It’s been said that we treat the people closest to us the worst—because we feel safe in our relationships to express how we really feel. Expressing ourselves is fine, but we have a choice in the way we go about it. Why not take the gift you give strangers just for being strangers and offer it to your wife?
8. Expend the Effort
Whoever tells you marriage is an equal partnership hasn’t been married long—or ever. Not only don’t the numbers come in at 100/100, but they rarely come in at 50/50. Marriage, like life, tends to move in uneven cycles. It’s not fair; it will never be fair. But the bottom line is that you expend the effort it takes to keep the relationship going or you don’t. Your marriage works or it doesn’t. It’s good, bad, or neutral. That’s where your control lies—in what you choose to do.
If you love your wife, don’t be satisfied with mediocre. You didn’t walk down the aisle thinking you’d be roommates who barely speak. You wanted better—go after it. Even if she’s given up, chances are once she sees you putting her and your marriage first, she’ll jump in and do the same.
9. Ask Questions
At first, learning about her feels easy. You want to know her favorite food, the movie she’s seen the most, what she wants to do with her life. Getting married opens a new stream of questions as you learn to live together and make life plans.
Eventually the newness wears off and the questions taper. You’re worried about what you need to accomplish at work, checking things of your honey-do list, meeting your financial obligations, and your world isn’t in sync with hers the way it used to be. Stop letting her drift away and start asking her questions. Show her you care about what’s going on when she’s not with you.
10. Be Still and Pray
There’s a time to ask questions. And then there’s a time to just be quiet and be there. You can’t always fix everything, even if you want to. But you’re not out of options when it feels like everything’s falling apart.
Don’t beg her to tell you what she needs. Pray.
Don’t argue over things that will destroy your marriage. Pray.
Don’t push your ideas on her. Pray.
And don’t give up. Ever. Just pray.
**This article first appeared on Crosswalk.com (October 2017).
About the Author: Lori Freeland is an author, editor, writing coach, wife, mom, and creator of imaginary people—not necessarily in that order. An acquisitions editor for Armonia Publishing, former editor for The Christian Pulse, and regular contributor to Crosswalk.com, she writes fiction and non-fiction in several genres and has presented numerous writing workshops nationwide. When she’s not curled up with her husband drinking too much coffee and worrying about her kids, you can find her blogging at lafreeland.com.