Marriage is a tricky thing. When a young couple stands together to make their vows, expectations and the promise of the life together to follow are high. But after the honeymoon stage, things start to become more comfortable and the danger of selfishness and indifference replacing selfless love and full investment enters in. Here are some things to consider as you're trying to determine if your marriage is on the path.
Whether you enjoy sitting back and enjoying a Sunday football marathon or spending the Saturday shopping with girlfriends, that's OK. As a married couple, it's important that you still maintain your individual identity. But the problem comes when your hobby takes away so much time that you never get to do anything together. Don't become so absorbed in yourself that you forget the people you care about the most.
Make an effort to indulge your spouse in his or her hobbies. You don't have to love it, but you can do it to show your spouse you love them.
Your marriage isn't always going to be perfect, but it should be a safe harbor where both spouses can be vulnerable and build each other up emotionally. If you aren't that for your spouse, take that as an opportunity for serious self-reflection. Do they feel safe talking with you about their feelings?
On the other side of the coin, have you bypassed your spouse and chosen someone else to be your confidant? While developing that emotional rapport isn't easy, the result is heavenly.
Courtship after marriage is a topic that is frequently discussed in religious circles, and for good reason. It's important for each of you to continue to date each other throughout your entire marriage in order to keep the flame alive. If courtship in your marriage is non-existent, reverse that trend. Make sure you have a date budget to use every month, and revive some of the old ways you use to surprise each other with love notes or flowers.
Communication in general is a must in a happy marriage, but the most important form is communicating your love. Don't simply expect your spouse to "know" that you love them. Say it. Every day. Multiple times a day. Additionally, show it with your body language. Husbands, open doors for your wives. Wives, acknowledge the efforts of your husbands to provide. Each of you, say "I love you" as much as you can.
The bottom line
Your marriage is precious — at least it should be. While these are only a small sample of some of the issues that could cause marital problems, the common thread is each of them is selfishness. Marriage is not a 50-50 project. Both spouses need to give 100 percent. And if you feel that your spouse isn't giving 100 percent, instead of using that as an excuse to give less, use it as an opportunity to show your love.