Marital Drift and How to Stop It.

Have you ever had the experience of looking at your spouse in thinking, “We use to be so close. How did we drift apart? What happened?” If you have, you are not alone. I think that thought crosses the mind of nearly every spouse at one time or another.

Marriage can be like a boat without an anchor. It has a tendency to drift. In the beginning, when you’re close to shore, it doesn’t seem like a problem. But the further you get from shore the more prominent and problematic the drift can be. You start to experience things like:

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Why So Serious?

I recently took part in a funeral for a lady in our church who died at the age of ninety-three. Living to the age of ninety-three is remarkable in and of itself, but what was even more remarkable was that she and her husband (who is ninety-four years old) had been married for seventy-two years! As a marriage counselor, that makes these two my heroes!

What is it that helps a marriage stay together for seventy-two years?

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Is Your Marriage Boring or Confidently Comfortable?

My wife and I recently returned home from a five day trip to Washington D.C. Actually, if you include a day to drive there and a day to drive back, it was more like a three day trip to D.C.

After three days of walking over 13 miles to see the iconic sites, and two days of traffic laden driving, we were glad to be home. After unpacking, my wife sat in her chair and I sat in mine, enjoying a very boring evening of quietly surfing social media.

If you read stuff on marriage (including my stuff), you can easily walk away thinking that a good marriage is one where you and your spouse are regularly:

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Glory Days

Glory days are defined as “times in the past that are regarded as being better than the present.”

Glory days can be that winning pass of the high school championship, that time we were big on campus and had the hot date, or that carefree summer we spent at the beach with friends. Whatever they may be, we all have glory days in the past that seem better than the present.

As a married couple, you have glory days. Maybe it was when you were dating and everything was fresh and new. Maybe it was the excitement of your wedding day. Maybe it was the early days of marriage when hope and passion were always high.

But what if those glory days now seem like a distant memory? What if those glory days have been replaced with marital conflict, parenting demands, financial pressure, and work stress. What if the days of passion have changed from “I can’t beat them off with a stick” to “I want to beat them up with a stick?”

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Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 1

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?

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How Do You Refresh a Stale Marriage?

Marriage, like bread and potato chips, can become stale over time. Ruts, routines, and indifference have a way of settling in and dulling what used to be a vibrant relationship.

What about your marriage? What are the signs that you’re living in a stale marriage?

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Lessons From Living in a Shack

In twenty years of marriage counseling, I’ve seen couples put more and more emphasis on their house.

I’ve seen engaged couples believe they couldn’t get married until they had purchased a three bedroom, two bath home. I’ve seen couples expecting a child purchase a bigger home for more bedrooms, bigger yard, better neighborhood, a pool, or a playroom.

It’s as if we believe we can’t have a good marriage and family unless we have the “right” house.

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Relaxed Time

When you hear the term “relaxed time,” what do you think. Does it sound like a fantasy or an unreachable luxury? Does it sound unrealistic? Does it sound lazy or unnecessary?

Relaxed time is time that’s free from demand or expectation. It’s time when you don’t have to do, fix, or produce something. It’s time you can truly and unhurriedly be present.

I believe we need regular relaxed time and that a lack of relaxed time can contribute to increased stress, missed opportunities, and mounting health issues.

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Make an Appointment to Date Your Spouse

Lovely interracial couple having lunchIn my last Normal Marriage post, I said I would follow it up with a post on why spouses should make an appointment for sex. I’m pushing that post back one week so we can first talk about the need to make an appointment to date your spouse.

When you and your spouse first met, date night was the highlight of your week. But once you were engaged, going home at the end of the date was frustrating. You were ready to be married so you didn’t have to date anymore. Now that you’re married, you see each other all the time. So why schedule dates?

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