Years ago, you took a vow in front of your family, friends, and God with your spouse. You likely held your spouse’s hands, looked in their eyes, and told them that you take them to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, and to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do you part. After you made your public commitment to your beloved, you likely sealed your love with a kiss. As soon as your lips touched, you heard the cheer of the crowd, and the pastor, priest, or government official pronounce you as man and wife. At that point you entered the sacred institution of marriage.
In that instance, your love was true and you likely believed you found your soul mate. As in most fairy tales, you thought that you would live with your loved one happily ever after. Over the next few months and years, your life continued and so did your spouse’s. You may have gone back to school, received a promotion, moved to another city, created new friendships, or may have had children. Simply put, your life didn’t stop. Think about your commitments, obligations, relationships, and experiences since your wedding day. They have certainly changed your personality, likes, and expectations. Your promise to your spouse on your wedding day was just a moment in time, possibly at that moment you wanted or needed your spouse more than you do now.
You have grown apart, instead of committing to stay involved in each other lives, you have drifted apart. The communication about your hopes, dreams, and fears has stopped. The feeling of neglect, jealousy, manipulation, or even trust could be creeping into your marriage. Possibly, one or both of you have found a sympathetic listener to the problems facing your marriage. Maybe, one person in the relationship has taken on an excessive amount of responsibility at work. How can you re-connect with your spouse and find the person that you fell in love with and married?
You can make your marriage stronger by re-opening the lines of communication. Sit down with your spouse and have a heart to heart talk. Open up and share your feelings and your concerns. Tell them what is bothering you and what you think you can do together to re-kindle your fading relationship. Change your daily habits to help your relationship develop in a positive way. Start to show them you appreciate them by greeting them when they come home or by giving them a kiss goodbye in the morning. Show your loved one that you value them and your relationship with them; one way to do this is to create time for both of you at least a few times per month. One suggestion would be a date night. Date night should not include friends or children, just the two of you. This will allow you to openly talk about issues and try to work them out without any interference. Find an activity that you both enjoy, be adventurous. Marriage is a two-way street; it will take both of you to make it work long-term.