Romantic love declares “My love for you will forever be true. I’ll love you forever!” Then over time those feeling fade and sometimes disappear completely. The married partners look at each other bewildered and accusing. Where did the love go?
When a relationship is new the glow of romance makes everything easier. All the striving to please the other, that is nothing compared with the sheer delight of their presence. A relationship is not static. Feelings shift over time. Hardship and financial struggles put strain on a marriage. Through this all a couple needs to put in effort towards the marriage and their spouse. When romantic love wanes, suddenly what once came out of our ‘love’ now must come from our will…and suddenly it doesn’t feel like love; it feels like work!
When marriage is loveless or wrought with problems it is vital to WORK to improve things. 50+ years is a long time to be miserable!
It is a good idea to find out how to make peace in the home and keep your spouse happy. The most important way to do that is to listen to your partner to find out what they need. Books can also be a good resource for learning how to make married life joyful and fulfilling. I highly recommend the books, “The Five Love Languages” and “The Love Dare”.
For the first seven years of our marriage I was certain I was putting in 60-75% of the work towards maintaining the marriage and it annoyed me. Then I came to accept it. I decided to be okay with doing a greater portion to have a healthy marriage and a happy spouse; it was worth it. To my surprise, one day while we were discussing it, I discovered he thought he was putting in at least 70% of the effort towards making our marriage good and he, too, had decided to be okay with it! We had a great laugh together. The bottom line is that YOU need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make a good relationship and not keep score.
God intended marriage to be an earthly reflection of a heavenly truth. I want that for my marriage!