I’ve heard so many of you describe your relationship with your spouse as feeling more like roommates than teammates (and not even close to playmates 😉).
Is this true for you?
If so, there are lots of reasons why this might be the case, but this one thing is true, a good marriage cannot thrive on auto pilot.
Across the nation, divorce rates have dropped a bit in all demographics except for one…empty nesters.
That’s right. It’s called “Gray Divorce,” referring to the color of hair for people over 50…. Hmmm.
It seems that for most people, the reason they stay is to protect the kids or avoid the financial devastation that comes with a split. They believe that continuing on as roommates, rather than divorcing while the children are in the home, is preferable and perhaps even a noble sacrifice.
But shortly after the last one goes to college, without genuine affection, attraction and love, there is little left to hold things together.
The cold hard truth is that divorce is painful and has significant impact on children of any age, and no matter the financial circumstance, divorce is incredibly expensive and will always be a tremendous hit to your bottom line.
Where has the love gone? Why do we allow ourselves to forget what we once felt?
It’s not intentional. No one decides that when they get married, they only want to love their partner for a good ten years, and that’s enough… Yet without intentional nourishing and team building, that’s what we get.
If you find yourself heading down this path, I’m here to tell you that you can change course! It’s not too late, but we need to get to work.
Here are some helpful tips that you can use to rezone your marriage and become a team again.
First, decide to be the emotional leader in your marriage. What you’ve been doing up to this point isn’t working. Someone has to make a change, so decide today that are the one to do it. You can be the strong one and set a different tone. You can be the one to fight for the love you remember.
Second, change the way that you interact with your spouse. If you have the same conversations each day, mix it up! Find new questions, take new interest, show more affection. Our brains love repetition so you will likely feel resistance when you attempt this. Just know that is to be expected and keep going!
Third, shift your focus to the future. The past is over and done. The only way it has any power to hurt you is if you think painful thoughts about it. Let it go. Direct your brain to look to next week, to next month and so on. When your brain offers you reasons why things didn’t work in the past, don’t entertain those thoughts. Dismiss them and move on.
Fourth, find your common goals. Your partner is not your competition. What are the things that brought you together? What did you envision for your future? What are the things you both desire, respect, unconditional love, fun??? Find those commonalities and start giving your spouse what you’d like to receive.
Fifth, create some fun! When our relationships are in a rut, we sink into the misery and forget to have fun. We sit around wishing things were different, hoping for something or someone else to “happen” to us to make it better. Stop it. Lighten up! What can you do today to celebrate life? Look for ways to enjoy each day. Be intentional about creating some smiles, some flirting, some laughter. Plan it and put it on your calendar.
This is a short and simple list, yet it can be HIGHLY effective. Even if you choose only one of these things to work on first, you can shift the direction of your Marriage. Do it. It’s so worth it!