Why is it that the familiar things in our life get the least attention? Think about it. When your carpet is new (or newly cleaned) you take off your shoes when you enter the doorway. You don’t eat in the living room. You ban every red liquid from use or consumption in your house. Six months later all those “rules” change or relax. You no longer stand guard at the door as the kids come home telling them to remove their shoes. Your lunch in the recliner in front of the TV resumes, after all it’s a way to relax.
The same thing happens with relationships. When the relationship is new, think dating, you are prompt in returning messages. You look for time to get together. You listen when they talk and even ask questions to learn more. You are quick to tell others about your friend. Sadly after a period of time when the relationship has become a part of your life you quit volunteering all of their positive qualities to your neighbors and family. You quit putting dates on the calendar, saving time just to be with them.
That is often the way with marriage relationships. Some will defend this “relaxing” of your relationship, saying you know each other now. You are “comfortable” together. While it’s good that you are no longer nervous around your spouse and that you feel you know them quite well there is never a time to ignore your marriage relationship. It needs to be a priority in your life. Just like new carpet when you ignore it, it gets dirty maybe even stained. A little dirt can easily be vacaummed up. Dirt ignored and walked on becomes a stain. Stains are much harder to remove. It’s sad. A little maintenance, like regular vacuuming can save a carpet from becoming dull and worn. Periodically a more thorough cleaning may be warranted. You might even move the furniture around to avoid wearing a path in the carpet from repeated walking on. The same is true in your marriage. Maintenance, like daily conversations even for 5-10 minutes about things beyond your calendar, eating meals together without the TV on and kissing each other hello or good-bye can go a long ways in keeping your relationship healthy and without major stains. Periodic dates or even a weekend away are great ways to reconnect and remember why you fell in love in the first place.
What do you do or what will you begin doing as maintenance for your marriage relationship?