It is a commonly known truth that relationships start to fizzle out after marriage unless there is the right kind of intervention.
The heady feelings of love and passion that couples had when they were dating slowly wither and fade away in the rush of daily life. Most relationships begin on a high note of affection, adoration, and intimacy. This naturally translates to deeply satisfying sex.
With the level of passion depleting slowly but surely, its effect is visible on fronts, if only you care to look for it.
After marriage and honeymoon, when couples “settle down” into each other’s lives and work out a routine that is comfortable for both, they feel as if they are doing the right thing. This is good for the couple in some ways but routine can take out the spark of love and passion from their lives.
Though sex is not the all-important ingredient in a happy relationship, it definitely can help bridge many gaps. This means if interest in intimacy and sexual connection is on the wane, it is time you sit up and take notice. Declining interest in sex or the lack of it is a sign of the state of the marriage.
If you are going through this phase, it is natural that you are worried about where your marriage is headed. What does the future hold for us? Can we ever love each other like before? What is the point of a relationship without love and affection?
Your mind will be flooded with questions like these. The only good they manage to do is to make you lose your sleep. That is not going to help.
Experts on relationships and marriage counselors assure that it is possible to bring back the spark in a relationship if both partners are ready to give it their all. One of the most recommended methods to achieve this is couples’ intimacy activities.
This article explores this topic and details sensual exercises for couples to bring back love and intimacy. These marriage intimacy exercises focus more on physical intimacy among couples. Experts believe that mental and emotional intimacy will naturally follow.
Intimacy stages for couples
Before we proceed with the emotional intimacy exercises for couples, let’s understand the real meaning behind stages of intimacy among couples.
Intimacy happens in five distinct stages between couples. It begins with infatuation and culminates in love.
You can’t take your eyes off your partner and want to spend every moment together. You feel insanely happy and content.
This is when the realization sets in and you see your partner as a real person and not as an object of your infatuation. You begin to notice their flaws and get more realistic about spending life with them.
You get more and more realistic in this stage. Though love is still there, infatuation is long gone. You start thinking about living together on more practical lines like sharing responsibilities.
Resurfacing: Love and passion makes a comeback in your life. Now that you have sorted out the drab part of life and know the frailties of your partner, your focus is again on love for them. You see them in a different light now. This is when couples form life-long bonds.
You settle down in each other’s lives comfortably and understand everything about each other. You feel happy, secure, content, calm, and settled. Experts estimate 5-7 years for couples to reach this stage.
Intimacy activities for couples
If you feel that something is not right in your relationship, there is a good chance that you are right. You have many choices open to you on how you can approach the matter. How to increase physical intimacy in a relationship?
You can straightaway approach a couples counselor or a therapist. If you feel it is your sexual life that is suffering the most and that is the reason for the overall decline in the quality of your relationship, you can see a sexual relationship expert.
For some, a third-party intervention like a counselor or a therapist will work. But some feel uncomfortable about opening up to them about their intimate matters. Some couples feel that they can work out their differences on their own in their own way.
They feel that all they need is a wake-up call to make more commitment to the relationship. Intimacy activities for couples may be just the right answer for these couples. Through these fun activities, couples learn to feel more physical, mental, and emotional intimacy and thereby improve their sex life.
1. Rhythmic breathing exercise
This is something that can work wonders for you on multiple fronts. This involves taking deep breaths in a synchronized manner. You can do this facing each other or sitting back-to-back.
You may have heard about how deep breathing can help you calm down and slow down your life. When done as a couple, you get all the benefits of deep breathing exercises and in addition, you get to connect with your partner like never before.
When sitting face-to-face, touch your foreheads to connect with your partner. You may hold hands as well. When sitting back-to-back, make sure your backs are touching well. To the count of five, start deep breathing. If you have never done this before, you may practice alone to get it right.
While focusing on your own breathing, look out for the rhythm of your partner’s breathing as well. Adjust your breathing to fall into step with that of your partner. It usually takes 7-10 breaths to get it right. Continue as long as you and your partner want to.
This exercise can help find a physical connection with your partner.
2. Gazing into each other’s eyes
Try to remember how often you look at each other in recent times. As the slide begins in a relationship, one of the most obvious signs is the reluctance to spare time for each other. This tendency sneaks in without you being aware of it. You rarely look at each other, let alone into each other’s eyes.
This is rectified with this exercise. It involves gazing into your partner’s eyes. When you are doing this, many things happen to you unknowingly. Your focus is solely on your partner. This forces you to slow down your breathing and helps you calm down.
When you are looking into the eyes of your partner, try to dig deep and figure out what is going through their mind. You may think that this is impossible or mumbo-jumbo. Just try doing this exercise and find for yourself what supernatural powers you have.
When you try this for the first time, you or your partner may find it uncomfortable. There is a good chance that your secrets will come out in the open. Maybe these secrets were the thorns in your relationship. As you do this more often, you will find it easier and can relax and get intimate with your partner.
3. Uninterrupted listening
You may be wondering what listening has got to do with sexual connection. Often sexual disconnect stems from the feeling of being unheard and unappreciated. Regular sessions of uninterrupted listening can rectify this to make you feel like a cohesive unit.
This exercise involves allowing your partner complete freedom to talk about anything they want while you listen. By listening, it means listening and not merely hearing what they are saying. And you will not interrupt on any count. This is not all. At the end of the session, you need to paraphrase what your partner said. If you do this the right way, you will understand the feelings and thoughts of your partner.
Once this is over, it is your turn to talk and your partner will listen and later paraphrase. The exercise can remove the feeling of being underappreciated. This can help in improving ties with your partner.
4. Caressing and touching
After a few years of marriage, things do get too mechanical that the pleasure of touch is often forgotten. This exercise endeavors to bring back the magic of touch in your life.
This involves 10-15 minutes sessions when you spend time touching and caressing each other’s bodies. If your sex life is tense and troubled, you may have difficulty with this.
This exercise can be modified to suit the preferences of partners. Choose something enjoyable for both. You can choose the positions of yourself and your partner. You can either sit side by side or face each other. You can also stand behind your partner when you are doing this exercise.
The kind of touch you want to try is also up to you. You can just caress or massage or run your fingers through your partner’s hair. The whole idea is to get comfortable with each other’s touch, which was lost somewhere along the journey together.
5. Conscious sensuality
This is a tantric practice that can help boost physical intimacy in couples. This combines different intimacy techniques in one activity.
You start with five minutes of soul gazing and move on to rhythmic breathing exercises. This is followed by five minutes of caressing and touching each other. You can also include a five-minute kissing session after this.
The focus of this activity is to feel the sensations of each one of the intimacy exercises and not to get too excited and progress to more sexual activities. You can do this later on but when doing this exercise, try to control the urge.
To make these sensual activities for couples work for you and improve your relationship with your partner, you should have a good relationship with yourself. You can try self-intimacy exercises and self-hypnosis to improve your self-awareness, confidence, and self-esteem.
Self-improvement exercises can help eliminate mental blocks and remove phobias, thus clearing the path for a healthy relationship with your partner.