In my previous blog I spoke about the need to imagine a better marriage, a closer more fulfilling relationship in which you enjoy being together and where you truly feel like best friends. How is that possible? How do you get close to each other when there are so many nagging issues making you so annoyed you could just spit? How many times have I told him about…? I wish she would just… and get over it already? Why does she have to keep nagging and nagging about the same old things? Why don’t we ever just hug and cuddle like we used to? It seems that we are so busy and we never get enough time together. Why does it seem like we are drifting apart?
Why indeed. Relationship Drift is seldom caused by one or two incidents. It develops over a long period of time, with many of the same incidents happening over and over again. The painful hurts caused by words spoken in anger or insults and insensitivity add up into a heaping pile of pain that now you just ignore and bury. This leads to a dull numb lifeless relationship. Too much pain and too many issues have broken your relationship apart so that a cool distance now dominates your day to day interaction. Moments of intimacy are few and far between and usually accented by another fight or disagreement. If this sounds like your relationship with your spouse, then you have choices to make. “Really? I have choices?” Yes, you do have choices.
First Choice: Accept the status quo and live with a lifeless loveless relationship that will eventually get worse. Keep in mind that doing doing nothing rarely results in the relationship getting better. This is a fatalistic approach that builds on the lie that “it will never change”. Have you ever heard that lie? Maybe you’ve spoken that lie to yourself in the past. Maybe you’re still speaking that lie to yourself even now. During these moments when we listen to the lie, we usually drop into apathy, telling ourselves that it’s really bad and it will never change, but I don’t care anymore. Or we attack our spouse to force them to change or else. Attacking and apathy are not recommended solutions.
Second Choice: This is a tough one. It requires that you sooth yourself and calm yourself down. Visualize a better relationship. Imagine a closeness that approaches a nine or nine and a half on a scale of ten. Now, the next two steps are really tough. First, work every day at loving and accepting your spouse. See the positive and verbally relate your appreciation daily. Surely the things that annoy you won’t immediately go away, but purpose to focus on the positive. Second, reflect on what you can change about yourself that will make the relationship better. Focus on personal growth. What can I do to be a better husband or better wife? Finally, work at these two EVERY DAY. Be patient. Don’t expect immediate change. Be thankful for any progress. Love unconditionally.
Yes, you can imagine it if you try.