They were good people. They made it known that divorce was not an option for them. Yet here they were, going their separate ways and leaving a path of confusion and chaos as they did.
There was no love affair to blame, no abuse that had been hidden. Just a slow erosion, a drifting apart, a building of resentments until one felt there was nothing left. Broken hearts. Broken people. Broken home.
Divorce certainly is an option these days. The courts are filled with those who once never expected it could happen to them. The resulting damage in lives, children, extended family, in finances and self-esteem is creating havoc in our culture. Maybe you have entertained the "D" word yourself . . . or even said it out loud. Yet before you set your foot on such a costly path, consider another "D" word that is probably at work right now in your relationship. "DRIFT". Paying attention to it can help you move back from the brink of destruction that divorce will undoubtedly bring.
Drift Happens. Busyness and the demands of work and family can leave a couple though once deeply in love, passing like room mates in the hall, drifting away from one another and from home. Steps can be taken to ward off drift or pull the relationship back when drift has happened.
Ask yourself if your relationship has drifted . . . There are ways to anchor your marriage securely and to soften hardening hearts so your marriage can be an enjoyment and even a treasure. Naming drift when you see it is the first step. Choosing to do something about it is next.
"But it gets complicated", you say. Of course it does. The intertwining of two lives will always cause some tensions. The important thing is to know that DRIFT happens and you can overcome it.
D — Do things Together
"History together is built one event at a time." In order to grow together you must spend time together. If your schedules are taking you in different directions with little time to experience life together then stop! Shift togetherness to a new priority. Run errands together, go for lunch, plan a date night. It can be simple but be intentional about stopping the drift before it happens. Make time together.
Have at least one meal together daily. Get up 15 minutes early to have coffee/prepare dinner together. Plan it. It won't just happen. Don't eat all your meals together in front of the TV.
When you do have an evening at home together set a time to turn off all electronics and visit. Make tea, have a glass of wine and just be together.
R — Romance One Another Choose to Be in Love
Remember that this is the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. Choose to love this person deeply. Choose to be in love. Just as you can choose to focus on the negative you can also choose to focus on the positive. Let loving-kindness be a daily goal. It's your choice.
Make love-making a priority
The sexual bond is much more than just a physical connection. It is a bonding of two souls. It's glue in a good marriage. It is meant to be fun, fulfilling and frequent. If this is an area of tension in your marriage then get some help. Past sexual experiences including those of abuse or promiscuity will bring their own baggage into your marriage. Keep porn out! Plan intimate times.
The best sex advice
The greatest sex advice ever given is to make it a priority to give your partner genuine attention, affection and appreciation. You will be amazed at how these three things will impact what happens not only in general but also in the bedroom.
Give lots of non-sexual touching too. When a relationship becomes strained all touching often stops. A hand on the arm, a quiet taking of the other's hand, a kiss on the forehead can help melt tension and show you care. I— Invest in each other Get away together
Whether it's for an evening, a weekend, or a holiday save time and resources to make "get-aways" a reality. Give yourselves the gift of couple-time to focus on each other in a special way that day to day doesn't allow.
Pursue each other
Keep courting each other. If the pursuit of each other's heart has long gone by the wayside begin again to find small creative ways to say, "I want to be with you". Recall things from your dating days; go for a picnic, even start with an evening walk. Pursue the one who once captured your heart.
Be your partner's biggest fan and cheerleader. Celebrate small victories. Intentionally show that you support them.
Make bedtime count
As often as possible make bedtime the same for both of you. Lots of things can get in the way of this but make sure it happens often. One of the best things about marriage is going to bed together at the end of the day. This is a connecting time that should not be overlooked.