When it comes to intimacy, people usually jump right to sex. Obviously, intimacy has a lot to do with sex. And it can lead to that but, in my opinion, intimacy is more about being close. Liking each other and wanting to spend time with each other—that's what intimacy means to me.
Brian and I are close, and I share that with my followers on social media. So I get asked a lot, "How do we keep intimacy and closeness alive, even when we have one thousand children?"
It's time to stop putting intimacy on the back burner, leaving room for it to occur only after the kids are in bed. You absolutely MUST keep that fire burning ALL. DAY. LONG! You want to be excited to spend that time together once the kids are asleep.
So, let's dive in mamas!
1. Get the overly romanticized, intimate relationship out of your head
It is so easy to have super high expectations that the time you're going to spend with your husband is going to be SO romantic. That your husband is going to want to open up and share all these things with you. But maybe he had a an awful day, and he may have no clue what you want.
Rather than setting yourself up for failure and probably an argument, get out of your head. Let go of your expectations and this overly romantic view of how time should be spent with your husband, and just enjoy the time you have.
2. Communicate throughout the day
Don't complicate it, yo! It doesn't have to be face to face communication. It can be texting or sharing something that's funny, or just making the time to call during a lunch break. You want to keep that closeness, so that it feels like you are there with one another throughout the day.
Brian and I feel like we have better days when we actually take the time to connect, especially when it's a date night. When you've been chatting on and off all day, you kind of feel like the pressure's off, and you can just enjoy your time together.
3. Make time for each other
Life. Gets. Busy. That's why you need to make your relationship a priority. Trust me, if you get to the end of the week and haven't done anything with each other, you're going to feel disconnected.
Make the time to connect, to share, to talk about the day or the things that are going on. Take time to just decompress without the kids.
This can be really helpful for those who have spouses who work outside the home. You'll both know that you get to stop working, the kids will be asleep and you'll be able to do something together.
One of mine and Brian's favorite things to do is sit down on the couch, after the kids are in bed and we've cleaned up a bit, have a snack and watch some shows on Netflix. It just feels so good to connect this way!
4. Be okay with scheduled intimacy
It's not unromantic or anti-spontaneous OR unhealthy to schedule in time for sex or just alone time. It's actually really romantic because it shows that you're prioritizing each other enough to let it hold space on the calendar.
Brian and I have date night scheduled once a week. We're in the season of being able to leave the house and go out on date nights every single week. It hasn't always been like that, though. There were times when I'd have to do some work after the kids were in bed, and it always felt off and weird if we didn't spend that time together.
You need to make it work for you. If you have to take some time in the middle of the day, if that's when the kids have their quiet time and your spouse is home, use it to veg out together and hit reset. (It's always worth it!)
5. Be friends
Ever since Brian and I met, we've been friends, and have developed into best friends. There are so many things we can do together because we like a lot of the same things. At the same time, there are times when we don't like the same things, or don't really care what the other person is talking about.
But how would a friend act? You need to take a step outside of the marital aspect and ask yourself, "What would a friend do?"
They might hang out together or listen to one another. You have to be respectful of each other. I think when people get married, they get way too comfortable and end up being really rude. If it were your friend and not your husband, you'd never say, "I literally don't give two craps about what you're talking about right now, and I want to talk about me."
So, listen to each other, schedule time to be together, doing whatever you love to do.
Tips for scheduling more intimacy into your day-to-day life
1. Put your kids in their place
Your relationship with each other is the number one priority. You came together, married, started a life together, and the kids came after that. Your closeness and relationship is first! Set the kids up with an activity, and then take that time to spend together!
2. Choose a time of day that works best for both of you
Your time together doesn't always have to be at night. When Brian worked outside the home, we'd start our day together because he didn't need to start until noon. We'd feed the kids, get them set up with their school work, and then find a quiet spot in the house to have coffee together and talk.
3. Don't underestimate couch time
This is time before the kids head to bed. This ties into the first tip: putting your kids secondary to your relationship. This is comforting and healthy for the kids to see that their parents prioritize each other. After dinner, just sit on the couch together and talk while the kids play. Don't allow them to interrupt you unless there's an emergency or somebody's bleeding to death or something.
4. Choose a time once a week for prolonged time together
Make it an actual purposeful date. This will look different for every couple, depending on each budget and the season of life, but just set time aside to be together.
5. Communicate that your goal is to be closer to your spouse.
Don't come at this from a combative spot by saying something like "We never do anything." It can almost feel like you're saying, "You suck." Try something more like, "I want to be closer to you, really bad. How can we do that?" Then, talk about what you'd each like to do, and agree on something realistic that you can both look forward to.
Alright, friends. I hope you find this super useful! I hope it answered all of your questions and inspires you guys to open the door to an awesome February that's going to be full of love and intimacy in marriage.
Originally posted on Allie Casazza.