Unless you’re a newlywed, you know how easy it is to let the demands, stresses, and frustrations of life crowd out the things that brought you together in the first place. It’s subtle at first, but eventually these things can take a marriage to dull distance at best and disappointing finality at worst.
But there’s something you can do to hit the refresh button on your marriage. It’s not expensive counseling, and it’s not an awkward marriage retreat. It’s simple, it’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything, and it will remind you why you got married in the first place.
What is this miracle of modern marriage? It’s your old photo albums. I can already hear the sighs of disappointment and see the looks of skepticism on your face, but before you write off this post, hear me out.
When you go back to your old photo albums…
- You’ll see. You will see younger faces and simpler times. You will see a couple who didn’t care about anything else but being together. You will see hope and excitement on their faces. You will see a wedding, a honeymoon, a first home, a first car, a first child. You’ll see it all again.
- You’ll remember. You’ll remember why you married. You’ll remember what it was about your spouse that made their presence so desirable and their faults so invisible. You’ll remember how it was before demands, stresses, and selfishness began to harden the arteries of your marriage.
- You’ll realize. You’ll realize the feelings and reasons that led you to say “I do” are still there. You’ll realize that despite all that’s gone on between you, that original connection is still in there somewhere. You’ll realize you still have something with the person in the pictures.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, but that was then and this is now. Things are different now. My spouse is different now. They’re not the same person as the person in the pictures!”
That may be true, but you’re not the person you were either. You both have accumulated layers of distractions, frustrations, and responsibilities that have dimmed the spark in your eyes. But those old photos have a way of cutting through all those layers and connecting with that core chemistry that still exists.
It’s not a cure-all. You will still need to spend time together, communicate, resolve conflicts, forgive one another, and all those other hard things that are a part of marriage. But looking at those old photos will remind you why doing those things is important.
So give it a try. Turn off the TV. Put the kids to bed early. Pop some popcorn, and take a little stroll down memory lane. Try planning a photo night at the house, or even a photo retreat away from the house. Surprise your spouse by occasionally pulling out a favorite photo and telling your spouse why it’s one of your favorites. It won’t make all your problems go away, but it will put those problems into perspective. You’ll relive some good memories, and you might just remember why you’re married.
For you brave souls that give this a try, get back with us and leave a comment rating the experience between 1 (worse than a funeral) and 10 (best experience ever!)
Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg