The Scary Thing That Happens When You Aren't Growing Closer
Can you believe that we are already over a quarter of the way through the year?! This reality just reminds us of how quickly time seems to fly by and how if we are not intentional about something, it does not happen. Whether it is exercise, our business, our friendships, or our relationship, we find that each passing year demands more and more intentionality so that life isn’t just passing us by. Because if you aren’t growing closer to something, or someone, you are growing further from it, or them.
This notion is interesting, because it seems that if you aren’t growing closer, you should at least be staying the same. But the more life we live, the more we find this concept to be right on point. When we aren’t intentionally pursuing growth in one area, that area doesn’t just plateau, it becomes weaker. When we don’t exercise for weeks, we actually lose muscle tone. If we don’t maintain upkeep on our cars, they will literally stop working. And when we don’t make time to connect with our spouse, our relationship drifts further and further apart.
Our sister in law offered us great advice before our wedding to help avoid this drift in our marriage, even in the inevitable times where life is happening at a million miles a minute. She advised us to set aside a time each month to address the status of our relationship and assure we are on the same page in our marriage by asking each other specific questions.
She recommended we select the date of our anniversary to make it simple (for us that would be the 10 of every month) and go out to dinner to discuss and evaluate our relationship, so we can adjust course if there is an area one of us is struggling in.
Our go to questions that we try to address consistently include:
*How are YOU doing? *How do you feel about our marriage? *How do you feel I am doing as a husband/wife? *How do you feel you are doing as a husband/wife? *How do you feel about our sex life? Are you enjoying it? Is it happening as often as you would like it to be? Is there anything I could be doing differently/better? *How are our finances and spending? Are we on the same page with our budget? *How are you feeling about how we have been managing our home/chores/duties, etc.? *Is there something I could be doing on a regular basis to make you feel more loved, respected, and/or appreciated? *What are we doing really well? *What area needs the most work? *Take the time to appreciate and thank you spouse for something specific. *Share something you love about the other person and why.
If we aren’t asking these questions, often we do not know how the other person is feeling about things (or sometimes even how we ourselves are feeling). If we never adjust course, it is easy for resentment and distance to build up. By simply implementing a consistent time to touch base on the relationship, it keeps us aligned and aware of both our spouse’s and our own needs. While it can take a serious effort, and sometimes be tough to hear, it truly is a gift to get honest feedback and tangible/specific examples of how to better love our partner.