7 Tips for Greater Intimacy in Marriage

by | Aug 24, 2015 | Marriage | 27 comments

Thank you for your responses to last week’s survey! Your words brought a smile to my face and a lump to my throat. I appreciate your honesty and encouragement and will seek to address your questions and suggested topics in future posts. Today, I relate the differences in how my poodles interact with me to developing a sweeter intimacy in marriage.


Before breakfast, before a rawhide chew, and before play—Max, my male poodle, leans his big body into mine and groans with ecstasy. My grandfather used to say, “Grunt big,” when he embraced us. Max grunts big.

On the other hand, work comes before affection for our female fluff-ball. Cosette has earned the title “Secretary of Squirrel.” With military posture, she watches over the bird-feeder from her post at our kitchen window. She ignores any attempt to engage her. Her body tenses when a squirrel appears; she looks to me and zips to the front door where she can sneak around back for a surprise attack. After she’s chased them off, she trots in smiling, tail wagging. Now she’ll connect with me.

Does one dog love me better than the other? After Max’s effusive morning greeting, he assumes his independent mode. Cosette is the one who comes when I call. After watching her obey, “Mr. Independent” will mosey towards me. Throughout the day, Cosette gently nudges me and settles at my feet.

What would my relationship with my dogs be like if I expected them to love me a certain way? What if I got my nose out of joint when Cosette chased squirrels before greeting me? What if Max’s independence hurt my feelings? You can be sure I wouldn’t enjoy my pets very much, and they wouldn’t enjoy me if I squelched their personalities.

How does this relate to intimacy in marriage? Sexual intimacy is usually higher on a husband’s list of ways to express closeness. It trumps food, work, and play. It taps his desire to be emotionally close.

Emotional connection is usually higher on a wife’s list. When she feels emotionally connected to her man she’s more open to physical closeness. But when she is worn out and emotionally empty, sex becomes another duty on her never-ending to-do list.

So how do we bridge the gap?

7 Tips for Connecting

  • Guard your thoughts. What we focus on grows, and emotions follow thoughts. Do you want to feed your disappointments or the good in your relationship? “Dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8, TLB).
  • Give sincere compliments. Say “Thank you” and “I love you” often.
  • Develop your friendship and reestablish trust. If hurt has created distance, take small steps. Sit close. Hold hands.
  • Schedule one night a week for couple time. Turn off the computer and cell phone. Play a game, watch a movie, take a walk, or read to each other. If there are children in the home, tell them this is your date night. That means you won’t answer homework questions or talk with them after a specified time.
  • Cultivate spiritual intimacy. Discuss a Scripture passage or devotional. Pray together. Share what God is doing in your life. Proverbs is a great book to discuss.
  • Keep fun in your relationship. Laugh often. “A joyful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22, NASB).

I appreciate Max and Cosette’s individual personalities, even though they sometimes frustrate me. I’m also glad God made men and women different from each other, even though our differences sometimes challenge us. Embracing them produces a deeper love than fleeting passion.

Question: What helps you build and maintain intimacy in your marriage?

Click here to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson


For more on this topic you might enjoy Kevin Leman’s book Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Linking to: #Reflectlinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Titus2Tuesday, #IntentialTuesday,  #InspireMeMonday, #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  Counting My Blessings, #WordswithWinter









More From This Category

My Sweet, Serving Valentine

My Sweet, Serving Valentine

I'm delighted to have my friend and fellow author Dawn Wilson inspire us with thoughts on her Valentine this week. Also, I think you will enjoy her post on "Was Valentine's Day Pagan or Christian?" Now here's Dawn. Love That Digs In to Serve Bob has been the love of...

read more
Do You Expect Your Spouse to Read Your Mind?

Do You Expect Your Spouse to Read Your Mind?

Most people agree it isn't fair to expect someone to read your mind. But how many of us have expected our spouses to accomplish that impossible feat? Larry and I returned from our honeymoon excited to begin our new life together. I’d never found it hard to live with a...

read more



  1. Carmen Horne-carmenhorne.com

    Debbie your tips on intimacy were so to point. I love how God made my fella and I so different. Maybe I should say I have “learned” to love that about us 🙂 I especially related to point 4. Re-establishing intimacy. It can be done but it must be purposeful. Never underestimate holding hands!

    Love Dr. Leman’s book. We have owned it for years. Very helpful reading.

    Glad I was your neighbor at #raralinkup! Blessings friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Carmen, Well said, I think we do have to learn to love some of our differences. When we trust God’s wisdom and embrace them, life is so much nicer! Thanks for visiting twice!

  2. Carmen Horne-carmenhorne.com

    Hey again friend! We are neighbors at Testimony Tuesday as well. You think God is trying to remind me of something! 🙂

  3. Pam

    Thanks, Debbie, for these excellent reminders. Oftentimes if our lives are very busy we can fall prey to barely even noticing or thinking about this man we love. We fail to notice the feel of his arms around us, the sound of his voice from the other room, and the little evidences of his love throughout our week when we are busy or have a mindset of what this whole intimacy thing should look like. When we dated him, we noticed everything!! What are we noticing about him?

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, those are excellent thoughts. To remember the thrill we felt when we first fell in love and savor the man we have.

  4. ~ linda

    Reminders like these are good for me. A few I had not even thought about and have just taken certain things for granted. That should not be done and I want to tell my sweet husband some things I feel, hold hands more, and NOT take these simple things for granted after 22 years. Thanks so much and glad you are a neighbor at Intentional Tuesday.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Linda. It is too easy to fall into auto pilot and miss the wonder and joy of what we have.

  5. Samantha Landrus

    I have taken up running (!!!!) to establish intimacy with my husband. Our kiddos are getting older and I realized we were running in opposite directions. After a heartbreaking season of personal growth and a quick realization that it wasn’t all his fault, we have found our way back to running the same road. I’m thankful for our differences. I think we smooth each other’s rough edges. Thank you for sharing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Samantha, That’s a wonderful idea! Thanks for expanding our thinking. My husband definitely balances me. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Kim Adams Morgan

    Love this post. Great tips for reconnecting with the one you love. Love and marriage require daily nurturing to help them grow and blossom.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kim, you are right. All living things need daily nurturing. Why would we think our marriages are any different?

  7. Bethany

    Hi Debbie!

    I love this. We only have one dog. But, we actually were looking for another when he surprised us. He’s 12 lbs. We were looking for a big dog. He’s cuddly and quiet. We were looking for a dog who would guard us and want to run around a lot.

    But, the same could be said for my husband and I. We weren’t what either of us expected -but my what a blessing when the Lord surprises us with what’s best. I love what you have to say about not quenching personalities and our individual nature (especially in relation to gender!)

    Thanks for the wise words!


    • Debbie Wilson

      Bethany, So true—”what a blessing when the Lord surprises us with what’s best.” I found that applies to parenting too. We certainly aren’t puppets. God’s design is so much better!

  8. Kathy

    Visiting from #TestimonyTuesday.. love your analogy of the doggies with relationship issues! Thank you for your thoughts on marriage, we always need reminders to be better spouses.. I’m convicted! I need to say I “love you” more often!!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kathy, thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to engage!

  9. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    Well, no wonder Max likes to drive. He’s independent. I can relate! And I love “Secretary of Squirrels.” We can learn so much from our canine friends! I often marvel at how certain things become habits, and how they seem to be able to tell time (feeding time!). Don’t we do the same in marriage? A certain thing or routine becomes a habit, and it can either nurture the marriage or drive the spouse crazy! Great post. Love the bit about the dogs.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Mary. Ironic we both wrote on canines today. 🙂

  10. Anita Ojeda

    These are all great suggestions, Debbie! I would add something about partnership–remember that you’re in life together–to uphold and encourage and support and to share. Partners are equal, but bring different talents to the table.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Anita, great addition. Thanks so much!

  11. Crystal Storms

    Debbie, I love the intimacy tips. I so agree that scheduling couple time allows things to happen naturally because you have time to connect. And praying together has definitely drawn us closer to one another. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

    • Debbie Wilson

      Crystal, thank you again for sharing your platform and encouraging us!

  12. Janet

    Hi Debbie – I smiled as I was reading about your dogs. We had two at the same time for awhile, different breeds, but same idea…they definitely showed us attention and love through their own personalities. And the story was a perfect analogy for demonstrating our own love to our spouses. I’m guilty of not always using saying ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ to my husband. It may spring from being SO familiar with each other – but I think it’s a nice way to show that I really do love and respect him. Rather than being sloppy casual, I should try my very best behavior – not stiff-formal – but mannerly. I’m glad I was your neighbor at Thought-Provoking Thursday.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Janet, you’re so right; sometimes familiarity can promote sloppy manners with those we cherish, and we need to guard against it. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Ann

    As always Debbie these are wonderful tips. I especially love the way you related them to your beautiful dogs! I loved what you said: When we focus on our disappointments, they expand. Very true – after 32 years of marriage I can attest to the truth of what you’ve shared here. My husband and I see things very differently and while that can sometimes be frustrating – I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way!) to appreciate his point of view and often I’ve seen something I would’ve otherwise missed. Communication and understanding are so important.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I agree, “Communication and understanding are so important.” And as much as I think my way is better, it is not! Larry has certainly helped me live a more balanced life.

  14. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    Love this post! Totally bookmarking to return to every now and then. As newylweds, my husband and I don’t run into this too often, but I can imagine with time the need to cultivate intimacy will become even greater.

  15. Danielle

    I really appreciated this blog post! I want to share this in my weekly series called “Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday” – I share bloggers’ amazing posts that I’ve found during the week. I hope that’ ok! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Refreshing Faith Blog

Pin It on Pinterest