(This is a preview of one topic we will be covering in our men’s conference this evening. To register for the conference, call our office at 903-561-8955)
Sometimes you hear people say that they are in a boring marriage.
They aren’t stimulated intellectually like they once were.
They aren’t as excited about spending time with their spouse anymore.
They just feel like they are both going through the motions, stuck in a rut, and just
Their heart just isn’t in it anymore…
It didnt start that way… how did it get that way now?
I used to wonder how things got that way for them.
Now I think I know.
First, my answers to this aren’t going to include all of the regular aspects of everyday
life that rise up and choke out a vibrant marriage. I mention some of those in the article about
loving with limited resources that there are many things that consume our emotional energy – kids, jobs, money stresses, sickness, burn-out, failure to exercise and much more.
However, I don’t think these alone fill in the puzzle of boring marriages.
But I have to tell you this before I can explain it:
One of the reasons that I am a follower of Jesus is that He doesn’t BS (can I say that?) He tells it like it is. For this reason, I get to listen to His words without having to constantly filter out the Political Correctness (even of His day) and I don’t have to filter out some kind of incredulous, utopian-istic, humanistic gobblety gook. Reading Jesus isn’t at all like listening to Oprah’s guest of the day, or almost anyone in the field of psychology.
Jesus, when explaining how things are, actually explains how things are; when He is saying how things should be, He explains how they should be. How refreshing that He doesn’t mix those two things up.
When explaining how things are, too many people tell us how they think things should be.
Here is one of my favorite examples, and I think the solution is hidden here:
“ …for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21)
In most of our touchy-feely feel good self help junk it would be cuter and more prosaic. It would read: “Wherever you heart is, there shall you put your treasure…”
See the subtle difference? The non-Jesus way makes it sounds like our treasure follows our hearts.
Today, the only measure of sincerity our culture accepts is emotions – the heart. I shouldn’t do anything unless my “heart is in it” right? That wouldn’t be sincere, or authentic, or some other such absurdity.
Imagine that we have now made sincerity and authenticity (two static and stable things) dependent on emotions (mercurial, dynamic, and constantly changing things)! Screwtape was right in thinking that the “horror of the same old thing” has taken hold.
Sincerity is about being what you seem and claim to be… and so is authenticity. These are raw choice. I cannot fully choose what I feel (I am, of course, responsible for what I do in response to what I feel and even responsible to create the right environment for feeling what I want or ought.) Emotions are largely our biochemical and soul-level reaction to our situation.
I cannot choose to feel desire – I can only choose to create the conditions to encourage it or avoid it.
My choices have the power to lead my emotions.
The truth is that my heart follows my treasure… as Jesus said.
Now, Jesus was talking about investing treasures in eternal things – in His Kingdom. However, I think He is also revealing a general truth that can be applied here as well.
If your heart is not in your marriage, then, I assume that it must be because you have stopped putting your treasure there. Your heart has no treasure to follow.
Remember when you were dating and you would spend hours thinking about your girlfriend, and hundreds or thousands of dollars pursuing her, and dozens of hours doing sweet things for her? Remember how hard it was for something to divert your attention from her? Remember the poems, the letters, the love-notes, the creativity, or even just the dates?
These are treasures…
So, if you are in a boring marriage, recognize that it is because you are a boring husband who is investing so little treasure in your woman that your own heart isn’t even inspired toward her.
Solution? Plan a weekend away. Plan it for at least a month from now, but don’t tell her until you have to. Make it all about her getting what she loves the most. Remember her favorite places to go, things to do, etc. Stare into her eyes as you plan it and try to remember what she loves the best. (this idea works for wives too)
Do it right, spare as little expense as you can, in time, strategy, and money. Start writing a card and write one thing you are thankful about each day in preparation for your trip.
Enjoy the experience of your heart chasing your treasure, even though she doesn’t even know about all the planning. If your treasure is in it, your heart will follow.
If you need some thoughts on planning, look over at some of the other articles for ideas.
after you plan it, post here and let us know where you went and rate it for us… remember, we are all in this together.
You’re not alone and we would love to join you as you take steps toward a stronger, healthier future.
I believe we all need a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing us from experiencing a full and satisfying life. My greatest reward as a therapist is helping my clients examine ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) LPC.
Our team will reach out to you soon!