The Great Pyramid of Marriage

The Great Pyramid of Marriage

Giza pyramids, cairo, egyptEveryone goes into their wedding ceremony expecting to spend the rest of their life with the person standing next to them. They stand before the minister with heart pounding and knees knocking, believing their marriage will last forever…like the pyramids.

But we know this is not always the case. Too many marriages crumble and fall apart, so what can we do to build a marriage that will last? How can we build a marriage that will stand the test of time…like  the pyramids?

The key is to build Intimacy; the great pyramid of marriage. Now don’t let that word “intimacy” spook you. Husbands, intimacy is not just sharing deep emotions with your wife. Wives, intimacy is not just having sex with your husband. Both of these are elements of intimacy, but intimacy is more broad and comprehensive than that.

When it comes to building intimacy, think of building a pyramid in four layers…

Men & Women & Intimacy copy.002

Conversational Intimacy – This refers to the conversations you have about the everyday flow of life. It’s conversation about what you plan to do on the weekend, who’s putting the kids to bed, whether you’re going to be home late, what’s for dinner, what you think you should do about refinancing the house, etc. Conversational intimacy serves as the base of the pyramid and is the largest part of the intimacy pyramid, but this doesn’t mean it’s more important than the other types of intimacy.

Emotional Intimacy – This is conversational intimacy taken to the next level. It’s conversation that goes beyond talking about fact and moves into talking about feelings. It’s conversation about your hopes, your fears, your desires, your worries, your found memories, your difficulties, and so on. Emotional intimacy is conversation that comes not from your head but from your heart. It’s a smaller portion of the pyramid, because it doesn’t happen as often as conversational intimacy, but emotional intimacy is still an important part of the intimacy pyramid.

Physical Intimacy – This refers to any physical contact that expresses affection, but doesn’t lead to sex. It’s contact like holding hands, an arm around the waist, sitting shoulder to shoulder on the sofa, a kiss on the cheek, or a hug. Guys, it’s important to show this kind of physical affection all the time; not just when you want sex.. My wife used to back away from me every time I tried to hug her. When I asked her why, she told me it was because the only time I showed that kind of affection was when I wanted sex. I hate to say it, but she was right. I have corrected that problem.

Sexual Intimacy – Sexual intimacy is at the apex of the intimacy pyramid, because it’s communication, emotion, and touch all rolled into one.  That’s why sexual intimacy can be so powerful and so problematic in a relationship.  As you can see, from the pyramid, sexual intimacy is not the total pyramid, but it’s just as important as any of the other parts.

Men & Women & Intimacy copy.003When it comes to intimacy, both husbands and wives want the entire intimacy pyramid, and we’re not completely satisfied unless all the parts are there. But here’s the catch…men want to pursue intimacy from the top down, and women want to pursue intimacy from the bottom up.  Generally it is easier for men to connect conversationally and emotionally if they are already connecting physically and sexually. Likewise, it is easier for wives to connect physically and sexually if they’re already connecting conversationally and emotionally.  There in lies the frustration and struggle for most marriages when it comes to intimacy.

If you’re a husband, you generally need to focus more on conversational and emotional intimacy. If you’re a wife, you generally need to focus more on physical and sexual intimacy. If you want to build a marriage that will last like the pyramids, you need to build the great pyramid of marriage…intimacy. If you do, your marriage will stand the test of time…and you both will be happier in the process.

I would love to know what you think about the intimacy pyramid concept. Leave me a comment and let me know. 

Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg

4 thoughts on “The Great Pyramid of Marriage

  1. Sure they are all important – but Is any one greater than the other?

    Though we are a typically gender flip- I think we would still fall in line with the men on top and women on bottom. (Unless there are other options)

    Also wonder if physical and emotional ever change spots on the graph? Trying to figure it out.

    This is really helpful to see. Like the visuals! Thanks.

    • As you said, they are all important. There are times when certain types of intimacy may get more “air play” than others, but no level should be disregarded for long. There are certain stages of marriage that make some forms of intimacy more difficult, but again, no level should be disregarded for long. The more you engage all levels of intimacy, the stronger and happier the marriage will be.

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