The Five Levels of Emotional Intimacy In Marriage
Do you feel that you can share your innermost self with your husband or wife? Do you trust him/her not to judge, criticize or reject you after you bare your soul?
Deep emotional intimacy in marriage comes from feeling totally accepted, respected and admired by your spouse despite them knowing your innermost feelings. However, there is no need to worry if you are not there yet. Psychologists believe that there are five levels of emotional intimacy, and it takes most married couples some time to get to the highest level.
Level 1: Safe Communication
This is the lowest level of emotional intimacy. The couple only engages in “safe” conversations, which basically means exchanging facts and information on safe topics such as the weather or work. They avoid sharing feelings and opinions or being vulnerable with each other.
These are not necessarily marriage-ending intimacy issues. With the right marriage tips and advice, you can still achieve the highest level of marital intimacy.
Level 2: Other People’s Opinions and Beliefs
The couple begins to share other people’s thoughts, opinions and beliefs with each other. Most of the conversations begin with the words “so and so said . . .”
Sharing other people’s opinions and beliefs helps to test the waters and gauge the other person’s reaction from a safe distance.
Level 3: Personal Opinions and Beliefs
At this level, the couple begins to share their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs with each other. Criticism or rejection at this stage can cause the couple to pull back from each other so as to avoid conflict.
Level 4: Dreams and Failures
Once a couple realizes that they can share their opinions without being judged, they begin to open up about their dreams, goals as well as past mistakes and failures. At this point, they are willing to be vulnerable with each other by sharing things that they can’t really change about themselves – i.e. the past.
Level 5: Needs and Desires
This is highest level of emotional intimacy where the couple reveals to each other who they are at the core. Such intimacy requires great trust because unlike the previous levels, there is no escape or backtracking at this level. In fact, many people are afraid of this level of intimacy because they fear that what they reveal will be used against them.
Intimacy in marriage grows over time. You can’t expect to experience the highest level of emotional intimacy in your first year of marriage but if you keep working towards it you will get there sooner or later.