When unrealistic expectations of a fairy tale marriage fall short, passion and intimacy quickly deflate. Real life comes knocking on the door and couples must answer, dealing with the ups and downs of marriage. Many husbands and wives find themselves in a slump, discouraged and hopeless that change can occur. Saving your marriage by putting forth the effort to find the excitement again is well worth the hard work.
You Can Change You
It is easy to look at your spouse's faults and quickly create a list of things she could change to make the marriage better. If it were that simple, marriages would seldom be in a slump. According to counseling pastor Jonathan Holmes, spouses who focus on correcting their own weaknesses initiate a transition to a more positive and peaceful marriage. Dr. Susan Biali, an internationally known life coach and wellness expert, reminds couples that recognizing your own trigger points helps control your responses, even in difficult situations.
Many couples lack the intimacy and passion that once fueled their relationship. Everyday routines, kids, activities and household duties often steal away energy and desire. Dr. Frank Gunzburg, a marriage crisis psychologist, suggests that spouses put energy into making each other feel special, intentionally showing affection through their words and actions, and making time to have fun together. Facing intimacy challenges in your relationship and taking strides to change them helps you grow closer as a couple.
Spending Time Together
Many couples find themselves wondering when and how to spend time together while juggling work demands, their children's homework and extracurricular activities. Lois Clark, family and consumer science educator for Ohio State University, suggests that husbands and wives talk about how they feel about the lack of quality time in their relationship, intentionally schedule a regular date night and establish rituals, like making time together after the kids go to bed. Couples can also benefit by taking a look at their schedule and deciding if any activities can be removed.
Living in a society that is constantly focused on having your own personal needs met makes it more difficult to be selfless in a marriage. However, this is just what a marriage needs in order to be healthy. According to Clem Boyd, pastor and writer on marriage and parenting, selflessness is different than just passively letting the other person have his way, it takes sacrifice. Couples benefit each other when they aspire to put their spouses needs above their own.
- Focus on the Family: Taking the "I" Out of Marriage
- Biblical Counseling Coalition: Counseling the Marriage Stuck in Neutral
- Marriage Counselor Doctor: Do You Have Marriage Intimacy Problems?
- Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.: Five Ways to Save Your Love Relationship
- Ohio State University Extension: Building a Strong Marriage - Finding Time
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