Going From Zero to Sixty

Going From Zero to Sixty

There are car commercials that tell you how their car can go from zero to sixty in so many seconds. Then there are car commercials that tell you how their car can quickly and safely come to a stop…from sixty to zero in so many seconds.

Zero to sixty is not just for cars. Marriages can go from zero to sixty and from sixty to zero. The normal pattern of marriage is to go from sixty to zero. Here’s what I mean by that…

The day you get married,  your relationship is at full throttle. You’re in love. You’re passionate. You’re excited about the life ahead. You’re meeting each other’s needs. In other words, you’re doing 60 miles an hour.

But years into the marriage, you look around and realize you’re not there anymore. The passion seems to have evaporated. You still love your spouse, but it’s more like the way you would love a good roommate. You stop thinking as much about what would make them happy. Now you focus more on what will make you happy.

What happened? You’ve gone from having a new sports car full of gas to having an old sedan running on empty. It’s like you fell asleep at the wheel, only to wake up and wonder, “How did I get here?”

A marriage goes from sixty to zero when spouses stop turning toward one another and start turning toward other things.

The downshift is gradual. It’s barely noticeable at first. It may actually seem normal at the time. It happens like this:

  • Your career takes off and you start spending a little extra time at work.
  • You come home and sit down rather than helping around the house.
  • You start declining sex more often.
  • The baby comes and you start focusing more on the baby then on your spouse.
  • You stop kissing and showing physical affection as much as you use to.
  • Dating no longer seems an imperative necessity, but more like an optional luxury.

I’m not saying marriage should be an on-going honeymoon where you constantly stare into each other’s eyes and rip off each others clothes every chance you get. But no one is happy with a marriage that’s going from sixty to zero.

How can you turn this around? How can you get your marriage from zero to sixty again?

It’s not that complicated. If a marriage goes from sixty to zero because spouses stop turning toward one another and instead turn toward other things, then a marriage goes from zero to sixty when spouses start turning toward one another again.

A marriage goes from zero to sixty when:

  • You intentionally put limits on your work life and reinvest some of that time into your spouse.
  • You come home tired and ask your spouse, “What can I do to help you?”
  • You initiate sex when you don’t feel like it, just because you know it’s been a while.
  • You make over your spouse and see to their needs as much as you make over the kids and see to their needs.
  • You make it a point to hug, hold hands, and kiss more often…for no particular reason.
  • You make regular dates with your spouse a priority, not an option.

If you want your marriage to go from zero to sixty, these are just a few of the ways you can push the accelerator. There are many more things you could add to the list. If you have trouble coming up with things, think back to what it was like before you were married.

And here’s a side note – This same principle of turning towards your spouse vs. turning away from them also applies to a relationship with God. In Jeremiah chapter 2, God talks about a time when His relationship with His people was at sixty. (Jeremiah 2:2.) But that relationship had fallen off to zero. (Jeremiah 2:25.) And why? Because His people turned away from Him and turned to other things. (Jeremiah 2:13.)

I’m not trying to preach here. I’m just saying that if you want a good relationship in marriage or any other realm of life, you’ve got to turn toward it rather than away from it.

So is your marriage going from sixty to zero, or from zero to sixty? Whatever the answer, ask yourself, “How am I contributing to this, and what do I need to do differently?”

Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg

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