Here’s the thing about intimacy – even if you don’t feel close to your spouse, or feel like you have intimacy – they still get to see you at your best, at your worst and everything else in-between.
And you get to see them at their worst.
You can’t hide who you are. And you can’t hide if you’re having an off day, or a good day, or whatever else is going on in your life at the moment. You may not be able to share all of the details of your life with your spouse, but if you’re living in close quarters (and one can assume that you are if you’re married), they will get to see what is going on with you. They may not always be able to guess the reasons behind your moods, but they will see.
And you will see what is going on with your spouse. Once again, you may not know the details, but you’ll have a sense that something is up.
That is what happens when you live in a confined space – you get a sense of who this person is. Does that happen all the time? Absolutely not – how often don’t you read in the papers that someone is caught for child pornography, or something equally heinous, and the poor wife didn’t have a clue. Some would debate this, but I do think there are some serious psychopaths out there that can fool anyone. But, I’m not talking about those situations – I am talking about the run of the mill, normal, every day kind of marriages.
The thing here though is that when you’re not communicating your life to your partner, and you’re at that stage when you’re only living with a sense of something that is going on in each other’s lives, there are walls to be broken down. You can’t stay in this stage — you need to get beyond this and get back to healthy communication and a healthy marriage.
If you’re feeling like you’re living in a loveless marriage because you’re not getting your needs met–for affection, for love, for caring–the odds are almost 100% that he feels exactly the same way. Sheila Wray Gregoire
You need to break down those walls.
So that your marriage can grow and become a source of joy and protection and delight – for both you and your spouse. It is worth it – worth it to push through, to break down the walls brick by brick – and let your spouse in and find your way back into their heart. No one – man or woman – wants to spend the rest of their lives in a loveless marriage, with no joy, no fun, no intimacy, no communication, no understanding. It is not how God created us. He created us for community, He created us for intimacy, He created us to connect – to Him, but also to our spouses. Now, I know not each case is as black-and-white or cut-and-dry, and there are issues within each marriage that needs to be dealt with. But, then, deal with those issues – claim your marriage back.
I’ve read many marriage columns that advise that the first thing to do is to go back to when you first met. Look back at how you interacted – was there love, and connection, and intimacy? If so, where did that go? Just the other night hubby and I were dancing and singing (in front of Baby Girl) to a song that we had as our theme song when we traveled on Kontiki tour – we were married just two years and we had a ball overseas. And just dancing to that song brought such a smile to my face as I looked at my now husband of 17 years and remembered all the fun we had back then. Yes, oh yes, there was a lot of love back then. And we went through some hard times when I thought we would never love again – but we’re breaking down those walls, and we’re loving each other again. Which means we are talking, and communicating, and being intimate and making love. And eating together. We are getting there. Or, rather, we are going back – to the love that was – always has been – there.
One of the things I focused on during these past bad years, was just talking to my husband. Not about the big issues – we had conversations about those and both of us pretty much knew what needed to be done. But, we had lost our friendship so we had no context for dealing with the big issues. I focused then on just building a friendship – talking about the small stuff, the everyday stuff, the work stuff. Now, it’s not such a big deal when we need to talk about the big stuff. That context is there to now deal with the big issues.
And then I worked on kindness – just treating my husband with respect and kindness. Taking that one step towards him – whether physically, literally, emotionally, spiritually. I started focusing on moving towards him, instead of away from him.
So you have to make those deposits first, by spending a few weeks just being kind, and now by trying to work on your friendship. Sheila Wray Gregoire
Do I have it all figured out just yet?
Oh no, we still have a long way to go. But, we are much further along today than just a short time ago. And we’re working more as a team. And we’re talking. And eating together. And our focus has shifted – it had shifted away from each other and now it has shifted back again.
And I am excited for what God has in store for us.
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Emphasis mine.
I am excited because I know that God loves me, He loves my husband, He loves our marriage. I know that we will face many hard times in the future and I know that right now we’re not quite out of the woods yet from the last couple of years, but I know that God is on our side – with His guidance and His grace, we will make it through. I choose us. And I know my husband chooses us.
There was a time when I didn’t know if I could ever say that or think that again. But, thanks to many marriage blogs that I followed, but mainly to Sheila Wray Gregoire and posts like the What The Vow Means, I was able to get my head back into the right space and start to listen to what God is commanding me to do: love and respect my husband. And I am so, so grateful. I am beyond grateful. I know that there is still a long path ahead of us – life is too dynamic for us to just reach a point and stay there. WE have to constantly work on ourselves and our marriages. Each and every day. I love my husband, and I am so grateful that God protected our marriage and gave this person to me to share my life with.
If you find yourself in a loveless marriage, don’t just stay there. Adjust your attitude, focus on God, and read blogs like To Love, Honour and Vacuum that can help you deal with the many issues in your marriage.
Claim your marriage back!
You vowed “for better or for worse”. You VOWED.
I know the world thinks that if you’re not happy, the marriage isn’t legitimate. That’s why many secular marriage ceremonies are leaving out vows altogether.
But if the vow meant, “we’ll stay married as long as we’re happy”, there would be no need for a vow! The vow is what will hold you together, and God asked you to make that vow. God asked you to commit, because in committing to someone for life, we’re also creating a situation where we need to lean on God. When marriage is hard, you need God more. For marriages to improve, you need to emphasize God more, and yourself less.
And marriage is the rock that keeps communities together, and churches together, and countries together. When marriages break up, everything falls apart.
I know many of you reading this are going through rough times. I know you’re sad and lonely.
But you promised. You chose this man on your own, and you vowed. Perhaps you did it out of desperation, wondering if anyone else would ever love you. Maybe you did it at a vulnerable time in your life, and you feel like it was a mistake.
But even so, you vowed. And vows matter.
At one point you loved this man enough to marry him. Can you find that in your heart again?
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You