Have you been married for more than 4 or 5 years? Is the romance starting to stall? Are kids on the way? Are you seeing her true colors? Is he becoming just a bit too familiar?
I call the time between the newlywed period and the time where you and your love are blissfully sitting in rocking chairs looking at pictures of the grandkids, the middle marriage.
Middle marriage can be rough. On the one hand, we enjoy the familiarity and security of the same set of lips kissing us goodnight, the same person to keep your secrets safe, and the same person to talk to after a bad day. On the other hand, there is a super hot woman your husband works with and it has really started to bug you how he looks at other women when you are out to eat. Or, maybe there is an extra accommodating gentleman behind the counter at the bank. You find yourself going out of your way to get in his line to chit chat as you pay your car note.
Maybe your issues go way beyond looking at the opposite sex. Bills are piling up and the house is a wreck every day from your toddler running wild. Perhaps there is a recent job loss, and your lazy teenagers are giving you lip. Your body weight is up and your spirits are down. I get it. My husband and I have been to many of these dark and lonely places.
I have noticed that as we couples age, our taste in music, friends, foods and even TV shows can change too. Does that mean we are growing apart? No……it just means we are continually changing and evolving, as both married and unmarried people do! Do not be alarmed by changes, but instead look at it as an opportunity to grow into each other. Learn to like his new taste in music. Learn to love the new recipes she is trying as she begins to take her health back. Remind yourselves that it takes two parents on the same team to discipline a cantankerous teenager.
So when did that sweet man become a crab? When did she become such a whiner? Why can’t he just listen to you and stop telling you to get to the point? Why won’t she just get to the point? Enjoy these 5 tips to reframe the way you see your spouse.
- Remember that you fell in love with someone who did listen to your long stories. Can you shorten them for his sake?
- Never forget the magical feeling you got when her eyes danced after that soft kiss. Now go and give her that totally unexpected, soft and sexy kiss. It takes no more than three or four seconds to make her whole night.
- When you come home and see the house trashed…..again, pick up a few toys and think of the Bible verse from 2 Corinthians 4: 17 that says “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.”
- Instead of rolling your eyes that she wants to go out for dinner, when you just reconciled your checkbook down to $42.03, see if you can do take out from her favorite place and eat in a different room other than the cluttered living room with that TV blaring.
- Finally, play a game where you face each other, hold hands and see how long you can make eye contact with your mate before you blink or burst into laughter. The winner gets to pick the desserts for the night. And, yes, you may interpret “desserts” any way you like.
If you want even more tips and a great, quick read, I suggest the book Together by Bill McConnell. The book is about how to make your wife happy but can be used to make your husband happy as well. Love is a two way street. Do not lose it on a lonely highway.
As most of you know, I also offer coaching services by way of one on one and group coaching. Let’s set up a 20-minute free call and see if you can get that marriage back on track. I would love nothing more than to see happy couples flourish as ours does. Make no mistake, ours was an often difficult journey to be sure, but well worth the coaching and self help my husband and I have received over the years.