Why is it that so many of us think our marriages can go humming along in the everyday kind of sweetness that we had before we married, when we aren’t doing anything intentional in our lives together, to maintain that sweetness? Why do we believe, without effort, we will enjoy marital connection?
Before marriage, couples MAKE the time to be together. We sure did. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have wanted to get married. (And you probably wouldn’t have wanted to marry either.) And yet for many married couples, that same relationship priority gets shoved aside after saying, “I do.” This essentially means, “I won’t” when it comes putting intentional effort into growing their love for each other.
Maintaining Marital Connection
“It’s a sad state of affairs when we take better care of our cars and houses than we do our marriages. We change the oil, fill the tank, check the tires, and periodically tune up our cars. We change light bulbs, wash windows, paint walls, unplug toilets, and re-roof our houses. But what do we do to maintain our marriage?
The truth is… more damage is done than repairs are made. How important is your marriage? Is it more important to you than your car or your home? Are you willing to put in the time and energy and whatever else it takes to prove to your partner how valuable the relationship truly is to you?” (Dr Steve Stephens, from the book, Marriage: Experiencing the Best)
It comes down to deciding what’s most important and what you can shift around or eliminate to maintain those priorities.
Priorities in Marital Connection
If you want a good marriage you’ll put the time into it that is needed. Don’t forget your “first love.” MAKE the time to connect with each other. Change one less light bulb, or leave a meeting a little earlier. Cut back on one lesser important thing to put in the time in for someone who should be shown that they’re more important.
“Sometimes couples complain that their time is limited because they’re so busy. The good news is that you don’t need to spend enormous amounts of time together to breed closeness and connection. Regular, brief get-togethers work too. Small changes in your schedule can make a huge difference. And, whatever you do, don’t leave “rendezvousing” up to chance. You need to plan and schedule dates together. Write these dates in your day-timer the same way you would a business appointment. Marriage is serious business.” (Michele Weiner-Davis)
Daily Marital Connection Points
There are times when Steve and I are running around like chickens with the heads cut off. That might not be a pleasant illustration to envision but it gets the point across that life can get chaotic. But even in that chaos, we’re committed to each other. We MAKE time —at least SOME time to find little connection points to affirm and connect with each other. We then kiss, and go off on our separate ways. But at that point we’re more centered in our commitment to each other and to our marriage. Steve is always close in my heart. And my loyalty to him is stronger than ever because of these connection points and he feels the same way.
If we’re not feeling as connected, then we ask the Lord to help us find ways to do so. It’s amazing how the Lord shows us ways to re-connect and restore what the enemy of our faith wants to steal from us —a strong marital bond with Christ in the middle. You can do the same by just asking. But then you have to listen and follow God’s leading.
Some of you have geographically long-distance marriage relationships. And some of you occupy the same home but you’re going through a busy season where you barely see each other. For those of you that can, we urge you, to find ways to change the distance between you. That way it doesn’t take as much effort to keep your marriage alive and vital. But for those of you who can’t, we hope you’ll MAKE the time to talk with your spouse in partnership. Look for connection points. These are points of time in which you can secure the bond you have together.
The following is something we’re hoping will help you in this mission. It comes from an article titled, “Families Matter —Daily Connection between Spouses” written by Jeff Kemp:
Most husbands and wives will not always get to spend the amount of time with each other that they would like to. But every couple can be intentional about taking the time each day to make special connections with one another. In his book Take Back Your Marriage, author and marriage expert Bill Doherty offers the following “connection rituals” couples can use on a regular basis to restore the strength and intimacy of their marriage:
• Establish a set time every day to talk. Just to check in, with no discussion of money, children, or chores.
• Create a greeting ritual that marks the moment and has meaning for the two of you.
• If you’ve stopped going to bed together regularly, start again.
• Leave an affectionate note for your spouse that has no practical purpose.
• Start dating again. Go out on a spontaneous date or plan one right now.
• Spend more quiet time together without the television on [or other social media interrupting your time together].
• Move the television out of your bedroom.
• Notice something you like about your spouse and share it.
• Take one small step tomorrow toward the marriage you’d like to have this time next year.
Whether you’ve been married for many years or you just recently said, “I do”, these connection rituals can help your marriage stay fresh, intimate and at the top of your priority list. It’s an investment that will make the excitement of being married remain long after your wedding day.
We’ve posted some articles and blogs on our web site that you might find helpful. You can find them in the topics, Communication and Conflict … Communication Tools … Romantic Ideas … and Assorted Marriage Issues.
And lastly, here’s another “Connection Pointer” that we use most evenings whenever we’ve been away from one another for a period of time. We ask each other the following questions:
– Did anything positive or exciting happen to you today?
– Did anything sad or disappointing happen today?
– What did God show you NEW today?
We hope they help you to grow closer to one another in your marriage, as you communicate and spend time together. These questions sure have helped us!
in knowledge and depth of insight.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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