If you’re like many couples, there are vital things you used to do in your marriage that have become less common now. And that subtle shift over time could be silently killing your relationship—Even to the point where divorce may seem like a viable option.
Most importantly, the amount of love you show your spouse has waned. Yes, you still go through the motions even though you’d hoped for more than that. But going through the motions will never make up for the need of real, authentic love—something that can easily dry up over time if you’re not careful.
Love is the fuel in the gas tank to get your relational vehicle to where you want it to go.
But, without love, your relational vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Worse yet, it’ll just sit there like a car in the junkyard and rust away unless you get intentional. So, how do you put love first in your relationship again? Here are some essential ways.
Make Time for What and Who You Love (But Choose Wisely)
Looking for the number-one way to avoid divorce? If so, you’ll need to take a hard look at how you spend your time. Your spouse needs to be a consistent time priority for your marriage to thrive and to ultimately survive.
Time priorities will prove what and who you love. Sure, there are some obligations you may or may not enjoy such as work or sitting in traffic that, by necessity, are solitary ventures.
But what about that extra time? For many, there are hobbies, friends and working out among other things that fill that space, too often crowding out time with their spouse.
With all these pressures and pursuits, it can be easy to lose sight of a loving relationship and to settle for being “roommates” instead. And roommates are easily replaced—not exactly what you’re after.
Things can become so mundane that you’re bored to tears or the few interactions you do have could be tense, negative or even worse. But what you need most is more time to show each other you care so that your relationship can continue to grow.
The crazy-fast pace of life can make you forget the basics of spending time together that used to just naturally happen. The good news is that these communication moments can start to naturally happen again in some of the following ways:
Sharing the Mundane Together as a Team
The bottom line is that you need to start talking again. No, not only about credit card bills, what irritates you about your partner or the most recent auto repair. If your interactions are only about that stuff, it’ll make for a pretty crummy relationship
It’s important to spend at least two hours during the week in discussion just about life. If you’re going through a particularly busy week, you can talk while you share household responsibilities like preparing a meal, doing the dishes or running errands. Make a point to just talk about life together while working toward a common goal…
Too often, chores become solitary endeavors because “that’s his job” or “that’s her job”. Try helping each other more for a stronger relationship. Communicating while sharing household responsibilities can get you through an occasional busy week but that shouldn’t be the norm.
Just Start Living Life Together
Again, imagine if you just spent several hours together each week. This doesn’t have to be “white tablecloth” stuff, either.
Just get back to the basics where communication can naturally happen like it used to. Share a cup of tea together in the evenings, go for walk in the park or stop by a local coffee shop. Often, these low-key, ordinary moments open lines of communication better than a big, fancy date anyway. They just happen and it really isn’t that difficult to do.
As you re-connect, your marriage will grow stronger and become more central to your life again. And remember to schedule time away from the kids! All spouses (and children) need that.
Summing Things Up
Some of the most important relational basics like showing you care through authentic communication aren’t rocket science. It’ll start feeling like rocket science if you don’t do this on a weekly basis, though. You can improve your relationship simply by sharing life together again.
It’s also important to remember that we all experience relational “slumps” in our marriages from time to time. Or, maybe things have gotten really tough lately. Either way, the OC Relationship Center can help. You can schedule an appointment with us at your convenience.