Have you been married for more than 4 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. Maybe there is an extra accommodating gentleman behind the counter at the post office that you find yourself going out of your way to get in his line to chit chat.
Maybe your issues go way beyond that. Bills are piling up, the house is a wreck every day from your toddler running wild. Perhaps there is a recent job loss, your lazy teenagers are giving you lip, your weight is up and your spirits down. Don’t forget that as couples age, their taste in music, friends, foods and even TV shows can change too. Does that mean you are growing apart? No……it just means you are continually changing and evolving, as all of us humans; married and unmarried do!
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.
1) Remember that you fell in love with someone who did listen to your long stories. Shorten them.
2) Never forget the magical feeling you got when her eyes danced after that soft kiss. Now go and give her that totally unexpected kiss.
3) 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.”
4) 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.
5) 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.
Stacey Greene is the author of Stronger Than Broken – One couple’s decision to move through an affair.