Marital Intimacy Skills Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3174 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 11  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage


[. . .] " (Boa, nd)

Phileo is a type of love that can "..can degenerate into the sharing of secret evils and hatreds; it can lead to a we-versus-they mentality that excludes outsiders." (Boa, nd)

VI. Emotional Skillfulness in Marriage

The work of Cordova, Gee and Warren (2005) entitled "Emotional Skillfulness in Marriage: Intimacy As A Mediator of the Relationship Between Emotional Skillfulness and Marital Satisfaction" reports having tested the theory that "emotional skillfulness, specifically the ability to identify and communicate emotions, plays a role in the maintenance of marital adjustment through its effects on the intimacy process." Reported is a study in which ninety -- two married couples completed measures of emotional skillfulness, marital adjustment, and intimate safety." (Cordova, Gee, and Warren, 2005)

Reported in the findings is that the "…ability to identify and the ability to communicate emotions were associated with self and partner marital adjustment. Furthermore, the association between these emotion skills and marital adjustment was mediated by intimate safety for both husbands and wives. Gender differences were found in the ability to communicate emotions and in the association between the communication of emotions and partners' marital adjustment." (Cordova, Gee, and Warren, 2005)

The work of Gottman (2000) reports four primary emotional reactions that destroy a marriage and lead to divorce. Those four emotional reactions include:

(1) criticism;

(2) defensiveness;

(3) stonewalling; and (4) contempt. (Gottman, 2000)

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According to Gottman, the most important of the four is that of contempt. Seven principles stated by Gottman (2000) for making marriage work include the following seven principles:

(1) Enhance marital love maps -- this is the location in the brain where information about the other spouse in the marriage is stored. One should know their partner's dreams, hopes, interests, and should maintain the interest in these aspects of their partner throughout the entire relationship;

Research Paper on Marital Intimacy Skills This Study Assignment

(2) Nurturing fondness and admiration -- holding a positive view of the other marital partner is important as is respect for and appreciation of their differences;

(3) Turn toward one another rather than away from one another -- Gottman holds that the acknowledgement of the small moments in the other marital partner's life and orientation of self towards them serves to maintain the critical connection that the relationship make a requirement of for success;

(4) Allow the other marital partner to exert their influence -- while one's own identity should be maintained in the relationship, it is important to give in to the marital partner and when both do this respect on a deeper level forms between the marital partners;

(5) Solve problems that are solvable -- it is necessary for marital partner to find a place of compromise on issues that can meet with a resolution and Gottman (2000) suggest the steps of: (i) soften your startup; (ii) learn to make and receive repair attempts; (iii) sooth yourself and each other; (iv) compromise; and (v) be tolerant of each other's faults.

(6) Overcome Gridlock -- issues may not be resolvable due to the fundamental views of partners being very different. When it is not possible to compromise then one should empathize with their partner;

(7) Create Shared Meaning -- a shared value system serves to connect the marital partners through rituals, traditions, share symbolism and roles. (Gottman, 2000, paraphrased)

The work of Condie (nd) relates that the design for intimacy in marriage created by God means that one connects with the other marital partner not only in body and mind but as well in spirit. In Genesis 2:24 it is stated that the husband and wife become one. In Malachi 2:15 it states "Has not the Lord made them (husband and wife) one in flesh and spirit" (NLV). Condie writes that intimacy of body "includes nonsexual physical contact (hugs, snuggling, back rubs, holding hands) as well as sexual play and sexual intercourse." (nd) Intimacy of mind is stated to include "…friendship, love, respect, honesty, vulnerability, confidentiality, healthy conflict resolution and sharing of feelings, thoughts, values, joys and sorrows." (Condie, nd) Intimacy of spirit includes "…worshipping together, sharing a Bible study or devotional and praying both together and for one another on a daily basis." (Condie, ) Condie state that marital intimacy in the divine is "the closest of human experiences and is a foretaste of the union of Christ with His Church. Probably no other human experience is more fulfilling. Conversely, probably nothing is more painful than the breaking of intimacy and the betrayal of trust from infidelity." (nd)

The work of Chia (nd) entitled "Importance of Fidelity in Marital Intimacy" states that marital intimacy "does not stop with sexual relationships. There are several other factors that are involved in a relationship between a husband and a wife. Hence, marital intimacy is a broad concept, comprising of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects." All of these areas must be satisfied to make the martial relationship "complete, deep, and long-lasting." (Chia, nd) The two primary factors noted by Chia to affect martial intimacy are:

(1) not giving enough time and attention to the spouse; and (2) signs of infidelity. (Chia, nd)

Chia states that in many cases the first of these leads to the culmination of the second or that of infidelity. Couples get involved in their work and do not leave enough time for their marital partner and the other partner becomes angry and resentful. The couple drifts apart and infidelity creeps in and the spouse who is affected "seeks solace from another person." (Chia, nd) At this point, the marriage suffers and it is nearly impossible to heal from infidelity.

The work of Roberts and Roberts (2010) states that the friendship factor "plays…a huge part in intimacy." Intimacy is reported as a four-dimensional reality including:

(1) physical;

(2) emotional;

(3) relational; and (4) spiritual. (Roberts and Roberts, 2010)

Relational intimacy speaks for the unique male and female approach to intimacy and it is reported that "women tend to value verbal intimacy" whereas men "have a high need for recreational intimacy." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) Roberts and Roberts state that intimacy "actually comes -- even grows -- through conflict, disagreement, self-confrontation, and self-affirmation in Christ." (2010) These are interpersonal skills that enable the relationship to progress toward "passionate intimacy that could not exist without the sharpening effect of conflict." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) If there is a "strong sense of recreational intimacy" then the couple has what it takes to "douse any verbal fires that threaten" the relationship." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) The couple that builds a healthy relationship is the couple that finds something fun that they enjoy doing together.

In the area of spiritual intimacy, Roberts and Roberts state that it is this aspect of intimacy that couples are most likely to miss and it is "also the most profound dimension of the entire sexual experience. Mutual spiritual growth is reported as a requirement for a "fulfilling, satisfying sex life that grows through the years, mutual spiritual growth is not optional." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) Roberts and Roberts additionally state: "Great sex is not reserved for the tight-body types who master all the latest kinky sex positions. Instead it is the domain of those who really know themselves, their spouse, and their God." (2010) Great sex is stated to come from "a great heart. It involves an experience of the eternal that transcends our natural self-centeredness and moves us to lose ourselves in the depths of a relationship with our spouse and our God." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) When the couple prays and dreams together and when they "dream the dreams God has" for the marriage the outcome is incredible. When the couple has true martial intimacy, they are able to "pass through the rivers, mountains and valleys together. And nothing brings about "self-affirmation and self-confrontation like walking in unity within the vision God" holds for their marriage. (Roberts and Roberts, 2010)

According to Roberts and Roberts, real intimacy "is relating rightly to another person [and God] with vulnerability, transparency, caring, acceptance and commitment." (2010) Real intimacy is "being willing to be uncomfortably close with the person you love…true intimacy is a by-product of my shared life with Christ and a transparent life with my spouse." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010) Scientific research has shown a "powerful connection exists between openness (transparency and vulnerability) and understanding (caring and acceptance). The more the two overlap in a couple's relationship, the more the partners will experience genuine intimacy." (Roberts and Roberts, 2010)

Summary and Conclusion

This work has examined martial intimacy and has found that intimacy in a marriage is derived from multiple areas including the physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of the marriage. Intimacy is something that the couple develops between them and an aspect of their marriage that grows over time, or alternatively become diminished depending on the focus that the couple gives to the development of intimacy in their marriage.


Boa, Kenneth (nd) Marriage: Intimates or Inmates. Retrieved from:


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How to Cite "Marital Intimacy Skills" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Marital Intimacy Skills.  (2011, December 12).  Retrieved February 24, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Marital Intimacy Skills."  12 December 2011.  Web.  24 February 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Marital Intimacy Skills."  December 12, 2011.  Accessed February 24, 2020.