Why do marriages go stale after years where couples don’t seem to have much to talk about any more? Couples who used to talk about their lives, career paths and business opportunities suddenly change as a result of what life throws at them while the old excitement begins to fade out completely. They watch a lot of television read and even mingle with friends to occupy time without necessarily communicating and when they are alone together, it is pretty dull. Some others sleep in separate bedrooms because the romance has died. This is one of the disturbing trends that play out in marriages today. Couple transits from fiery romance to challenging life realities, to rut, resentments to regrets before separation and probably a divorce scenario.
Our marriages are either growing or drifting apart. There is no middle ground but we must be committed to building healthy, growing marriages as the family unit forms the bedrock of any society. The commitment starts when we remember the good times we had when we first fell in love. There are five things every couple cherishes when they first fall in love. The commitment to do them over and over again helps recapture the romance of the first love.
1. Attention: The very first sign of falling in love was that you noticed that your spouse paid attention to you. You wrote notes. You made phone calls. You had total, undivided attention but in marriage, instead of I will get that for you, we shifted to saying, get it yourself. We become complacent in our relationship and take one another for granted. But if you’re going to rekindle the romance, you have to make time and pay close attention to each other. If we don’t we are heading for trouble.
2. Affirmation: The quickest way to put the sparks back into your marriage is to start focusing on your spouse’s strengths instead of their supposed weaknesses. Give encouragement to each other by strengthening each other. Everybody wants to be admired, appreciated, loved and respected. We usually fall in love with people who admire us and become what they expect of us. Verbalize your love for your spouse each day. If you will verbalize your love, then you will begin to feel that love you once had.
3. Affection: Remember how affectionate you and your spouse were during your courting days? People can always tell you were unmarried because of the eagerness to do things for each others. Unfortunately after the wedding the tenderness and show of affection stops in many marriages. All marriages need large amounts of non-sexual touch each day. To be affectionate is not negotiable, some say, “I’m just not naturally affectionate.” As much as change is not in our genes, we can learn to be affectionate.
4. Adventure: Most marriages are dull. The number one cause of marital affairs is boredom. Most people had adventurous moments before they got married but lost that sense completely when they began to take each other for granted. Everything becomes predictable which is a killer in any marriage. Unfortunately most people define fun as what you do after you’ve got all your work done. But you never get all your work finished! The work is never done. Even after you retire, you still have got work to do. As a result when don’t spice up your marriage with adventurous moments you wonder why the feelings died. Rekindle this today by engaging in activities you like to do together. Do them without the kids. Schedule time for it and get it right going.
5. Accordance: Spiritual unity or oneness enhances romance. The key to fellowship with your mate is for both of you to live in the consciousness of God’s presence. There comes the natural desire to show physical affection, physical oneness, when you are spiritually one. The two shall become one – intellectually, emotionally, physically, recreationally, and spiritually.
When we learn to connect with each other in all these five areas, then we find real, honest oneness that is growing into the future