I’ve been married to my husband for twenty years and have felt detached from him for years. I don’t expect to feel what I felt when we were newlyweds, but I don’t want to live in a loveless, lifeless marriage. What can I do to bring feelings back?
Too many couples enjoy the delight of early love only to slip into a passionless marriage brought about by neglect. You might think feelings of love should just come and be maintained naturally, but this is not true. Maintaining feelings of closeness takes effort. Consider some reasons couples give for losing those loving feelings:
- Family obligations
- Financial pressures
- Lack of romance
Busyness seems to be an American pastime; people mistakenly believe the busier they are, the more important they are. Busyness, however, often creates a huge wall between couples. With many dual-income couples, there is precious little time to truly enjoy each other.
Family obligations can also become a barrier to intimacy. Caught in the daily grind of home care, ferrying children back and forth to obligations, in addition to paying the bills and other responsibilities, there is often little attention given to maintaining that spark of romance.
Boredom is also a prime culprit. Once the thrill of new love wears off, boredom can take over. During the early years you’re excited with your mate and eager to spend time together. However, with routine setting in, you lose that desire to pursue your mate. Boredom takes its toll.
Finally, couples who fail to be intentional about keeping romance in their marriage will experience distance and loss of love. Again, many fall prey to believing love should simply remain a part of their marriage because of the commitment they made to each other. They fail to make daily efforts to keep the spark alive in their relationship. They take for granted the fact that it takes continuous effort to demonstrate their love toward each other.
What can you do to reignite that spark in your marriage? Try these these suggestions:
Date your mate again. As old-fashioned as that may sound, you are never too old to date your mate. Never take your mate so for granted that you aren’t willing to put in effort to have special times together every week. These dates don’t have to be fancy, just intentional. Let your mate know you enjoy being with him and value him.
Make time for your mate. There are no shortcuts for spending time with your mate. Everyone wants a spouse who will take an active interest in them. Carve out time to be with your mate every day, if only for a few moments of meaningful contact. Dedicate extra time on another day or two during the week. Nothing speaks louder than TIME for saying, I still care about you.
Respect your mate. How do you treat your mate daily? Are you kind to him? Do you show him respect? Even small amounts of disrespect cause incredible damage. Guard your tongue and your actions, ensuring that both say you care deeply about your spouse. Let your husband know, by the way you treat him, that you care for him and want him to care for you.
Celebrate your mate. Every marriage needs celebration and spontaneity to remain alive and vibrant. Refuse to succumb to routine and boredom; keep surprises in your relationship. Plans long weekends together in fun places. Smile. Laugh. Play with each other. Giving that occasional gift is a wonderful way of saying, “I still love you.”
Talk to your mate. Communication is key to any healthy marriage. You must maintain the ability to talk about anything with your mate. Are you the kind of mate who is approachable? You must give your mate the message that you welcome feedback of any kind and are willing to talk over the most simple or difficult issue.
Resolve issues with your mate. Scripture teaches that we must “Bear with each other and forgive one another” (Colossians 3:13). Grudges have no place in a healthy marriage. Remember, you are an imperfect person married to another imperfect person. In humility realize you are going to hurt one another at times, but forgiveness cleans the slate.
In summary, you never have to fall out of love with your mate. Keeping romance alive is not only good for your health, but will keep you feeling young forever. Do your part to keep the spark alive in your marriage.