A few years ago, my friend and author Pamela Hutchins over at Road to Joy blog and I issued two challenges to the internet world to create intimacy within their relationship with their significant other. The first in 2010 was 30 Days of Intimacy – and the second in 2011 was 30 Positive Days – where you had to say something positive about and to your spouse for 30 days and in both, blog about it. (If you click on those links you’ll need to pause one of the players [sidebar] or you’ll be hearing two songs at the same time)
It was slightly discouraging the number of women who replied that they didn’t have time to follow this challenge. And it wasn’t even a difficult challenge. We considered “creating intimacy” everything from leaving a note on the mirror in lipstick to sticking a romantic card in their briefcase. Anything to keep and kindle the fires of intimacy. The 30 Positive Days was actually more challenging because it required one to THINK of the significant other every single day. You know, as opposed to thinking of self.
Intimacy is like fuel. It keeps the FOCUS burning on what is important in a relationship – one another. I guess you could say Intimacy is Focus.
Today I am going to tell you a wee little personal secret. Alpha Hubby and I have now been married twenty years (no, that is not the secret). According to the world’s standards, our intimacy should have flown out the window several years ago along with the honeymoon period of marriage.
According to the world’s standards, a marriage should slowly lose its sexual zeal and fervor as time goes by. Men and women should slowly and naturally lose interest until eventually they are two lumps sitting on the couch watching the latest reality show (and I apologize if that is you. Well, no actually, I don’t). People constantly quote the world and say, “Well, we’ve lost the fire we used to have but you know they say that’s natural.”
I say, “Le poop on they.” Pardon my French.
I say, “NO NO NO!” Do you know why sexual zeal and fervor fades? It is not the fault of the institution of marriage. It is not the children’s fault. It is not the fault of work. It is not the fault of hobbies. It is not the fault of anything exterior to your relationship.
Couples KILL, MURDER, MAIM, and DESTROY intimacy. By default. Lack of work. Loss of focus.
Default. Here, when we turn off our sound system, it “defaults” back to the factory setting so that every stinking single time we turn on the television, we have to set the sound system to where we want the sound to be. It is a huge pain and means eventually we need to buy a newer sound system.
A lot of couples default when it comes to intimacy. Trust me when I say that intimacy requires work yet it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that most couples default to whatever is easiest. You see it all the time.
Look around at your friends who have been married a little while. Are they romantic? Do they touch all the time? Do they act intimate? Or are they in default mode? The default is always “Doing NOTHING” when it comes to intimacy.
Default is “I don’t have time because the kids require so much out of me” or “I have this huge project at work I have to spend a lot of time on” or “I want to go out with my buds” or “My blog needs me to network” or “We’ll do it later” (a lie; it never happens). There are a myriad of excuses.
The sad truth is, the longer a couple goes without intimacy the harder it will be to get it back. Why? Because a wall begins building up between the couple. It is very insidious, too. It starts with just a slight separation of the closeness they used to have. A little bit of focus loss.
He begins focusing more on work. She begins focusing more on children or girlfriends. He begins focusing on the secretary at work who treats him like he is a god. She begins drinking more wine and Facebooking old boyfriends.
This couple has defaulted to what is easiest – doing nothing. You will note that they ARE focused on something. It just isn’t one another anymore.
You know what I always found funny? When you first meet and are in the flush of “first love” you would do ANYTHING to spend time with this person. You would dress nice, be available, sneak out of your parents’ house, ignore other friends – anything it took to be in intimacy with this new and exciting love.
So what rule book said that the work of intimacy that used to be so easy because you were “in love” – what rule book said “Once you marry, you can drop all that work; you don’t need it anymore.”
Wrong – you need to work harder. The things you did to keep one another focused on intimacy are even more important after you marry – why? Because everything on earth will work harder to keep you out of intimacy.
So when Pamela and I issued the challenge and so few people joined or finished the race, we were the only two who truly enjoyed the prize – the benefit of renewed intimacy. Boy did we!!
Alpha Hubby and I are still reaping the benefits of forcing ourselves to do the entire 30 days on both challenges. It reinforced the lesson of the importance of keeping our focus on one another no matter what is going on outside the relationship. Neither of us has forgotten the lessons of those two challenges. We still talk about (and do) them.
That wee little personal secret? This entire post came about because of something we’ve been saying more and more. Something pretty awesome if you ask me. One of us always says it and it is pretty darned cool.
“Pshew! That was hawt. Again!! Our sex life just keeps getting better and hotter!”
And lest you think, “Well, they don’t have to deal with what I do. They have time.” I say to you “HA!” He often works between 50-60 hours a week, raises cattle on the side, is late coming home two nights a week because he goes to the gym, is finishing up the remodel on the house and also the 1400 sq ft addition he put in, and sometimes has to be forced to slow down.
We learned the secret – you have to plan ahead. You make plans to meet up for a rendezvous every single day. You may not always make it – like last Tuesday when the cleaning lady worked late and it ate into our time. Or Wednesday when the mama cow had trouble having her baby and we didn’t get that time.
You may make it 5 times a week but if you aimed for 5 and hit 3 or aimed for 3 and hit 1 or aimed for 1 and hit nothing – what do you have? So aim high! Because the sad thing is most couples don’t aim and if they are lucky they *might* reach once a month. It is important to work on the intimacy of focusing or refocusing on one another.
Because really. Isn’t that what a relationship is all about? The focus on one another? If you said no, bring your dunce cap and meet me after class.
All 30-day intimacy – http://lbddiaries.com/blog/30-days-of-intimacy-links/ or check on sidebar under Categories