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EP 62: Pillar of Intimacy “How To Strengthen Your Intimacy L…
Mon, 8/1 10:46AM • 26:41
intimacy, relationship, kim, partner, sex, kickass, spouse, couples, intimate, emotional intimacy, marriage, sharing, physical, pillars, feel, people, physical intimacy, podcast, talk, questions
Kimberly Hoffman, Matthew Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman 00:02
Welcome to the Kickass Couples Podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who wants to level up their marriage experience newfound clarity, hope and confidence. We’re Matthew and Kim, co-hosts and husband and wife.
Kimberly Hoffman 00:16
In 26 years together, we’ve seen a lot and never thought it could be as good as it is right now. We’re here to help you successfully navigate the messy, dirty and wonderful world of marriage.
Matthew Hoffman 00:28
We believe all couples deserve and are capable of experiencing an extraordinary and fulfilling marriage. And each week we’re bringing you life lessons from real life successful couples to help you grow and strengthen your relationship.
Kimberly Hoffman 00:43
We’ll get started right after this message. If you want to learn how to experience the best, most fulfilling year of your marriage, we invite you to order Matthew’s new book, “Kickass Husband: Winning at Life,Marriage, and Sex.” You can get it “Amazon.com” or visit Matthew’s website, “www.matthewphoffman.com.” Again, that’s “Amazon.com” or “www.matthewphoffman.com.” And now back to the show.
Matthew Hoffman 01:22
We are so excited to be back on the Kickass Couples Podcast today with you, our family Kickass Couples Nation. And today we get to do we don’t have to do we get to do a deep dive on one of our key pillars. And that pillar is intimacy.
Kimberly Hoffman 01:34
I’m really excited about talking about intimacy today because I feel like the more I’ve learned about intimacy, the better I get in my own relationship. And I feel like it’s almost like peeling back layers of an onion, because there are a lot of different layers to intimacy.
Matthew Hoffman 01:52
There are. I’ve come so far in understanding really what intimacy is, as a guy, I would say I am that typical feeling of intimacy means sex, and it can but there’s so much more. And I want to share a little quote from you from Leon Love Anne Zandt about intimacy. She said “In my mind, marriage is a spiritual partnership and union in which we willingly give and receive love, create and share intimacy and open ourselves to be available and accessible to another human being in order to heal, learn and grow.” And I think that’s what it’s really about Kim is making ourselves accessible for other human beings. So, if you had to like what you said earlier a minute ago, there’s a lot of different types of intimate intimacy. Can you walk us through what those are and what you’ve come to understand?
Kimberly Hoffman 02:43
Definitely, there’s five types of intimacy. And it starts with the spirit, spiritual intimacy. There’s experiential intimacy. There is emotional intimacy.There is physical intimacy, and there’s intellectual intimacy. So, there’s really a lot of different ways that we can be intimate and close to our partner.
Matthew Hoffman 03:10
That’s great. You know, I mean, I remember one of the episodes that we did with Natalie and Eric Southward, where she kind of gave us a recipe for intimacy. And I made her backup and walk us through that if you haven’t listened to that episode, and you want to learn what you can do to make that more intimate, then check out that episode with Natalie and Eric, but what she said, Kim, I think she said it started for her when she would see her husband, praying with her children. And she said, that’s a great example of spiritual intimacy and she experienced that.
Kimberly Hoffman 03:40
Yeah, I love that episode, because I love how she broke it down for herself and, and for her spouse. And so I think that, you know, we all resonate with different types of intimacy. And I look at sort of what binds me to you. And I would have to say that for me, emotional intimacy, and I think that a lot of women feel like emotional intimacy really comes first for them. They want to feel close and connected, and they want to feel safe and secure with their partner. And so I think that when that emotional need is met, that all of those other things come into play.
Matthew Hoffman 04:27
I think a great analogy came, you know, if you think of the different kinds of intimacy, there’s five and there’s other people out there who would add more to that list, maybe make it grow to six or seven, I think it’d be Think of it like a muscle group. Emotional is an important muscle group, spiritual, intellectual, all those physical and then physical meaning proximity and touch but not sex. And then you know, spiritual and intellectual, right? So, you got all these different kinds in there. And like your body, you’ve got to work all your muscle groups. If you just work on one. You’re you it’ll be pretty imbalanced and out of whack, and there’s not gonna be a great relationship. So, I think for you, you said, and I think it’s true for most women, emotional is most important. So, if I think if women put emotional, probably very high, if not top on the list ,that men and I think when my sense of intimacy was pretty underdeveloped and I didn’t really have awareness, I’d say most men would say, intimacy means sex, and it can, and it does, but if you want to arrive at that spot, and have your spouse be ready, and wanting to be at that spout, at that spot with you, and you’ve got to take a walk through all the other types to get there. And so guys, if you want your wife to be turned on, tuned in and really into you, and wanting to have that physical intimacy, you got to spend some time kind of building the foundation to get there. And I think it’s a learned skill. It’s not something we’re born with, but if you take the time to make those emotional connections, spiritual connections, you know, talking about faith, reading an article together, intellectual. Kim and I took a, an online webinar a couple of months ago, with Esther Perel and David White. And he is a poet. And she’s a psychotherapist. And we spent about an hour and a half an hour and 15 minutes together. That’s a great example of developing our intellectual intimacy, because we were growing and learning together through a shared experience. And it brought us tighter, and gave us a lot of questions and things to think and talk about as we develop.
Kimberly Hoffman 06:32
Definitely. And I think that when, you know, we really understand our spouses, the need, and whatever that need for intimacy is it’s almost like a love language, right? We can really learn and grow together, if we’re meeting that intimate need of our spouse. And for me, it could just be holding hands, going for a walk, having those deep dive conversations, sharing our inner inner world. I mean, those are the things that I feel bring me closer to, you, so.
Matthew Hoffman 07:08
I would agree with that. And I think one of the things you talked about sharing the inner world, you know, you’ve got to have a high degree of trust, that’s another one of our pillars, and you need to be comfortable saying anything to your spouse, if you want to bring closer draw closer lean in, as we would say, to your number one, then it’s really about sharing your hopes, dreams, your greatest fears. So, when you open yourself up, and as the quote said, when we open our episode, when you become more accessible, and you’re sharing of yourself, that strengthens that bond, that’s emotional intimacy, that’s getting close on a deeper level. And when you’re close, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually in all those different ways, then physical and or sexual intimacy is a natural outcropping, and occurrence. And it’s not just where both people are, have arrived at the same spot, but that physical intimacy is so much more meaningful when there’s something behind it. And it’s not just merely a physical need that needs to be met. And intimacy sometimes may feel that way. And that’s okay, but if the overriding piece of your intimacy with your partner is just about getting a need met, and it’s not about meeting their needs, and being selfless, it’s not going to be healthy for the relationship in the long term.
Kimberly Hoffman 08:25
I think it’s important to point out that that vulnerability piece that you were just talking about a few minutes ago, is so important, because when we are really able to be vulnerable, open, talk about all those deep dark fears, or maybe even just successes, then or needs and wants, right? I think that that really does bring us closer together. And it’s such a huge piece of being intimate with one another.
Matthew Hoffman 08:57
I think you got something really good. Kim. You know one of the questions we ask and talk about is what should real intimacy make us feel like? Can you just let’s take some turns going back and forth, you just shared one, and kind of along those same lines as being known and understood. You know, everybody has the desire to be understood in life, especially by our number one by our life partner. If we don’t feel that our partner understands us, and they really know who we are, it is really difficult to cross that divide that chasm and become intimate with them. So, being known and understood like, hey, you get me and sometimes that comes through questions and conversations. Sometimes it’s just a smile and a nod where your partner can recognize and say, I get it, I understand it.
Kimberly Hoffman 09:45
Yeah, I think being feeling like you’re appreciated. That you’re being cherished is huge. Everyone’s everyone wants to feel cherished and important to their spouse or their significant other. And so I feel like that’s a big one. There are a lot more I mean, just safety and security is really huge. And it plays a big role in intimacy in our relationship, because if I don’t feel safe with you, I’m not going to open up to you, but even less so.
Matthew Hoffman 10:20
So, what I’d love to talk about Kim, can you think about let’s let’s kind of popcorn a little bit. What What can people do if they want to achieve, they want their spouse to be cherished, or they want them to have that trust and security, what have some of the things that you’ve seen in our relationship that you’ve done, or I’ve done that have helped create that? I know, you know, one of one of the things, we recently had a big loss, we’ve talked about it, in other episodes of Maynard, our podcast studio. And Kim knows, I mean, it was really tough for her, it was tough for me. And she knew that, you know, I was seeing a dream where I thought evaporate, but she pulled up alongside me, was next to me, and really made sure I knew that she was there, whatever she needed, whatever we needed, whatever I needed, she was there. And so that’s a great example of me feeling known and understood, but also letting her know that she’s got my back no matter what, that’s something she did for me. So, it’s really, it’s not trying to solve the issue or come in and take responsibility. It’s just quietly calming, like a parent to a child comforting them and letting them know, you’re alongside them. And you’re sitting in the spot where they are at the same time.
Kimberly Hoffman 11:36
Yeah, I agree with that. And I think letting your spouse know that, you know, you’re not going anywhere. I’m here. Doesn’t matter what happens, what comes our way, what challenges we have, you know, maybe we’re having challenges and we’re not communicating well, but at the at the end of the day, I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here beside you, and we’re going to work through this. I think another thing that we do, or you really do it, probably a little better than I do is you speak appreciation. You are very considerate about acknowledging out loud to me, things that you notice me doing or things that you’re grateful for. And I think that goes a long way to creating intimacy.
Matthew Hoffman 12:27
When it comes to creating a kick ass marriage. Do you ever wonder what you could be doing better? Have you ever thought how helpful would be to be a part of a like minded community of other imperfect couples who wants to level up and their number one relationship? Come visit Kickass Couples Nation, where you can talk with people just like you are looking for ways to invest in and increase their joy, commitment, and fulfillment in their most important human relationship. You’ll have access to a team of licensed marriage therapists, coaches, articles, podcasts, live webinars and more. Just visit “matthewphoffman.com.” So, you can learn more about a community that’s ready to help you level up. That’s “matthewphoffman.com.” So, you can become of the growing Kickass Couples Nation right now. It does. And I appreciate your recognition of that gratitude, you know, it’s one thing we’ve talked about this before and with gratitude is free currency. And if you have it, and you don’t express it, it’s like having money and never using it. And I appreciate you that. What are some of the inhibitors like there, we kind of talked about what gets in the way the roadblock or the walls, but what’s one thing that you see getting in the way of people reaching that level of intimacy that they’d like to have in their relationship?
Kimberly Hoffman 13:44
Gosh, I think communication is huge. I think when we’re not communicating well, or we’re not setting aside the distractions and creating time to communicate that that’s a huge inhibitor.
Matthew Hoffman 13:57
Yeah. And you talked about Kim about setting aside the time and we’ve said this so many times and a lot of the relationship masters that we’ve had the pleasure of talking to on this podcast, say we schedule time to be together. And I’m a scheduled person, if you just say, oh, we’ll do it later, we’ll have it at some time. Later is not a time and some time is not a time. And I really think the intentionality of of scheduling time to communicate on anything,
Kimberly Hoffman 14:24
Matthew Hoffman 14:24
Kimberly Hoffman 14:24
creating a space to actually sit down without the distractions is huge. And it’s critical, because if we don’t, then we are like two ships passing in the night. We can say we’re going to do it later, but nine times out of 10 later comes no we’re too exhausted or too tired. And just you know, don’t have it in us to have that really great sit down time to communicate with each other.
Matthew Hoffman 14:51
Yeah. And I think another thing that gets in the way Kim, after communication would be conflict, when and usually it’s opinion or some one’s thought of how something should be versus the other. And, you know, one of the hardest things in conflict resolution really leads into intimacy is not having to be right or saying, how important is it for me to get my way? And it’s really changing that I in you to us. And if either spouse can make the decision, if it’s a win for us, it’s a win for the relationship, then that’s going to open the door of greater intimacy, because you’re not spending energy, communicating and trying to resolve conflict, but you’re really putting aside personal desire and saying, what’s best for the relationship, because if the relationship wins, then both people win over any specific issue. So, that’s something that if you have that approach about conflict, it really allows you to maintain and pursue that intimacy I think.
Kimberly Hoffman 15:47
Yeah. And there are several that things that are out there that can inhibit you from becoming intimate, it can be, you know, extended family issues that are constantly showing up in your relationship. It can be financial issues that you’re struggling with. And so I feel like there are a lot of outside influences when it comes to intimacy. And we have to be really careful, careful to keep those in check. So that it does not interfere with our core relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 16:19
Yeah, no, I think you’re right. And you know, I always like to bring things back, we have our Kickass Couples Assessment, Kim, and I want to just kind of share with our listeners, if you haven’t done that assessment, it’s free. You go to our website, “matthewphoffman.com.” And you can take that assessment. And it’s just a great way to kind of understand how you feel about the relationship, how your partner does. And under the intimacy pillar there, if you are successfully demonstrating strong intimacy in your relationship, this is what it might look like, you enjoy and seek physical touch. Touch is one of my big love languages and one of Kim’s as well. You’re affectionate, you’re expressing affection, you’re sharing emotions and secrets. Those deep dark fears and things we spoke about earlier. You’re romantic, your you keep pursuing your partner and choosing them first over other things. And then you make sure that you have mutually enjoyable sex. It’s not good for you, unless it’s good for them as well. Can’t be selfish in there. And Kim, you know, some of the things that if you’re not demonstrating it, this is what it might look like in your relationship, you’re physically distant, you lack affection for your partner, you’re emotionally closed, you have a wandering eyes, and you might be demanding sex. So, I encourage you to if you want to really work on intimacy is take that walk with your partner through that assessment and see how you’re each responding there. And we’ll give you an indication of opportunities maybe to work on strengthening.
Kimberly Hoffman 17:45
Yeah, for sure. There are a lot of opportunities when it comes to intimacy. And I think this kind of goes without saying, but know your partner’s love language. We talked about that a lot. I think so many people miss the boat on that. Just that one simple idea of knowing what really what really resonates with your partner? What they truly love? How they how they want to be loved? You know, I mean, I think that we don’t enough of us don’t really look at that, and act on it.
Matthew Hoffman 18:21
Yeah, and we talk about questions. And one of the my favorite questions. And I do ask this to Kim and she’ll ask me sometimes, if we’re maybe distant or not quite hitting on the communication is, do a fill in the blank, ask your spouse this question, say, I want you to fill in the blank, I feel most loved by you,when? And then what is it that you want your partner to do? Or when your partner does something? What’s the answer to you feeling most loved by them? And if you don’t know that answer, say I feel most loved by you when and then fill in the blank with your own answer to make sure your partner knows. And then have them do the same thing with you, but if you don’t know, I know Kim’s and I’m constantly working to provide that to her, because I want to be intimate with her in as many ways as we can. And it’s a great question. So, if you haven’t done it, or if you haven’t done it in a while, I encourage you to ask that question and have them fill in.
Kimberly Hoffman 19:15
I love that idea about check ins. I think that it’s a great concept and the more we are taking ourselves out of the way in focusing on our partner and just it can be just as short and simple as how are you doing? I noticed XYZ, especially if they’re having a tough day, or, you know, how are you doing today? I am feeling you know, a little anxious today. You know, maybe something happened within the family. And just doing those little questions, I think really draws us closer to our partner. Sometimes, we just ignore those things and kind of shuffle them under the rug and move on, but I think asking and checking in is simple, and it’s easy. And it goes a long way to creating intimacy.
Matthew Hoffman 20:05
That’s a great point, Kim, you know. Asking the right questions is huge because neither of us are mind reader’s. We can’t look at our spouse, sometimes you can take physical nonverbal cues. That’s important, but we can’t read their mind. So, when you’re feeling a certain way, and you have an emotion, a great one, a bad one are struggling, nothing wrong with going to your partner and saying, hey, I’m having a tough day. And here’s why, because what are you doing? You’re building the bond of intimacy with them, and you’re sharing things about your deep and inner world, and giving them what they need to help form that connection. And to make sure they’re prioritizing you in your daily life.
Kimberly Hoffman 20:43
Yeah. So, if we if we don’t have great intimacy in our relationship, and we don’t know where to start with creating intimacy in our relationship with our spouse, where do we begin? How do we, how do we do this that, you know, bring this intimacy into our relationship?
Matthew Hoffman 21:05
Well, I think it’s a great question, you know, we spending time together, specifically scheduling activities and doing things, I think you really have to take a basic inventory Kim of where, you know, we talked about five different types. And there’s others, sit down and say, how do you see those or not see those things occurring in your relationship? And, for example, I’ll use the spiritual element of intimacy. My wife and I pray together, often, we pray for each other. We may share an article or a video or a podcast or a sermon together. So, we are constantly doing things that will build that leg of intimacy. And I think it’s all about activity and time in the saddle, so to speak, right? We can’t just think about it. And in, in a theoretical and philosophical terms, the rubber hits the road when we plan intentional activities. And there are things that you can do with your spouse around each kind of intimacy. And that includes sexual, right? I mean, it talks, you know, you got to talk about what you like, what you don’t like, mix it up. You’re caught in a rut in the same old routine, we all face that, but it’s making sure that you’re intentional, and doing things to mix up and spice up that and getting everybody taking turns not just the male being the only one, not just the female. So, I think Kim, if you want to know where to start, I think do a little inventory and how you see intimacy playing out. In those five types that we mentioned, we’ll put it in the show notes about what those kinds are. And we’ll also put that episode if you want to go and hear from a relationship Nirvana, Natalie walks through the formula for intimacy, and we’ll put that in the show notes for you, but that’s where I would say they could start.
Kimberly Hoffman 22:47
Yeah, I agree. And I would also add to that. Building a friendship system, I feel that building that really great foundation of a friendship is huge when it comes to creating intimacy. When we’re when we’re doing that we’re taking walks together, we’re playing together, we’re talking about our hopes and dreams. So, we’re love mapping. And so I feel like building that friendship system is huge. It’s what’s really foundational for us.
Matthew Hoffman 23:17
Yeah, anybody can have sex. And you know. you can sex with a stranger. You don’t have to be friends, right? But building that friendship system is the foundation that allows you to know your partner, to get into their inner world, ask the questions. And those are the things that build intimacy that bring you to the destination of great sex.
Kimberly Hoffman 23:37
Thats what bonds me to you. I mean, when all of those things are coming into play, and I feel like if we’re really looking at, you know, what intimacy is? it’s all of our pillars, clicking together, it’s us working and growing, and trying to really make sure that we know what those pillars are. And we’re using those pillars and working on bettering ourselves in those pillars that create intimacy within our relationship, so.
Matthew Hoffman 24:06
That’s why we’re here. That’s why we’re here at Kickass Couples Nation. There’s so much more we could talk about on intimacy. But if you want to learn more about the 14 pillars, if you want to have any of the resources on the assessment, go to “matthewphoffman.com.” And you can take the assessment for free. You can look at what our pillars are, we’ve got training on relationships, we are here to help you have a better journey to have the tools in the toolbox and to be more satisfied in your number one relationship. I want to end with a little quote from Erwin McManus we’re big fans of Erwin lover and his books and the “Battle Ready Podcast “with his son Aaron. And this is an entry from his book called “Soul Cravings.” And Irwin says “Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as if sex is proof of love. Too many men demand sex as proof of love. Too many women have given sex in hopes of love. We live in a world of users where we abuse each other to dull the pain of aloneness. We all long for intimacy and physical contact, and appears intimacy, at least for a moment.” So, something to think about. So we would encourage you to end up there, but don’t start there. And make sure you take the time to build those other elements that are going to give you the kind of intimacy that you can only hope and dream for in your relationship. So, thanks for listening and tuning in today. We’re so glad to have you with us. If you liked this episode, please give us a thumbs up, rate us and if you do that, and send your review to “firstname.lastname@example.org.” We’ve got a gift for you, and we’ll love you to do it. And so Kim, what do they need to remember?
Kimberly Hoffman 25:50
“Happily Ever After Doesn’t Just Happen. It’s On Purpose.”
Matthew Hoffman 25:55
We’ll see ya out there.
Kimberly Hoffman 25:56
That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the Kickass Couples Podcast. If you liked the content of the show, you’ll love Matthew’s newly released book, “Kickass Husband: Winning at Life, Marriage, and Sex.” To receive a digital mini book of quotes and images from the book ,all you have to do is rate this show and leave a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune into. Then email us a screenshot of your review at “email@example.com.” And we’ll get it over to you right away. Until next time, remember Happily Ever After Doesn’t Just Happen, It’s on Purpose.”