Recently on a marriage forum someone asked- In what ways do you feel emotionally fulfilled in your marriage? Typically I avoid these types of questions because they remind me of the same old, same old. One spouse says, “More emotional intimacy,” and the other spouse says, “More sex,” with both of them constantly locking horns. This time I made an exception and replied to the post. I wrote:
Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
*I need good conversation about us. This means conversation beyond the kids and the 'to do' list.
*He comments on my appearance. I enjoy knowing that I still 'wow' him when he looks my way.
*He needs to sexually pursue me as I do him on a frequent basis. Sexual intimacy is entwined with emotional intimacy. When one lacks, they both do.
*He enjoys my cooking and other homemaking and parenting skills.
*He cannot keep hands off me when not having sex. It is the knowing that he desires me even when we can't have sex right at that moment.
*He looks forward to being out on dates.
For me, all of the above spell ROMANCE and emotional fulfillment. Emotional and sexual intimacy go hand in hand. For us it is never romantic/emotional fulfillment OR sex. Rather it is romantic/emotional fulfillment AND sex and when we see a lack in one or the other, we do not wait until everything is perfect before we continue enjoying each other in both ways. This results in a win/win for us.
I see more couples shooting themselves in the foot when one says, “We need more romantic/emotional fulfillment,” while the other says, “We need more sex,” and then neither of them budge and both of them lose out.
Do you and your spouse often lock horns over the romantic, emotional vs. sexual needs debate? What helpful ways have you found to overcome differences in intimacy needs?