“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”. Matthew 7:12
Every relationship will face a season where you don’t feel as connected with your spouse. That may be what happened before your separation or divorce. You may have noticed that date nights are replaced with school activities. Snuggle sessions on the couch after the kids go to bed become strategy sessions for mapping out the week. Quiet dinners that were once filled with conversations about the future and dreaming are replaced with complaints about work.
As a couple with a restored marriage, you need to be on guard for these changes. Day by day, the subtle shift in your relationship may not be apparent, but you may notice that you and your spouse resemble event planners more than a couple madly in love over time. The drift is subtle, but it can happen.
We live just minutes from the beach. When you get to the beach, it is necessary to check the lifeguard stations and identify any warnings. One standard warning we see at this time of year is a rip current warning.
Looking at the ocean, it can appear calm. From the shore, you can’t tell that there are areas where the water is a fast-moving current that can carry you away below the surface. The same can happen in your marriage. Things may seem fine, but beneath the surface, you know things are not as they should be.
One way to get back to the intimacy and connection you should have with your spouse is to be intentional about your relationship. There is a lot going on in life. You may have kids, jobs, church ministries, family, friends, and a massive list behind that. Be intentional about moving your relationship with your spouse to the top of your list.
Put effort into pursuing your spouse. Be purposeful about connecting as a couple, not just two people living busy lives.
- Don’t forget to prioritize your spouse.
Your relationship with God comes first, but right after that is the relationship with your spouse. That marital relationship needs to go before your children. Your kids are only going to be in your home for 18 years. Your spouse will be with you forever. Commit to continually growing and investing in your marriage. Be purposeful about not repeating past mistakes.
- Find a few minutes each day where you can be alone and share the struggles and wins of your day.
You may need to get creative if you have small kids. Can you get up 30 minutes earlier and start the day together? Turn off the TV in the evening and play a game together. Head out in the evening for a quick walk around the block.
- Let your spouse know that you are praying for them.
You can leave notes that your spouse can find. My husband loves finding these notes, but I sometimes forget to leave them. I will write out several at a time and plant them to be found for weeks to come. Be creative! Leave a note in the laundry detergent container, in the sun visor of their car, in the garage on the toolbox, or in their lunchbox.
Do you prefer a digital method? Set a reminder on your phone to text your spouse with affirmations.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
- Plan a date night
It is so important to be purposeful about time alone with your spouse. Date nights can be done on a variety of budgets. If you don’t have family nearby to help with childcare, consider trading babysitting with a friend. You watch their kids while they go out one week, and the next, you let them watch your kids.
If money is tight, find economical ways to date in your community. Go for a drive or plan a picnic. You can even set up a picnic in your backyard. Find a new restaurant in your city that you and your spouse can try. There are many options if you get creative!
Nothing left unattended will become healthy. Invest the time and energy into your marriage and watch it blossom.