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Seasons of Marriage

by Erin Smalley

self

August 16, 2014

Seasons of Marriage

We are mid-point in the summer season, and I really have been missing my husband. He has been home, but I still miss him. I’ll explain. We have been enormously kid-focused and family-focused for the summer months. Therefore, our alone time has been pretty limited.  Therefore, I miss him. I miss the times of traveling alone. I miss the kids going to bed early. I miss having a regular date night. 

This all got me thinking, there are many different seasons we experience in our marriage journey and this season is one we feel a little bit more disconnected, even though we have actually spent a lot of time together. We have been playing at the beach, swimming at the pool, hiking and dragging kids up the trail, or seeing the latest Disney movie. It’s a season. The season of summer. 

Some seasons we feel super connected and more in love than ever, and then there are those seasons of disconnectedness and distance, maybe even silence.  

If your season feels more cold and disconnected (more like winter), here are a few tips:

Wives have influence.  Use it to change you marriage relationship.  

”Changing your own behavior may trigger your spouse to want to make changes. The secret lies in how we target our energy and efforts, because our capacity to change others is entirely based on our willingness to change ourselves. This is not double-talk or trickery, it’s simply the reality of relationship dynamics. If I create a change in my own attitude and behavior, my spouse and the marriage itself will automatically be forced to change.” (Dr. Marina Benjamen)

In my new book, The Wholehearted Wife, I talk a lot about the influence we have as wives. Often, we want to focus on our husband’s behavior—what he is or isn’t doing. Instead, focus on what you can control—and that’s you! There are many things you can change—including your behavior, your views, your attitudes. This will have an impact on your relationship. And can move the relationship into a new season!

Any behavior you desire to see in your spouse - model it! 

It sounds so simple.If you want him to speak kindly to you—speak kindly. If you want him to compliment you—speak compliments to him.  

Recognize that all couples go through different seasons in their marriage.  

It’s not just you and your marriage. Often when Greg and I meet with a couple who is “stuck”—they will be shocked when we share about our personal disagreements, conflicts and difficult seasons we have been through. They say, “Well, if you guys can make it through that—there’s hope for us!”  Yes, there is always hope!  Hold on to it!


 


Erin Smalley is the mom to three girls, ages 6, 16, and 19, and one son, age 12. Erin was a labor and delivery nurse and then returned to school to earn a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Although Erin thought she had sent her last child off to kindergarten, she and her husband, Greg, were blessed with their youngest child through the gift of adoption. She works very part-time at Focus on the Family in the Marriage and Family Division, while attempting to balance life at home with four kids. She has co-authored three books, her favorite being, Grown-Up Girlfriends—Real Friends in the Real World. You can reach Erin at www.smalleymarriage.com or erin.smalley@fotf.org.


 





Kids will enjoy sticking these fun, inspirational U-NEEK puffy stickers on mirrors, windows, computers, lunch boxes, and more!







What tip most resonated with you? Why?

Related topics: Tips, Romance, Marriage, Family, Date, Busyness

Share your thoughts

Model the behavior you want to see!

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Modeling the way I want to be treated.

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Speak kindly to him & he will speak kindly to you. If you compliment him he will compliment you... I need to remember to compliment my husband more often.

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Right on, Shelli. Good to remember when I feel like I need a pick me up, and I always feel good after complimenting my honey.

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Recognize that all couples go through different seasons in their marriage. Sometimes I can be a big mama bear over our children. I tend to sometimes go a little overboard. I am learning.

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I remember feeling like the tough times we had early in our marriage would last FOREVER. Several years in I finally started to realize that the good times - and the tough ones - in marriage ebb and flow. That is normal and happens to everybody.

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Instead of focusing on what I wish my husband would say or do I need to initiate change in myself first. Whenever I start to think of how my expectations aren't met the way I hoped I am immediately convicted how I fall short. Thanks for the reminder!

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Humble words, friend. I can learn from this too.

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I can absolutely relate to this! We, too, are in this season of marriage... our summer has been very kid-focused. Date nights have been few & far between. But we're heading into a different season now with school starting & that's exciting. Thank you for sharing (and your honesty)... and reminding us that we need to be the change we want to see in our homes.

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School is starting! There is HOPE!! I'm on the same page as you, Amanda. A date night is overdue and then some.

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Our summer has been very busy. Need to work on some of these tips!

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My hubby is my best friend in the whole wide world, yet time set aside for just the two of us falls by the wayside again and again. What's up with that?

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2--recognizing that there's seasons and highs and lows are normal. Also modeling.

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I like the thought of modeling behavior. It's amazing how kindness is met with kindness sometimes, even though our first reaction might be harsh words.

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Elizabeth, this is a great reminder. Kind words will be met with kindness... I'm going to remind myself of that on my cranky days.

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Mostly I just liked the reminder that there is a time and season for everything. It won't always be this hectic. And we won't always be so young. I also liked the idea that I have power as a wife. I can help my husbands day be better or worse. That's my choice in how I act.

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Model any behavior you desire to see in your spouse. With a recent move to a new state and major career change on my hubby's part, we are in the midst of a challenging season. I am cranky and lonely, he is excited about his new career path but tired from long days at work and early mornings, and I can only imagine the last thing he wants to face at the end of a long day is fussbudget of a wife at home. Point taken - if I want to have warm fuzzy evenings together on the rare nights our schedule permits, I need to be warm and fuzzy to him first.

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