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5 Ways To Build Emotional Intimacy For Couples

5 Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy for Couples

Everyone needs to feel important to someone. Denying a spouse individual time forces them to seek it elsewhere. Avoid that by following these 5 ways to build emotional intimacy for couples.

Have you considered what it would be like to exist in two places at once? Think about what happens when you’re at work. While you spend your time crunching cases and wooing clients, you’re in two places at once. With every quick email, positive phone conversation, and scheduled office consultation, you’re reaching out to your clients and coworkers, and as a result, they feel needed and appreciated. Your efforts are not going unnoticed. What do you think compels them to refer your services to their colleagues, friends, and family? It’s the message that continues to ring in their ears: you CARE about them. Every time we invest ourselves by intentionally communicating with another person it leaves an indelible impression on the other person. The thought that we “CARE about them” echoes in their mind. This is how we can “live” in two places at once.

We may succeed at entrenching this message in our clients’ minds and hearts, but lest we forget, someone at home also wants and needs to feel needed and appreciated. The following daily emotional checklist for couples promotes togetherness by collecting thoughtful, unique, and meaningful moments. Showing that we care means getting involved, making the space, and setting aside the time to make our relationships momentous. To ensure that your spouse’s emotional needs are being met daily, the five following areas need consideration.

5 Must Have’s to Foster Emotional Intimacy For Couples:

1. Use Daily Touch to Create Emotional Intimacy

Physical touch meets an emotional need. It is a way of communicating emotional love and a powerful vehicle to communicate marital love. Physical touch must be mutually enjoyable. A spouse who is not getting enough physical touch in appropriate ways will often become emotionally withdrawn. If your spouse finds hugs too obtrusive, find other ways to touch her: pat her back, sit close to her on the couch, stroke her finger when you pass her something, etc. Daily soft touches will be fondly remembered and will greatly enhance intimacy between you and your spouse.

2. Create Undivided Moments

Giving someone undivided and focused attention tells him that he is important as an individual. He or she is more important than the ringing phone, the laundry, the messy floor, or the crying baby. This attention builds connection and trust. This time does not necessarily need to be hours — even ten minutes is effective. In times of trouble, your spouse will turn to a person who made him feel important. Everyone needs to feel important to someone. Denying a spouse individual time forces him to seek it elsewhere. What should you do with your spouse? Whether it be a spontaneous moment or a fixed time, make sure it’s mutually enjoyable. You can play a game together, go for a walk, or just sit and talk. If it’s mutually enjoyable, you can even do your finances together. Even talking together while you wash the dishes counts. The key here is to focus. Let the phone ring. Let the children whine. Be your spouse’s pillar of strength, providing him or her with emotional security.

3. Practice Unconditional Giving to Strengthen Emotional Intimacy

It’s important to engage in giving without expectations or strings attached. Once every ten days to two weeks you should give your spouse something just because you love her. If you are expecting even a “thank you,” then it’s not unconditional. The giving does not have to be a tangible object. It can be a favor — doing the laundry one day because you see she’s tired, going against your nature to do something you really think your spouse would appreciate. This should only be done every two weeks or so because too much unconditional giving can backfire. For example, if you make your spouse’s bed one morning (if this is usually “her job”) because you see she is running late — that is an unconditional act of kindness. However, if you continue to do this for the next two weeks, she will come to expect it. When we give something unconditionally, we have to point it out because she will not necessarily notice. Involve your spouse. Let her in on the plan. Direct her attention towards it so she will come to appreciate it. The goal is to make your spouse feel loved, appreciated, accepted, and understood.

4. Focus on Appreciation

According to Malini Bhatia, Founder and CEO of, appreciation is key to any healthy relationship. Spend five minutes a day mentally appreciating your spouse. This doesn’t have to be in one chunk of time. This is for ourselves and done by ourselves mentally. Focusing our attention on appreciation of our spouse helps combat anger, frustration, worry, negativity, and overwhelming feelings of daily life. Recalling his or her unique qualities helps us focus on what a gift our spouse truly is. Don’t get to the point at which you have to lose something to appreciate it. Find joy in what you have NOW.

5. Use Positive Energy to Build Emotional Intimacy

Time together should start and end with positive energy. When we use words of positive encouragement, respect, love, and independence it fosters positive energy in the relationship. Practice praising each other sincerely based on the amount of effort expended and not the outcome. Avoid giving attention in a negative way such as nagging, criticizing, judging. You can judge your level of positivity by setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes, then reflecting on how much positivity there was in those 15 minutes. Remember, happy people, want to make others happy, and a happy home motivates spouses to want to make each other happy.

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Zichron Yaakov, Israel
"Free yourself from the foreign thoughts and unhealthy behaviors that have been keeping your true self at bay."
"Free yourself from the foreign thoughts and unhealthy behaviors that have been keeping your true self at bay."

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Shimshon Meir Frankel

Rabbi Shimshon Meir Frankel is a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist with over twenty-five years of experience in helping others navigate their relationships — with their families and with themselves. He is recognized for his work in developing strategic, outcome-focused psychotherapies and innovative online short-term solutions, which provide people with the necessary tools to develop better skills for coping and problem solving, as well as other key life-management skills. He is renowned for his advanced clinical applications of mindfulness and imagery. Rabbi Frankel is a passionate advocate for redefining how we think about and treat peoples’ problems, especially the most common ones of anxiety and depression. Rabbi Frankel lives in Zichron Yaakov, Israel, with his wife and children.

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