Has your relationship gone stale and you want to know what it will take to save your marriage? Or, have your differences been tearing you apart, leading to fight after fight, often followed by long, cold distances?
You’re not alone. The divorce statistics are sobering. And yet, there are many married couples who represent the marriages that succeed.
What do they know that the unsuccessful group wishes they knew, too? Read on…
A Critical Ingredient to Save Your Marriage
There’s one big mistake many couples repeat day in and day out: talking about their problems non-stop.
Don’t get me wrong – talking about the issues in your marriage is important. But talking about them constantly is unhealthy, boring and likely to stifle the emotional connection with your spouse.
Similarly, spending every waking moment taking care of work and chores, or talking about who will take care of work and chores, is like starving your marriage of the vital nutrients it needs for survival.
I know you are busy and the pace of your world has picked up tremendously, and often you feel like you barely have time to breathe. It seems there’s no time for anything else.
When marriages go into this type of crisis mode, where the emotional connection has been eroded due to everyday problems and concerns, there is one problem cropping up over and over again. It’s a problem that many people fail to address, and it’s one that often ends up destroying the marriage: a lack of fun.
Every couple faces similar challenges: balancing the day-to-day concerns with keeping the relationship alive. It’s a struggle to varying degrees, depending on personalities, whether there are kids in the picture, economic considerations and career demands.
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A lot of these things can drive couples to engage in a great deal of conflict. But not all couples who are in this state of crisis go on to divorce. What’s different about them?
Having fun with your partner is one of the most important aspects of your relationship. Dating and having a good time is what brought you together in the first place. If you’re wondering why your relationship isn’t full of the passion and joy you used to have, it may very well be that you have let the fun die.
And when the fun dies, the entire relationship often goes with it. After all, fun helps keep your marriage glued together because it strengthens the emotional connection between you and your spouse.
To keep your marriage nourished requires having or creating fun experiences with your partner. Of course, you need to carve the time to make this happen.
Maybe going out and having a good time is complicated by your hurt and angry feelings. Your bad emotions might feel so intense that you simply don’t think you
can enjoy time with your partner. Another problem may be that you simply have no idea what to do together. You might have a hard time coming up with fun activities. Or, you might have a sense of what you like to do independently, but you have no idea what you could do together.
But if you want to save your marriage, you need to figure it out. You’ll be richly rewarded – with a glowing, positive balance in a certain bank.
The Secret of Successful Couples
So, let’s reveal the secret of those couples who experience conflict like the rest of us and yet their marriages stand the test of time. These couples do one very important thing: they rack up the balance of positive experiences in their marriage to counteract the negative ones.
Think of it as your marriage’s love bank: plenty of deposits in the form of positive, fun experiences and minimal withdrawals in the form of conflict and fights.
Let’s get you started on filling your love bank with the following tips:
Tip 1: Start Small
Don’t begin this process by taking your dream vacation together. Instead, start with something simple like going out together for a cup of coffee, or going for a walk in the park together. You can build your time and pleasurable activities together as your comfort level increases.
Tip 2: Push Your Marriage’s Boundaries
Be gentle with yourselves, but at the same time push to have some fun together. It may be hard at first, especially when you are dealing with so many difficult
problems in your marriage. But if you let the fun die, you are only going to increase your problems.
Tip 3: Brainstorm… Together
For those of you who have a difficult time deciding what to do, or have a hard time coming up with creative date activities, I recommend brainstorming.
Look through your local paper, check in about events that are going on in your community, think about ways you can take advantage of your surroundings (living in the country versus the city will make a big difference in terms of the kinds of local activities you might find), and make a list of every single fun activity you can think of doing with your partner.
Tip 4: Is Lack of Money an Excuse?
If your financial picture is less than stable, here’s a sample list you can use to get your own creative juices flowing:
- Free days at the local museum
- Free concerts in the park
- Community walks
- Garden explorations
- Family days at the local aquarium
- Wine tasting
- Church socials/dinners
- Farmers’ markets
- Bike rides
- Have a picnic with or without other friends
- Have a barbeque with or without other friends
As you can see, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to go out and have fun with your partner. You can spend as much or as little as your budget allows. What’s more, you can spend more or less time having fun depending on what your schedules allow.
My best to you as you and your spouse fill your love bank and save your marriage.
When is the last time you had fun with your spouse? What did you do?
Can you remember when your love bank’s balance shifted and became weighted more to the negative side?
What are things you did before that you enjoyed together? What stops you from doing them this week?
Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,