Can Your Marriage Survive an Affair? More on Intimacy

There is no fixed blueprint for intimacy.  It varies from person to person, relationship to relationship.  We each have our own set of needs that create intimacy for us.  The more our needs are met by our spouse, the more intimate we feel towards them.  Needs and intimacy go hand-in-hand.  Do you know what your needs are?  Do you know what makes your spouse feel the most intimate towards you?

I’m pretty simple in my needs (I think) and my desire for intimacy. Conversation and attention are my greatest needs, although I do love when Rick does chores around the house or fixes things for me.  Sitting in church with him is also a huge intimacy builder; I always feel very close to him when we worship together or study God’s word.  Praying together, though, may be the ultimate intimacy builder for me.

It’s very important to figure out what needs bring intimacy fulfillment to you and to your spouse.  If you don’t know, sit down and write it out.  It’s not hard to figure out what makes you feel the closest to your honey.  Know what works for him, and let him know what works for you.  Be sure to do the needs survey at the end of this post.

Although I’m basically talking about emotional needs here, I have to mention the physical need of sex.  Sex is the culmination of all intimacy.  It is the physical illustration of two joining as one.  There is power in this act that melts away the bad emotions when two married people join together in a mutually satisfying experience.

“Mutually satisfying” is very important here, because without it, sex becomes a chore, a weapon.  If you resolve issues in the bedroom, chances are that the rest will fall in place.

Genesis 2:18 tells us, “The Lord God said, “It is not good for a man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.””  God intended for man and woman to be in a relationship.  Vs. 24 -“And they will become one flesh.”

Intimacy strengthens love, and without either, it is difficult to stay joined as one flesh.  And so, we have to continuously work on maintaining levels of intimacy that will enhance our love.

Intimacy is an absolute need for human beings (and for healthy marriages).  That is part of the reason God made Eve for Adam.

When we don’t work on building intimacy, we gradually pull away from our oneness with our spouse.  We begin to build a wall that makes intimacy more difficult to obtain, and we stop trying to take care of our spouse’s needs.  This is the point where many turn to another person outside of marriage to fulfill the need for intimacy. 

If you want to make your marriage “affair proof”, make sure you are fulfilling each other’s needs, especially when it comes to sex. 

We tend to assume our spouse’s needs are the same as our own.  We even take great pride in our efforts to fulfill them, believing we know exactly what they need.  Meanwhile, their true needs go unmet.  Make sure you know your spouse’s needs.

Below is a list of the ten basic emotional needs.  Feel free to add other needs you may feel are also essential to your marital happiness.  Rank these needs in order of importance to you, #1 being your top need.  Which one would make you the happiest?  Then 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so forth.

Have your spouse rank their needs, too and be sure to compare notes.  You may be surprised how little you know about each other’s needs.

Domestic Support
Honesty and Openness
Attractiveness of Spouse
Financial Support
Family Commitment
Recreational Companionship
Sexual Fulfillment                                                                                                                                               

Sustaining intimacy in a marriage requires constant effort and is essential for a healthy, affair-proof relationship.

* More to come on surviving an affair!


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