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Social Intimacy Can Be Beneficial

Jim Daly on

Q: After 20-some years of marriage, my wife and I know each other pretty well -- and I think we have a good relationship. We also each have our respective friends and hobbies to help us maintain our individuality. But we still sense that maybe we're missing something. How can we strengthen our connection?

Jim: When a lot of couples think of building marital intimacy, they imagine candlelit dinners and deep conversation. It's all about opening your hearts to one another and sharing your innermost feelings. Those moments can be powerful and even a necessary connection point for a husband and wife. But there's another kind of intimacy that can be just as beneficial to a couple: social intimacy.

That term is really as simple as it sounds. Social intimacy means you share activities together. Maybe you both enjoy riding bikes, exercising or gardening together. The two of you probably already share a lot of common interests.

But there's another angle to social intimacy that's a bit trickier to navigate. More than likely you'll both have to go beyond your individual comfort zones and agree to do activities that don't matter to you but are important to your spouse.

Maybe your spouse loves going to the symphony, but you don't care for it. Go to the symphony anyway. In some marriages, the wife likes to watch cooking shows and the husband enjoys football. Watch a little of both together. Make a concerted effort to engage in each other's interests, and your intimacy has a good chance of deepening.

That's the heart and soul of social intimacy. It's about more than just "doing stuff together." It's about showing your spouse how much you value them by entering into their world and honoring what's important to them.


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Q: How do I get my kids to listen to me?

Danny Huerta, Vice President, Parenting and Youth: That's a simple expression of a complex question that almost every parent asks regularly. It might even seem like your kids need a hearing test; it appears that they heard you, but there's not much evidence. Things you've asked them to do go undone, their clothes pile up everywhere, they're still yelling and arguing or sneaking their phone when you've told them not to.

What impacts a child's ability to listen? Sometimes a child may not be developmentally ready to process complex commands or questions. Typically, though, when kids don't listen they're usually:


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