Beyond Physical: How to Strengthen Emotional Intimacy With Your Husband

When you hear the word “intimacy,” it’s only natural for physical relations to come to mind. While that plays an essential role in our marriages as well, it doesn’t do much good if it’s not accompanied by emotional intimacy. What does it look like to connect with your spouse on an emotionally intimate level? How do you cultivate that kind of intimacy in your relationship—even if it doesn’t come naturally to you? If you’re looking for ways to improve your emotional connection with your spouse, just think about creating an environment of LOVE: Listening, Opportunity, Vulnerability, and Empathy.


“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, ESV).

Truly listen when your spouse is sharing something with you. I don’t mean half-heartedly hearing their voice while gazing at your phone or nodding along while thinking about something else. Look your husband in the eye, listen to what he’s saying, and try to understand. Your spouse is your best friend and your forever partner in this crazy life! Show him that what he’s saying truly matters to you.

I consider myself a pretty good listener. However, as a mom to 3 kids, it can be challenging to devote my full attention to one person when multiple people are talking or creating various noises in the environment. This is where the next point comes in.


“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

Create opportunities to spend time with one another. As couples, our days can get hectic, which can leave us both scrambling through them. Sometimes, we’re merely co-existing and passing each other like ships in the night. When you fall into this groove, it takes intentionality to break free from the busy. Make a point to spend quality time together. Yes, your days are busy, but the truth is you’ll always make time for what’s truly important to you. Here are a few ways to create opportunities for emotional connection:

  • Plan a regular date night. It can be once a week, once a month, etc. (whatever works for you!) Put it on the calendar and stick to it, or you’ll always find a reason to put it off.
  • Spend time together in the evening after the kids are in bed. You can use this time to talk about your days, play a game, read the Bible together, pray as a couple, ask each other questions, plan for the future, etc. My husband and I love to zone out and watch TV together in the evenings, but it has helped our relationship significantly to incorporate some of the above options first.
  • Take a walk during the day. Find a time that works for both of you, whether first thing in the morning, during a lunch break, or in the evening after dinner. Walking creates a fantastic opportunity for conversation. It gives time to sort through disagreements or discuss difficult topics without the pressure of sitting across a table staring at each other.
  • Go for a drive. Similar to walking, being in the car with another person is an excellent chance to share openly with each other.

Time together as a family can be beautiful and strengthen your relationship in its own way, but time for just the two of you is essential for emotional intimacy.


“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).

I tend to be a quiet and reserved person, which means I keep a lot of my thoughts private. Sharing what’s in my heart with others feels scary, even with the people closest to me. It opens the door for judgment, conflict, misunderstanding, and other harmful things that are uncomfortable for me. However, vulnerability is one of the most beautiful things we can offer someone.

Whenever another person opens up to me, they let me see their flaws, their story and their struggles. When someone shows me openly what’s in their heart, it instantly builds trust. I feel a connection and relatability to that individual, which allows me to let down my walls as well.

In marriage, it can be tempting to remain silent when something heavy is on your heart in order to keep the peace. I’d argue that’s not true peace, and this strategy often does more harm than good. Hiding our feelings can lead to a spirit of apathy and resentment. Keeping open communication—even, and primarily, when it’s difficult—builds a strong foundation of trust and connection.


“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

Empathy is something we give in response to another person’s vulnerability. It’s when we put ourselves in another person’s shoes and take on their emotions as our own.

Matching someone’s emotional state, in their joys or struggles, is a way to make them feel seen and truly cared for. When you share an emotional experience with someone, whether high or low, it connects you on a deeper level.

In our marital relationships, meeting our spouse with empathy can be easier sometimes than others. Reflecting our husband’s excitement when he gets a promotion at work may come quickly. Trying to put ourselves in his shoes when we’re at odds with him is, understandably, more difficult.

Empathy is an essential factor in emotional intimacy. It’s a vital part of what makes us, as humans, feel connected, understood and loved.

An Environment of Emotional Intimacy

God designed husbands and wives to be united as one. Not just physically but emotionally as well. When we’re intentional about forming deep connections with our husbands, we’re living into God’s purpose for us as wives.

What does this kind of emotional intimacy look like?

Have you ever seen couples communicate with a mere glance at each other as if they can hear what the other person is thinking? It’s because they are emotionally connected. When you truly become one with your spouse, they get to know you even better than you know yourself at times. You begin to recognize when there’s something on the other person’s mind. You can tell when they’ve had a rough day. You know the things that make them laugh and how to push their buttons! In the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, you work to learn these things about each other.

If you’re not intentional about continuing to cultivate this intimacy, though, it can get lost along the way.

By building a solid emotional foundation with one another, we create an unshakeable level of understanding and connection. The enemy is hard at work trying to divide spouses and families. When we unite our marriage in Christ, consistently drawing close to God and one another, we stand firm against these attacks. As wives, let’s put aside the things that distract us and focus on reflecting God’s love through our relationships with our husbands.

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