3 Things that Must be Right to Take Your Marriage from Ordinary to Extraordinary
There are lots of different reasons why a marriage fails, from infidelity and abuse to addiction and finance problems. However, more often than not, it's a lack of attention and effort that causes most marriages to fail.
I spoke about focusing on the gorilla in my last post. If you haven't read it yet, you can read it here. In that post I made the argument for paying attention to your marriage, in this post, I'm going to take that step further and say that you must have a plan for your marriage. If not, then life will creep in, things will become mundane, and your relationship will be nothing more than just, "going through the motions."
Inattention is a silent killer. It slowly eats away at the love and intimacy that brought the two of you together. Lack of effort and attention is a lot like high blood pressure; many times you aren't aware of the symptoms until it has done significant damage to your heart and arteries.
That's exactly why it's essential to have the right plans in place BEFORE the symptoms become the disease and ultimately kills your marriage.
However, before enacting the right plans you must first have the right mindset. Take some time today and reflect on what you want out of your marriage. Think about how you want you and your wife to feel about:
- Each other, and
- Your marriage
Once you've figured that out, adjust accordingly. It's best if you talk about this with your wife and discuss those three things. Before you do though, I should warn you that this could be an emotional conversation. Don't be a typical husband, be a Committed Husband, and stick in there. Be IN the conversation, don't take offense, and above all else keep it positive.
Once you have the right mindset, it's time to focus on the right plan.
If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.Jim Rohn
Having a plan for your marriage may sound weird, but it's important none the less. Plan to spend time together. Have a date night once or twice a week. Plan to go on vacation together once a quarter, even if it's just a weekend getaway. Having these plans will go a long way to keeping the mundane out of your marriage.
Also, plan on the idea that while you are married, you both still need to have your own identity. Codependency isn't healthy, the loss of identity isn't healthy. Many times women lose theirs when they enter into a marriage. Don't be THAT husband. Give your wife the space to spread her wings.
Further than that, also plan on conflict. It's an inevitable part of every marriage and is best discussed when things aren't heated. Just like you have (or should have) a fire escape plan, you should be ready for when disagreements happen before they happen.
A good idea would be to set ground rules as early on in the marriage as possible. If you've been married a while, then start today. It's crucial that each of you feel respected and heard. So, set the ground rule that whoever initiates the conversation has the floor and gets to speak until they feel like they've been heard.
If your wife tells you that she doesn't feel loved, listen to everything she has to say without interfering. When she is done, repeat back to her what you think she is trying to say. She can then clarify if needed. From there, repeat the process until she feels heard. Then, and only then, should you reply with thoughts of your own. This works both ways and is a great way to minimize any miscommunication.
Other rules could be not to go to bed angry or no matter how rough the day, each day ends with the two of you slow dancing. Don't knock that last part; it's powerful. The whole idea here is to be more mindful of your marriage so that complacency doesn't take over.
Which leads me to follow through, once you have the right mindset and the right plan you must continually focus on the right action.
What good is having a plan if you don't follow through? This is why having the right mindset is so important. You can always go back to the discussion that you and your wife had around mindset. Use that as a litmus test, how are you and your wife feeling about yourselves, each other, and your marriages? Are you following through with the plan(s) or are you letting your emotions run things and/or are you ignoring your wife?
Committed Husbands understand the importance that effort and attention have in their marriage. They work not to allow the motions of life to get in the way of marital bliss. Are you a Committed Husband?