A marriage rut is formed by habits, both good and bad. You and your spouse move from the honeymoon phase to the reality of household chores, keeping food on the table and a roof over your heads, and raising your children. These are performed by necessity and are obviously good habits. But what’s missing in this line-up of good habits?
Maybe you noticed: there was no mention of time set aside for you and your husband to have fun and solidify your marriage bonds. And frankly, your marriage may feel a little less than exciting right now, or worse—one or both of you have fallen into indifference or an affair.
In this post, I’ll offer some ideas to help spring you free from the marital-rut your marriage has fallen into and reignite those sparks.
Day-to-Day Details: Are They Derailing Your Marriage?
In reality, the practical details of life do require ongoing maintenance, but so does your marriage. No one wants a life of drudgery, and yet, that’s what many married couples settle for. Excuses for not making time to nourish your marriage include:
- There’s not enough time to get everything done around the house.
- We don’t have money to go out for lavish dinners.
- What spare time we have is spent with family.
- Our schedules just don’t line up for us to get out.
Whatever the excuse, if you’re not spending time having fun with your spouse, your marriage will suffer. Quietly, over time, your marriage bonds will erode, and one day you’ll ask yourself: What happened to us?
Let’s answer that now: Nothing happened. Literally. Once upon a time, you met, fell in love, and couldn’t stand being apart from one another. And now? It’s all about clean socks and meat specials at the grocery store.
When you and your spouse never make plans to spend time together, realize that not planning becomes the plan. It’s the easy way out, and also the easiest way to wear your marriage down into the proverbial rut.
So what can you do to help your marriage?
Step 1: Prioritize Your Marriage
A lot of couples complain that they have too many obligations, between work and home, to have fun together as a couple. Maybe you’re caring for ailing parents, or one of your children needs extra attention right now. You have to travel for work, or stay later in order to keep up with all of your job responsibilities.
There’s no denying these issues are important. But your marriage is also important, and it’s too easy to backburner “fun times together” as you work to manage all the other areas of your life.
Commit to placing your marriage in the top tiers of what’s important, and not putting it on hold for a time when things will be less busy, less demanding, less time-consuming.
Step 2: Get Your Spouse On Board
Once you’ve decided to commit to having fun again with your spouse—you need to get your spouse on board. This may seem odd, after all who wouldn’t agree to have more fun? But, you need to sit down with your spouse, and together, evaluate how “fun” managed to get sidetracked and everything became one never-ending list of responsibilities, so you can beware of these traps.
When you understand which areas in your life are being prioritized over your marriage, you can recommit to setting time aside in favor of time spent together as a couple.
Step 3: Manage Time Better to Help Your Marriage
You have to carve out time to kick back and have fun together, as a couple. There will always be bills to pay, grocery shopping and other chores to do, and kids needing something.
If you currently use a calendar to list important events, get it out right now and write—in ink—time for you and your spouse to connect.
This comes back to prioritizing your marriage. You manage to make all the other dates on your calendar: hair appointment, the fund-raising dinner, the business meeting. Time with your spouse is just as important, and needs to be treated as such.
Step 4: Get Creative to Boost Marriage Fun
Make the effort together to find what works for you and your spouse, in your marriage. If your budget is lean and you can’t go out for dinner, plan a themed-dinner night, shopping for and preparing it together. If you have an issue with your schedules not aligning perfectly, take advantage of whatever time you can find together and do something, whether it’s meeting for lunch during the work day or at a coffee shop in the morning.
I’d be interested to hear about your experiences …
What’s getting in the way of you and your spouse having fun?
Do you feel you’re in a marital rut?
What have you done to help get your marriage back on track?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,