We live in a reactive society. All of our rules and regulations come about because someone does something stupid. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves falling into the same pattern in marriage.
I was listening to Bruno Mars sing his pain on the song ‘When I Was Your Man’, as he reminisced on the little things his girl wanted from him. As I listened to him talking about buying flowers, holding her hand and taking her dancing, I couldn’t help but recognize that the things she wanted weren’t unreasonable. Since the song sold over eight million copies as a single, I also recognized he’s not alone in feeling this way (after the fact).
How does this happen? We know what our spouses want, but our pride, our egos and selfish ways won’t allow us to give that little bit of effort to grant them some joy. The sad reality is:
‘ The issues of life can kill a marriage quicker than any torrid love affair. ‘
People enter marriage with one or two non negotiables. The only time we have this ‘proactive’ stance or plan is situations like this where we say, ‘if this happens I’m out':
What about neglect, or rejection? What about constantly being made to feel bad about yourself? What about never seeing each other because you’re so busy doing life? What about growing apart?
We never think a marriage will become a monotonous routine but it can quickly go that way if we’re not both careful and truly Proactive.
I know you’re asking how can we be careful and Proactive, so of course I have a list ( you knew it was coming):
1. Recognize and apologize for your errors. Realize there is some level of fault on both of your parts and don’t focus on who should take more. Instead focus on you and what you’ve done because you’re the only one you can really change when it comes down to it.
2. Make your spouse feel special everyday. Pour it on thick. Life beats em up so your job is to be there to pick up the pieces.
3. Show and Tell. Let’s go back to elementary school, with this one. You can say you love me all day, but if you don’t show me, save your hot air. Tell your spouse he/she is loved, then show that love in your most appropriate way. If you’re not sure about this one, ask your spouse how they’d like you to show love. It may turn into a good night of conversation and you might actually get to turn off the TV and spend time with one another.
4. Make time to be alone. No cell phone, no tv, no interruptions. Look into each other’s eyes and get to know one another all over again. You have to define what this looks like for you but I can guarantee what you’re not willing to do, someone else is. Sorry, I hate to add that statement but it just rings true so often.
5. Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone and do something your spouse enjoys. I say this all the time but it’s so important. When my husband sits through a chick flick without an attitude it makes me feel so loved. And I’m sure when I go to his shoot-em-ups he feels the same.
This post could go on forever, but I’ll close by imploring you to switch from reactive to proactive in your marriage. Make your marriage a happy place so you’re not looking to a second marriage whilst crooning about what you should’ve done.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18, New International Version).