Remember how close you and your partner used to be? You were each other's best friend. You could tell each other anything. You'd laugh at the same jokes, share your dreams for the future, and look forward to the plans you'd made together.
Now, it's so different. There's tension, fighting and loneliness, even when you're in the same room. You no longer have a future that you look forward to as a couple.
As a matter of fact, you wonder if there even IS a future for your relationship.
Even if you're on the verge of a break-up, please know that there IS hope and there IS a way back to the closeness and deep love you used to have for each other.
When a relationship is "right," you feel it.
You can't wait to see your partner and tell them about your day.
Your interactions are a source of positivity and joy in your life.
You are free to be yourself, without judgment or criticism.
You can tell them just about anything, without reproach.
Your shortcomings are acknowledged, but at the same time accepted.
With them, you are your best self. This means that you choose to be generous, kind and loving, and you do so because you want to, not because you have to. It just comes naturally.
Your heart soars a little bit when you see their name on an incoming call or after coming home from a long day at work.
Conversely... When a relationship loses that special closeness, you feel it, too.
You no longer feel as good as you used to when they are around.
You're careful with your words. You take more things too personally and you often feel defensive. You no longer care how you come across to them.
Something has gone missing, but what?
What is that indescribable factor that makes some relationships seem effortless and able to withstand unsurmountable challenges, even when the couple have wildly different personalities and backgrounds?
While other relationships contain all the qualities that society deems necessary for longevity - passionate love, compatibility, similar personalities - and yet begin to break apart when faced with problems?
Perhaps you've had relationships like the former at one time in your life, and now you're experiencing more of the latter - the difficult one.
You're in a relationship that feels lonely, even when you and your partner are in the same room.
You don't feel comfortable in your own skin.
You no longer get a sense of joy from activities you do together.
Or there's a tension that permeates each conversation, a fear of saying the wrong thing or being misunderstood yet again.
If so, and you're wondering where it all went wrong, then it's highly likely that the critical piece that's missing from your relationship is real, true INTIMACY.
Intimacy is the ability to be safely vulnerable with your partner and vice versa.
When you have intimacy, you feel as if you belong together.
When intimacy is missing, it's very difficult to make a relationship FEEL RIGHT.
Intimacy is the crazy glue that keeps relationships together, through good times and bad, year after year.
Without real, true intimacy, your relationship can't withstand the challenges we all face in life - illness, job loss, child rearing and elder care.
So what if your relationship is lacking that intimacy now?
You can try common "tactics" and "strategies" to get your relationship back on track, but unless you're willing to look at how to increase intimacy, many of your efforts will probably be in vain.
When couples begin to have problems in the relationship, they look for ways they think will bring back the closeness they used to feel.
But typically they try ways that just don't work. Have you ever tried one of these ways to bring back those loving feelings?
And to no avail.
That's because these tactics really don't address or bring back what's really missing, which is intimacy.
After working with hundreds of couples over the course of my counseling career, it's crystal clear to me that the relationships that stand the test of time - regardless of the challenges that confront them - are ones in which partners maintain and cultivate that precious intimacy.
It's not something you can take for granted, and it's not something that's a given, just because you love each other.
It takes a certain process to create and keep real, true intimacy. I have unlocked the secret to that process.
In my experience, in order to keep intimacy alive, there are 5 steps you must take:
And most importantly, you should both have a relationship with the Living God. When you have God in your life, you have the best relationship counselor in the world! He can help you have a wonderful relationship with your partner, and with Himself! Learn more about the Living God HERE