching.
A fun way to create more connection and to deepen intimacy in relationship is through sharing a yoga practice together. You can either do yoga together, or do yoga stretches together that are specific to partner yoga. These involve using eachother’s bodies to help one another stretch. These are fun and playful stretches that can be done at home, or in a partner yoga class. A yoga class may be an ideal place to start, so that you get the foundation for the poses.
Couples counseling is often thought of as a last resort when tension and conflict has gotten extreme in relationship. Counseling, however, can be a tool that can help build intimacy and greater connection before conflict arises. Sessions will often focus on strategies for increasing communication and trust, using practical tools and techniques for deepening intimacy. Intimacy occurs naturally when two people feel safe, relaxed, and supported in a happy and joyful way. There are numerous ways to achieve this, and taking the time to experiment and investigate the various strategies will yield the most effective results. If the first exercise you try doesn’t feel like a good fit, try another one. It’s important not to get discouraged, and also not to put too much pressure on yourself to feel intimacy with your partner. Remember, intimacy happens naturally when you relax and start having a bit more fun.
Mica provides holistic counseling for couples, as well as spiritual counseling and holistic counseling for individuals.