A lot of women enter marriage with high expectations. They expect connection, conversation, and intimacy with their husbands.
But when the intensity of that initial romance fades – as it always does – some wives begin to wonder, “Did I marry the wrong man?”
Dr. Juli Slattery’s answer to that question is: “The secret of intimacy in marriage is not finding a hero to be your husband but finding the hero in your husband.”
To achieve that, Dr. Slattery encourages women to understand a dynamic woven into every human relationship: relational power. It works like this: the degree to which someone needs something that you alone can provide is the degree to which you have power in that relationship.
That’s God’s design. He wants husbands and wives to rely on each other for certain emotional and physical needs, ideally influencing each other toward healthy, godly behavior.
A wife’s power can move her relationship with their husband toward greater intimacy. It can also empower her husband to reach his potential as a godly man.
Your husband needs three things from you:
- Respect. Intimacy in marriage exposes men to their greatest fear: failure. Their question is, “Am I enough?” Many men feel they must prove their worth.
- Your help. A wife can reveal aspects about life and relationships that would otherwise be lost to her husband.
- Physical intimacy. For women and men, the power of sex is about much more than a physical act. It’s about safety, trust, and becoming one.
Each need is an opportunity for a wife to use her power to wound her husband or to build intimacy with him.
Dr. Juli Slattery is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Encouraging Your Husband to Be a Hero” to help wives channel their influence into building up their husbands’ strengths and drawing out the hero inside that will empower them to develop a more intimate marriage.
While you’re online, I recommend that you take a few moments to try our free Marriage Assessment tool. It will help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship and identify areas where you may need some improvement.
If your marriage is struggling, give us a call. We have marriage specialists who will call you back free of charge, spend some time with you on the phone, and then refer you to a like-minded counselor in your area, if needed. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
And if your marriage is in serious trouble, I want to remind you about Hope Restored. If you’re on the brink of divorce, these marriage intensives can go a long way toward facilitating healing between you and your spouse and bringing restoration to your relationship. The intensives take place in three locations: Branson, MO; Greenville, MI; and the WinShape Retreat Center in Rome, GA. The number for Hope Restored is 1-866-875-2915, or visit online.
Dr. Juli Slattery is a clinical psychologist and president and cofounder of Authentic Intimacy, a ministry devoted to teaching God’s design for sexuality. As part of that ministry, she hosts a podcast called Java with Julie.
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Slattery’s book Finding the Hero in Your Husband, Revisited: Embracing Your Power in Marriage as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, visit our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).