Easy boost for emotional intimacy

I wish I had known about the blessings of a fire pit a long time ago!  I had no idea that a fire pit could pave the way to more intimate, deep conversations than we routinely have in marriage.  But I’ve discovered it’s true!  There’s something bonding and safe about sharing your deepest thoughts, feelings and dreams in the flickering light coming from your backyard fire pit.  Maybe it’s because it’s quiet and peaceful at night and, when sitting in front of the fire, we tend to talk in soft voices.  Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft answer turns away wrath…”  Well, maybe it’s that soft conversation in front of a fire that breaks down our defenses and helps us to open up.

We’ve built a fire pit in our backyard at our last 2 homes.  They cost less than $100.  We thought a fire pit would be fun for the grandchildren to toast marshmallows and roast hot dogs.  But it turned out that my husband and I enjoyed it just as much…for different reasons than the grandkids!    As the sun went down, we lit the fire, and then my husband asked what the topic of the night should be.  Sometimes, we talked about our dreams for ministry.  Some nights, we talked about our concerns for our children and we prayed for them.  Other nights, we talked about our dream vacation ideas.  Try building a fire pit.  You may be pleasantly surprised by the emotional intimacy you gain as a result!

Gaining more emotional intimacy

Many women get so discouraged about the lack of emotional connection with their husbands.  Wives desperately desire their husbands to open up and share their deepest thoughts and feelings, but often it just doesn’t happen.  Well, one of the things I’ve learned is that most men will do almost anything to avoid looking weak or being vulnerable to criticism.  So, they don’t share their hearts.  They don’t want to risk your scoffing or criticism.  They’re like a turtle that tucks its head inside a protective shell.

But there is a way to prompt your husband to take the risk of sharing his heart with you.  You need to be a safe place for him to share his heart!  What do I mean by that?  Well, I’ll tell you what it looks like if you’re NOT a safe place.  Do you roll your eyes at his ideas?  Do you explain why he’s wrong when he shares his thoughts, beliefs, or ideas?  Do you criticize him or complain all the time?  Those kinds of words and actions don’t exactly make him feel safe in terms of opening up his heart at the deepest level! 

God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33 “the wife must respect her husband.”, and if you consistently show that respect…day after day…and month after month….your husband may start feeling it’s safe to risk opening up his heart to you.  Starting today, try looking for ways to encourage your husband.  Listen attentively to what he talks about.  Ask gentle (non-snarky) questions to dig a little deeper into his thoughts and dreams.  Affirm him in any way you can.  You might find that he will enjoy talking to you a whole lot more!  And that turtle just might poke his head out from underneath the shell.