Difficult times can refine or break your relationship. That’s why it’s so important to stay connected. Through intentional action, it’s possible to deepen your intimacy during hard seasons.
Let’s look at eight ways you and your spouse can deepen your intimacy, despite being in the midst of a difficult time.
1. Listen to one another.
Communication is important at all times in a relationship. But during difficult times, it becomes more important than ever. As a couple, take time to talk with, and listen to, each other.
Your conversations don’t always have to be centered around the hard things that are happening. In fact, it’s great if you intentionally discuss other, positive things outside the situation. But this is a time to hear each other out, and to help one another feel heard and seen.
2. Be patient.
Hard times can profoundly impact our sense of wellbeing, and we may not feel like ourselves when we’re in the middle of a difficult time. We may also come across as aloof or distracted. If you notice that your spouse seems down or just not like themselves, be patient with them.
It’s impossible to demand that everything be the same, all the time, no matter what’s going on in your world (or the world at large). When hard times hit, be ready to exercise patience through it all. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
3. Practice daily optimism together.
If you’re struggling, now is a good time to work together to practice optimism. Being optimistic can be a challenge, but if you hold one another accountable and approach this challenge as a team, it will be easier.
Optimism is a habit that has to be developed, so jump into the practice with that in mind. It doesn’t mean you’ll never discuss or dwell on the hard times, but it does mean you’ll be investing energy into good things, too.
4. Pray together every day.
Staying spiritually connected is of utmost importance, especially when you’re in the midst of a hard season. Take time to work prayer into your daily routine, and do it together if you can. Whether you set aside time for a couples’ devotional or just a quick prayer in the morning before you start your day, staying in a spiritually healthy mindset will help you in all areas.
5. Don’t forget to have fun.
No matter what, work together to make time for play and fun. Shared activities are a must for every relationship, especially when you’re going through a tough time. But beyond simply sharing interests or pastimes, look for fun, shared activities that make you feel energized and joyful. Then, seek those out more often.
6. Be alone together–more often, if possible.
Intimacy demands alone time to flourish, so make more of it, especially if you’re dealing with a hard situation. Alone time opens doors for better conversations, more physical contact, greater emotional closeness, and more shared activities.
If you’re experiencing a difficult period in your life, focus on spending more alone time with your husband or wife. This time doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual–just be together as partners and companions.
7. Take time for intentional physical contact.
Non-sexual touch is important for boosting your intimacy. If you don’t already take time to hold hands, cuddle, physically comfort one another, and just be close, then now is a good time to do so. Simply giving the gift of our presence to one another can make a lasting difference in our marriages.
8. Make time for sex.
Sex can be incredibly healing, and can help to deepen a couple’s intimacy, even in the midst of turmoil. Taking that quiet time to connect on a physical, spiritual, and emotional level reinforces your love for one another and can reinvigorate both of you to face what lies ahead with each new day.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the topic of satisfying sex with your spouse, pick up a copy of our book, Crazy Good Sex. While it’s primarily geared toward men, both husbands and wives can benefit from the insights in its pages.
Bonus: Take a relationship assessment.
Have you and your spouse ever taken a relationship assessment? Relationship assessments can help you and your spouse learn more about each other than ever before. If you want to get to know one another on a deeper level, give our Better Love assessment a try.
What deepens your intimacy when you’re going through hard times? Have items to add? Let us know in the comments!