Get Closer -- Even Now
Renew the Bond
Elise Silverman* recalls the moment she realized she and her husband weren't as close as they once were. "I had a dream that I was pregnant," says Silverman, 38, whose children are 8 and 10. "In the dream, I felt kind of drunk with joy at the idea of having another child with my husband." But when she woke up and looked at him sleeping beside her, she felt disappointment. "I was sad that I didn't feel as close to him in reality. The dream made me remember how we used to feel: like we were this tight knot, all wrapped up in each other and amazed at what we were creating together."
Silverman, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina, realized that kids, work, and the daily tumult of life had loosened and frayed the knot that was once so secure. "We'd lost sight of who we were as a couple," she says. It's an all-too-common lament: that despite a husband's and wife's best intentions, they've grown apart and feel distant rather than connected.
Fortunately, for those who crave a renewed closeness, bonds can be strengthened, and with proper attention, marriages can enter a new, even more fulfilling stage. "What we're all striving for in marriage is intimacy," says Linda Solomon, LSHC, a marital therapist in Dallas. "Intimacy involves total understanding and acceptance. You don't feel the need to hide your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants from your partner." Intimacy is also the comfortable sense of being able to drop your defenses with someone. Intimacy isn't simply a feeling, however. It's a process -- something that is constantly in the works.
For couples in troubled relationships, the path back to intimacy can be a difficult one, for which outside help may be needed. But for relatively healthy marriages, rebuilding intimacy can be as easy as committing to a few actions that will reap large rewards. Here are 10 ways to bring you and your spouse closer together, starting today.
*Name has been changed