Marriage is a great gift. It helps us love, serve, and grow in ways that no other relationship can, and it is a beautiful image of how Christ loves the Church. But over the course of a marriage it is easy to get stuck in a routine and act more like roommates than romantic partners.
Recently on The Joe Sikorra Show, Joe shared some suggestions for keeping the love alive in your marriage, based on his years of experience as a marriage and family therapist.
Show Your Appreciation
Sometimes [your spouse] can become so familiar, which is a good thing. But sometimes they can become so familiar that you just take them for granted. You become too comfortable, and too much in a routine.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself, and you have to remind your spouse, that you actually appreciate them. If your marriage is on the rocks, when was the last time you said, ‘Honey, you know what? I haven’t said this lately, but I really appreciate all the things that you do.’
Don’t Keep Score
There’s something that most couples get to, and it’s a killer. It’s ‘I did the dishes last night, you do the dishes tonight. You picked out the last car, I pick out this car. You picked the movie last time, etc.’
Relationships are about choosing to serve, to love, to prefer, to sacrifice, to lay down your life for the other person. But when it comes into this cold, calculating figure of yourself, it’s childish and it erodes the passion, the love, the trust, and the connection.
Now, if you have to keep score, then keep score of the positive things. If you’ve got to keep score, keep score. But what are the things you keep score of?
Find Good Friends
There was a couple I knew, before I was a therapist, and they had a terrific marriage. They were devout Catholics, they sacrificed for each other, and they did a lot of things. And I asked them what the keys of their relationship were. And they said, ‘We have some really good friends. Sometimes the secret is some time apart. Because when we spend some time apart we miss each other and realize how much we want to be together.’
Your marriage, no doubt about it, should be the primary relationship. It shouldn’t be like one night with the friends, one night together. No, the primary relationship should always be the marriage. But it’s OK if the guys go out with the guys and the girls go out with the girls.
Listen to more advice from Joe Sikorra below: