Ten obvious-but-we’re-in-counseling-because-we-forgot Marriage Facts.
Fact #1 : Your spouse is different than you. They just are.
Fact #2: What you believe about those differences and how you react/respond will make or break your marriage.
Fact #3: Your spouse is an adult. You can’t control him or her. The moments you forget this you give yourself permission to weaken your marriage.
Fact #4: Spending time doing fun stuff together and having awesome uninterrupted conversations were two key things that made you say “Hey, we should, like totally, do this together for the rest of our lives!” That and the kissing. (Oh yes, the kissing! More on that later)
Fact #5: You married your spouse because of the strengths and qualities you admired in them, fixating on their weaknesses will make you doubt that decision. If you mentally tear down your spouse, because you are one, you tear yourself down. And it’s not very sexy.
Fact #6: Your spouse is your best friend. Don’t be mean to your best friend.
Fact #7: Honesty is still the best policy. Remember when finally finding someone to be completely open and honest with felt so good? Don’t go back into hiding.
Fact #8 Being adult doesn’t mean being grumpy. Have fun. Simple, obvious, not easy. Make space for it. Ruthlessly deal with stress and busyness. “Neglect” and sacrifice other things and priorities for your spouse, like you used to.
Fact #9 Sex is good. So much to say here. Don’t make excuses. Find your way back to each other, under the sheets. Whatever takes away or has taken away the longing, desire and urgency – address it. Maturity and the kids’ schedules and getting old together doesn’t mean losing creativity, fun and playfulness. Chase each other around the house even if only metaphorically and behind closed doors and that brief window of time on your weekly calendars.
Fact #10 Marriage is not just about you and your unmet needs. Not to discount your needs or happiness but remember your purpose, your center. For me and Julie, it’s our faith and relationships with God. Under stress and conflict and overwhelm it’s easy to go into survival mode.
Remember that you had dreams, purpose, mission, something beyond yourself when you started your life together, something beyond just the two of you.
Remembering this humbles me, makes me feel grateful to have such an amazing spouse. It makes me feel so blessed. It reminds me I’m forgiven and I can forgive, small and big things.
When you step back and consider this, the things that divide you get smaller. And the things that brought you together, that keep you together and will see you through, come back in and empower you to continue to love each other.
Find your way back.
It’s worth it.