There they both sit night after night. A couple not acknowledging an unhappy marriage, as they go through the motions of necessity. The kids put to bed, the toys somewhat put back in place, and they stare at the television as bed time quickly creeps up. He looks her way and has a romantic intention, but it evaporates as fast as it came. “Too much work,” he thinks as he mentally resigns to self-satisfaction. As she weakly smiles his way, in her mind races a million different thoughts. One of them is, “I’m not desirable enough for him to want me anymore.” Her heart believes the lie. They exchange an, “I love you,” with an insincere peck on dry lips, and part ways until the next day. Apathy has laid waste to their marital joy.
So what’s the good news? If you are feeling apathetic in your marriage, this can most certainly be fixed. Your marriage can be rejuvenated and the happiness you once felt together can be restored. I’ve been married nearly 20 years and we have seen plenty of ups and downs. Our saving grace has been that we both come from broken homes and we both agree our marriage will not be one. So we fight for each other.
Are you willing to fight for your marriage and family? Here are 5 ways to fight it.
1. Find the Problem
Which bad habits has your marriage fallen into? Has it become sexless or close to it? What is your communication like? What are your thoughts when you think of her? What do you think she feels about you? Pinpoint where your marriage has allowed apathy to grow.
Depending on the seriousness of your situation, professional couple’s therapy or pastoral assistance might be required. Tell each other how you’re really feeling. Avoid over-reacting or thin-skinned sensitivity. Do not embellish, place blame, or engage in personal attacks. Just put it on the table how you are both viewing the marriage. That will establish the starting point of where the solution can begin.
3. Take Initiative
Arrange opportunities. Design the family schedule so that it includes designated adult time. If that means dropping a kid’s sport here, or a dance class there, so be it. Your kids want happy parents. Start dating each other again. Woo each other. Remember when you would have been mortified for her to have a bad impression of you? Rediscover that man that made a sincere effort. It’s likely she will respond in kind.
4. Dream Together
What is the ideal situation for your family? Build a dream together and establish the larger picture of where you both want to lead your family. For my wife and I, we are laying the foundation that we pray will last for generations. A foundation of joy, stability, commitment, sacrifice, and example to follow, and this grand vision keeps us unified. What do you and your wife dream together?
5. Understand Marriage is Hard Work
When we see one of those special couples celebrating 50 years of marriage we all bow in admiration. Can you imagine the fights and squabbles they had? The dreams that never materialized, and the unexpected ones that did? I like to think I will have a lasting marriage. But it won’t be because any of it came easy.