Preparing for Marriage – Defining what we want from Marriage and one another

As we prepare for that most wonderful day of our lives we can expect to be sidetracked by the imminent logistical, financial, secular and practical considerations of wedding preparations. Within that heated cauldron of anticipation, excitement and immediacy we can overlook what it’s really all about, what we want from marriage, from ourselves and from our partner.

Emotional Closeness & Communication

Within this mindset our goals and objectives can remain understated or even unstated. Perhaps the area we most take for granted is emotional closeness and communication. Because it’s currently visible within our relationship, we have an expectation it will always be there. But have we spelled out to one another what we mean by emotional closeness? How do we begin to express to each other what it represents? Do we see it as a mutual sharing of how we feel? Is it an indissoluble bond, secure and steadfast, that connects our shared world and identity? Is it a unique oneness that we have been privileged to experience? Is it about friendship and love? Have we discussed how we want to develop and preserve our unique sense of emotional closeness? And how do we communicate this to one another as a relationship goal?

Defining our world of Intimacy

Our sense of shared intimacy is another understated and sometimes intangible jewel that connects our worlds. But what constitutes our understanding of intimacy, and what kind of intimacy do we need to sustain our relationship? Have we ever communicated this to one another and shared our understanding of what it means? Is it best represented by sexual intimacy within what we experience in our physical loving relationship? Or is it emotional intimacy where we enjoy a mutual sharing of feelings, desires and fantasies? Is it cognitive intimacy within which we share our thoughts, projections and deliberations? Is it spiritual intimacy, or psychological intimacy in that we simply need each other?

Intimacy A Journey of Discovery

Perhaps, within our relationship, intimacy doesn’t need words? Perhaps it’s about being able to let our guard down and being there for each other when we’re feeling low? Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above? What we do know is the experience of intimacy is uniquely different within each relationship in that it is essentially a journey of discovery. It doesn’t happen overnight and we sometimes need to work hard to achieve it. But there are some actions we can take to stimulate intimacy. We can create the conditions and opportunities within which intimacy will flourish. We can ensure we are alone with no outside influences to intrude on the intimacy of our oneness. We can let go of expectations and focus on giving love and understanding. Within this intimate climate we can affirm what we really value and love about our partner.

Exercise:

Discuss with each other your experience of emotional closeness and intimacy! Can you embrace and accommodate the differences of interpretation that exist between you? Discuss how important emotional closeness and intimacy are to your relationship! How do you feel you could further stimulate intimacy within your relationship?

Nota Bene:

The Accord marriage preparation course, “Marriage – A Journey Not a Destination” offers an extensive series of activities around emotional closeness and intimacy. For further information visit:

www.accord.ie