2 More Signs Your Marriage Is Headed for Trouble And Practical Solutions

Please read the first part of this article HERE

 

1. Physical intimacy is non-existent or done with a lustful heart.
I’ve found in my marriage that our sex life is a good indicator of our overall marital health. Do you find these aspects true in your marriage too? Consider this:

 

⦁ When my husband and I are tired and too busy for intimate time together, our marriage just doesn’t seem as close overall.
⦁ When there aren’t huge emotional barriers between my husband and I, sex is easy and feels like a time of deep emotional connection.

 

At the same time, I’ve also seen how sex can be a beautiful balm of reconciliation when we’re going through tough times. Many times, I feel like sexual intimacy “resets” the connection in my marriage.

 

I share this to say that sex is intended to be an emotional (not just physical) investment in each other, and when a couple reduces it down to a physical act (or they don’t make love regularly), they are short-changing their marital growth and connection.

 

Many of us let this aspect of marriage slowly erode, and quite frankly, it’s easy to do so! Besides being “too busy” or “too tired,” here are some other potential reasons why physical intimacy may be lacking:

 

⦁ We ignore sex because we are no longer attracted to our spouse because of physical changes they’ve undergone.
⦁ We’ve been ⦁ emotionally wounded in other areas (by our spouse or others) and sex seems unthinkable.
⦁ Pornography or ⦁ affairs have invaded the marriage and broken trust.
⦁ We have sex with our spouse, but the intimacy is gone and ⦁ sex simply has become a physical release devoid of relational connection.

 

We can’t allow the enemy to use our busy-ness or our emotional scars to keep our marriage from this most vital form of connection.

 

Sex is important to God (the entire book of the Song of Solomon is about this physical connection between a husband and wife!) and he encourages us to “keep the marriage bed pure” (Hebrews 13:4) and to “not abstain from each other” (1 Corinthians 7:5).
We must make sexual connection with our spouses a priority in order for our marriages to thrive

 

2. You’re no longer making regular, intentional investments in your marriage.
We enter marriage with hearts full of hope and excitement because we’ve spent hours investing in our relationship (think date nights, time alone to talk, etc).

Then we get married, and suddenly as the years go by (and we become distracted by other good things like a career, kids, or even ministry), our marriage may not seem as bright and shiny with optimism anymore. In fact, it may seem lackluster and simply limp along as we focus the bulk of our emotional energies toward other pursuits.
That’s why date nights and regular scheduled time alone together are so important! We must make intentional investments in our relationship should we want them to stay vibrant and growing.
Consider this: Do your thoughts, actions and schedule demonstrate that you’ve allowed a career, kids (or other potentially good things) to come before your marriage?
It’s so easy to let this happen! And we can come up with a thousand excuses, but we must find creative ways to intentionally invest in our marriages

Here are four ideas:
⦁ Take ⦁ 15 minutes to chat each day (⦁ here’s what my husband and I do)
⦁ Plan regular date nights
⦁ Plan weekends away/vacations
⦁ Invest in other intentional time together (such as participating in a hobby or home improvement projects together)

Hebrews 13:4 tells us to “give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage.” We must nurture our relationships in order to honor them and to stay faithful!
What to Do When You Discover That Your Marriage Exhibits These Signs
I know these are heavy and difficult-to-discuss topics!
Please know that I’m praying for you if you’ve read those and realized that, yes, your marriage may be headed for trouble.
Can I challenge you to take these next steps?
1. Pray for clarity and deep understanding of what’s going on. Ask God for His great wisdom about what’s really going on in your marriage!

 

2. Admit to your part in contributing to these situations. As the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” Yes, your spouse plays a part but you probably play a role too. I know we don’t like to think that, but we have to be truthful.

 

3. Receive His forgiveness and hope for your marriage. God wants to forgive us and to restore our marriages! There is always, always, always hope.

 

4. Lay aside the blame you feel for your spouse and ask God to help you love them “despite.” This takes time and perhaps many humble pleas from a broken heart, but allow God to show you little things you can do each day to love them “despite” their flaws.

 

5. Continue to process the emotions with God, repeating these steps (and asking a wise friend or counselor for help, if necessary). This is not easy! And it won’t be solved with a quick-fix solution. We must persevere through the process of making huge changes, taking baby steps toward the goal.

 

We’re all given a choice everyday as to whether we will work to grow or to destroy our marriages.
I know these issues can seem huge and insurmountable!
But if you find yourself seeing several signs that your marriage may be headed for trouble, don’t be overwhelmed by the huge mess you may see.
Get help and make those first baby steps today toward hope and healing.

 

-Alicia Michelle (YourVibrantFamily.com)