Oneness in marriage means that after a few years, your spouse should probably know you better than anyone else.
Because your spouse is the person who sees what you are really like when no one else is around.
That’s part of the wonder of marriage.
It’s vulnerable. Even scary.
You might say it’s part of the wonder of oneness.
And this has been true since the beginning of time as we know it.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. -Genesis 2:24
These are familiar words from the creation story.
The image describing this first created couple is two people united as one.
But the depth of real oneness in marriage doesn’t just happen. It grows over time. And it has to be nourished.
Here are six ways to cultivate oneness in marriage.
1. Make sure you are on the same page about each other’s needs, schedules, and activities.
This sounds so simple, but it’s amazing how many couples feel like they really don’t know each other after just a few years of marriage. So be deliberate about staying in tune with one another. Spend time each day in conversation. Twenty minutes of uninterrupted conversation is the recommended minimum. And once a week, set aside a half hour or more for a meeting with your mate. Compare calendars, share reminders, touch base about finances.
2. Carve out time to spend together, just the two of you, and do this consistently.
Make time for weekly or bi-weekly dates. This doesn’t require a lot of money. Focus on investing time in your marriage relationship and have fun together.
3. If at all possible, arrange a get away for just the two of you at least once a year.
Take time to rest and reset together. This could be a romantic destination vacation, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Swap homes with a friend in another city. Go camping. Check out a nearby state park. Find a way to separate yourselves from the normal responsibilities of life (and children) for at least a day or two and just be together.
4. Keep your spouse’s confidences.
It’s important for couples to be honest with one another about everything. That includes talking about finances, sharing hopes and dreams, and admitting weakness and struggles to each another. But it’s hard to be transparent when we are not sure our privacy will be protected. So guard any information your mate shares as precious.
5. Nurture intimacy in your marriage.
Emotional and physical connection are intertwined, and both strengthen the bond betweeen two persons in marriage. Pay attention to your spouses needs, and make space in every season of life to give and receive pleasure in your marriage relationship. This requires an adequate amount of time spent alone together, and will require adjustments as family responsibilities change.
6. Be trustworthy
Oneness is an experience unique to the marriage relationship. It requires complete honesty. This should not be treated carelessly or taken for granted. Each spouse is responsible to guard their own heart from any affections with people or things that would jeapordize oneness with their spouse. As a general rule, if you can’t talk with your spouse about it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of ways to deepen your connection in marriage. Why not talk with your spouse about the things mentioned here, and develop a plan for cultivating greater oneness in your own relationship.
Courses and workshops offered by Marriage Dynamics Institute have helped tens of thousands of couples experience stronger connection and a greater sense of oneness in marriage.