We’ve Lost Our Spark

Remember when you and your spouse first started dating?  If you were like most couples, those early days of your relationship and your marriage were exciting and energetic.  You pursued each other.  You spent hours talking on the phone or in person.  You wanted to always be together.  As time moved on, and life got in the way, that spark has probably dimmed or maybe completely burned out.  After years of being married, raising kids, working, living life, somewhere along the way, the two of you stopped connecting.

You may find yourself feeling lonely, undesirable, or unloved.  This is sadly very common, but how do we fix it?  Buckle up, because I am about to get really honest and maybe even a little tough.  Just know that I am talking to myself as much as anyone, and our marriages are worth the work.

  1. Self-evaluation- Oh my… this one is hard.  I don’t know about you, but I do not like thinking I might be part of any problem, but when we entered into a marriage, we signed up to learn and GROW together.  Part of growing and maturing is working on ourselves.  If I am feeling disconnected from my husband, it is important that I ask myself how I can make it better.  Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not trying to place the blame here.  I just know it is important to make sure I am being my best self as a wife whenever I am feeling that my marriage is slipping.  Maybe you’ve changed your routine, and you aren’t spending as much time together.  Maybe you are just too exhausted from life, and you aren’t giving your marriage the energy it needs.  Again, I am not placing the blame on anyone here.  I just want to make sure we get to the root of the problem and address every issue.  Before going on to step 2, take a few minutes to reflect on the situation and see if you can identify areas for self improvement.  I know it is hard, but it will help make step 2 more successful.
  1. Communication- Well, there is that word again.  Is that seriously the answer to everything?  YES! It really is!  If you never communicate with your spouse, they are not going to know how you are feeling.  Men and women are designed differently.  Our brains do not work the same.  Our spouses may not even know there is a problem, and they may not even know that we feel the way that we feel. This is why we have to tell them. Somehow we feel like it is better to suffer in silence than to ever talk about our relationship.  When counseling couples, I am often told, “I’m just not good at talking about how I feel.”  Well, try!  Just start talking.  You do not have to be a gifted speaker to talk to your spouse.  You just need to care about your marriage.  If you are nervous, or you worry about getting too emotional, write down what you want to say.  Remember not to be cruel or accusing.  The goal of this step is to work together.  Also, make sure you are in a quiet place to have this conversation away from the kids and away from distractions.  Leave those phones in the other room!
  1. Schedule time to show love- Wait. Surely I am not suggesting you literally go to your calendar and write “Show my husband I love him” right?  Actually, that is exactly what I am saying.  Part of the reason we lose our spark is because we get too busy doing everything else.  We get out of the habit of being intentional with our mate.  With a little reminder, it can soon become habit again.  We are so tied to our devices and our calendars.  Let’s use them to strengthen our marriages.  Schedule uninterrupted spouse time.  Maybe you take a walk together twice a week, or you video chat in the middle of the day.  Maybe you just need a reminder to send a spicy text message each day.  Put it in your calendar!
  1. Getaway together- This is 2 fold and can also partly fall under #3, but you and your spouse need to get out of the house together.  Get a baby sitter, and go to dinner. It can just be a drive thru, but have meals together just the two of you.  Also, plan nights away from home.  You will be amazed at how you and your spouse reconnect when it is just the 2 of you.  I constantly hear couples argue against this one. “I just can’t leave my babies.”  “I don’t want to spend the money.” Friends, this is too important.  It is good for your children to see their parents working on their marriage.  It is also good for them to be away from you sometimes.  I know it is hard, but your marriage is worth it!  You need to escape the stresses of everyday life together as a couple, so that you can be stronger when you return.  As far as spending the money, this doesn’t have to be a monthly thing.  It can be a yearly event.  Set aside money throughout the year to pay for it.  It can just be a night at a hotel one town away.  It doesn’t have to be a week long 5 star vacation, unless you want it to be, and that is just fine too!
  1. Pursue each other- Remember how exciting it was when you first met and felt that attraction?  What were some things you did to show your spouse you were interested in pursuing a relationship?  Did you flirt?  Did you write sweet notes or texts?  Did you leave flowers on her car?  DO THOSE THINGS!!  Embarrass your kids by flirting in front of them.  Grab a $5 bouquet from Kroger or Publix.  Leave a note on his car.  Steal a hug or a kiss while she is cooking dinner.  Compliment each other.  Wear those pants she loves.  Laugh together.  Don’t be afraid to do the things you did when you first became a couple.  After all, they obviously worked the first time!
Marriage was never designed to become boring.  It takes work on both sides, but marriage should be fun, exciting, and full of adventure.  Life is hard, and having a good marriage isn’t easy, but with some work, we can get that spark back that we loved in the beginning.  Don’t be afraid to make changes and communicate to make your relationship better than ever!

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