(A few years ago after Pamela over at Road to Joy (who is now a published author, thankyouverymuch) and I issued a challenge to blogland to say something positive about your significant other for 30 days, we decided several months later to up the intimacy in blogger’s lives.  Our challenge was to do something to create intimacy with your significant other every day for 30 days.  This is a semi-partial sort-of redux remake on a post from back then. (See Category 30 Days Intimacy).

Disclaimer:  The results for increased intimacy are not guaranteed. This is a blog not a psychologist’s or psychotherapist’s office after all!

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So how DO couples go from this:

couple romantic  married

To this?

couple angry

It’s simple, really.  Just forget who the person is that you fell in love with.  Lose your focus by taking that focus off the loved one and putting it somewhere else.  Put everything ahead of them.

It used to be SO easy to be intimate and starry-eyed over that special someone.  Why?  Well, we were madly, passionately in love with that person.  They were all we thought about.  We were very willing to pursue them and overlook anything not perceived as “perfect” about them.  

We couldn’t WAIT to see them, to talk to them.  We always wanted to look our best for them, to do what they liked to do, and to play, laugh, and do things as simple as walking in the rain while holding hands – or go to a rodeo and pretend the smell and noise doesn’t bother you!

And think about that – why do you think so many people cheat? Or go hook up with old boy-girlfriends on FB? Why they are drawn away from the everyday sameness of their relationship? They are looking for that same excitement boost we once had as a new-be couple. Looking for that same rush. That same ego-boost. Looking for someone to validate them, make them feel special and “seen”! Just a thought there, folks.

After time, though, our words and attitudes, actions and thought processes, history, time, and life begin getting in the way.

We stopped pursuingWe:

— stopped communicating (especially in person).
— stopped really listening.
— stopped treating one another with honor and respect.
— stopped thinking he’s all-that.
— stopped thinking she’s the girl of his dreams.
— stopped spending quality time together.
— stopped trusting one another, especially with our hearts.
— stopped forgiving quickly and forgetting the tresspass.
— stopped looking as good as we did when first together.
— stopped putting each other first place.

— We began allowing life to get in the way, in between us.
— We became roommates because we lost intimacy and focus.
— We allowed many other things – people, children (especially children), work or career pursuit, fun, hobbies, blogging, or just anything or everything – to come before the other person.

We stopped thinking and treating, and seeing them as valuable and precious – special.

Boxing Gloves

 

We could start thinking, “Well, I’ve got them so I don’t have to do anything else to keep them.”

We could start thinking, “Ehh, it’s JUST the wife, the old ball and chain, she doesn’t count.”

We could start thinking, “Oh, my husband; WHY can’t he be as wonderful and romantic as so-in-so’s husband is?”

We could start thinking, “He sure doesn’t look like that high-school football player I fell in love with.”

We could start thinking, “I know my wife had our children and is a mother now, but is that girl I married even in there anymore?  And does she even see ME?”

He could think “She never listens to me.”
She could think “He never talks to me.”

We all could wonder, “Who IS this person I’m married to?”

People want to blame it on technology and how easy it is to get distracted, to pay more attention to your cell phone and texts than your significant other. HOGWASH. You have to MAKE a choice to allow that to happen. I’ve lived long enough to have a before and after – before cell phones and after – my marriage is amazing – AFTER. Before? Meh, had some bad relationships!!  Technology didn’t cause the rifts.  It is very lazy to blame a marriage failure on anything or anyone but YOURSELF.  Technology can’t destroy – people using it can.  It is a choice.

I think of intimacy when I think of those beginning courtship days when you couldn’t wait to see one another, do nice things for one another, thought about each other ALL the time, and holding hands?  Well, oi vey, was it not amazing that first time he took your hand and kissed your palm?  Or touched the side of your face with his palm and looked into your eyes?

couple touching

I still remember when Alpha Hubby first placed his palm on the side of my face.  I swear my face tingled.  I remember wondering what he was doing, so I asked.  He said, “I can tell where you are, how your feeling, thinking.  I can read you.”  I had no idea what he was talking about because I was so expert at hiding my emotions and who I was, that it made me very uncomfortable when he did this.  No one should be THAT intimate, right?  Of course I was running.

He was talking about where I was in our relationship.  Was I comfortable?  Did I squirm in discomfort at this private act of intimacy?  Did I look back into his eyes or look away?  Did I rub my cheek against his palm or pull away?  It was something no one had ever done to me before.  It still gives me shivers.

Intimacy engages the five physical senses – see, hear, touch, smell, taste.  And, as Alpha Hubby always says, love is an action verb – it is not passive.  Love acts.  Love does.  Or it is not love.  Why yes, I AM Zen-Master.  Why do you ask?  “Try not.  Do or do not, there is no try,” sayeth Yoda Nan.  Just say I LOVE YOU already!!

love on mirror

And yes, actions do speak louder than words but words are very important, too.  Especially those three little ones, “I love you.”  SAY them.  SAY them ALL the time.  Most importantly, make sure you SAY them every. single. day.  Say them, say them, say them.  Life is too dog-goned short to be stingy with those words.  They are not cheap words.  Not saying them can cost you everything.

Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror.  Jot a note, pick up a card, or email, fax or something – just say “I love you” as often as you can, in as many ways as you can.  Go do that RIGHT NOW.

Did you do it?  Well, as soon as you are finished reading this post, I challenge you to go tell your significant other “I LOVE YOU” (and yes, if you HAVE to ’cause they’re not around, you may text it to them) – then begin the practice of saying those words deliberately, on purpose, from this moment forward, every day.  Make a choice to put away anything that comes before your loved one – including *gasp* your cell phone (unless you use it for good, not evil!).   

Alpha Hubby and I made a choice to give up television (except movies on weekends, maybe), in order to keep us first.  He gets home, we spend time together until bedtime.  We made a choice to walk away from technology. Except he does use it wisely to text me “I love you’s” and other *ahem* thangs!!

When you wish someone joy,
you wish them peace,
love, prosperity, happiness…
all the good things.

 Maya Angelou

I wish all of you JOY, today, tomorrow, forever. 

Oh, and thank you for being faithful readers.  I love you.