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Love Builders

Are You Too Busy for the Delights of Marriage

“How could he cheat on me,” said the distraught-middle aged woman who sat in my office early Friday morning. “I thought everything was good between us. He said that he’s been miserable for years and he finally found someone who makes him feel loved and appreciated. I am his wife. I am the one who has taken care of him for all these years. I have cooked for him, cleaned for him, and taken care of our children. I really thought everything was just fine between us…..”

I see this often in my office as a marriage counselor. A couple comes in way too late to salvage a marriage. My office is just a place for a husband to dump his wife to alleviate guilt so he can move ahead with another woman. The wife is devastated. She becomes so focused on his infidelity that she can’t even see how this could have happened to her and their marriage.

Ten Little Love Builders

Here are some warning signs that you may be neglecting your spouse. Have fun with some of these love builders.

  • You give a peck instead of a long passionate kiss. When you leave for work or come home from work, do you give each other a peck goodbye or a long passionate kiss for 30 seconds or more? If you have forgone the passionate kiss, it may be time to bring it back into the marriage.
  • Remember when you first fell in love, you planned all kinds of romantic getaways or something fun for just the two of you. Now that you are married, you don’t want to stop having fun. Get going and start planning your next trip for just the two of you. It doesn’t have to be a big trip to Europe. It can be a simple one-night getaway to a romantic bed and breakfast like Up the Creek in Strawberry, AZ.
  • Your sex life is boring. Nobody wants spaghetti for dinner every night. Has your sex life become mechanical? Your mind is a sexual smorgasbord. Enjoy the pleasures of what the mind can create. Remember that soul-stirring sex you had when you were dating. It’s still there. It’s the best way to keep the love alive between the two of you. It may not be as frequent, but it can still be passionate.
  • You bring your computer or iPhone to bed with you. You no longer look at bedtime as a time to really connect and snuggle up with each other before you fall asleep. It’s a great time to drudge up old memories that the two of you shared together or reminisce about your day. Don’t miss out on this blissful time for just the two of you.
  • You are on your phone when your lover is right in front of you. When you were dating, you spent hours having philosophical conversations and talking about the meaning of life. When we are really connected, we enjoy talking about our values and beliefs and how they are constantly evolving and changing. Sharing these kinds of things allows our trust to continue to build and grow over time.
  • You get disproportionately angry over silly things about your spouse’s behavior. This may be a sign that there is something bigger underneath it all that the two of you haven’t addressed. You may be doing things that you know your spouse doesn’t like just to spite them. If a wife buys the cheap brand of ice cream when she knows her husband likes Ben and Jerry’s, she may be trying to tell him something. It’s a good time to check into a counselor’s office before you get to the point of no return.
  • You don’t surprise each other anymore with cute little presents. A husband who brings home his wife’s favorite dinner or a wife who buys her husband’s favorite cologne. That is a couple that still pays attention to each other. Couples don’t grow apart. They quit paying attention to each other.
  • You’ve let yourself go physically. When people get divorced, I see them working hard to get back in shape and start to take care of themselves. We should be doing this to continue to keep our spouse attracted to us. It’s important to look good for our lover and spouse. It’s not fair to our spouse to not care about how we look.
  • Don’t be an irresponsible mess. If we respect and honor our spouse, we will want to make sure we keep things in order. Respect creates a desire to please.
  • You dread spending the rest of your life with your spouse. A beautiful marriage never gets tired of looking ahead and imagining all the wonderful things the future holds for the two of them. If you dread your future with your spouse, your marriage needs help.

Remember your vows. Your vows are not only sexual fidelity. They are to love, honor, and cherish each other until death do you part. So many couples get so angry with someone for being unfaithful. Yes, it is a breach of trust and is something to be angry about. However, did we pay attention to our spouse? Was your spouse the most significant person in your life? Did we love honor and cherish our spouse? Is being unfaithful for a couple of months a more egregious breach of a vow than neglecting our spouse for 10 years?

Marriages are a blessed union of two people and let’s have some fun with it. Paying attention to each other is the best part of marriage. Use some of these little love builders to continue to pay attention to each other. Most of all, don’t forget to play together and take your marriage back.