When I hear the word “gravity,” I think of different things. I think of an apple falling on Newton’s head. I think of the John Mayer song, “Gravity.” I think of giant pieces of space junk falling from the sky and wiping out my house…and my homeowners insurance refusing to cover it.
But I don’t usually think of marriage when I hear the word, “gravity.” What does gravity have to do with marriage any way…aside from the fact it bears down on all of us, causing us to shrink and sag?
Just as the earth’s gravity helps to keep things close to the ground, marital gravity helps to keep spouses close to one another. Many spouses have separated and divorced because there was not enough gravity to keep them from drifting apart.
Husbands and wives need marital gravity to keep them together, but what is it that creates marital gravity? The following is the first part of an in-flight check list:
- Communication. A decrease in communication is one of the first signs your marriage is starting to drift, so improving communication is one of the first and best ways to increase marital gravity. I’m not just talking about difficult, emotional conversations about the state of your marriage. I’m talking about simple, everyday communication. Talking about that funny thing you saw at work. Talking about your dream vacation. Talking about what you want to do when the kids are all gone. Talking about the new restaurant in town. Just keep talking, because communication is key to connection, and connection is key to marital gravity.
- Fun. Fun comes naturally early in our marriage, because there’s very few other things to get in the way. But the longer you’re married, the more demands, responsibilities and stresses crowd out the fun. So, you have to work at having fun. I know this doesn’t seem right, but it’s true. And it’s important, because it’s hard to feel attracted to someone or something you don’t enjoy.
- Shared experience. If you want to keep gravity going in your marriage, it’s important that you keep doing things together. I’m talking about more than just paying bills raising kids and having sex together. I’m talking about date nights, walks together, weekend getaways, cooking together, going to the museum, going hunting, going to the ballet, building something together, learning a language together, taking a class together…the list can go on and on. Do old things. Try new things. Just do stuff together. It will not only help keep you together, it will provide lots of things to talk about when you’re in the nursing home.
- Spirituality. This may seem like a stretch for you. You may not be into God, or even believe there is a God, but in an article entitled, “Why Religion Matters: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability,” Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D. refers to the effects that practicing religion has on marriage. He concludes that “church attendance is the most important predictor of marital stability and happiness.” Some might say it’s the shared experience, or the common shared belief. My personal opinion is that God is the designer and manufacturer of marriage, and when you follow the instructions of the designer and manufacturer, things just go better.
Know that none of these things will work immediately, but over time they will greatly increase the gravity in your marriage. Also know there are more things that will help you increase your marital gravity, and I’ll cover those in the next post. I hope you’ll check it out.
Are you feeling the pull of gravity in your marriage, or are you starting to feel a little weightlessness? Which of the three things above do you need to put more effort into? What’s one thing you could do in that area today, or this week, that would help?
Copyright © 2017 Bret Legg