(A 4.6-min. read)

Here’s a secret about marriage that most of us share, we’re stuck in a rut! Okay, that’s not much of a mystery. But most couples operate with the same patterns daily. Those patterns serve us well most of the time. Everything seems to be moving smoothly with your work, kids’ school, church, and community involvement. Yet, we face the danger of repetition putting marriage on autopilot. Over time we settle into those familiar routines until they become ruts. The reality of our deep relational rut becomes evident when they become difficult to crawl out of. We yearn to do something different but discover a rigid routine that defies change!

Some couples have flown on autopilot so long they forgot where to find the off switch. Their routine wrecked creativity and ruined spontaneity. One partner senses the strictures of rutted living before the other. The realization may manifest as a longing for the early days of marriage when life seemed more carefree. The awakened companion may be self-aware enough to identify the predicament and begin sounding the alarm to the other companion.

The couple agrees that change is needed. The question becomes, where to start?

One of the couples I coached began digging out of their rut with a list of “No Matter Whats.” The wife took ideas that emerged from a couple of coaching sessions, added to them, and made a list of things to do each day or week, no matter what. The list included:

  • Nightly prayer together
  • 6:30 AM devotional time together
  • A morning kiss and embrace (at least 10 seconds)
  • Saturday Mornings (discussion time/planning the week together)
  • Sunday Mornings (up early and coffee together)

The genius of her plan lay in making small, significant changes. The 10-second morning kiss and embrace were brief (and pleasurable). On Saturday mornings, the husband routinely made breakfast, so they retrofitted the morning by adding time for discussion about and planning together for the coming week. Before worship, Sunday mornings offered a time to relax and relate—both lived very hectic lives and needed some “margin” in life. The couple added evening prayers and morning devotions together. Those schedule changes required intention and discipline. Since the changes were small, the couple could fit them into an already crowded calendar.

Like most marriages, this couple did not need to attempt wholesale changes. Small initial changes fanned the breeze of renewal. Those changes were tantamount to stepping briefly out of the rut to enjoy a bit of relational sunshine. The “no matter what” intention behind their list helped them overcome the natural human resistance to change. The benefit of those small acts would breathe a bit of fresh air into the relationship and, thereby, encourage other changes.

Does your marriage need a bit of sunshine? Would your relationship benefit from a few moments of freedom from the constraints of routine? Most would!

Maybe you and your spouse can develop your own list of “no matter whats.” That’s a small, meaningful start.

Right now, you want to do something. Maybe you just don’t know where to start. You may need a trained ear and a little nudge here or suggestion there. Likely, you don’t need a full marriage-makeover, but you do need a bit of help to disengage autopilot so you can re-engage each other!

Perhaps I can help. I don’t have all the answers. I do have a few that other couples found useful. Together we may be able to locate your present position, then identify where you wish to go, and explore how to bridge that gap.

You say that continuing the marriage adventure with your beloved sounds good? Then take the first step. Let’s see if I can be of service. Click this link to schedule a 30-minute, no-pressure, and obligation-free call to discover if God is calling us together for the next leg of your relational journey. Choose here a convenient time for you two— https://calendly.com/selflesslove/30-minute-discovery-call.

I look forward to hearing your story and discussing your goals. Blessings.

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