It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with your marriage. You love each other and do life together pretty well. It’s just that you sense that things are not really humming along. They are more ho-humming.
I’ve previously shared with you what you can do when you want more, when you want to enrich your marriage. If you are wanting more out of life and more from your marriage, I’d like to share with you 8 things not to do in your marriage.
1. Don’t be rash. Remember that there are seasons for everything, from farming to football. There are up and downs, ebb and flows. Work, family commitments, financial and physical challenges can all be extra-demanding at times. So ponder whether your flatness is a cloudy season that just needs to be waited out or has become a way of life.
2. Don’t settle for so-so. If you realize that you have accepted average as good enough, decide that you are going to go for better. Dr. William Doherty has warned that harboring dissatisfaction is all too often the slippery slope to divorce. Revisit, review, and revive some of the hopes and dreams you had when you first got married. Yes, honeymoon feelings fade, but there’s a deeper, richer love to be experienced as you learn more about each other.
3. Don’t skim the surface. Take time to focus on What to Do When Things Don’t Turn Out Your Way. Chances are some simple practical changes can fix things—you agree to regular date nights, deeper conversations, more regular physical intimacy. But be sure to ask the deeper questions about what’s really missing beneath the surface—the oneness, connection, sense of shared adventure these things can help foster.
4. Don’t look around. The neighbors’ grass always appears greener when you’re staring at the weeds in your yard. If you find yourself in a slump in your marriage, be on your guard against temptation. Be careful not to start comparing your relationship negatively with other marriages; here are some pointers on How to Crush Comparison in Marriage. And don’t even entertain the thought of trying to find what is missing at home elsewhere.
The neighbors’ grass always appears greener when you’re staring at the weeds in your yard.
5. Don’t forget the good. Sometimes we just need to do something to snap ourselves out of a funk. If you find you’re too focused on what you think is missing in your marriage, take a few moments to remember what you have to be thankful for. Make a list of at least ten reasons you are glad you married your spouse. Take a few minutes to read about The Secret to Being Content in Any Situation.
6. Don’t point the finger. When we feel like we are missing out, we often want to lay the blame on someone else. He isn’t as romantic as he used to be. She isn’t as interested in sex as she was. Our spouse’s actions—or in-actions—may be part of the issue, but what might we have done (or not done) to encourage them? Take some time to reflect on how you may have contributed to the mundane. And ask what Unfair Expectations You May Have of Your Spouse.
7. Don’t bottle it up. With a healthy sense of ownership of your part in things, invite your spouse into a conversation. Ask them how they feel things are going in your relationship. Is there anything they would like to change or improve? Share your feelings carefully; let them know you’re not dissatisfied with them as a person, you just want more out of your life together—for both of you.
8. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Why settle for recapturing what you used to have when you could discover something new together? There may be old ways that you need to re-embrace, but look for new things too. Take it in turns to suggest new ways of connecting—a breakfast date instead of dinner, a new shared hobby, a weekly handwritten letter—and try them out. Keep what works and discard what doesn’t.
If you have been through a season where your marriage was more blah than blooming, what did you do to turn things around? Share your thoughts and experiences here.