by Bob and
Even the best of marriages
can fall into ruts. Okay, just what are
those ruts? Marriage ruts are routines that at
times can take your marriage down a path where you actually start
growing apart from one another. Then we find
ourselves working at cross purposes rather than as Team mates.
Let us look at three
of the many and see if any ring true with you and your spouse,
and if they do, let us look at what can be done to escape those
ruts. When you escape them you will find your
marriage growing closer together instead of becoming bored and boring.
Having More Fun With Your Friends Than
With Your Spouse
When husbands are
spending more time golfing with their buddies or wives
lunching with their girlfriends and each are enjoying it more than time
with their spouse – ohoh – you are in a rut. You
are sending a message to your spouse that your friends are more
important – more valuable – more exciting than them. Is
that really your intent?
Escape The Rut
Be sure you date each
other at least twice a month. Do
something fun where you can laugh together. As an
example when we go to a beach we like to skip rocks across the water
and see who can out-do the other with the number of ricochets before
the rock sinks. Silly, fun stuff. But together.
One of our favorite
bible verses is the one about “a merry heart is good medicine”
which means good medicine for a marriage. It really
does not matter what you do on a date for the object is to spend
time together away from the rigors of everyday life. Plan
it, look forward to it, enjoy it. Just the two of
We both agreed years
ago that when on a date there are three
subjects we will not discuss. No talking
about money, kids or jobs. We will talk about
them at some other time. You may want to consider
that ‘dating rule’ too – no talking about money, the kids or your jobs.
Remember that, of
course, it is good to have friends, but never at the expense
of your relationship with your spouse. Never.
Forgetting To Attend To The Little Things
Far too often we get busy with the
demands of life which causes us to start taking each other for
granted and then we stop doing the little things in our
relationship that make us feel closer to one another.
We too easily fell
into that trap of taking each other for granted. It
came to a point in our lives when we said, “Enough is enough.
We have got to make some changes." And
How To Escape
Every day focus on
attending to the little things as they can make a big
difference in your marriage.. Some of the things we do is to give each
other at least one compliment daily. Look at
each other when you talk. Pray with each other. Kiss
each other before saying goodbye and then kiss each other when saying
hi again. Be courteous to one another. Often
we are politer to strangers than we are to our own family members.
Do not forget to say please and thank you.
If a spouse asks, "Hon, will you get such-n-such for
me?" do so with a pleasant attitude - with a thankful heart you have a
spouse you can serve.
We based escaping this
rut on one of our favorite bible verses (and paraphrasing
it in a marital context) -- “Husbands/wives, do
nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider your spouse better than yourselves. Each
of you married couples should look not to your own interests, but also
to the interests of your mate and your children.” (Phil
TV During Dinner
Because of different
schedules oftentimes couples cannot have breakfast or lunch
together but most can enjoy a dinner together. This
is a special face-to-face time to talk about their day and connect.
But watching TV during dinner focuses attention away
from each other and instead on that One Eyed Monster. If
one prefers a TV program over chat time with a spouse during
dinner then that sends a message that talking with them is boring or
non-interesting and what is preferred is whatever entertainment they
can receive from TV.
We went through a
too-much-TV-watching-scenario one season. We
both had busy schedules plus we went to bed at an early hour so we
taped some shows throughout the week and then watched them during
dinner time. Bad choice. We
became glued-to-the-tube, conversation stopped (except very brief
surfacy chit-chat during the fast-forwarded commercials), and our
‘connection’ became less and less. After that one
TV season we again said, “Enough is enough.” We
were glad when summer came and the reruns were aired. This had become a
rut we needed to escape from.
Escape The Rut
a time (at least 15 minutes, or more) that is set aside for
connecting in the evening. One-on-One. Just
the two of you. All this with the television off. This
displays to each other that when you are at home and not on the
job site that you are devoted to your family and they are more
valuable than TV or E-mail or phone calls.
Okay, during dinner the TV is
off, but also put both your landline and cell phones on
automatic answer with a quiet ringer.
There are many, many marriage ruts that couples
can easily fall into. Lord knows (literally) we’ve
had our share of them. In future newsletters we
will feature more.
May our Lord continue to bless and guide
your every day.
PO Box 5580
La Quinta, CA 92248