5 Small Goodbye Rituals to Improve Marriage Intimacy Making little adjustments before you turn out the lights can super charge the intimacy in your marriage. BY DR. BONNIE EAKER WEIL
Finding little moments of touch before you sleep can have a profound impact.
“ Going to bed the same time is essential. It’s something to look forward to due to the Oxytocin.”
Goodbye rituals, like a goodnight kiss or saying goodbye before leaving for work, promote reliability, love, and closeness. How (and whether) you do a goodbye ritual is also a litmus test for your relationship. It measures the temperature and longevity of a relationship because it’s the glue and bridge to sex, passion, and conflict that will now bring you closer as a couple.
These rituals provide the partner a way to be seen, to ensure they are not invisible, and make it feel like you get him or her. A goodnight kiss before bed or a hug before or after work include touch—an integral part of a relationship. Touch provides bonding and a feeling of safety and peace. This comes from the "cuddle hormone," Oxytocin, that creates intimacy.
Going to bed the same time is essential. It’s something to look forward to due to the Oxytocin. The partner can rise earlier than usual just to give the other a goodbye hug. Daily separation brings an angst to those who were invisible or rejected growing up. At first it may seem unnatural, awkward or staged, but stick with it and it becomes natural.
These rituals bring on memories and create a bridge to being together later. You should feel good and your partner should feel good before you leave each other. If you had a dispute or disagreement, make sure you resolve it before you leave for the day, even better if you do it with a kiss or a hug.
Saying goodnight before bed is a form of separation as well. It should be a bonding or special time at the end of the day with a special feeling between you.
Here are some tips to maintaining closeness through "goodbye" rituals:
Take the time to acknowledge your loved ones before they leave to start their day. Say comforting words if they have a trying day coming up. When you connect by hugging or kissing, do it with a smile or a loving word which will go a long way in the coming day.
Never go to bed angry. Seal it with a kiss. Feel the joy. One in 4 Americans sleep in separate beds according to the national sleep foundation. The Journal of Family Psychology in 2016 says happiness in marriage is higher after a goodnights sleep. And interestingly, for men, it was equated with marriage satisfaction.
Do not sleep with your pets. This creates distance and marriage thrives on intimacy.
Do not sleep with kids. Interestingly this is something that affects men adversely more than it does women in marriages, but is nonetheless extremely important for both to sleep together alone.
Go to bed at the same time. In the same bed. Going to sleep in separate beds creates not only physical distance, but emotional distance. No excuses--even for snoring. Some of the most intimate, close talks and special moments that people have are before they go to sleep in bed, cuddling and talking together. This is essential in a marriage. Research says those doing this daily do better in their marriage than those who do not. So, even if you have to get out of bed later to get work done. Go to bed at the same time and get up after.
Rituals create memories. These are very simple to do. They create memories to sustain and reassure us when the going gets tough. It’s the same as when your parent kissed your boo-boo and your hurt went away. These "mini connections" and rituals provide the same comfort and have an impact on us because we use them to sustain us.
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil is a renowned relationship therapist with more than 35 years experience, a global phone-based practice, and a private practice in New York City with a 98% success rate!. She teaches an online course, Marriage and Relationships: Keys to Success and authored best sellers, "Make Up, Don’t Break Up," a book turned movie, “Adultery: The Forgivable Sin,”, and “Financial Infidelity.” She has appeared on The Oprah Show and was chosen as one of Oprah's top favorite shows in 25 years. Get instant access to tips, resources and her free video for singles and couples - Make up, Don't Break up at www.DoctorBonnie.com.