One thing I know for sure. Our marriage is nothing, if not intentional. Day in and day out, we choose to make it a priority.
Even on the days I really don’t want to.
Even on the days I’d rather just be lazy about it.
Wildland Man and I decided early on in our relationship that marriage would take work and that it would require effort to keep the flame burning bright.
A great marriage is my passion and a blessing beyond measure.
I’m a believer that a marriage in a not-so-great place can be turned around with a single act of kindness by one person. It has to start somewhere, somehow. What is there to lose by trying?
A Series on Strengthening Your Marriage
If you haven’t read it already, be sure to check out the first post of this series, “Strengthening Your Marriage: Five Ways to Reconnect.”
I want to take a moment to share with you a piece of that post to preface today’s article:
Not because I’m an expert or anything. Not because I know all there is to know about marriage. Not because Wildland Man and I have endured the deepest of depths in a lifelong marriage.
No, I’m not an expert. Or a counselor. I certainly don’t know it all, because I’m constantly trying to figure it out. Over and over again. Day after day. It is an intentional effort on my part to make this marriage not only work, but be great.
So, with that said, today, I’m sharing with you Five More Ways to Reconnect. I hope you are enjoying this series thus far and are finding the information helpful in some way…
Five More Ways to Reconnect
- Outline Expectations: I know that I’ve mentioned this before, but clearly communicating expectations to one another concerning your relationship is HUGE. When we first got married, I used to expect Wildland Man to be able to read my mind. If I was upset at him, I expected him to pick up on that, even when I was trying to hide it. At some point, I got frustrated enough at him for not getting it that I finally just caved and spilled how upset I was and that he should have figured it out. He gently responded, showing me how unfair it was to have certain expectations of him without letting him in on it. Since then, I’ve worked diligently on sharing my expectations and talking through them with Wildland Man. He helps bring me back to earth when I’m being a bit unrealistic. And he also has a much higher success rate at meeting or exceeding those expectations when he knows what they are in the first place. Which, in turn, makes me feel like he really gets me.
- Go on a Tech Detox: I’ve mentioned tech detoxes here before, and I am a big fan. In fact, I’d highly recommend going on a whole family tech detox if possible. It’s ironic that all this technology that keeps us connected to the world at large, actually gets in the way of connecting in person with our loved ones. So take a minute and unplug. Maybe it’s a certain time every day that the whole family turns off phones. Or a weekend a month that everyone shuts off and disconnects completely. Get creative and start with something that is doable. I think that once you get a taste of being free from technology you just might want more of it.
- Reminisce and Dream Together: Every now and again it’s good to take stock of where you are in life, how far you’ve come, where you see yourself going… And who better to reminisce and dream with than your life-partner. At this point, they’ve probably been by your side in some moments of growth and your future is their future. Plan a weekend getaway together to talk through some things. Where have you come from? Think back to your wedding day and acknowledge the growth and changes you both have made since then. Then, take a moment to dream together. To hope, to aspire. Build each other up, and encourage one another to achieve the dreams you have together.
- Pray for Your Spouse: Do me a favor, and take a minute to assess your prayer life. Do you pray? If so, how often? How in depth are your conversations with God? And do they include your husband? I don’t remember the day that I began praying for Wildland Man, but now hardly a day goes by that he is not on my prayer list. And it isn’t always for something specific. Sometimes, I pray for his safety on a fire. Other times I pray for his career opportunities. I pray for our marriage to be blessed. I pray for his relationship with God to grow stronger. It varies from day to day, but he always makes my prayer list. And, even though he doesn’t know that I’m praying for him or what I’m praying over him, it seems to draw me nearer to him. When I can see God working on him on behalf of my prayers, I’m in awe. And I’ve never felt closer to him.
- Never Stop Learning, Growing, or Making an Effort: I’m in this thing called marriage for the long haul. So I may as well make the best of it and be the best darn wife I can be. And in order to do that I can’t get stagnant. I need to be willing to learn from my mistakes, grow as a person and a wife, and never stop making an effort for my marriage. If I start to get lazy then the distance creeps in. If I want to feel connected to Wildland Man, I can’t ever give up on this relationship. And I’m ok with that, because my marriage is worth it. My relationship with Wildland Man is worth it. I refuse to go down without a fight. I intend to battle for our marriage and relationship for the rest of the days of my life.
I doubt I’ll ever feel like I have this marriage thing figured out. I’ll always be striving to do better, to be better.
Next week I want to share something with you that I hope you will find as a valuable resource in building up and strengthening your marriage: a template for a DIY Marriage Retreat.
Join in on the conversation by adding your comment at the bottom of the page:
Which of these tips do you feel you could realistically implement to help strengthen your own marriage?
What other ways do you find help you to reconnect with your spouse?
How can your marriage be an encouragement to others?