How to Increase Intimacy in Your Relationship

Apr 14, 2021

When it comes to your relationship, acceptance has to do with being able to relate lovingly and without judgment to everything about your partner. It is embracing the reality of his or her strengths and weaknesses, gifts, and imperfections. It does not mean that you approve of everything about your spouse, but it means you are willing to relate to all of him or her without condemnation, even those parts with which you don’t agree or of which you don’t approve.

Sexuality requires you to be open and exposed, with all your blemishes and scars. Acceptance creates an environment in which you and your spouse are aware of what the other lacks, but you don’t allow those imperfections to stop the flow of love and gratitude for each other. You are so much in love with the character and soul of your beloved that accepting the body is a small thing. However, if you don’t convey acceptance, or your partner does not feel acceptable regardless of what you say and do, then your spouse will tend to hide, emotionally, sometimes physically. For example, a lack of acceptance can cause a wife not to feel comfortable wearing sexy clothing or to want to make love in total darkness. Lack of acceptance can also diminish desire, arousal, and fulfillment. Acceptance opens us up. The lack of it shuts down our hearts.

Husbands who don’t feel accepted by their wives may have performance anxiety about being sexually competent. However, when spouses work to accept each other without judgment, they can begin to resolve these kinds of problems in their relationship.

Here’s an example of what happened. I know a couple in which the wife, after having two kids, had gotten out of shape. She was not obese, but she did not look or feel the way she wanted to. She felt very physically unattractive, and she was one of those people who tended to be self-critical. Her husband didn’t help matters when he nagged her to get back in shape. His pestering joined with her self-condemnation, and she began to feel conditionally loved and under the law of perfection and guilt. As a result, she began to lose her sexual desire.

When they discovered what was going on, her husband rallied to her side. He let her know, “I am really sorry I’ve made you feel worse about your body. I want you to know that no matter what happens, I love you and desire only you. Let me know if I hurt your feelings again, because I don’t want you to feel that.” His acceptance and grace helped her to feel more loved, and, in time, more sexual. In fact, she began to get back into a good diet and workout program too. Things went well for them after that, but it is important to note that these events happened only after she experienced acceptance from him.

One of the greatest gifts of marriage is that of sex. If you are experiencing difficulties in this wonderful area of life, do not resign yourself to the problem. You can get help by talking to a counselor and/or relying on your faith. Work together to take that next step.