When I got married my dad gave me and my bride the most ridiculous advice (so I thought). "I want to tell you what to do when you no longer love your spouse."
After several years of marriage, three kids, and the monotonous grind of a demanding job, I started to hear the shoulder devil say, "Are you sure you married the right woman? Look at that woman over there. She has a much slimmer, athletic body. You don't love your wife anymore. You deserve someone better."
Following my dad's advice helped me shut out those tantalizing messages. Give your heart one last chance to fall back in love, save you from a life of regret, and save your kids (if you have kids) a lifetime of pain.
Here's the advice that saved my marriage:
1. Stop keeping secrets
"Secrecy is the tool the shoulder devil uses to break marriages apart" my dad said. We all make mistakes. It's human. Keeping it a secret, however, starts you down the slope of falling out of love and the longer you keep the secret, the further you fall.
If you find yourself down at the bottom of the cliff, climb back up by being honest with your spouse. Tell your secrets and ask for forgiveness. Commit today to being completely honest.
2. Stop viewing any form of pornography or reading romance novels
Nothing kills true love quicker than porn or reading erotic stories. You'll start comparing your spouse's body to what you see on the screen, or comparing your marriage to the fake plots in books. They will open the window to hearing the shoulder devil's tempting messages and will kill true love, not enhance it.
3. Remember your commitments to each other at the altar
You committed to each other, to your parents, to your friends, and to the world to "have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." Remember what made you fall in love the first time and write a letter to your spouse how you first fell in love.
Over the last few years I've written over two dozen such notes and every time it has reminded me why I love her, how incredibly blessed I am and lucky I am. Whenever I start to hear the shoulder devil again, I write a letter.
Remember all the nice things you did for each other before getting married? Start doing them again. Loving your spouse by serving unconditionally will spark the feeling of love again in your heart.
After doing these four steps, my wife and I are closer physically, emotionally, and spiritually than we've ever been in our 19 years of marriage. Give your heart another chance at loving your spouse by following these four steps today.
Aaren Humpherys is a CPA by day and a magician, beekeeper, and writer by night. He is very happily married to a wonderful wife, a father to three terrific kids, and loves to jump on the trampoline and play games with his family.