Hey, I’m Sarah and I’m a 25-year-old unmarried girl. Even though I don’t have marriage experience, I have some ideas I think would really help married people who are going through a dry season, or who are really stressed out with work and kids.
Marriage is the hardest but can be the most rewarding human relationship, and it’s also a relationship that’s easy to give up on with the blaring voice from our culture that tells us there’s always a way out if you change your mind or somehow trip and fall out of love. I’m writing this for the couples who have hit rock bottom and don’t know what to do; for people who stand by their commitment and want to make it work anyway.
(Disclaimer: I have the utmost sensitivity towards marriages that have separated or ended due to abuse and infidelity, which I believe to be the only two acceptable reasons. My heartfelt prayers go to you.)
Here’s the Situation: When Your Marriage Gets Left on the Back Burner
Most married couples, at some point, have children. Ah yes, the precious gift of life, isn’t it a miracle? When the wife becomes pregnant, the husband is filled with excitement and adores her round belly, knowing he’s participated in creating a little human. He would gladly run out to buy chocolate raisins and blue cheese dip to suit her wacky cravings. Even after the baby is born, it’s all a marvel for the new parents because they look at the little features change and grow: “He’s got your eyes!” and “Her hair is curly like yours!” It’s one of the highlights of many couples’ lives! That’s until the late nights kick in, and the messes, the expenses, the sacrifices, the exhaustion, and the reality of immense responsibility. This is when it gets really tough for marriages. It’s no longer just about the two of you, it’s about baby’s needs. When you’re too tired from baby-caring to go on dates and be romantic, marriage can quickly feel burdensome and exhausting.
If possible, the parents should dedicate time to have intimacy and fun together, no matter what. If I was in that situation, I’d be motivated by the thought that if my husband and I aren’t 100% working together to be the best we can be for each other, we’re going to add to the stress raising a baby already brings. Do we want extra stress? No way! So we have to be proactive. (My mom always used this phrase on me during school study time and I disliked it until recently — thanks ma!) Being proactive means to prepare yourself ahead of time, in the event something should happen. You can prepare by reading books, following marriage and parenting blogs, and having another married couple to encourage you and support you through the challenges. There are tons of resources! By doing this, you can better handle conflicts and challenges when they happen (and they will).
If husband and wife make it a priority to go on dates, or have an hour together every day to talk, share and be affectionate, they will maintain and grow that deep connection even when children come into the picture. Also, it’s never too late to be proactive. Even after you’ve already entered the challenging times, or if they’re over and your children have grown up and you’re back to being with your spouse alone, you can still refresh and revive your marriage.
Mentally go back to what you thought marriage was going to be like, the moment you proposed or said, “I do.” Sit with your spouse and write down the things you both hoped marriage would be like, and try to come up with ideas for how to make those things come alive for the both of you again. Marriage is a relationship for life — you have years ahead to revive it and make it fresh, exciting and enjoyable again. Remember your dreams, set goals, and take baby steps. Don’t get discouraged when an effort doesn’t work, get up and try again. And don’t forget to reflect together and document how things have improved!
I hope this post encourages you and gives you a fresh passion to revive your marriage. Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific situations you’d like my totally inexperienced but genuine advice on. :)
Thank you for taking the time to read through this post. I thought it would be a neat perspective to share and I hope it helps! :) Now go, grab your spouse and get this party started!
With madddd luhvvss,