Emotional intimacy is the main component of a relationship that keeps a man invested long-term.
Many women worry about having to compete with the younger women that their men meet every day. It's natural to feel insecure about losing your husband to the cute, young barista that works at your favorite coffee shop.
But it's not a physical attraction that will keep a relationship or marriage going — it's learning how to create a deep emotional connection with your man that will transcend all else.
Wise older wives have something much more significant than toned bodies and flawless skin: they have years' worth of happy marital memories, which have enhanced their ability to have a healthy relationship and keep their men coming home every night emotionally fulfilled.
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Here are four ways to create a deep emotional connection with a man and keep him from ever wandering, temporarily or permanently.
1. Open up to him.
Your man has to feel comfortable confiding in you.
In a world where most men feel they have to act tough just to make it through the day at work or survive a night of beer and football with the guys, they really need a place where they can be vulnerable.
As a woman, you should be the one who creates that vulnerability, inviting space for him. You should create a place for him to take off his “man mask” and just be himself.
We all know that men are not like women in the way we talk at length about our problems and speak directly about our feelings, but they do need an outlet for their built-up stress and negative feelings.
A woman who can create that outlet is essential to her man’s happiness and emotional health.
So how do you become a safe place for your man? You make him your safe place first.
This includes two steps:
1. You risk vulnerability with him and share with him your feelings, secrets, fears. Basically, you reveal your underbelly to him.
2. You allow him to comfort you in these moments like he is your hero.
Receiving a man’s comfort is important. Surrendering to his hugs, kisses, and soothing words is essential. And even more essential is accepting his comfort graciously and with sensitivity to his ego, even if it doesn’t feel comforting.
Once you start revealing your underbelly to him and allowing him to comfort you, he will start to open up about his feelings, fears, secrets, needs, and more.
Don’t talk over him or try to fix his problems by acting as his therapist. Don’t half-listen because your sister’s on the other line.
Be mindful, and in a way that invites him to feel safe and heard in your presence.
2. Never fight dirty.
Now that your man has opened up and shared parts of himself with you, guess what happens with a lot of women? They take these revelations and throw them back in their men’s faces in moments of a heated argument.
“That’s why your boss thinks you’re weak!”
“No wonder you are afraid of feeling like a failure!”
“Maybe you are acting like that because your father was abusive like you told me he was.”
When we women see red, we want to win a fight and feel like our feelings are valid. But all your feelings are valid. Nothing he says or does is going to negate your feelings. You are entitled to them, and that’s all you need to know.
If you want your man to hear your feelings, see your hurt, and understand your pain, speak to him like he is someone you hear, see, and understand.
This will create an emotional connection with a man and will create strong emotional intimacy.
He will realize that you are able to honor his person and his feelings, despite your own negative feelings. He will then start doing the same for you.
That’s how healthy men work. They want nothing more than to hold your feelings, even when you are upset. They just don’t want to get burned for it.
If you can bring your feelings about him to him in a safe environment that invites closeness and positive change, he will break his back trying to honor your feelings and wishes, even if he has to make sacrifices for your happiness. He really wants to take care of your emotional needs.
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3. Show him you adore him.
Some women are naturally open with their physical affection. They touch and caress their man (or everyone they know) lovingly, tenderly, warmly. These women are goddesses.
It’s all about loving touches that soothe the man and invite him into the connection. Please don't be one of those women whose touches are pulling in nature. Touches that are not caresses but are more taking in their energy are not mindful touches and push men away.
Examples include pulling on your husband when you hug him instead of slowly sinking into deep physical closeness with him.
Another example is being tense with your touch with the goal of having him be affectionate back. Instead, you should move in his direction.
Even more important than touching him is receiving his touch. Any time your man touches you, relax into it like he’s a hot knife and you’re butter on its blade. Melt into his warmth. Let your muscles relax and invite his touch.
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Sometimes this is easy to do and sometimes it is hard.
If you are mad at your man, you don't have to force yourself to melt into his touch, but you shouldn’t jerk away like he is radiation, either. It feels so horrible to him.
If you are mad and hurt, just say that you don’t want to be touched, give him a reason why, and let him back off. If he doesn’t back off immediately, you need to be firm and tell him more forcefully.
4. Remember to be playful.
Being genuinely playful requires you to feel happy in your life; therefore, you need to start having a positive, loving relationship with yourself. You should dote on yourself. Take any opportunity to laugh, to have fun, and to relax.
You should make room to feel your negative feelings and be less hard on yourself when you are feeling down. You should take time for yourself and take care of your mind, body, and soul. You should find a way to love your job and hobbies and find the joyousness in them.
Indulge your senses to enhance your sensuality. Once you love yourself in a gentle, playful, forgiving way, and you feel inside like you authentically have a positive, playful, feminine, sweet, soft, silly, giggly energy, you can bring that into your relationship.
Take any moment you can to enjoy your man and the moments you share together. Refuse to take anything he does or says too seriously. Find ways to make him warm and smiley and tender and silly inside. I call this “tenderizing him” — you’re trying to make his heart tender and juicy, like a filet in the oven.
Happy moments together create emotional intimacy because laughter makes your hearts happy, and happy hearts are full of love to give.
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Kristina Marchant is a relationship and dating coach who helps women gain confidence and learn to connect with men on a soulful, honest, safe, and sexy level. Sign up for her Goddess Advice Newsletter.