At any moment, every marriage is either growing closer or drifting apart. Just as life and seasons change over time, relationships change. If they’re not growing stronger, they’re becoming weaker. There is no such thing as neutrality in relationships.
When was the last time you and your spouse had a real date that you both enjoyed? Do you find yourselves going to bed simmering in anger? Are you avoiding each other … perhaps spending more time with friends and hobbies instead of with each other? Has day-to-day communication become difficult or even impossible? Falling asleep with your phone in hand, social media as the first or last view of the day?
If all that sounds familiar to you, your marriage is moving in the wrong direction. I know that can be hard to read. Maybe you already knew it though. The good news is it still possible to turn things around and begin to restore the relationship and reinvigorate the love that brought you together in the first place. It probably won’t happen automatically. That moment when couples suddenly find themselves falling back in love frequently happens near the end of movies and TV shows, but we rarely see it in real life. it takes time, hard work, and lots of forgiveness.
There is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed if your marriage isn’t what it could be or once was. Every day we hear stories of people who have drifted apart over time. Most things in life require some maintenance or repairs along the way. Would you drive your car 100,000 miles without an oil change? Would you go 25 years between visits to the dentist? Was that physical you had in your early 20s enough to address your health issues in middle age? Marriages change over time and require intentionality that most likely you weren’t taught about in school.
No marriage is perfect. Even two people who love each other very deeply and are faithful to one another may not communicate as well as they should or could. Children (or not having children) impacts a marriage dramatically. Changing jobs affects marriage. Moving affects marriage. Loss of parents affects marriage. Unless you have tools to make those challenges a time of strengthening, chances are a slow drift apart is underway. Trust me when I say that a professional counselor can help you identify those minor problems and recommend strategies to fix them before they become bigger. In fact, a professional counselor can also give you tools to make your relationship stronger than it ever was. I’ve seen it happen with newlyweds, and I’ve seen it happen with people married more than 50 years. It is hard work, but it is possible if you are willing to work.
If your marriage is already at the point where it is seriously strained, a professional counselor can also help you take stock of where you’re at, decide where you want to be, and offer guidance.
If you’re concerned about the health of your marriage, don’t put off getting help. The sooner you address the issues that are getting in the way of happiness and communication, the better off you’ll both be.
We’re super excited to host our first marriage retreat coming soon. If you’re getting married, if you’ve been married 5, 10, or even 20 years, or if you’re one step away from ending your marriage and wonder if there is any hope, we recommend this retreat for you.
Learn more about it here.
Learn about our professionals.