Can you relate to this scenario? A couple finds themselves sitting next to each other night after night, refusing to admit they have an unhappy marriage. They’re dutifully going through the motions and as they turn off the TV and head to bed, he looks at her with romantic intentions. But they vanish quickly. It’s going to take too much work, he says to himself as he resigns to another frustrating night. She returns his glance with a weak smile, thinking he doesn’t want me anymore. She sighs as she believes the lie they eventually exchange…an “I love you”, followed by a weak, insincere kiss as they turn to their respective corners. Apathy has set in and it’s devastating their marital joy.
If this sounds familiar, there’s good news. Marital apathy is treatable. In fact, it’s curable. You can rejuvenate and restore happiness to your marriage with some intentional effort.
Here are five ways to fight for a fulfilling marriage:
1. Identify the issues. What bad habits have invaded your marriage? Lack of communication, loss of the loving feelings, a drought of physical intimacy or unresolved conflicts. These are common enemies of marital joy. Pinpoint where your marriage has allowed apathy to grow.
2. Commit to resolving these issues. Have a safe conversation. Promise to speak, listen and respond to each other in a way that seeks to attack the problems and not each other. Honestly share how you’re feeling right now. This will give you a list of things that you can begin to address depending on the seriousness of your issues. You may want to seek pastoral or professional help.
3. Dream Together. You want your marriage to be a place of fulfillment for both of you, as well as an example for your kids to follow. So build a dream marriage together for you and your family.
4. Make the changes needed. What changes do you need to make? Purge your personal and family calendars to get rid of the things that crowd out couple time together. Remember that your kids well-being hinges on your marriage being well. Schedule in ink regular date nights. Get ready for those date nights as you did when you were trying to impress each other before you were married. Woo each other.
5. Stay the course. All good things take work. Building a great marriage is going to take a lot of work.
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