We see it all the time – two people meet each other and fall in love. They go out on hundreds, if not thousands of dates. Suddenly they’re spending more time with each other than they spend with anyone else. They decide to get married, and on that day, they’ve never been so happy.
A few years go by. A few babies are born. Before long, the children are the focus of everything they do. They invest their time and their money in their children’s happiness, so much so, that they never think about investing in each other and in their marriage.
Time flies, and before they know it, the children have grown up and gone off to college, started new careers, or started their own families. The couple is left alone. However, they’re shocked to find out that they no longer even know the person they’ve spent the last twenty years being married to.
Does this sound familiar?
The Spike in Divorce Statistics
In the last twenty years, the divorce rate in the United States among couples who are fifty years old and older has doubled. Experts believe that this is because people become so focused on their children, their careers, and paying bills, that they stop focusing on what their spouses need. There is also something to be said about the fact that, for both men and women, something changes once the wedding is over.
For men, it might be a matter of no longer needing to overcome the challenge of having the woman he loves as his wife. Sometimes, men can grow complacent in marriage, especially when there is no bigger goal to work toward.
For women, it might be a matter of impending responsibility to manage and take care of a family. Now more than ever, women are making more money working outside the home. However, they’re also still “in charge” of making sure the laundry is done, the vacuum gets run, and the kids have healthy lunches for school. When all of these responsibilities come together, it can make for one frantic schedule.
Quite often, these mindshifts mean that less focus is placed on maintaining a healthy, happy marriage.
The Importance of Dating
Continuing to date your husband or wife, even after you’ve gotten married, is what keeps your friendship alive. Strong marriages are built on solid friendships, not on romantic love. However, romantic love is often a natural by-product of a solid friendship. Wherever you put your time and your money is where your heart is.
When is the last time you took your spouse out on a date? Even if you would have trouble fitting date night into your budget, choose activities that don’t cost much, or anything at all. Going on a walk together, sharing a picnic lunch in the park, and taking a drive to the lake are all really good ideas.
We’re confident that once you begin dating your spouse again, you’ll reawaken all of those feelings you thought were gone. Your marriage was once your most important investment. We’d like to help you keep it that way. If you are considering couples counseling, let the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center help you. Call us today at 949-393-8662 or book your appointment via our online calendar.