Remember when your marriage was young? Remember the fun, the anticipation, the magic? Does your marriage still feel magical or has it become more mechanical? If your marriage seems more mechanical than magical, there are three keys to getting the magic back. I found them in a Steve Carrell movie called “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.”
If you’ve not seen “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” I encourage you to watch the movie before you read this post. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.
As a kid, Burt gets a magic kit for his birthday. He discovers that magic is a way to rise above a difficult childhood. Burt goes on to become a world-famous magician who headlines in the biggest rooms in Vegas.
But eventually, magic ceases to be magical for Burt. What started off as something full of joy and wonder becomes routine. Where he once invested energy and hours into making his act great, he now does just enough to get by. Because of this, Burt loses his lifelong friend and partner, and everything goes south from there.
Then one day, someone points out to Burt that what he’s doing is no longer magic. It’s mechanics. This person helps Burt see that he’s lost that original spark and forgotten why he got into magic in the first place.
So, Burt goes back to the basics. He goes back to the small things that are so magical to others. He works hard practicing the basics. He remembers why he got into magic in the first place. He turns things around.
What does this have to do with marriage? Too many of us are like Burt Wonderstone. We go into marriage because we love the magic. But as time goes by, the magical becomes mechanical. We stop practicing the little things. We stop putting in the time and energy needed to make our “act” great. Instead we just do what we need to do to get by. When this happens, our “act” goes downhill and we loose the reason and the relationship that brought us into marriage in the first place.
What can you do when you realize your marriage is more mechanical that magical?
- REMEMBER the reason you got married in the first place. Remember the fun. Remember the notes. Remember the time you spent together. Remember the conversations you had. Remember the magic.
- REALIZE the things you’ve let slide and stopped doing. We all put a lot of effort into the relationship when it’s new, but the longer the marriage lasts the lazier we tend to get. Often, marriage doesn’t feel like it did in the beginning, because we’ve stopped doing what we did in the beginning.
- RETURN to the basics. Once, after a particularly embarrassing loss, the great football coach Vince Lombardi called a practice. At that practice, he told the team, “Ok, we go back to the basics this morning.” He held up a football for every player to see and said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Talk about returning to the basics! When you loose the magic, you need to return to doing all the elementary things you did when the relationship was magical. Things like… spending time together, talking, dating, having fun, giving little gifts, leaving notes, surprises, etc. You need to return to the basics that made the magic in the first place.
I realize that not every moment of marriage will be magical. There is a place for the mechanical in marriage. But when marriage is all mechanics and no magic you need to watch out, or your “act” could wind up washed up.
So, what will it be for you? Will you be Mr. and Mrs. Wonderstone, or Mr. and Mrs. Wonder Why?
Leave a comment and share some ways you’ve put the magic back in marriage.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg