Our first barrier to intimacy was busyness. It's tough to be close if you're fredazzled like Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer on free coffee all the time.
Our second one is conflict getting in the way instead of promoting intimacy.
It takes about 5-20 positive interactions to counteract a negative one depending on how deep the negative one hurts. If I forget Ann's birthday (just a hypothetical example here) saying I'm sorry (one positive interaction) isn't going to heal all of the hurt from that. It's going to take some consistently positive interactions over time.
Learn to handle issues well. To get caught up to current it's good to have scheduled time to discuss matters of conflict. If that statement scares you some then it shows dealing with conflict isn't a strength for your relationship right now.
It took Ann and I quite a while to get caught up in our relationship. We had swept so much under the rug. It was a frightening sight peering under the frieze at first. Slowly we began to discuss our relationship from the beginning.
We learned how to handle conflict better. The learning continues. We also learned more and more about our own soul and the soul of the other. We talked about all the ways we had experienced the relationship. I had no idea the depth of pain I had caused Ann in certain areas. It was significant to my growth to hear her heart. In my hearing her, she learned to trust the depth of my caring again.
This is a continual process. Nobody ever fully arrives here, at least we don't. But once we felt we were current our conflict became simpler. Not easy, but simpler. We learned to keep short accounts. When conflict came up, we didn't have 15 different events stepping in line to exit our thoughts to join the present conversation. We are current. Our stuff is talked through so we can deal with the present perceived slights and hurts.
How are you at handling conflict? Regardless of how your spouse handles it you can work on your way of dealing with it. It's even better if you are working on it together.
If you need some growth in this area read below to revisit our communication and anger sections.