Are you living in a lazy marriage? A while back we received a marriage tip from relationship expert Mort Fertel that got me thinking on this issue. Here’s what he wrote:
“Have you ever heard the phrase ‘You are what you eat?’ This catchy slogan from the fitness industry reminds us that how we ‘spend’ our calories determines our health. Want to be fat? Then eat lots of fat. Want to be healthy? Well, you get the idea.
“When it comes to your marriage, I would say, ‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO.’ In other words, how you and your spouse SPEND YOUR TIME determines the strength of your marriage. Spend it together and you’ll feel connected. Do your own thing too often and you might sleep in the same bed, but you’ll feel worlds apart.”
After reading what Mort wrote I thought about the LAZY MARRIAGES. I see many where spouses invest time, energy, and money in everything and everyone else (especially in Facebook and Twitter time), but with each other. When it comes to their own marriage relationship, there’s nothing. They leave it to “what comes natural,” which essentially means that they do little to nothing about it. If it grows, it grows. If it doesn’t… oh well!
It just doesn’t appear to be a priority to them until it hits them that they aren’t emotionally (or physically or spiritually) connected in any way. And THEN they recognize that they have a problem. Sadly, this often times means that it’s perceived that it’s “too late”… the damage is done. How sad to wait so long to wake up!
I wonder if we approached our homes (apartments), our vehicles, our jobs, our children, our gardens and yard work that way, what would happen. I can pretty much tell you. We’d have a real mess on our hands. Left on their own, each one of those things would get out of hand. Houses and apartments don’t clean up and repair themselves. Our cars need gasoline and regular maintenance to keep them going strong. As for our jobs, just try yawning away at work, not doing anything to contribute to doing what you should. Then see what your boss says and does about it. Obviously you can only get away with being lazy for so long and you won’t have a job any more.
The Need for Nurturing
Our children need nurturing and guidance, and physical and emotional help, at the very least. And gardens and yards… well, weeds, weeds, more weeds. Plus overgrowth crowds out all the good stuff that can grow, feed and nourish us.
But then when it comes to working on our marriage relationships so they grow stronger, too many of us treat it with a “whatever…” attitude.
Blogger, Serge Bielanko in the Internet article, “Your Laziness Will Kill Your Marriage” says it the following way.
“It’s grueling work being a husband or wife. And when no one’s really paying attention, we start cutting critical emotional and soulful corners. We start drifting from the concentrated effort required to make love last. We get all caught up in ourselves, in our own pursuit of that personal happiness we think we so deserve, and we end up growing increasingly bored with our own situation. In the end, we begin to wonder if all of this lack of happiness within the marriage might actually be the other person’s fault.
“That’s usually when we start telling ourselves that ‘we married the wrong guy’ or girl. In our tired heads, we plug some other old flame or missed opportunity into the empty snapshot of happiness we have hanging on the wall of our skull. We convince ourselves that we would have been way better off with the one that got away. ‘He was my true soulmate! And he still is! I should know! We talk on Facebook!’
I agree… UGH! It’s time to WAKE UP and realize, “you are what you do.” Actually, we are what we do. If we approach our marriage with a lazy attitude, we will eventually reap what we sow… nothing! It won’t be there for us. And it won’t be there for our children either.
I see so many child-centered marriages where the children are the center of the home. The marriage relationship is put on the back burner. Eventually, there is nothing left of the couple’s relationship.
“One of the big struggles with marriage today is the tendency to put our kids’ needs before those of our spouse. What we don’t realize is that child-centered marriages are often weak marriages. And in the long run they hurt the kids more than help them. If your spouse is not getting his or her emotional needs met by you, often he or she will pour all their energy into the children. The end result is an unhealthy marriage relationship.
Obviously, I’m not talking about neglecting your children. I just want to emphasize the importance of seeking to keep your marriage vows a major priority. When children see a marriage relationship of integrity, they’ll feel more secure. In fact, Scripture says, ‘He who walks with integrity walks securely.‘ (Proverbs 10:9)
“I’m convinced that a marriage of priority and integrity will be one of the best offerings you can provide for your children. You may still need to give extra time and attention to the needs of your kids. This is especially true at certain seasons of their development. However, your kids must also see their mom and dad taking time for each other. They do this through regular date nights, daily connection times, appropriate expressions of romance, and even a commitment to time away for replenishing your relationship. I’m sure you’ve heard the true statement: ‘Do your kids a favor and love your spouse.’” (Jim Burns, from the book, Creating an Intimate Marriage)
Lead in Love
And do yourselves, and society a favor (because strong marriages make a stronger society)… love your spouse. Put some effort into growing your marriage relationship —LEAD IN LOVE. Make an attitude adjustment. Get off the lazy river and be intentional in finding something you can do everyday that will pro-actively bless your spouse and your marriage. Make it your mission, your goal to do so. We have LOTS of suggestions on this web site, if you need help. Just look around, and PRAY that God will show you what to do. (One topic, among many, that you could look into is the ROMANTIC IDEAS topic. Romance each other and grow your romantic relationship with each other.) Remember, your marriage will become what you do about it.
Here is an article written by Dr David B. Hawkins (posted on the Crosswalk web site) that could give you more ideas on how to address this issue. Please read:
Lastly, “Live a life of love” as we’re told to do in Ephesians 5. Be willing to make some sacrifices for your spouse and for your marital relationship. If you do, GREAT will be your reward!
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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Filed under: Marriage Blog