Lack of Intimacy in Relationship or Marriage

Lack of intimacy in relationship or marriage can be from the husband or wife’s viewpoint.

Lack of intimacy could be verbal or sexual. Are you trying to figure out what to do about your marriage with no intimacy, and where does it come from? Let’s focus on what I hear the most, which is an internal struggle people have with feelings. They feel as though something is wrong with them or something is wrong with their spouse. The internal sense of feeling, “am I outside of the norm? Is the norm having this trouble?” The external struggle of what is going on is, “is my partner having an affair? Should we be going on more trips? Should I take more time off work?” They’re focusing on what to do about it as opposed to the feelings about it all. 

The three things to focus on when dealing with a lack of intimacy:

  1. Where does intimacy come from?
  2. How does it make men and women different?
  3. What to do about it?

We must understand first and foremost that sexuality develops in different stages as a psychological development in men and women.

Women’s sexuality develops at a different stage from men, and therefore, there is some reason why women tend to focus more on verbal intimacy, and men tend to focus more on sexual intimacy. Women develop their sexuality in the oral phase of development. That’s the very first psychological stage we go through. Think about a newborn baby; they’re consumed with putting things in their mouths, consuming orally. It’s all dependent on the sites, smells, sounds that go along with that. 

Men develop their sexuality in the anal phase of development. That’s when babies are focused on elimination, where to eliminate, how to eliminate, the relief upon elimination.

That is why women tend to focus more on the setting of sexuality and men on the sexual act itself.

What to do about it?

The vital thing to remember whenever you’re dealing with your significant other is to understand that both verbal intimacy and sexual intimacy are important.

What do we hear all of the time? That women tend to value more the verbal side; it’s more important to them. But they downplay the sexual act. We’ve all heard this; how women say, “all he wants is sex; all he wants is a piece, that’s all he cares about.” As if there’s something wrong with that, and there’s not. Men, on the other hand, do the opposite. They tend to value the sexual act and downplay the setting. “Now she wants flowers; she wants to talk more, she wants everything to be just right, she wants me to take a shower first,” as if that’s bad.

What tends to be forgotten-

When you first start dating, you would never expect someone to just sleep with you without dating first. The dating process in our culture is that you go out to a nice place, dress up, you look nice, the setting has to be just right, then it’ll increase your chance of having a sexual act. Both men and women tend to fall away from this once they get married. It’s like they start forgetting how to be intimate. This is in place in our culture for a reason.

I also hear women or men downplay their role. Such as, “I shouldn’t care so much, I should respect his or her viewpoint more.” No, the purpose for you as an adult is to take care of yourself first. That’s what being an adult means. You have to support your viewpoint and what you need. However,  since you’re in an intimate relationship you also (not instead) have to respect the perspective of your significant other.

If you’re unconsciously giving this message that the setting doesn’t count or the sexual act doesn’t matter, you’re saying your significant other doesn’t matter, and they’re getting that vibe. Just like if you’re pushing yourself down, that resentment is going to build if you don’t stand up for what you need. That resentment is going to build, and that’s going to be a problem.

The key is always to talk it through.

Talk about what’s important for you, while listening very carefully about what’s important for him or her — and then come up with a way that works for both of you. That alone is verbal intimacy. This will help you have more sexual intimacy if that’s been lacking.

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