In the last post, we talked a bit about the importance of dating and keeping love alive. If you haven't read that first post "First Comes Love", stop now and go read it. But if you have, let's jump right in.
Marriage is hard. It takes work and commitment. After our first year of marriage, my husband and I met a couple. When I found out that they had only been married about a month, I told them, "Everyone says the first year of marriage is so hard! But the first year of marriage is great. We've had so much fun!" Then, to my surprise, my husband responded solemnly, "The first year of marriage is really hard. . ." My jaw dropped. What?!
So, when we got to the car, I had a few questions. What marriage was he in that was hard? What was so hard about it? Is it still hard? What can we do differently?
Thankfully, my husband was honest with me. I am hard to live with (newsflash: so is he!), and he pointed out a particular event where he folded towels and I went back and refolded them (the cabinet wouldn't close!). He also told me that there were several times that he was angry with me and didn't speak to me for a few days, but I didn't notice (probably a blessing. The silent treatment? please.) But both of us agreed there were things we could do differently. When he was upset, he needed to tell me. I'll admit that I tend to be obnoxiously happy and oblivious sometimes, so I needed to pay more attention to my spouse. And, I needed to let go of the control. I needed to just be thankful when he did things and not "correct" them.
I would love to say that we have it all figured out now, since we were married 18 years ago, but we don't. We still have our issues. But the biggest change, is that we can talk about things. We even have a weekly meeting to address issues that have occurred during that week.
In addition to talking about our issues, we also put an emphasis on spending time together on a regular basis. Dates are important. He is my forever date, and I am so thankful that he is!
So, if you are feeling disconnected from your spouse, a couple of things you can do TODAY to begin reconnecting. First, have some talk time on your schedule. Once a week, to deal with issues that arise is a great place to start. I also encourage couples to just spend time together talking - not about the issues! Do a devotional together, read a book together, do a puzzle together, just spend time together. And, do a date night when you can. This might look like a lunch date, or even a simple evening at home together.
Above all, just be creative and put the work in. Your marriage is worth it!