Is Your Marriage Stuck in a Rut? How to Get the Momentum Back

It is common for a couple to find themselves falling into life routines that cause a sense of boredom and monotony in their marriage. The day-in-day-out sameness of modern life seems to suck the joy out of the relationship and can lead to a sense of discontent. Focus can be drawn away from each other and toward work and raising children, causing the couple to forget that they ARE a couple and that the commitments to work and care for children are products of their commitment to each other. Your relationship matters, and it comes first. The first step is one of discovery – the discovery of each other.

Discuss your feelings

Are you the only one who is feeling bored or stuck? You may be trying to tell your parter how you feel and how you do that matters in order to avoid conflict. Try sharing your thoughts while doing something you both enjoy, like taking a hike. Express that you feel like your marriage has gotten a little stuck and ask if he or she feels the same way. Make sure to check in with your partner by asking if they are open to having a talk so that they aren’t caught off guard.

You may get a variety of answers. Your partner may say no, they haven’t noticed anything, which may indicate that they still feel the same way about you as they did in the early days. They might say yes, and share that they’re worried about work or finances, or something else, again suggesting their feelings for you are unchanged and that they’re just distracted. Finally, they may say yes and tell you some things that have been bothering them that do have something to do with you.

Whatever the answer is, you can grow from the knowledge. If they still feel the same flame, you can discuss ways you’re feeling in a rut and discuss things you can do together to help you both feel that fire again. If they’re distracted by other pressures, talk about ways you can both unwind together. If there are some relationship issues, knowing them means you can begin to work on them. Depending on what they are, consider finding a counselor to help you work through them.

Remember why you fell in love

To start rekindling the flame, take some time to reminisce together about the early days. Look at old photos, relive the happy memories, and laugh together. Snuggle together while you’re doing this. Touch is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. It doesn’t always have to lead to sex – in fact, a healthy relationship includes many instances of non-sexual touching. Touch is the most primordial and the most personal of all our senses and reaches our hearts. Combined with happy memories, it will help embed those positive emotions deeper into our relationships.

Pursue each other again

When you were dating, you were in a rhythm of pursuing and enticing into pursuit. While we traditionally think of the man in pursuit of the woman, both in their own way are chasing and drawing each other into the chase. Once the couple is married, this process often stops, and that’s what can cause the couple to feel bored and stuck. 

That ongoing give and take of the chase can continue even after you’re married, even after many years and when the children are grown up. Date nights can involve getting dressed up and going out together, but it can also be taking a quiet walk together or watching a favorite movie with a glass of wine and the lights dimmed. 

Another element to help increase a connection is acts of kindness. One partner gets the other one coffee; one brings home a rose for the other; a tired parent gets to relax while the other takes the kids out, etc. You’re touching each other’s heart with these thoughtful acts.

Maybe intellectual pursuits or the arts are something you both enjoy. Then you can share a book or a visit to the art museum and discuss the characters, the motive, or the deeper points the author or artist may be trying to make.

Find common activities

In our busy modern life, couples often spend most of their waking hours apart. This is one of the reasons they tend to drift. Make a conscious decision to do things together to increase your positive shared experiences. 

Come up with a few fun things to do together and do at least one weekly. If you can find a hobby that you both enjoy, especially one that provides exercise and the great outdoors, you will be strengthening both your relationship and your health at the same time. 

An even more fulfilling activity could be serving others less fortunate. Working together to make life better for others can provide a sense of purpose. This can also greatly benefit your children because they will see their parents working together for a good cause, which instills in them the importance of service, it strengthens the marriage, and it shows the children an example of what a good marriage looks like. 

Your love can be enhanced and be even stronger than before after you work together to rekindle the joy and attraction that you had in the early days of your relationship. You have years of experiences that you’ve gone through together, and you’ve shown each other that you truly are committed to each other, good times and bad, and are willing to work for the marriage. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that someone else is willing to fight for your love.

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