Again today I was reminded of the importance of fostering emotional intimacy in your marriage.
Before I got married, I thought that: once married, I'd not lose that emotional closeness with my mate. But I realized, very quickly, that remaining emotional intimate with each other was going to take two things: intentionality and a commitment to our friendship.
Fostering a relationship and friendship with anyone takes time, but with your mate it's a bit easy to become complacent. So you start taking little turns away from each other.
Then 15 years later you look at your mate and it's like looking at a stranger. One may ask, "How did we get here?"
In most cases it wasn't a giant step away from your mate, but millions of little times you slowly turned your heart away. This can happen without even realizing it.
John and I have tried to put some things in place to remain emotionally intimate.
1) We have regular date nights. Now often times this happens in our home, after the boys go to bed. We'll set aside a night, shut down the computer, turn off the phones, and have a date right here at home. Of course, we do get to go out, but at home dates nights are easier in this season of life.
2) We communicate with each other, yes we talk. And we don't just talk about work or the kids, we talk about life, what we're thinking, how we're growing, what we're processing through, and everything in between. We don't let anger foster or grow, we nip it when it happens.
3) When we have our date nights we have a rule: we are not allowed to talk about the kids. The first time we ever left our oldest for a date we said, "Let's not talk about Miles at all." We didn't realize at the time how important that would be, but over the years I look forward to non-kid talk with my hubby.
4) We both feel that a happy, satisfied marriage will take two people completely selfless! Oh so true! When John's looking out for me and I'm looking out for him....it's a wonderful thing.
5) We prayer often for God to protect our marriage. We pray for a hedge of protection around us and we ask God to revel any area we're not safe guarding our marriage. This really is the most important thing we can do!
How about you married ladies...what do you do to foster emotional closeness in your marriage?