Marriage ICU: When You Feel Like You're Growing Apart

The last 4 episodes of Black-ish had me in tears. When Bow and Dre’s relationship started unraveling, I felt like it was my own parents splitting up. Maybe it’s because I grew up seeing my parents argue all the time the way Bow and Dre were doing. Or maybe it’s because I saw how easily Bow and Dre’s story could have been me and my husband; point is, it was heart-wrenching to see even a TV couple go through this emotional roller coaster as their marriage hit a huge bump in the road.

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I felt that this fictional family was my family. I felt like their marital issues were my marital issues. This speaks to their phenomenal acting skills, of course; but it also speaks to the fact that EVERY marriage has its heartbreaking moments, angry moments, moments where you feel like you need to just go back to being single and start a new life without your spouse. Every marriage eventually hits the point where one or both people think, “I don’t know if this is going to work out.”

Have you ever felt that way? You ever find yourself thinking, “We’re not going to make it..”

I have news for you.

It’s not too late to get your marriage back on track!

It’s not too late to get your marriage back on track!

Here are some steps Jono and I have taken when we started feeling like we were growing apart...

1. Go to therapy!

     When your car needs an oil change, you go to a mechanic. When you need your teeth cleaned, you go to a dentist. So why are you trying to fix your marriage problems all by yourself?? Go to a professional who has the tools to equip you and your spouse and help you guys get back on the same page. I loved the fact that Blackish showed Bow and Dre going to therapy together!

I know a lot of people shy away from going to a therapist because they’re afraid the therapist will gang up on them with their spouse, but a good therapist never takes sides. On the contrary, they will help each of you see things through the other person’s eyes and give you strategies on how to resolve disagreements. Therapy could be a game-changer for your relationship!

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Therapy can be a game-changer for your relationship!

2. Cut back on other commitments so you can get reacquainted.

There’s nothing more important than your relationship with your spouse. Even your kids shouldn’t take priority over your relationship (not long-term anyway). How happy and well-adjusted will your kids be if there’s constantly a negative vibe between you and your spouse? Your kids will grow up and leave the house, but you and your spouse will be together way beyond that. So invest in your marriage today and do whatever it takes to reconnect.

Invest in your marriage today and do whatever it takes to reconnect.
  • Get a trusted family member or friend to babysit a couple of evenings a week so you can get quality time together

  • Cut back on work hours until your relationship  is back on track and you work out a new schedule that works for BOTH of you.

  • Instead of falling asleep to the TV, take a few minutes every night to talk about the day and your future goals.

  • STOP volunteering for every church activity! The church will function just fine if you drop one or two activities. Even too much of a good thing is bad.

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3. Go to a marriage conference together.

I’ve heard of so many couples who had basically decided on divorce, but gave their marriage one last shot by going to a marriage conference.

I’m not saying that a marriage conference will fix your marriage. But it will get you around people who are having problems similar to yours, and give you much-needed hope for your relationship. At a marriage conference, you’ll get to hear from other couples who are having problems similar to yours, as well as professionals who have helped couples get their marriages back on track.

There’s a great marriage conference called Weekend To Remember hosted by Family Life Today. They’re held all around the country all throughout the year, and they only cost $300 per couple! Your iPhone costs more than that! And your marriage is definitely more important than an iPhone.

If you can’t afford a marriage conference right now, start listening to a marriage podcast together. and discussing how you can implement the advice. There are tons of great ones out there!

If your marriage isn’t getting any better with you and your spouse trying to do it alone, get help! Put your marriage in intensive care and get to the bottom of your issues. The first step is to find a licensed marriage and family therapist to guide you through the process. This decision in itself is a game changer. The next thing to do is to cut back as much as possible on other commitments and put your marriage FIRST. And finally, get around other couples who are trying to improve their marriages. Go to a marriage conference together. You’ll see firsthand that other people are have the same struggles as you. It will also allow you to be away from every distraction and re-focus your attention on what’s most important: your marriage.

When you feel like you and your spouse are drifting apart, don’t wait for it to fix itself. Invest time, money, energy, whatever it takes, to have a great marriage. A happy marriage doesn't just happen; you have to put in the work!

Till next time! 

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