--Can we put the "magic" back in our marriage?
First of all, you are not alone. Many couples are head over heels in love before their wedding, but it usually isn't long before reality sets in. And that's not necessarily a bad thing! It's all part of the growing process. God is drawing two lives together as one. What counts is how quickly and well you learn to work out--with love and understanding--the little problems that threaten to take the luster out of your marriage.
It's important to realize that as a marriage relationship matures, highly charged emotional and sexual feelings naturally give way to a calmer, more steady love that allows each partner time and space to do other things with other people, while remaining firmly attached to each other. The magic is still there, but it's a deeper magic.
It takes time, effort, and self-sacrifice to keep any marriage alive and exciting, but it's worth it! Here are some tried and proven tips that should help put the spark back into your marriage:
- Invest time, attention, and love in making your relationship work. "Let all that you do be done with love" (1 Corinthians 16:14).
- Start each day with a kiss and affection. "Love one another fervently" (1 Peter 1:22).
- Say "I love you!" often throughout the day. Put your feelings into words.
- Compliment each other. Constantly tell your spouse how thankful you are for them and how wonderful they are.
- Set aside special times when you can be alone--just the two of you--with no work, no problems, and no kids to tend to. "That their hearts might be ... knit together in love" (Colossians 2:2).
- Show love and affection even when you don't feel like it. "Love suffers long and is [still] kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4).
- Be sensitive to each other's desires and needs, and try to fulfill them as much as you can. "Do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12 NIV).
- Treat all disasters as incidents, and none of the incidents as disasters. "[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7).
- Share your innermost feelings with each other, but temper your honesty with wisdom to avoid hurting each other's feelings. "Speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).
- Set aside regular times to discuss your children and their upbringing, and to pray for them. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
- Take everything--your dreams, problems, needs, and worries--to the Lord together. Pray and ask Him to work them out, according to what's best for you. "In all your ways acknowledge Him [Jesus], and He will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:6).
- Be quick to apologize and make up after arguments. "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26).
- Pray, read God's Word, and enjoy a spiritual life together. God is love and the source of all love. (See 1 John 4:8.) He sees how wonderful your marriage can be, and He wants to take you there!