The problem with so many marriages these days is that couples stop studying one another after a while. People get comfortable and they just stop working on being better — on getting closer. The busier, more chaotic, more disorganized, more complicated, more stressful, and more predictable life gets the less time people tend to devote to continuing to build their marriages. Why is it that work is only put into marriage when there is something wrong with it?
The pattern parallels the general attitude toward health in western culture. Most people only focus on their health when it begins to fail — they fix things as they break rather than taking care of their bodies and proactively ensuring their own health. Marriages require just as much proactive maintenance as the human body … without proper attention and care, irreparable damage can be done unintentionally.
What people forget is that people change over the years. Taking for granted that you know a person means that you don’t take the time to realize how much they’ve changed. So many couples seem to realize ten years too late that they’ve grown apart because they stopped getting to know one another along the way. How many times have you heard someone say their marriage ended unexpectedly because they simply drifted apart or became unable to relate to one another? These people stopped studying each other.
Like everything in life, marriages have cycles. The closest couples recognize these cycles and flow with them in order to ensure that the circle is never broken — it continues its rotation with no end. The good days and the bad days contain opportunities to learn. The challenges present opportunities for intimacy and the complications support seasons of growth. What cycle is your marriage in? Are you using each moment to your advantage? Are you gaining wisdom about your partner through your experiences, both good and bad?
Take care of your marriage. Spend time each day getting to know your partner all over again — intently listening to their personal struggles, pleasures, and all the mundane things that transpired over the course of their day. Encourage them to be — and expect you to be — open, honest, and vulnerable in your marriage. Make your marriage a priority and do all that you can to ensure its health and preserve its purity. Work to keep it “fit” because once it loses its strength, it can easily become broken.