It’s Not Rocket Science
When we started dating our spouse, the time we invested in that relationship was huge. We carved out time to talk; we talked for hours on the phone; we spent money we didn’t have to buy flowers; we drove long distances just to see them for a few hours; we went out to dinner three times a week. We’d call in sick to work just to spend the day together.
We had a deep desire to see that relationship develop and grow. So when conflict arose in that relationship, it seemed minimal because there had been so much investment that a minor withdrawal was easily reconciled.
So many of us got married thinking, ”Man we are the perfect couple. We rarely fight, and when we do we make-up so easily.”
But then…life happens. Careers start, and then careers start dominating our lives. Kids start being born, and then kids start dominating our lives. Schedules get busier. Work gets more demanding. Every night of the week has some game, concert, recital, or home improvement project. Gradually, our time at home consists mostly of watching TV after a long day.
The only time we have deep conversations is because there is conflict. The only times we spend together are at school functions, or baseball games, or driving in the car to one more weekend obligation. The only time we go out is to take the kids to the movies.
So we begin to argue more, and fight more and resent more and demand more and have to be right more. We begin to make withdrawals in our relationship daily, while the deposits we make become less and less.
How do you know if you’re living in this place? Here are some symptoms:
-You fight about the same things over and over again
-A level 2 issue in your marriage is given a level 10 response
-Rather than thinking the best about your spouse, you are consistently assuming the worst.
-You’re more than willing to give others your best, while giving your spouse your leftovers.
This is a cycle that just feeds on itself. So conflict happens more, it becomes more intense and it’s harder to get over.
Can I offer some suggestions that will begin to add value back into your marriage relationship?
-write a note to your spouse
-come home from work on time
-get a babysitter and go out to dinner
-go for a walk
-surprise him with physical intimacy
-spend 30 minutes a day talking to one another (not arguing)
-buy your wife flowers
-tell your husband you’re proud of him
These suggestions aren’t rocket science. They are really easy to forget. They are also really easy to do.
Buying flowers tonight won’t make everything thing better, but it will make tonight better. Saying, “I love you” won’t fix everything, but it will fix one thing. Break the cycle. Do something tonight you used to do when you were dating.