Q: My wife and I have been married 30 years, but we’re growing further apart every day. All that’s holding us together is our children, and grandchildren– otherwise, we hardly communicate. What can we do to get our relationship back to what it was years ago?
A: Remember that love is a decision. Healthy relationships are those where both man and woman decide to love, even if neither of them necessarily feel like it at the moment. Rediscovering the bonds that originally brought you together is a process – but by taking small steps, and seizing everyday moments, you can get there.
- Start by committing to fight the negative beliefs that have built up over time. Then write a list of the things you cherish about your spouse, both when you first met and now. Read that list every day, and add to it as you can.
- Find at least one opportunity each day to compliment your wife, express gratitude, and/or give her affirmation. Work toward a goal of spending 20 minutes daily just talking together; not complaining, fighting, or administrating your marriage, but simply connecting.
- Become a student of your spouse. When you express genuine curiosity about what interests her, you’ll discover new ways that you can nourish her – and you’ll probably find that she reciprocates.
- Start dating again, preferably weekly. Invite her out, dress up, go to new places, and just have fun together. Reminisce about what drew you together in the first place, and then dream together. Work on developing shared interests.
Your marriage is worth the effort. Decide every day to make it your priority.
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