As she walked down the aisle, he was visibly happy. Alas! the best thing in the world had just happened to him, he felt tingling sensations and her thoughts were indescribable.The man of her dreams, her answered prayers, a complete package. ‘I will love you till the day I die’, she said under her breath amidst the loud chant of the song ‘it’s your wedding day’.
How did it get to the point where you will rather be sleeping just to avoid seeing him?
Most people don’t get married so they can be unhappy. Most people don’t stand in front of a church full of people and pledge their love for each other thinking they will be standing in a courtroom dividing their property and arguing over custody of their kids.Most marriages just drift to these places. Most drift to mediocrity. It’s not something we intend to happen…it’s just something that we allow to happen. After a while, our marriage is the way it is and we settle for it.
Few things that signal a marriage is drifting:
- You don’t hold hands or kiss spontaneously
- The only time you had for each other was in the evenings, and you spent it watching TV
- The kids sleep with you more than three days in a week
- Sex becomes a routine, boring with zero passion and you don’t intend to change it or restore passion
- You look forward to having a time out with your friends rather than with your spouse
- Phone calls, text messages and emails are the best forms of communication between you
- All you talk about is finance, kids and routines
- The last time you joked and laughed together is a fading memory
- The spiritual aspect is dead
- You argue about everything including the size of the spoons to be bought
As we will reiterate, successful marriages don’t just happen, it is the outcome of a positive and determined person. It is a choice, today could be the day you choose to stop drifting, it is not easy but achievable. You just have to be determined. If you choose positive, then, the steps below will help you.
- Make time together. “History together is built one event at a time.” In order to grow together, you must spend time together. If your schedules are taking you in different directions with little time to experience life together then stop! Shift togetherness to a new priority. Run errands together, go for lunch, plan a date night. It can be simple but be intentional about stopping the drift before it happens.
- Eat together. Have at least one meal together daily. But you need to plan – it won’t just happen. Don’t eat all your meals together in front of the TV.
- Limit technology. When you do have an evening at home together, set a time to turn off all electronics and visitors. Make tea, or have a glass of wine and just be together.
Romance one another
- Choose to be in love.Remember that this is the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. Choose to love this person deeply. Choose to be in love. Just as you can choose to focus on the negative you can also choose to focus on the positive. Let loving-kindness be a daily goal. It’s your choice.
- Make love-making a priority. The sexual bond is much more than just a physical connection. It is a bonding of two souls. It’s glue in a good marriage. It is meant to be fun, fulfilling and frequent. If this is an area of tension in your marriage then get some help. Past sexual experiences including those of abuse or promiscuity will bring their own baggage into your marriage. Keep porn out! Plan intimate times.
- Attention, affection, appreciation. This greatest sex advice ever given is to make it a priority to give your partner genuine attention, affection and appreciation. You will be amazed at how these three things will impact what happens not only in general but also in the bedroom.
- Touch. Give lots of non-sexual touching too. When a relationship becomes strained all touching often stops. A hand on the arm, a quiet taking of the other’s hand, a kiss on the forehead can help melt tension and show you care.
Invest in one another
- Get away together. Whether it’s for an evening, a weekend, or a holiday, save time and resources to make “get-aways” a reality. Give yourselves the gift of couple time to focus on each other in a special way that day to day doesn’t allow.
- Pursue each other. Keep courting each other. If the pursuit of each other’s heart has long gone by the wayside begin again to find small creative ways to say, “I want to be with you”. Recall things from your dating days; go for a picnic, even start with an evening walk. Pursue the one who once captured your heart.
- Celebrate one another. Be your partner’s biggest fan and cheerleader. Celebrate small victories. Intentionally show that you support him/her.
- Make bedtime count. As often as possible make bedtime the same for both of you. Lots of things can get in the way of this but make sure it happens often. One of the best things about marriage is going to bed together at the end of the day. This is a connecting time that should not be overlooked.
- Remind one another that you are on the same team. Differences of opinions are a healthy thing. Don’t be afraid of them. Choose how you will deal with them. When issues develop, choose a time when the “heat” has subsided. Each one gets the floor to express his or her thoughts on the issue. Flexibility and cooperation are the foundation stones to move forward.
- Grow a heart of gratitude. Don’t let the daily rubbing and irritations rob you of seeing all the good. Take note of the things your partner does for you, for the family, for the upkeep of your home. Say “thank you” not just for actions but rediscover intentionally the great things about your partner and express appreciation.
- Value your partner! When differences come this outlook will impact outcome.
- Be a safe place. Assess your own attitude. Are you nagging, being critical or treating your partner like a child? You can begin to change the atmosphere in your home. Make it a safe place for your partner to share and be, without fear of criticism. You can start the pattern to change.
- Accept your partner. Neither of you is perfect. Find some good in your partner every day and be thankful for it. Pray about the challenges. Plan a time to thoughtfully approach concerns with caring solutions in mind. Be open-minded to change. Be willing to be adaptable. Guard against a disapproving attitude. The subtle attitude of disapproval is deadly to your marriage.
- Pray together. There is infinite wisdom in the advice to pray with and for your spouse. Going to God together with the complexities of life and sincerely and humbly inviting His power in to influence your home is life changing. If you can’t pray together yet, pray for your spouse daily. It will also help keep your own heart soft and your dependence on God as your help.
- Share thoughts and ideas. Share interesting things from your day or your reading. Share your reactions to the things in your day because this is a way to share feelings too. Encourage your partner when he/she shares. Ask questions but don’t “interrogate”.
- Listen. If one of you is not feeling “heard” then communication will eventually shut down. Resentment can filter in. Listen and don’t try to fix. Be interested. Be intentional about building communication that has drifted. There may be unresolved hurts or there may just be a “drifting” into your corners. Listen with ears that hear and eyes that meet. If communication has all but stopped be patient and do your part to begin sharing and listening again.
It actually worked for my young marriage, your marriage is no exception. Feel free to share your stories, comments and successes so we could all learn. Meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe and follow the blog. We intend to help each other.