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Sixteen years ago, I sat at work crying into my coffee because we had just
survived completed our first month of marriage and I couldn’t imagine living a lifetime like that. Nothing was wrong that I could put my finger on; it was just hard work.
I loved my husband (madly!), but I doubted our ability to be “good” at this marriage thing.
We weren’t fighting a lot or anything; it was just draining always being together and having to consider him when I wanted to do something. I had been living on my own for some time and just wasn’t sure how to live with someone.
(translation: I was selfish and Jesus was going to have to really help me get over myself)
Only one month in, and already our marriage needed some TLC.
I needed to be reminded to fall in love with him again.
When I first wrote to wives about five simple ways to refresh their marriage, I never could have imagined the response I’d get back. It seems there are a lot of marriages in need of being refreshed and even more spouses in need of loving one another all over again.
That morning at work, my co-worker (who had already made it almost 20 years into his marriage) shared with me that it really didn’t get any easier; I would just get better at falling in love with him daily, even when I didn’t’ have all the warm fuzzy feelings.
After all, love is a choice.
Over the years I’ve done lots of things to nurture our marriage, as well as nourish my own heart so that I had it to share with my husband. These four things are the ones that I return to, over and over, because they really do makea difference.
Go On A Date Together
Some of my fondest memories of our early years together are the dates he would plan. Whether it was a candlelit picnic on the floor in our apartment or a walk around the block, we pursued time together. Somehow, over the years, that got harder to do.
I’m always amazed at the number of couples who don’t date anymore, and yet I understand it because even consciously making an effort with my own hubby, it falls to the side because we’re so busy.
Dating is so much fun, though! Why do we give it up willingly?!
The simple answer to that is that life has a way of keeping you so busy once you’re settled into marriage and parenthood that it falls to the wayside. Ladies, we have got to stop letting that happen! Really.
Hubby and I are re-committing to date one another regularly. How are we doing that?
Simply. If we can’t grab a coffee or meal out, we’re having one at home. We’re playing a game of Parcheesi or Backgammon or Checkers together, or queuing up Netflix, or just snuggling on the couch and talking.
But if we can’t fit that in for some reason or another, we’ll at least have a cup of coffee together one morning a week because we want to strengthen our marriage, as well as set the example for our children that marriage needs to be a priority!
I don’t know about you, but I want to fall in love with my man again and again.
So spruce up your outfit and hair, send him a text while he’s at work, and set some time aside for the two of you tonight (or one night soon).
Make an effort to feel better about yourself, and to show him he’s worth that effort. And ladies, do it even if you don’t totally want to.
Sometimes we get so used to not doing something that the idea of changing it is hard to adjust to. Your marriage is worth the effort, though! Fall in love with your husband again; don’t let your marriage go on auto-pilot, or even worse, into survival mode.
Have a Conversation With Eachother
It sounds silly, but as time goes on we forget to get lost in conversation rather than just sharing the necessary details of each day…or we have conversations with everyone else, but forget to talk to our spouse (who should be our best friend!).
If I’m not careful, I could go days at a time only talking with hubby about homeschooling, discipline challenges, and the items on the to-do list. Do you do that, too?
Can you remember the days when you were just getting to know one another and you talked about dreams and plans and hopes and fears?
I recall sitting on the beach with my handsome man, holding his hand, and just talking with him for hours on end. We talked about anything and everything and nothing at all.
And don’t forget to really listen to him. Sometimes I get frustrated that my husband doesn’t want to just sit and talk with me about things, but then I realize that it’s because I don’t always listen when he does have something to say.
Men may not pour their hearts out the same way we do, ladies, but they still want to be heard when they do speak.
And really, getting to know him all over again through conversations that go past home maintenance, budgeting, and kids is a great way to fall in love your husband again.
Talk about anything at all…but do your best to make sure you’re breaking out of habit and discussing more than day-to-day life. Talk about current events, or a hobby you’d like to pick up, or a book or TV show. Just find ways to connect that are beyond your daily responsibilities.
Romance one Another
When’s the last time you intentionally romanced your husband? I’m not just talking time out on a date, building fun and friendship and love. I’m talking romance (wink, wink). Think hard.
I’ll be incredibly transparent here and tell you that I didn’t realize it had been so long in my own marriage until my precious man said something when it finally did happen.
Too often we put the burden of romance on our men, but ladies I’m going to tell you: our men need us to romance them as well. And they love it when we do it, too, because they feel loved by us.
And what is romance for men? I’m not a man (obviously), but I’ve listened, I’ve read, and I’ve asked some questions so I’ll share here the conclusions I’ve come to.
For men, romance is about respect and desire. They want to know we respect them and that we want them.
Think about the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon. She desperately sought her man and desired his touch (Song of Solomon 1:2,7). And oh, wow, did he delight in her!
I want my man to delight in me just like that. I bet you would enjoy all of that lavish attention, too, if we’re being totally honest. So let’s pursue our men; let’s let them know how much we desire them, emotionally and physically.
If you’re like me and sex is an area that can make you blush a little easier than some, I encourage you to do what I’m trying hard to do and get over it…and get into it. A good sex life is definitely a hefty contributor to a healthy marriage.
A man who feels respected, wanted, and desired by his wife will more often than not move mountains for her.
One great book I recommend is The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. Another good one is The Act of Marriage. I’ve linked to a couple of others at the end of this post that I have also read and thing are worth sharing.
And here’s a little tip my husband told me I should share: Wife initiated sex makes men feel great. So initiate, ladies.
Need some help getting in the mood? Take time to do something that relaxes you, and pray about it.
Pray Good Things for Him (& For *You* to Be a Good Thing!)
Yes, I know this is an obvious answer, but it’s so true. But I want to make sure you’re really hearing me here. Pray for him; specifically, for good things for him.
This is not praying about him (and the things that drive you crazy), not praying because of him (and the challenges of being married to him), not even praying for God to change him. Simply, this is praying good things for him.
Pray for blessings over his life. Pray for peace in his heart. Pray for godly companions to enhance his life.
Ask God to show you ways to be one of those blessings that God has given him. Ask God to help you enhance his life, to know timely words of encouragement when they are needed, and to know exactly when to offer simple hugs and kisses.
Pray for God to help you reach out and do something special for him that will speak his love language clearly.
Pray for ways to show him how much you respect him and for God to make him irresistibly attractive to you so that he feels desired by you.
Praying for you man is a great way to fall in love with your husband again. Prayer time is when God changes hearts and knits them together.
Don’t brush this step off, ladies. It matters.
I actually write out my prayers and tuck them in my Bible and the books I’m reading. In the resource library, I’ve typed out three of those prayers for you to print as bookmarks.
It’s Worth the Fight to Fall in Love with your Husband Again
It seems that Christian marriage is in the spotlight more than usual these days, as several very high profile marriages are disintegrating. I’m not going to sit here and talk about them, either, because this is an area in which I feel the church needs to shut up.
But there are some things we need to shout about, and that is why I’m sharing this with you. If you’re reading this, it’s because you want to fall in love with your husband again.
I don’t think any of us go into marriage realizing how life gets in the way of love sometimes. I know that many women tried to warn me to guard my marriage, to work on it daily, and to never let it slide into third or fourth place as life went on (God first, marriage second, kids third, and then everything else).
But still, it happened and I didn’t even see it coming.
Now I guard my marriage carefully and try hard to work at it daily. I don’t ever want to sit next to him again and not have anything to talk about. I don’t want to forget that not only is he my partner in life, but he is also a beautifully interesting person.
And I certainly don’t want him to ever feel undesirable because I get so tired living my life that I’m too exhausted to romance him.
My prayer for my marriage is the one I’m praying for each of you ladies who read this.
God, ignite a passion in our hearts for our husbands. Turn our hearts toward our men, and let us encourage one another to prioritize marriage over everything else but You.
Lord, let us love our men passionately and with grace. Give us the words, actions, and hearts to show them how blessed we are to call them ours. Let us pursue their hearts and desire their presence like the Shulamite. Amen.
Psst! Don’t forget to check out the resource library for those bookmarks with prayers for your man on them!
Disclaimer: There are always situations deeper than we can discuss in the scope of a blog post and this is not a ‘cure all’ post. This is for the average couple who has just gotten so busy living that they’ve set loving to the side.
Some things can’t be fixed with prayer, a few dates, and great sex; some issues require counseling and intensive effort and even more time. I know that, and if that is your marriage, know that my heart is for you and I’m praying for you.
You can even email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to pray for you privately.