“Building relationships is not about transactions—it’s about connections.—Michelle Tillis Lederman

sex brings you closer

For many spouses, emotional intimacy is a natural precursor to sexual intimacy.

It’s understandable. Emotional intimacy is the workhorse of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® and plays a significant role in helping you strengthen all the other pillars. 

But what would happen if you reversed this?

Imagine the growth that could occur if the two of you used sex as a tool that brings you closer and builds your emotional intimacy. 

Many couples have experienced this when participating in sex challenges. They find that committing to a sex challenge encouraged them to work through conflict faster, connect in new ways, and rethink their definitions of sexual and emotional intimacy altogether. 

Sometimes, the opportunity to engage emotionally comes after the sexual intimacy. And this discovery is a powerful tool to add to your marriage toolbox. 

For a long-lasting marriage, it’s essential to keep all of your 6 Pillars of Intimacy® healthy over the years. However, this remains a common challenge for couples. As the years pass, plenty of couples experience less talking and less sex. 

But extraordinary couples understand these three truths: 

First, whether it’s conversations or sexual intimacy, you improve what you do more of. That means as you engage these Pillars of Intimacy®, you strengthen them and gain new skills in these areas of marriage. 

Second, intentionality is key. As many couples who complete sex challenges can attest, it’s not enough to just show up or check a box. Being present matters! 

Third, you have power over your choices. And you can choose to build your sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy in specific ways. 

Of course, it might seem a little awkward to use sex as a tool that brings you closer together as a couple.

When you try anything new, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable in the beginning. That’s normal, especially if you grew up in a home where talking about things like sex or emotions was rarely discussed. 

Remember, change happens quickest in a marriage when both of you choose to engage. 

If you’re a spouse who desires sexual intimacy prior to emotional intimacy, choose to get vulnerable afterward and open up during conversations with your spouse. 

On the other hand, if you are a spouse who desires emotional intimacy before sexual intimacy, communicate with your spouse as you explore new methods of connection. 

When it comes to sexual intimacy, it’s important that both of you feel safe. But remember that when any pillar is withheld, especially emotional or sexual intimacy, cracks can form. As a result, you may experience extreme disconnection. So be intentional about protecting these pillars by being open-minded and trying new approaches. 

As always, do not expect perfection on your first attempt. Using sexual intimacy as a tool that brings you closer together is a skill, so give yourselves grace. 

Emotional and sexual intimacy are crucial areas of your marriage. Fortunately, you and your spouse get to decide how you strengthen these pillars.

As you hone your focus on these pillars, you can make the decisions that set you up to experience an extraordinary marriage.


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