**Orginially written for HomeFront Magazine.
Marriage is…work. That’s probably not the description you were expecting to read. You may prefer a more affectionate descriptor like love, happiness, bliss, or fairytale. Those descriptions aren’t wrong. They’re just lacking. If you walk into a marriage expecting every day to be filled with cozy snuggles and minty morning breath, you may be in for a surprise! (Although my wife’s breath is always minty fresh!)
Let me be clear, I love marriage! And I love my wife! But I would be lying if I didn’t say that marriage isn’t work!
There’s no room for passivity in any marriage. It takes work…hard work. Not each person bringing 50%, but each person bringing 100%. I know the proportions don’t add up but the principle sure applies.
In order for your marriage to move toward greater intimacy, you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone.In order for your marriage to move toward greater intimacy, you must be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Click To Tweet
Think about it. Your marriage relationship is at its current state because you took steps out of your comfort zone. When you first asked her on a date, you were stepping out of your comfort zone. When you said, “Yes!” to his request for a date, you were stepping out of your comfort zone. When you took to meet the parents, you were stepping out of your comfort zone. When you agreed to marry him, you were stepping out of your comfort zone.
Each and every time the relationship with your spouse moved toward greater intimacy, you were stepping out of your comfort zone.
So why stop now?
Marriage isn’t something you did. It’s something you’re doing! Even now, whether you’ve been married 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years, there are things you should do to step out of your comfort zone.Marriage isn’t something you did. It’s something you’re doing! Click To Tweet
1 – Don’t quit the small things.
When things were starting out, you went out of your way on the small things. You opened the door for her. You sent him sweet little notes. You surprised each other. However, somewhere along the way life got busy, the relationship got comfortable, and you quit the small things.
I dare you to reverse that trend. I dare you to persevere through the busy schedule to make time for the small things. A note, a kiss, a Reeces Cup on the bedside table, are small things you should never quit doing.
2 – Don’t quit the big things.
You can probably go back to a point in your marriage when you weren’t afraid to try the big things. Hey, getting married is a big thing! After, maybe you bought a house, took an extravagant vacation, took a big mission trip, and perhaps the biggest thing of all, you had kids! Maybe you were wild enough to have multiple kids!
When was the last time you took a big adventure in your marriage? If you can’t remember, it may have been too long. Before you start with the excuses of how there’s no time, no money, and you can’t afford the big adventure, let me lovingly say, “You can’t afford not to!”
Big things don’t have to cost big bucks. Maybe it’s a one day adventure to a nearby city, or a pajama day with movies or your favorite book. Start planning the next big adventure with your spouse.
3 – Don’t quit the hard things.
It’s easy to persevere in the good times, but let me dare you to persevere in the hard times. Don’t quit doing the hard things you need to do to make the marriage thrive. When you invest time and energy in the hard things, the dividend is greater intimacy with your spouse.
I can hear some responses already. “But Andy, that’s hard work!” You’re absolutely right. Marriage is…work.
It’s the most rewarding and fulfilling work so have at it! Persevere by not quitting the small things, the big things, and the hard things.