In this episode, we have a chat about some foundational ideas that lead to having string intimacy in marriage. Intimacy is more than sex. It's about the mind, heart, soul, and emotions. Take care of those and sex is the best.
Take a listen as we discuss some ways to develop intimacy in marriage.
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Speaker 1: (00:09)
Welcome to episode 13 of amplified marriage. Today, we are talking about intimacy.
Speaker 2: (00:34)
Welcome to another episode of amplified marriage. My name's Natalie and Brian, whenever you're doing stop what you're doing. Grab a chair, grab a blanket, sit on the couch, pull your spouse in, get him to get you a cup of coffee this time today, we're talking about intimacy.
Speaker 1: (00:52)
That's one of Natalie's favourite things for me to do is to get her coffee first thing in the morning. So we are going to be talking about intimacy. And I think when we talk about intimacy, a lot of people automatically assume it's sex. It's all about sex, a big part. That's the bonus part
Speaker 2: (01:11)
Intimacy. That's not the only thing
Speaker 1: (01:13)
It's not the only thing. And I think, um, another assumption is that it will come naturally and come easily over the whole relationship and the whole marriage. And that, that just because it comes naturally, maybe it does come naturally to you. Um, maybe it didn't for us. It didn't for us. And it doesn't for a lot of couples. We do know that, but it didn't for us at all. Uh, we had intimacy once we got past the first couple of years of marriage where we almost got divorced and we were having sex more regularly. And we had developed more of a relationship after that. We were able to figure some things out on an intimate level. And it's not that we're coming at this as we've arrived. We are the intimate couple's goals. This is who you should be, hashtag intimate couples goals.
Speaker 1: (02:02)
That's not how that works. Um, but some of the things that we want to talk about today, a lot of times intimacy isn't met because of time children work. Um, you're not communicating, you're not talking about it. And so that's what we want to talk about is, is not just the physical part of intimacy. And I can guarantee you that if you can learn how to do these things that we're going to talk about today, the sex will be that much better. And the intimacy and the physical part of your relationship will be so much better because of these other things that you're going to work on,
Speaker 2: (02:34)
Right. Again was just going to say it boils down to the unmet expectations. So for a long time, even you and I, when someone would say like intimacy, we're like, well, obviously they're talking about sex and that's, there's so much more to it than that because you know what if there's like, if, okay, so if you're only defining intimacy, the act of sexual intimacy, I feel like what if you're in a situation where that's not happening?
Speaker 1: (03:10)
That's a good, good point. So then are you being intimate at all? If that's your only definition,
Speaker 2: (03:16)
Right? So I think back to like, well, the longest stretch that you and I, do, we didn't struggle. It was just pregnancy just,
Speaker 1: (03:27)
Oh, you didn't struggle with that.
Speaker 2: (03:29)
That's a hard cast off, you know, what to expect, but for me, for, with our sons specifically, and I don't know if it was just their hormones or whatnot, but it just was a, no, it was a no go for me.
Speaker 1: (03:42)
It was a no go zone for what was 18 months.
Speaker 2: (03:46)
Well, if you're combining the two, the two pregnancies, not like, not yet,
Speaker 1: (03:51)
I got you pregnant. And then that's where it pretty much ended. So,
Speaker 2: (03:56)
But then again, right, what else is there? As far as intimacy goes, if that's what you're just basing it on,
Speaker 1: (04:02)
That's good. If you remove the physical part of the intimacy, do you have anything left to rely on?
Speaker 2: (04:10)
Well, and there is life after that.
Speaker 1: (04:14)
There is, yeah, there have left off that. So we want to lay a little bit of groundwork before we get into the four areas of intimacy that we believe are super important. So the very first one is you need to, you probably are already saying the words out loud, even as I'm saying this if you've listened to this podcast, we are all about communication and you need to communicate your desire for intimacy. That's right. So since people don't really naturally talk about this sometimes, or maybe they're not communicating those sides of things, um, a lack of communication can lead to unmet or a lack of communication about intimacy can lead to an unmet expectation about intimacy.
Speaker 2: (04:55)
And like for a long time, like even when we were dating, we talked about all sorts of things, things, and even now when we're, counselling people or whatever, there is nothing under the sun that you shouldn't be talking about. We believe that you don't wait until there's a situation to then have that discussion. Like at least. And some of the things you're not going to know until you're in that situation and that's not what I'm referring to, but at least getting it out there. Right.
Speaker 1: (05:27)
Right. And if it's, I know exactly what you're talking about, if you're going into the marriage and you've never talked about how many kids you want, or you've never, we always use this one all the time when we counsel. So say one of you wants to be in longterm missions like six months to a year away. And the other one doesn't even like leaving the country to go into or leaving town to go to another place. That's a communication that you should have had before you got married because that's going to cause some real tension. And what you're doing by communicating your desire for intimacy is you're setting yourself up. Now, the act of dealing with the intimacy things as you go on is an action that you have to take, but at least you communicated about the intimacy so you can actually deal with it.
Speaker 1: (06:06)
Um, and, uh, one of the things is that if you do not communicate what the expectations are or the ideas that you have about intimacy or how it actually functions, maybe you have an unhealthy view or maybe you just don't have the same view, which is, I think sometimes even in our case, uh, early on, and even, you know, 20 years being together, uh, you sometimes communicate like we do the five love languages. And right now for the first time in 20 years, people, our love language is the same it's quality time, but our quality time is different. So can you tell me what your quality time is?
Speaker 2: (06:48)
My quality of time is quite frankly, it doesn't matter what we're doing, but as long as we're together. So my love tank is filled. If, if we're driving around, there are no distractions, you can't be on your phones. So you have to talk when you're in the car and we love coffee. And so we stop and we grab a coffee and it doesn't have to be expensive. And we just drive around for hours or we'll go to a park in the park, in the parking lot, or walk around or whatever, and just talk and with our cups of coffee. And that, for me,
Speaker 1: (07:30)
That is not my idea.
Speaker 2: (07:33)
That's my quality.
Speaker 1: (07:35)
My idea of quality of time is, Hey, let's go to the music store or electronics store and you can stand with me, we'll have strung guitars. Or I look at the newest computer or something like that completely different. And so we didn't actually know that for the longest time. And we were experiencing some intense frustration when it came to even quality time about what we want, what we wanted to do until we actually stopped and be like, Hey, what's your definition? What does it mean to you? When we say quality time there's maybe the same thing, but we were, but if we wouldn't have communicated, we never would have known the difference. Right.
Speaker 2: (08:05)
But in communicating that we know mine, yours is like going to specific places minus just being with you, whatever we're doing. If we're on a walk if we're right. And so, as long as there's no other outside noise, absolutely. If there's outside noise, that's not going to work for me. I need the outside and you need the outside different stories. Right. But it's again, boiling down to making time for that intimacy because out of that place, and I know quality time, one would, could say that all, how, how is that part of intimacy? But when we're making time to communicate, communicate and be with one another and to put each other's needs in the forefront of each other's minds, that just is a runway for the intimacy, right?
Speaker 1: (08:58)
Absolutely. So the number one foundation that you need for intimacy is communication. Number two is make time for it. We can get busy, you have kids, you have COVID and you're having to work from home. And you're not being able to do you, your attention in your patients is thin and moving in different directions, you have to go out and go grocery shopping, or you got to do this, that, and the other thing you have to, you have to make time for it. And that's something that I personally have really struggled with over the years because I could easily, easily, easily become a workaholic. You have been. And I haven't in the past, I could easily continue being a workaholic if it wasn't for Natalie or just putting everyone else's issues on her
Speaker 2: (09:39)
Issue. No, but everyone else's issues in the calendar as a priority. Yep. Um, so Hey, if you have to schedule time, schedule time, schedule, time to be intimate with your spouse. And again, that doesn't just mean scheduling sex, although that could be part of it for you.
Speaker 1: (09:55)
And the, one of the biggest things for us that we realized in our marriage has a foundation for us to achieve. Like these next things that we're gonna talk about intimacy is pursuing that spiritual aspect of intimacy. There there's something that I actually read an article. There's something Natalie and I are, are worshipers we're worship leaders. We play music together just on the music side of things, just playing together has always been really special for both of us to be able to sing and play music together. But being in a place where you get to worship has been a worship God, and give him glory for the fact that he's carried us through these relationships these last 20 years. But there's something about praying for each other, praying with each other, um, reading the Bible together. We don't read the Bible very well together because our study styles are so, so very different, but we do pray together. But if we're like reading
Speaker 2: (10:44)
A passage, that's different. But if we're studying the passage. We just have different study patterns. That's all. But then we, we talk about it. We talk about,
Speaker 1: (10:54)
Yeah. And, and I think that, um, we say all the time that my eye needs to be fixed on Christ and who Christ is in my life. And he gives me the ability to be the husband that I've been called to be, cause my eyes are fixed on him. I'm looking not looking left at distraction or right. A distraction. I'm looking at him. And in that, I actually can focus on my wife and, and being the man that I'm supposed to be
Speaker 2: (11:19)
That's right. But that comes from a direct relationship that you have with God and a direct relationship I have with God. And so the closer that we, we each pursue, God naturally brings us closer together. Yeah. Right. So spiritual intimacy, um, is so very important on all levels. Absolutely. Right. Like you have to, you have to be United as far as that goes. Right. And whatever that might be for you.
Speaker 1: (11:44)
And so we've just laid the foundation for what we believe are three thoughts or purposes you make, we want to communicate about intimacy. You want to make time intimacy. You want to pursue intimacy, but you also want to pursue spiritual intimacy. And the first one, um, in the intimacy category is done, uh, recreational, recreational intimacy. We have so much fun, uh, when it's just us going downtown to go swimming or to go for a walk or do something hiking or going rock climbing or wall climbing or something like that, it brings us closer together.
Speaker 2: (12:22)
Yes. By pursuing activities that are the interests of each other.
Speaker 1: (12:26)
And, and yeah. And it's kind of like the quality time thing is that Natalie likes to go window shop at Michaels. And in the past, I've been such a jerk with how vocal I was, about how much I hated it and how I hate Michaels. I hate shopping unless I'm going there for a purpose or it's going to help me with something that I want to do.
Speaker 2: (12:46)
It'd be no purpose for you to go into that store because you're not craft,
Speaker 1: (12:50)
I am craft-challenged, but because my wife loves it and she just enjoys doing that so much. Even when she takes, it goes out with her kids. I've learned to bury my negativity about me standing with her while she stares at Rae Dunn mugs, or looks at more stinking, fall colours. But, and she and I, this is, I love my wife because she'll just go do it without me. She's like, but sometimes she's like, Hey, I just want to spend some time with you. Can you come with me to Michael's and inside I'm dying, there's pain. There's actual emotional pain that happens from me standing in that horrible store.
Speaker 2: (13:29)
I just think as you cultivate that recreational intimacy, I mean, there are perks to pursuing that because it's an interest of mine because that when you're living out of that place of just selflessness. Yeah. Um, I mean, yes, go into the music store. Even though I'm musical is not my idea of a good time, a good time, knowing that that fills your love tank. Absolutely. I will make a point to not complain or give you like five minutes in the store. And I will just amuse myself with the pianos or, or whatever else are looking at sheet music and whatnot. Right. So making the best and giving it a really good effort.
Speaker 1: (14:16)
Let's be honest. Sometimes your face is saying what you want to see, or your eyes are saying what you want to say. Yes.
Speaker 2: (14:23)
Right. But my lips are saying that I'm here for you. I love you at this moment. I love you at this moment,
Speaker 1: (14:29)
The recreational and the one thing that we actually find that that draws us closer is a struggle. Doing something hard, like exercising together or hiking, or we like to run occasionally together. Yeah. I suck at running and she's quite a bit better at it. And so she gets to see me suffer. And there's something about doing something hard together where we encourage you to encourage each other and challenge you and moving forward in that thing, that's actually really, really good.
Speaker 2: (14:55)
And, and again, pursuing that because we want to try different things. We want to push each other out of each other's comfort zone. It's like we went rock climbing and I'm terrified of Heights. Absolutely terrified. And she crushed, it took me so long hanging on the wall at the top to let go because clearly, I have trust issues. And so trust with the wall and that thing that repels you down. But, I felt so proud of myself for being able to conquer that fear of 20 feet up. I was proud of you. So
Speaker 1: (15:29)
That was a big deal for us to even get her in a harness. That was huge. But you conquered some of the higher, highest, actually the highest ones they had there. The whole, the whole night, we went up like eight different walls and you climb the highest ones and some of the harder ones do. So that was spectacular even. And you did it with nails.
Speaker 2: (15:47)
Yes, I did. Can I just say that? Do not let the fact that you might have gel nails or whatnot, stop you from wall climbing because I have managed to hike some pretty treacherous wall-climb and yes, with my gel nails and I've not broken any. So don't let that be a reason for you not to enjoy some recreational things with you.
Speaker 1: (16:13)
That's amazing. Number two, sorry. I'm still thinking of the gel nails on the rock wall. Number two is physical intimacy.
Speaker 2: (16:21)
Well, I think this is the most fun. Well,
Speaker 1: (16:27)
Well, it depends. Yeah. It really depends on your definition. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (16:32)
Then, when you're putting the effort forward, absolutely. Everything leads to this.
Speaker 1: (16:37)
Recreational. Yeah, absolutely. But I think, uh, when they hear the word intimate, uh, it is not just about sex. No. there's non-sexual, physical touch, like cuddling, rubbing your back and feet. I can say that just because that's a thing that's happening. That's not going to lead to the bedroom. Um, guys, if that's what you're thinking, I'm going to rub her shoulders. And I know where this is going to go.
Speaker 2: (17:04)
No, sometimes we just want our shoulders rubbed or your feet rubbed and that's okay. But communicating like, Hey, this isn't, this, isn't what it like, how do I word this? This isn't what it's going to do.
Speaker 1: (17:21)
Yeah. So I think I wanted to just lay this out. It's something that we've learned just because, um, she wants to have some kind of physical touch or physical intimacy or cuddle or hold hands or rub your shoulders or watching movies under a blanket quietly. It doesn't mean that she wants sex. No. And I think it's one of those things that, h, guys pay attention to the social signs that your wife is giving you. Right. but it's not always how that works,
Speaker 2: (17:50)
Unless that's how your marriage is then. Great.
Speaker 1: (17:53)
Yeah. And if that's how your marriage is great, but I know most marriages are a lot of marriages aren't like that. And there is a, a guy out there named Mark Gungar that he always had the saying, be nice to the girl, because he was like, physical intimacy is one of those things. Sex is fun and you want to do it. And anyway, and it actually brings you closer. There are so many benefits, health-wise and mental health-wise and stress when it comes to sex, we want to be nice to the girl. Um, not just for the purpose of, but being nice to the girl and that can lead all roads to have some fun, physical act.
Speaker 2: (18:26)
That's right. If you're going to be cruel and mean to her all day, and we're speaking about, and this isn't just men, this is women too. Um, and then you're going to expect that, you know, you're going to get the treat at the end of it. Oh, that's generally not how that works. Right. I think it would go further in that department if you take the time to be tender and you care for the other person.
Speaker 1: (18:58)
Uh, the next one is emotional intimacy. I can say from a man standpoint, uh, I do not do the
Speaker 2: (19:10)
Emotions. You don't emotion.
Speaker 1: (19:13)
I don't emotion well, and I'm also a personality type that doesn't emote well. Um, and I've really, really had to work on it in particular with my wife. Um, but actually, and this is just a thought on it. And I didn't even think about this until right now, is that because I've learned to be vulnerable and like in a healthy way with my wife and talk about my feelings, um, and talk about those things it's actually made, made me a better dad. It's made me a better leader at church made maybe a better boss, a better listener, a better listener. Um, I'm, I'm not naturally. And I think it's more natural now than it ever has been in my entire life, but I'm not a natural listener. I oftentimes just want to solve the problem. But I think until you that being vulnerable and genuine with my wife has made me better for her and for my children because of my willingness to do that. We think that it's, I think now that I've been married for, for, for a long time, for 20 years, plus we've been together for 20 years plus that, um, vulnerability is strength, not weakness.
Speaker 2: (20:22)
Right. And, um, women in general, like to be stable, would like to have like, stability is huge in my opinion, in a relationship. And so if, if our communication is not a safe place for me to be vulnerable with my emotions, right? Like if I'm coming to, with a situation, um,
Speaker 1: (20:52)
What, what does safe mean to you then?
Speaker 2: (20:56)
It means that if I'm expressing emotion about a particular situation or people I'm just not stomping on that and just be like, well, I don't get why you're upset about that because, for you, it's much easier for you to let things kind of roll off your shoulders, right? Like you don't, you don't feel deeply about certain things that I would feel deeply about. And so just being able to listen and I've had to communicate, Hey, I want you to just hear me out. Cause I just need to vent, not respond and don't respond because I'm not asking you to fix it. So w over the years, we've had to really communicate that element of it that I don't want you to fix it. I just want you to hear me out. And then after I've expressed kind of, you know, that verbal diarrhea, we call it where we just, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then I might ask for a solution if I can't solve it out on me.
Speaker 1: (21:58)
Yeah. Right. And I think, uh, guys need to think, I'm just speaking to you men right now, if you're listening to this or when you're listening to this, uh, the safe place is super important in your relationship. The big time they have to, women are emotive. They're emotional. They're, they're more. And there may be examples where maybe the man is more emotional, but a lot of times, even the guys that are more emotional that way still are more task-driven or solution-oriented. So guys, when you're thinking about your wife and she comes to you and she's like just verbal like everything is coming out at once and there's frustration and there's anger immediately. We need to have space where you're, she's not being made fun of for what she's thinking or how she's feeling. She's not getting some kind of nasty response back or just being brushed off.
Speaker 1: (22:45)
And I'm the master. And I have been in the past and master of brushed off. I understand that, Oh, you shouldn't feel this way. And it's early as last week. Why are you feeling like this? I don't understand it. Someone will say something to me about me that I maybe didn't even catch or didn't hear. Uh, and she will just get mad about it and upset with them. Whereas she would tell me, I'm like, eh, whatever. I know that I'm not that. Or if I am, I'm working on that kind of thing or, and so it just a brush off or invalidate her feelings. I go, you don't have a right to feel like this. Or, and so our responsibility men is to create that space, safe space for our wives, to be able to, to speak those things. And you can respond and learn your wife. How I respond to my wife is much better as a man now than it was when I was a young man. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (23:34)
And that's true. And the same thing goes for movement. Like if we're wanting our men to be emotionally vulnerable with us, then the moment that they are because I've just thought about, the one time that you ended up getting laid off and you were so overcome with all the feelings about feeling inadequate as a man and not equipped as a provider. Yeah. Um, we had three little ones and I wasn't working at that time. And so you were just beside yourself, not depressed, but, um, I guess just overwhelmed. You were sad. You were disappointed in yourself and you just, you beat yourself up. Yep. So if you're presenting that as being your emotional state at that time, then my response to that shouldn't be, would you adjust, grow a pair or whatever that dialogue would we hear other people say to each other, suck it up, pull your pants up, get it together. Yeah. You're supposed to be this, that and the other. That's not going to validate you as a man. No. Right. I'm just saying, I'm, I'm hearing what you're saying. How can I help you through this? And then affirm what I know to be true about you. Right. Affirm affirmation is so huge in emotional intimacy.
Speaker 1: (24:59)
Yeah. And especially coming from your wife there. And I'll be honest. Um, there are very few people in my whole life and this is not true of everyone. There are very few people that have as much sway or weight when they speak and about the situation than my wife does to me. Right. Um, and how she feels about a situation or how she feels about me. She's one of the first people that I go to when I write and see a new sermon, I'd want it to like, run it off someone, or I'm looking for a new, like writing a new thing, or I'm having a new idea. She's always the first one I go to. And so that's our relationship. That's not all relationships sometimes. Uh, guys in particular will tend to hide those things. Cause they're, maybe they're embarrassed or they've had some experience being emasculated. Um, we, women don't do that. We've had to develop that as being, she's my primary. Like I get affirmed from her in a healthy, godly manner. Right.
Speaker 2: (25:59)
Well, that's very nice. I've never told you that before. No, you have. It's just, I wasn't expecting that today. We'll explain. I love you.
Speaker 1: (26:09)
And the next one is spiritual intimacy. And you've heard us talk about this already a little bit, but I can tell you as it being number four on our list if you guys are working together spiritually and you're both pursuing a relationship with Christ, and you're both pursuing that healthy, um, knowledge of who God is in your life and, and submitting your life to him, I can tell you that marriage is so much different. It's different. I can't say its easier. No, because marriage is hard in general, right?
Speaker 2: (26:40)
Yeah. It is. It is hard. It's a lot of work. It's a tremendous amount
Speaker 1: (26:44)
Of work. And um, but I want to do it with God's strength to be able to move forward and be the best husband, the best dad, the best boss pastor I want. But I can't, I can't love Natalie in all of her frustrated crazy. Sometimes I didn't want to say that, but all of who she like who God made her be. And sometimes it's frustrating or in my own strength, I want to do with God's strength. And so I can do that better.
Speaker 2: (27:11)
I think that that is like the base of the foundation of intimacy right there. I think for, in our marriage is layer number one, which then moves us to that emotional sense of intimacy. Because out of that, as we're improving ourselves, out of that, then we're more in tune with each other as far as our mood or the struggles that we're having even maybe expressing ourselves. Right. And then moving into that recreational word, then we're best friends make the best lovers, right? Because when, when, when you not, what was that thing you were saying give to fall back on? Like I love is an, is a choice. Yup. And sometimes that can be challenging, right? Like we fall back on to like, what do I like about this person? Because it initially doesn't start off with love, right? We start off as a friendship. I like you, which then as we foster that it grows into loving you. And then we make the choice to continue to love you. But having that recreational where we can be funny and silly and challenge each other, then out of that breeds the fun stuff, the physical, physical intimacy. And again, it's not just sex, the Netflix and chill. That's right.
Speaker 1: (28:36)
That's right. Well, if you have enjoyed our podcasts of any kind, if you've enjoyed any of our episodes, it means a whole lot to us when you share it and you leave a review and you let people know, uh, and you can know, let people know about amplified marriage. You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook. If there's a topic or a question or a thought or anything that you want us to discuss, or even if you just want to email us and ask us a question on one that we wouldn't use for the podcast, we'd love to hear from you. And you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. And you have heard us say before, uh, we believe that marriage can be reset, can be refreshed, can be recharged and can be restored. Absolutely. And we are living for thanks so much for listening. [inaudible].