Couples sometimes need some help to keep their love from fading and their relationship from drifting apart. Drifting apart is all too real for so many couples and I would go so far to say, it is something that happens to all couples at one time or another.
The key is knowing why it happens and what you can do to change it.
Why do we drift?
The bible teaches us, (Gen.2:24) that marriage requires for a man and a woman to be joined together, and they become one flesh. The KJV bible uses the word cleave for joined together. Other translations use the words embraces, united, and cling. The picture here is that the covenant marriage relationship is to create a bond of oneness that is so tight there can be no separating what used to be two.
The great irony is we want to have companionship. We want to share our lives with our spouse. We have an attraction to the complexities of everything that makes them who they are and we admire so many of their qualities. Yet there is something within us that resist the process of being joined together as one flesh.
Trouble is we live in a fallen world where each one of us has to deal with our own selfish sin nature. In other words we like to have things our way, we like to do our own thing, and we only want to see life through our eyes. So, instead of joining together with another person, we have a natural tendency to drift toward our own isolation.
Isolation becomes our coping mechanism for not having to deal with anything but ourselves and what we want. If we can isolate ourselves from our spouse we can remove ourselves from having to deal with something within us that needs to change.
Also, conflict leads to isolation. We remove ourselves from what is painful or too difficult. And when we fail to deal with conflict and when we fail to recognize that healthy conflict is a part of the process, then we tend to pull away from each other so we can avoid the conflict.
What can you do when you see your marriage drifting?
Here are just a few of the many tips you can learn from a marriage ministry like the class we teach.
- Refocus: ———- To get back to the place where your marriage is moving toward oneness you have to refocus your attention. The trick to this is knowing focus means elimination. Anytime you focus on something, you are also eliminating things that would keep you from focusing.
- Get a new appetite: ———- This is a truth that applies to just about anything you want to change. You will hunger for what you’re feeding on. If you want to change your diet or begin an exercise routine, it is hard at first. But before you know it you begin to hunger for the new food or the new routine. Same goes for your marriage. If you start applying your attention to your spouse even when you don’t want to, you will soon develop the want to.
- Break up the monotony: ———- When life starts getting boring and routine your familiarity breeds contempt. You need to change things up, do some things different. Mix in some spice to your life. Come up with some romantic ideas. Take a vacation, take some weekend or day trips somewhere. Add date night to your weekly or bi-weekly schedule. Look for some things you can do that are spontaneous and adds excitement.
- Teamwork creates synergy: ———- Attack the same problems together. Don’t be isolated by letting each other handle their own problems without your interest, input, and involvement. Find ways to be supportive and a part of the team with everything you do. Remember, in marriage there is no her problem or his problem. As a married couple you have to own all problems together and work together to find solutions.
- Walk by faith: ———- Don’t let the struggles of life and the reality of where you are right now get you down. Discouragement will also lead you toward isolation as you try to deal with your sorrow. On the other hand, hope and faith will lift your spirit and cause you to be attractive to your spouse and you will be more attracted to them because you see life in a positive manner.
- Treat each other with honor: ———- Remember your vows, how that you said you would honor each other. When you give honor you cause your spouse to move close to you. When you show them dishonor you cause them to move away from you. Honor is how you validate one another’s value. When you listen to one another’s heart and you care about each other’s needs you are letting each other know that you honor and value them as a person.
Question: What are some of the ways you have noticed drifting taking place in your marriage? Feel free to leave us a comment.