Growing up, I delighted to uncover the reality where princes and queens still live in the world. Despite their younger age, I imagined what it would be like to marry Prince William or Harry. What would it be like to have the world watch on as I walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey? What would be expected of me and could I carry the burden with delight?
The man I married brought far fewer responsibilities, titles, or status symbols, and I’m grateful. My husband doesn’t wish to be the top dog or build an empire on earth. He loves Mayberry and quiet evenings at home with his family. Our greatest adventure involves hiking in the woods and trying new Thai restaurants. He doesn’t jump from job to job or home to home. He doesn’t buy big-boy toys to satiate his desire for more or appease an insecurity that he might not be enough on his own. He doesn’t surprise me with volatile emotions or slack on his word.
Some may call our relationship too settled, but I assure you, I am more in love with this man than I’ve ever been. We understand and appreciate each other. We don’t need external changes to make our life exciting because it’s enjoyable just the way it is. We still know how to have fun together, and no one makes me laugh more. And if I need to cry, he’s my safe place to fall. We are united on how to raise our children and approach life with the same core values. No matter how hard life gets, I know he’s not going to leave me. With him, I am secure.
The guys I was attracted to prior to my relationship with Aaron weren’t safe. Exciting maybe, but safe? Like a firework, they could dazzle for awhile, but the spark quickly faded, and if I got too close, I could easily get burned. Even worse, you never knew exactly what direction they’d end up or what they looked like on the inside until they erupted.
Important note: If you have a relationship that is volatile, I’d strongly encourage counseling, and if you are being abused, separation might be imperative. Don’t stay in a dangerous relationship.
However, if you are merely bored, don’t assume that your spouse is boring. Perhaps you need a tune-up in your relationship. If a car quits running properly, you don’t throw the car out; you get a new battery and keep going. In marriage, there are three components: you, your spouse, and your marriage. All need tending and the more you draw closer to the Lord and focus on improving your marriage, the stronger it will become.
- Study your spouse, listen to them, show compassion and seek to understand. We don’t all approach life the same way. Ask them what they fear most in life; ask them what is of utmost value to them. What drives them?
- Feed their love language (acts of service, gifts, quality time, touch, words of affirmation, etc.) in surprising ways.
- Plan time away just to have fun. When we started doing dates regularly, we’d often fall into the pit of discussing heavy topics regarding finances, the future, or the kids (because we often didn’t have–or make–time to do that otherwise). Avoid that scenario. Let dates be playful escapes.
- Write down all the reasons your spouse is amazing. Doing so will increase your gratitude and perspective and thereby, enhance your marriage. After you complete the exercise, give them the list.
- Pray together. The spiritual bond of sharing your hearts and drawing close to God will unify you further.