When you and your hubby were dating, did you talk about how awesome it would be to be married and to grow older together? Having a partner to do life with is very special. It is important to continually nurture your marriage using effective communication so you can both enjoy both the high and low seasons of life.
At the beginning of a relationship, everything is new and things in your life are changing so rapidly that life propels you along the way. School. Jobs. Kids. Things are continually interesting and if you hit a comfortable season where things become routine – it actually feels good to be in a predictable groove with your spouse.
The predictable groove can be wonderful but taking your relationship for granted can cause your fun relationship routine to become stale and boring.
Remember, you and your spouse are growing every day. The two of you are different than you were a year ago. Some of your strengths have developed and some of your weaknesses have surfaced. It’s a natural part of growing up together as a couple and helps keep your marriage relationship fresh!
To keep things fresh – I suggest that at the beginning of every change of season you have a heart to heart talk with your spouse and ask yourselves and each other these 4 questions:
1. How Are You Doing Physically?
Are each of you taking care of yourselves – is there anything you could add to or take away from your daily lives that would make you healthier? Are you getting a chance to exercise? Do you need to make any adjustments in your schedule so you both have time to work-out? Or sleep?
Are you both happy with your intimacy? Are you making love frequently enough? Once kids enter the picture leisurely lovemaking might need to give way to quickies in the closet! So, ask each other if there are any adjustments you’d like to make in the next few months. Maybe take turns taking care of your friend’s kids overnight so they can have an alone night and then let them return the favor.
2. How Are You Doing Emotionally?
Are there any issues you’ve been avoiding talking about? Do you have some predictable conflicts that you need to work through? Are you feeling loved and supported by your spouse? What can either of you do so that both of you are feeling more supported by the other in the next few months?
If there are conflicts you seem to have repeatedly, schedule a time to talk things through with a counselor or a trusted older married couple. Some times having a fresh pair of eyes on a conflict can help you work things out.
3. How Are You Doing Financially?
Are the two of you open about your spending and saving habits? Are you both up to date on logins and passwords? Over the next couple of months are there any adjustments you need to make in your finances? Are you saving for unexpected expenses? Is there any charitable giving you’d like to do? (Keep in mind charitable giving might be a cash gift but it could also be giving through volunteering.)
If you find it difficult to talk with each other about finances – don’t stress about it. Most couples take many years to get into a groove financially. No one is a financial expert automatically. And Spenders often marry Savers. So, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.
4. How Are You Doing Spiritually?
Do you feel like you are growing spiritually? Do you have any ideas to share that you think would help your spiritual growth? Are you attending any faith services? Many services are now online which is a great way to experience something new together to help improve your spiritual health.
If you pray, pray together and ask God to bring you closer and more deeply in love with each other. If you have not been praying together – now is a great time to start. For some couples, the idea of praying together might feel awkward. If this is you, remember prayer is simply having a conversation with God who loves you both and wants the best for both of you.
Make a habit of intentionally checking in with each other to find out how you are doing physically, emotionally. financially and spiritually. Based on what you learn, make any necessary adjustments to keep your marriage relationship fresh and growing in the right direction.
After working for 25 years as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Alice now focuses her time on Life Coaching and writing. She is an “Expert” author for Marriage.com and publishes helpful articles on her own website – SimplyRichLife.com.