Marriage drift can happen to any couple. You start out in love, blissfully excited to be together. And then real life kicks in. You get lazy. Jobs and kids demand your time and attention. And soon the relationship that was once so central in your life has drifted. You’ve grown apart.
Here’s how it happened with one couple:
Bob and Sue married young and had children immediately. They were a busy couple, trying to establish a home for their kids. And everything revolved around the kids. They needed extra money, since Bob was still in a training program, and wasn’t likely to make a decent salary for several years. So Sue worked, but she always worked opposite Bob, in shift work, so that they didn’t need a baby-sitter. They didn’t want to spend the money, and they wanted to raise their own kids.
After a few years the routine became, well, routine. Nobody really questioned it anymore. The kids rarely saw both parents together, because they were rarely together. They didn’t have weekends together. One or the other was always working.
Bob and Sue just stopped doing things as a couple. They did things with other couples, or with extended family, but they rarely did things just the two of them.
So it was hardly surprising when Sue found greener pastures elsewhere (which, in retrospect, didn’t turn out so green).
If you don’t want to turn out like Bob and Sue, here are some ways to get your relationship back on track:
1. Remember the Marriage Comes First
The marriage comes first, not the kids. Bob and Sue were so focused on looking after the kids themselves and staying away from baby-sitters that they ended up not having a marriage. It is very, very dangerous to work for years on end on opposite shifts. Sometimes it may be necessary, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say something I would very rarely say: it is better to get baby-sitting a few days a week and work at the same time as your husband than to never see your husband. I’m not in favour of baby-sitting or daycare, but it doesn’t help your kids if you lose your marriage so you can be home with them. What kids need is married parents.
2. Money Is Not as Important as Love
Money is not the be all and end all. Sue worked largely for luxuries: a bigger house, more DVDs and electronics for the kids, toys, etc. Live in a smaller house with fewer things but make your own fun with your hubby. That’s a far richer life.
3. Carve Out Time for Each Other
Find time to be together. I know that can be a challenge. In marriage counselling, I’ve often spoken to women who say, “the only time we have is in the evenings after the kids go to bed, and then he just wants to veg in front of the TV”. This a problem, but you have to remind yourselves why you’re together in the first place.
So what are some inexpensive date ideas?
1. Feed the kids a quick dinner, put them in front of a movie, and then put them to bed early. You eat dinner with your husband later, by candlelight.
2. Go for walks after dinner so you can talk with your hubby while the kids play in the park.
3. If you live near waterfront, take a drive down there with the family. While the kids skip stones, you can sit hand in hand with him.
4. Trade baby-sitting with a friend once a month so you get to honestly go out! And if you don’t have the money, have her take the kids to her house and you buy some yummy frozen dinners you can cook quickly at home, and eat at home with him. Have a date at home without the kids!
5. If the kids are in school, meet up for lunch. Sometimes that’s easier than dinner!
It doesn’t matter how you do it; just do it. Don’t let your marriage drift. Pay attention to each other first, and then you’ll find that in a few decades you still love being together!
And now I invite you to download these fun Love Coupons to spice up your marriage! Add some excitement and passion to your marriage, and see what happens!