Have you ever felt like your marriage was in a rut? It is a scary place to be. Left untended a rut will produce a parallel relationship. Have you and your spouse become a parallel marriage? Like a couple of railroad rails…disappearing in the distance, but never coming together.
A rut does not happen suddenly like hitting the mother-of-all potholes unexpectedly. It is sneaky and slips up on you much like the fable of boiling a frog. You will simply drift into it slowly over time.
The rut can harden and become a long and often seemingly endless grave from which you cannot escape. You simply get your food, mail, shower, and shelter at the same place without interacting. Conversations become perfunctory, intimacy chills, and you find yourself becoming more like roommates than soulmates.
It happens all too often. Should it come as a shock? NO! All relationships go through stages. They all start with wild romance…even frantic romance. It is a wild ride not unlike a tsunami which swallows you both, and it feels so good.
Sadly, there is always the second stage where the “new” wears off. Familiarity sets in and the struggle represented by the result of the Fall of Man (see Genesis 3:16) with the obscure comment about Eve’s desire being to her husband. Seemingly insignificant, but upon further analysis, it began the war of the sexes. Women began competing with Men for leadership in relationships.
Nitpicking, carping, pouting, slamming doors, harsh words…acting much like 5-year olds stamping feet and demanding often unrealistic changes.
Are you there yet? Or, perhaps are you past there and already in your own personal rut?
Here’s the good news. You do not have to be stuck in your rut. There is a ladder you can use to climb out. It will take some work, but oh my goodness…it is so worth it. Follow me.
Ten Things You Can Do To Get Out Of The Rut
- Remind yourself how you ‘felt’ toward each other in your ‘romantic’ stage
- STOP the whining…’What’s in it for ME?’
- Make a pact with your spouse to start asking ‘How Can I Serve You Best?’
- Take Gary Smalley’s 5 Love Languages Quiz https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language
- Once you figure out what blesses your spouse…do it often and do it well, regardless how you feel about it.
- Begin saying, ‘I love you, because___________________’ at least once daily
- Learn how to listen assertively to each other…listening without judgment and speaking without criticism…listen to understand and not just to respond. It is a learned skill and may take some coaching to accomplish. We do that.
- Consider any issue you face as the adversary with you two sitting on the same side of the table dealing with it as partners
- Create traditions, celebrations and go on dates regularly…make memories together
- Touch each other in front of your children…act like you’d act if you were not in a rut
That’s enough for today. If you need a little more, take time to become aware of your mental picture of a good marriage, then take a relentless personal inventory of what you must do to BECOME a good marriage partner.
The ladder is right here. Come on out of the rut. Holler if you need some help