“There’s just no fire there.”
“He doesn’t love me anymore.”
“She acts like I’m her brother, not her lover.”
“It feels like we’re just living together as roommates.”
We hear comments like this from men and women all the time. In our busy world, it’s easy for the feeling of romance to fade away.
What’s going on when this happens? There are at least two possibilities.
Every day won’t feel as electric as what you experienced in the movie theater as a twenty-year-old. The loss of jobs, sick in-laws, teenagers whose grades aren’t what they should be, the death of a friend, and intense projects at work — life is not a chick flick. Life is filled with all kinds of circumstances that simply cannot be romantic. That’s okay.
All disappointment is a result of unmet expectations. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about the stresses and realities of what’s happening in your life right now. Your life-stage and current circumstances profoundly affect the state of your romantic relationship.
Forgetting what love looks like
Perhaps you’ve forgotten what your “love” actually looks like to your spouse. You aren’t actually cherishing your spouse the way God cherishes you. You don’t love God more than them and them more than anyone or anything else. When we “love” like this, romance withers and dies.
I Corinthians chapter 13 is a great diagnostic to evaluate our daily love. It shows us how true love acts toward others. Perhaps you’ve read it many times, but what if we made this passage specific for you? How would your love measure up?
Insert your name in the blanks below (where “love” appears in the original). _____ is patient. _____ is kind. _____ does not envy. _____ does not boast, _____ is not proud. _____ is not rude, _____ is not self-seeking. _____ is not easily angered, _____ keeps no record of wrongs. _____ does not delight in evil, _____ rejoices with the truth. _____ always protects, ____ always trusts, _____ always hopes, _____ always perseveres.
Seven ideas to create a romantic atmosphere
Need any help creating an atmosphere that promotes romance? Choose one of the ideas below and do it right away. Don’t tell your spouse which one you picked — yet. Begin to implement your choice, then come back in a week or so and talk about any changes you’ve noticed in your relationship:
Every marriage needs romance. No one wants to go through life with a spouse who is more like a business partner or a roommate; we all go into marriage looking for a lifelong lover and companion. Take steps this week to enhance or reignite romance in your marriage.
Adapted from The Marriage Prayer by Patrick Morley and David Delk. Published by Moody Publishers. Copyright © 2008 by Patrick Morley and David Delk. Used with permission.
Patrick Morley’s bestselling The Man in the Mirror was selected as one of the 100 Christian books that changed the twentieth century. After building one of Florida’s 100 largest privately held companies, in 1991 he founded Man in the Mirror, a nonprofit organization to help men find meaning and purpose in life. He is the author of 15 books. Pat and his wife, Patsy, have two married children and two granddaughters.
David Delk is president of Man in the Mirror. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including The Dad in the Mirror and No Man Left Behind. David and his wife, Ruthie, have three children.
You can hear David Delk and Patrick Morley talk more about The Marriage Prayer on a recent FamilyLife Today interview.