We’ve been using the Saturday Grapevine as a chance to honestly and boldly look at our marriages from a new perspective. And if we don’t like what we see, we’re mature enough to consider options to improve. Right? . . . I can’t hear you. . . 😀

Well, today’s post might shake things up a little bit. . . but, ladies, if there isn’t a whole lot of shaking goin’ on in your marital grapevine (codeword for emotional and physical intimacy), it might indicate a problem in your marriage. Your husband desires your embrace as much as you crave his affection and emotional intimacy.

If there is no physical fulfillment in your marriage, it’s a fair bet that there is no emotional fulfillment either. And you need that as much as he needs. . . air to breathe!

Lack of fulfillment ought not to be in a Christian marriage. . . and yet, there are many marriages where the partners defraud one another regularly. Both physically and emotionally.

Such defrauding is wrong, and diametrically opposed to what God designed for marriage. . . and yet we probably all find ourselves there from time to time. . .

Sometimes you just . . . don’t.

You don’t feel close to him.

You don’t even want to be close to him.

You don’t even want to want to be close to him.

And it’s usually because you don’t feel emotionally close to him . . . for a multitude of reasons.

Disappointed and defrauded intimacy is destructive to your marriage. . . whether it is physical or emotional. Whether he’s the defrauder. . . or you are the defrauder — either one is hurtful.

There — I’ve said it, and I hope you don’t get mad, but it’s the truth, according to the Bible.

Defraud ye not one the other. . . I Corinthians 7:5

I can’t give you specific advice about the events that have brought you to where you are today, or the answer to solve the problem in three easy steps, but I can give you some general hints into the differences between men and women in these Saturday Grapevine posts that add to the problem.

It takes a lot of work to tend your vineyard. And just like you can tell the health of the vines by the quality of the grapes, the marital bed is a barometer of the health of your relationship. If aren’t ‘drunk’ with the wine of your husband’s intoxicating love as frequently as you both would like, there is room for improvement! Tend your vineyard before the fruit begins to die on the vine.

There are so many reasons that intimacy suffers, and there are many valid excuses. But, the fact remains that in order to have a healthy marriage, you must have a healthy physical and emotional relationship. In order to protect your marriage from the temptation of infidelity, you must make sure that each partner is satisfied. And satisfaction is not selfish; it is essential.

And unless you feel emotionally connected to your husband, you probably don’t feel like engaging in physical intimacy. . . and yet, it seems he is incapable of realizing the connection between his emotional response to you, and its effect on your physical response to him. It can become a vicious cycle of defrauding death.

So, here’s a tip for us women. If he initiates physical intimacy, when you are craving emotional intimacy, just give him a gentle clue into the fact that you do desire a connection with him (but don’t use the words emotional intimacy — or he’ll run screaming like a woman from the room). Teach him about what you need, because he longs to be and provide everything you need. If you prefer a time of relaxing in his embrace, whispering sweet nothings, relaxing massage — whatever label you need to put on the tender emotional needs that you have. . . the desire to feel important to him, to have him minister tenderness and loving words and touch to you — guide him into loving you, in the way that you feel love best and most effectively.

It’s not that he’s stupid. . . he’s just different. . . and the years have changed both of you. . . and you might need to develop new strategies to reconnect with each other and express your love to each other. And most of the fun is in the trying!

It all becomes a circle. As you feel emotionally close to him, you are drawn to him physically. As he notices your response to his physical advances, he feels closer to you emotionally. Pretty soon, as you move around the circle of expressing your love to each other, you catch up to each other in expectations, and before long you’re chasing each other around the dizzying circle of love!!

What goes around, comes around!