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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Marriage Wedge

The biggest wedge in a marriage is not the attentions of another, nor money, nor sex.

It's time.

When we're courting, we spend as much time as we can together - and when we're apart we think about one another.

After being married for a few years, how much time do you spend thinking about your spouse?

And when you do spend time together, to you look at your mate, really talk with them? Or do you make offhand comments about what's going on around you, while watching the latest hopeful on American Idol?

When was the last time you took a good look at your spouse?

I know a chap who grew a moustache, and then decided to shave it off. It was not a wispy blond peach-fuzz thing.

It was two weeks before his wife noticed.

This is the sort of thing that causes couples to, in the pretty euphemism that reminds one of sailboats..."drift apart".

Really, it's not pretty at all. It's corrosion and rot, and it's about as pretty as a fungal infection.

(It's about losing interest, at least to a degree, and men generally do it first...women typically feel it happening, and go through a depressing period of adjustment until they can become somewhat more detached, themselves.)

We can control it. It's hard, but it's easy at the same time.

Put away the distractions. Put away the sports magazines and the weekends buried in front of the TV - does it really matter who wins the Big Game, or any game?

Put away Downton Abbey on Sunday night...Sunday's special, who do you really want to spend the last few hours before the work week with - your spouse, or a bunch of nonexistent snarky people?

You've got to study your spouse. Find out what makes him or her want to be with you, and accentuate those things. You married this person for a number of reasons, and those reasons still exist.

Don't let them dry up. Keep them watered. Yes, it's a tired analogy, the garden thing...but it does fit.

You can revive a malnourished plant, but there will come a time when you can';t find restoration.

And nothing is worse than wanting to restore your marriage...and finding out that it's too late, that the closeness you once felt is gone beyond recovery.

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday on www.MessyMarriage.com. If you click on the link below, you can go there to find a great blog, and links to other bloggers who celebrate marriage...in all its beauty and banality.


  1. Beautifully written, Andrew. Being purposeful about focusing on our spouses is essential. My husband and I try to date regularly, but honestly, life has made it easy to let that habit slip. We're working to get back to doing this. We should set aside more time together. We're strong in our marriage, but I bet we can always grow closer, right? :)

    I loved this thought: You've got to study your spouse. Find out what makes him or her want to be with you, and accentuate those things.

    Thanks, Andrew for sharing this.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. It's such an easy trap into which we can fall.

      Society does push us, using a false intimacy with celebrities. Many people refer to actors and sports figures by their first names, and sometimes their lives seem more real than the lives of the people with whom we've taken a wedding vow.

      Tragic - like trying to slake one's thirst by looking at a Coca Cola billboard while we have a pitcher of cool water next to us - unheeded.