The Crimes We Commit Against Our Marriages
Are you guilty of one or more of these "crimes" in your marriage? The crime of indifference, parallel living, failure to communicate or killing passion are crimes we often commit in our marriage.
All is not lost, with a little effort and changes in thinking; you won't be spending time in the "Crimes Against Marriage" prison. Read on and you'll be paroled from your prison sentence in no time at all.
The Crime of Indifference
As we become busier each day with the needs of our children, our employer, our community, it's easy to put the needs of our spouse on the back burner. After all, they know we love them...right?
By not keeping the needs of our spouse on the front burner, it breeds a feeling of indifference and lack of caring.
How do you overcome the indifference routine that you've fallen into? By daily acts of kindness, letting your spouse know you are thinking of them throughout the day.
Never leave the house without a deep and passionate kiss for your sweetheart...give them a little passion to remember you by for the rest of the day. With the advent of e-mail, it's extremely easy to take 30 seconds to send a note of caring, sensitivity and even enticement.
Also set aside time to have a weekly date night so your relationship can continue to grow.
The Crime of Parallel Living
What is parallel living? Parallel living is a husband and wife co-existing in the same house, but rarely interacting with each other. Although this is part of the indifference problem, it goes a step further where you live almost two separate lives in lines that are parallel and rarely cross each other's paths.
You are roommates who are polite to one another, but far from passionate and only see each other in passing.
This crime is a little more difficult to overcome because it usually includes schedules that make it difficult to interact. To overcome this "crime" there will be a need for both to sacrifice some of the activities they engage in that keep them in a parallel life.
This may include reducing the number of extracurricular activities of the children...in reality do they really need to be playing on various sports leagues year round, taking dance, gymnastics, karate, piano and a whole myriad of other activities to "enrich' their childhood?
What a lot of kids need is some time to play, climb trees, and be kids. Many families are stretched to breaking points in activities for their children and never have time to be a family or husband and wife.
In reality, it's very easy to have each child choose one or two activities they want to participate in a year. You might be surprised how eager they are to reduce their schedule as well.
The tougher things to streamline will be the activities that you and your spouse participate in each week.
There are many noble and important causes to lend our talents, skills and efforts toward. However, life is a marathon and we need to pace ourselves to get to the end, so it's important to say no to a few of the causes, and focus on just one at a time.
As you evolve through each season of life, your focus may move from PTA to Mothers Against Drunk Driving to Meals on Wheels. Remember, if you are the President of the PTA, it's difficult to also be the Team Mom, Cub Scout Den Leader, be on an adult softball league and ever hope to see your spouse.
As you and your spouse strive to streamline a bit, you might find some activities that you could do together that would steer your lives back to the same lane rather than parallel living.
As you streamline your life, there is more time to rediscover your spouse and spend time with them.
The Crime of Failure To Communicate
Have you ever had a discussion with your spouse and when you are done, they have a confused look on their face like you we speaking some foreign language?
Sometimes it's due to the fact that we are doing some other activity as we are talking to them and aren't focusing on communicating well.
Other times we have been so heavily involved in what we're talking about, that we leave out key elements of information as we are explaining the situation to our spouse. It's like talking in shorthand, and they don't know the code.
Anytime you are communicating with anyone, but especially with those you love, it's important to take the time and effort to focus on your discussion.
This tells them that they are important enough to you that you will set aside other distractions, and that you want them to understand the message you are trying to convey.
The Crime of Killing Passion
Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of "Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" has written a wonderful tongue in cheek article that helps bring this into perspective.
You'll find it on our web site in our Department under "Sex". The article is titled, "Twelve Ways to Make Your Spouse Dislike Sex". You'll glean some interesting insights as you read this article.
All kidding aside, we need to avoid the behaviors that will bring passion in our marriage to a screeching halt.
There are times when you may not be in a romantic mood, but that doesn't mean you can't show passion to your spouse.
Whether it's a passionate good-bye kiss or a tender touch, this conveys your love and passion for your spouse and doesn't necessarily mean you will be jumping into bed with them in the next 30 minutes.
Passion is defined as a strong feeling or emotion. For us to have strong feelings or emotions about our spouse, they need to be the focus of our life...our life's passion.
We know their thoughts, feelings, successes, failures, fears and joys. The interesting thing about passion is we feel what they feel if they are our passion. As we allow passion to live in our marriage, our daily interactions as well as our intimate moments will be more full and alive.
As we strive to avoid committing these 5 crimes against our marriage, we will find greater joy and happiness in not only our marriage, but in all of our life endeavors.
About the author:
Beth Young is the Senior Editor of the leading marriage advise web site, MarriageAdvise.com.