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7 Intimacy Killers in Marriage

by Dave Willis on May 6th, 2015 in The Haps, Men, Women, Couples, Featured

intimacy-killersAs I’ve interacted with couples from all over the world, I’ve found that many of the issues that ultimately lead to infidelity and divorce creep in unintentionally. People don’t usually set out to sabotage their marriage and wind up in divorce court, but small choices can ultimately lead to big disasters. (Tweet This!) Subtle poor choices along the way can pile up like a snowball rolling down a hill until it’s big enough to start an avalanche of consequences.

Below are seven of the most common ways people can harm their marriage (sometimes without even realizing it). Avoid these and you’ll go a long way toward safeguarding your marriage.

(In no particular order):

1. Not wearing a wedding ring.

People might just not be into jewelry or not think it’s a big deal, but wearing a ring can be a first line of defense against adultery. When you meet new people, one of the first things they’ll notice about you is whether or not you’re wearing a ring. They’ll make assumptions about your “availability” based on the presence or absence of a ring.

2. Digital distractions.

I’ll admit it: sometimes I give my iPhone more attention than I give my wife! Do your best to keep screens turned off as much as possible when you’re together with your spouse. Talking with your spouse is always better than texting with somebody else (or playing Candy Crush, or checking Facebook, or…).

3. Inconsistency in parenting.

Raising kids is one of the most sacred duties on earth, but it can also harm your marriage if you don’t have a unified approach with your spouse. Ashley and I don’t argue much, but many (if not most) of our disagreements have come out of miscommunications about parenting.

x3-fighting-for-my-marriage-facebook-104. Flirting.

This one is two-fold, because we harm our marriages when we STOP flirting with our spouse or when we START flirting with anybody else! Flirting within marriage is always helpful, but flirting outside of your marriage is always harmful! (Tweet This!)

5. Porn and/or graphic romance novels.

Many couples think porn and/or reading graphically sexual novels are a harmless fantasy that can actually spice things up in the bedroom if they do it together, but the truth is that these things are an enemy of real intimacy. Don’t just be physically monogamous; be mentally monogamous as well. (Tweet This!) And I’d encourage you to add some accountability and porn-blocking software on your devices to protect your marriage and family. Check out the resource at

6. Autopilot.

Cable TV companies give their best rates and service at the beginning but then treat you much worse after the “promotional period” expires. Sadly, many marriages look like this. We give each other our best at the beginning of the relationship, but then get into “autopilot” and stop giving each other our best. Don’t take each other for granted.

7. Negative friends.

Your friends have the unique ability to encourage your marriage or to discourage it. Make sure you’re hanging out with people who love you AND your spouse. (Tweet This!) Choose friends who will strengthen your character, and remove yourself from people who would tempt you to compromise your character.

Even if you’ve found your marriage falling into some of these “intimacy killers,” don’t lose hope! Make a decision to change course, and in time, your marriage can become more vibrant and fulfilling than ever before.






  • El Fury

    Negative friends are the worst. Avoid closeness with anyone who badmouths their spouse.

  • Pass the Pain

    Those 7 Intmacy has killed my marriage, I made a decision in April 2014 to have a Double Breast Mastectomy with Reconstructed breast surgery to avoid breast cancer which I was dealing with for 3years. May 2014 I found out my husband was on various sex/dating sites and site called Married but Lonely. Com my world fell apart. I went to surgery August 20 and preparing for my second party November 19th and to thus day my husband has not been intimate with me or support. But through this all I know God is in control.

    • Ross

      Pass the pain,
      I’m so sorry to hear that about your husband and I have the up most respect for you and hope the best for you. Breast cancer runs rampid in my family, it has taken my mother, my aunt, my grandmother. I have always had the fear of it in the back of my mind, and wondered how my husband would look at me if I had to have them removed. We have talked about it and he says he would love me no matter what, but you don’t know till it happens. You hold your head hi! I think your amazing and he is the one who is missing out. God b with you and bless you always. Your a beautiful, strong, woman!!

    • monkeeB

      After 5 years of marriage, I found out my husband had always had a secret life online. He was on dating sites, married but lonely sites, and even wife photo swap (where he posted my private pictures in order to have my body voted on and in exchange for other men’s wife’s photos). We have been married 9 years now, but it is so hard to move past this. Especially since I caught him last year trying to talk to a girl from his online school. Our intimacy may never be the same. He is sorry, so he says, but the trust and vulnerability are gone. I cannot imagine also going through breast cancer at the same time. It is hard, just ask God for guidance in His plan each day. Prayers!

      • Hisgirl

        A good book to help you with this is “Hope After Betrayal”. If both parties are willing, God will restore your intimacy and your marriage.

    • cancermomma

      I too, have had double mastectomies. The lack of touch and fear of touch is difficult for both of us. I have a lot of nerve damage and sometimes everything is painful. I am sorry to hear that anyone else has to go through this as well. Intimacy after cancer is very difficult.

  • Ross

    We have been married for nearly twenty years and its true about the flirting with each other. Even after this long, we still need to do these little things. And we always make a point to tell each other we love one another before either of us leaves the house, and let one another know we are thankful for a safe return.

  • Michael Phillips

    I would add resentment and personal offense. When a spouse holds resentment, it can kill any affection within days.

  • Seventh

    Almost 9 years of marriage, we never have seen the point of a wedding ring. We weren’t married with any. I have my mouth to tell others that I’m married and that’s more powerful than any ring. My romance novels have been loved by my husband for years and he’s never read one. Other than those, totally agree with the rest.

    • Mom

      Wedding rings are not so much for you as they are for the rest of the world. And most people aren’t bild enough to ask. It simply provides an unspoken barrier that most people observe. Nothing guarantees faithfulness. Nothing. But I think the author is saying that we should use all the safeguards we have at out disposal. Temptations are soooo real. And there will come a day when one of you will either not see it coming or be in a very vulnerable place and just weak enough to hesitate. Who knows that the wedding ring may just provide you with the reminder or the strength you need to run away. Satan is reading your mail.

      And the problem with the graphic romance novels is that many times they create a Hollywood version of lve and marriage with unrealistic expectations

      • Mom

        If we begin to desire an unrealistic relationship like the ones we are reading about, we can quickly become discontent in our marriages and begin comparing our spouses to fantasy and fiction. I assume the author is especially pointing to novels like the ’50 shades’ series which is unhealthy on so many levels and yet, the more time we spend reading material like this, the more desensitized we become to the sin in the world around us.

        Just because neither of these are a problem for you yet, doesn’t mean they never will be. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the wisdom found in this advice.

  • Linda

    Marriage is an intimacy killer. Desire is needed for intimacy and you can’t desire what you have. You can’t control human nature.

    • Brittany

      I beg to differ!! I desire my husband so much more now that we are married! more than I ever did before we were. I desire more tan the sexual aspect of our relationship. life may catch up with us sometimes! But intimacy and desire go much further than the sexual. I am truly sorry for whatever you experienced that has caused you to feel this way.

    • Old Leatherneck

      To quote a great American (Bill Cosby) “That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!” The problem here appears to be a common one in our American society. “Intimacy” has been used as a euphemistic term for sexual intercourse, and that’s unfortunate. While it IS an ‘intimate act’, it happens all to often with no real intimacy at all…which wounds, not rewards, the psyche/soul/person. We have been LIED TO by being told that ‘GREAT SEX’ only happens when there is mystery, and almost NO knowledge of ones partner. That actually really BAD and really selfish sex because it’s really all about MY pleasure, not mutual pleasure…which comes though knowledge of your partner, trust in your partner, and mutual respect. These 3 things are encompassed in what TRUE INTIMACY really is! There is a great story (possibly apocryphal) in which a well known ‘romantic actor’ is asked “What makes a great lover?” and his reply was surprising to all listening. He stated “A great lover is not one who goes from woman to woman to woman his whole life; any dog can do that. A great lover is one who can satisfy one woman for her whole life, and be satisfied with one woman his whole life.” It’s a fun story to tell, but there is an awful lot of truth in that statement.
      I see Brittany’s response to you and share her sentiment in closing. I pray you find true intimacy and will allow that love to gently remove the calluses.

    • kellyfriend

      Your so called type of intimacy isn’t true intimacy. Since it only focuses on one part of intimacy. Also, being a selfish cheater is not human nature. Loving someone fully is the real human nature. Enjoy your meaningless fake intimacy. Personally I would like something that is actually real and full and complete.

    • Megan

      Linda, I don’t think you know what the word intimacy means. Hint: It doesn’t involve complete strangers that you just met at a bar.
      And yes, you can control human nature. If you couldn’t control human nature then you would defecate yourself everyday rather than go to a toilet. You would act on your violent impulses every time you felt like it. You would steal and rape. So yes, you CAN control human nature unless you’re a psychopath/sociopath.

  • KK

    My husband physically CANT wear a ring because he’s hands breakout from ANY metals! Crazy! But I’ve told him all long as he ACTS married out in public then I’m ok with it! I know tons of married people who wear their rings AND act single! Totally agree with the phone and internet…it’s so addicting this day and age! Can not just kill intimacy in a marriage but kill who you yourself are as a person as well! Thanks for all these reminders!


      Has he considered putting it on a necklace?

      • firecatt34

        If he can’t wear metals he’d probably break out around the neck.

    • Jimmy

      If he wants to wear a ring he could get a ceramic ring. They look really nice. Also I wear one made from wood.

    • PhoenixRulz81

      My husband & I have tattoo rings instead, I am allergic to metals and he works as an electrician.

    • Kelli Mikulec

      Perhaps one made of bone? There are mineral based rings and bone rings if you are interested. I saw a lovely one that had metal and bone together in a very unique pattern.

    • Haley

      They have new silicone (I believe I’d what they’re made of) wedding bands that are really awesome and withstand all types wear and tear. Maybe a good option to look into? Also they come in various colors.

    • SM

      Has your husband tried Qualo rings? They are made out of silicon. I wear mine when I’m at the gym, and my husband wears his on the job in law enforcement.

    • Sgtledbetter

      Have him check out QALO rings. They’re made of silicone, and safe for worksites and allergies. My husband wears one so his ring won’t have to be cut off if he’s injured at work

  • Jessica Knorr

    I dont think the lack of a ring kills intimacy. If you are married and someone asks and then comments on the lack of a ring that is their problem. That ring is not permanently attached and does not stop a person from cheating. It is simply a symbol. The rest I can understand being intimacy killers.

  • temptedone

    Been addicted to porn since I got married to my husband :/ he doesn’t know and I want it to stop I just don’t know have the willpower to stop it myself.

    • I care

      Pray. God can help you resist and recover!

    • loveathome

      There are SA groups in most areas. It helped my husband overcome his pornography and masturbation problems. Both men and women can go and they have separate groups if you prefer. You can overcome anything with Heavenly Father by your side.

    • Elka

      Sex addiction counseling really helps you to understand, and heal, the root causes of your addiction. Just like food or drug addictions, porn is usually a way we self medicate from issues and feelings we don’t have the tools to deal with. But then it becomes it’s own monster, and makes everything so much worse! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  • Hali Blevins

    My husband doesn’t wear his wedding ring and it really bothers me. He says he forgot to put it on. He can’t wear it at work but how can he forget to put on a symbol of our love each day

  • Because of Cali

    Well wouldn’t anyone also agree that cost of living, traffic and wages here in Cali are breaking marriages and should be added to the list. My sister happen to get divorce a year ago for those reasons. After the 2008 recession it was really hard for many ppl to get back on their feet including my sister and her husband. They had to move back home with my parents. Both having bachelor degrees they lost their job and now a lot of companies are hiring but not paying what ppl deserve. Making it very difficult to buy a house again not to mention that houses are super expensive. Now my sisters husband had to work 12 hours a day and she finally got a job as a traveling nurse after putting so many applications. In the end their situation was very difficult not really having time to them selves so they ended up getting divorce.

  • Del Clark

    the parent/child relationship is the biggest romance killer, there are few things worse than being treated like a child, or being put in the position to be forced to be the adult, when your partner is acting like a child. I was surprised that this was not on their list, since it has been a consistent factor in all of the divorces that I have seen, in the close friends and family that have encountered intimacy problems, ending in divorce.

  • Linda

    Marriage is an intimacy killer. Desire is needed for intimacy and you can’t desire what you have. You can’t control human nature. And you can’t take the truth. So you delete my post. Wow!

    • Anonymous

      This is a duplicate post. Your previous one was NOT deleted!!!!

    • Old Leatherneck

      I don’t think anyone deleted anything. I saw your post above and replied to it.
      …and I struggle to grasp the logic behind the statement “…you can’t desire what you have.” It’s flawed logic. Synonyms for ‘desire’ include love, devotion, passion, and fascination. I, possibly incorrectly, assume you don’t have children?
      “You can’t control human nature” – Then why have laws and punishment for breaking the law if you can’t control human nature? So, if I truly want something (like your car or house) I can take it and you’ll understand and leave me alone? I mean, since my nature wants what it doesn’t have, I couldn’t control myself! Why do we teach children to “share” if you can’t control human nature. I could go on and on.

  • Jeanne ‘Gardner’ Reed

    While I agree with a lot of this, I have to say there are real reasons for not wearing a wedding ring. My husband can’t wear it at work… Well he “can” but really shouldn’t. Unless he wants to risk losing a finger. We have a baby, and I don’t like having a ring on when I tend to him, which is pretty much constantly. Sure, people may judge your availability based on whether or not you have on a wedding ring, but it shouldn’t matter what others think about your availability. You know you aren’t available and if you love your spouse, it’s not going to matter if someone hits on you due to lack of a ring, it’s going to end right there… If that makes sense…

  • BAR

    Never were truer words spoken. My husband of 6-1/2 years just recently admitted to me his porn habit, and his many visits to massage parlors and prostitutes. This has been a very difficult few weeks for me but I am trying to stay focused on our children (we have a 4 and 2 year old) and our marriage. I made vows before friends, family and God in May 2008 to love in health, richer, and better but to love in sickness (through his sex addiction), poorer (the money he has spent), and worse (this qualifies as worse, I’m sure) until death we part. I frequent this and Dave Willis’ sites for inspiration. Thank you for all you do!!! Like “Pass the Pain” said, All I know is that GOD is in control!!! And I know He will use what Satan tried to destroy for His Glory!!!! God Bless.

  • Cat Decelle

    You are right about distractions hurting a marriage, but in my case it is not electronics but books, listening to cds and watching dvds…all Christian of course but is his main distraction. We have been married for ten years and have not had any physical intimacy in over five years. I know my husband loves me but he his physical intimacy is with books, cds and dvds. I have spoken with him about this for years but nothing changes. I have given up trying to be intimate with him because I know his heart is not in it. I love my husband and will never separate from him.

  • J

    20 years of marriage and we still, to this day, watch porn together. And our sex life is fantastic because of it! Porn, when abused, is bad but when used as a couple it has kept our marriage alive and spicy. I’m so sick of this “image” of a “perfect marriage” that we are all held to. There is no Ward and June Cleaver and there never was. Marriage doesn’t have to be so uptight and proper. It should be fun.

  • Big Cheese

    I wore a wedding ring once. I’ve never been hit on by that many women in my life. Flirting, porn, and negative friends don’t kill marriages. Negative friends kill you as a person, never mind your marriage. Flirting is fine, just make sure a distinct line is drawn. Porn isn’t the root of all evil, unlike what society wants you to believe. Communication can beat any obstacle a marriage can face. Or you can keep blaming outside things…

  • Professora

    I let my boyfriend watch all the porn he wants. And if we watch a movie with a hot girl, half the time, I’ll call dibs. We have a perfectly intimate relationship. There’s no jealousy. He can look at all he wants. I can too. At the end of the day, we want each other more than anyone else.

  • Live-n-Learn

    My husband and I have been married 35 years. I take off my wedding ring before I get into bed. I put in on before I leave the house. Rarely do I forget it, but there are times when I can’t get my ring on. I love my husband dearly, but sometimes the intimacy waxes and wanes. On both our parts.

  • Lori Rondyke

    Two years ago my Husband was cheating on me with a woman named Debra Sawyer,how do I know her name you might be asking.My Husband told me and he even told me that he took her out to eat at the Orental Pearl in a city called Presque Isle,Maine about 1 1/2 hours away from where we live& at that whole time he had stopped paying our rent & he got mad when the Landlord had served an Eviction Notice at that time. My Husband tried to blame me for what he did to me back then& he tried to put the blame on his Brother. It took him a very long time to tell me everything that he did was wrong!.

  • Phoenix

    Yea much of this is true in my marriage. Although not on my side. And we dont wear rings because we never had the money to get any. ANd now that its been 6 years and we have the money to get them. We dont really see a point in getting them at all. I am at the point where im still around simply because i dont want to try to date and find an even worse loser.

  • Guy all guys envy

    My wife and I are prime examples of this article being total BS. If you dont hide anything from your spouse and they know every desire and fantasy and weirdness about you….. MARRIAGE ROCKS! Know who you are married to BEFORE you marry them. We have been together since we were 15….. we would put 95% of marriages to shame for sure:) My wife is AWESOME:)

  • Miracle marriage

    What about single girlfriends who bad mouth their ex?

  • Sherry Francis

    I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my husband return back to me, and today with all due respect i want to thank DR Amba for bringing joy and happiness to my life. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my husband, I required help until i found a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my husband back in two days after the spell has been cast. two days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my husband who has not called me for past five years now, he made an apology for the heartbreak he have cause me, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the most happiest woman on earth and me and my husband is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe. All thanks goes to DR Amba for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing am assuring you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely do yours. you can contact him via email [email protected]

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