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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
We humans are creatures of habit.
We like the familiar. We tend to take the well-worn paths. We tend to get things set in our minds and have a hard time thinking differently. We take the path of least resistance and the option of least change.
This quirk of human nature contributes to several marital difficulties. It puts us in a sexual rut, it causes us to take our spouse for granted, and it keeps us on the Path of Separation. It’s that last one I want to unpack in today’s post.
Couples get on the Path of Separation, as I explain further in this post, when they simply let nature take its course – when they let their marriage go on autopilot. This path goes by various names: “drifting apart,” “falling out of love,” or “becoming more like roommates.”
It’s a path that doesn’t end well.
It’s a path that doesn’t end well.
The antithesis is what I call the Path of Intimacy. You don’t get on this path by default; you have to choose to go down it. It requires paying attention to your relationship, which I describe as watchfulness. It takes a commitment to your spouse and your marriage. It means tending all areas of intimacy in your relationship: spiritual, emotional, sexual, intellectual, and financial.
Getting Back on the Right Path
I’ve heard a saying that goes like this:
If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you are going to keep getting what you’ve been getting.
Sadly many couples don’t even realize they are on the Path of Separation until they are miles apart or until some big blow up happens to open their eyes. They keep doing the same things, year after year, stuck in their familiar patterns, wondering why the intimacy has evaporated from their marriage and vaguely wishing it would get better.
Intimacy continues to be the holy grail for my readers who take the survey (available at the top left of my blog). It has always been the number one topic of interest, probably because so many don’t have the intimacy they want, because so many are on the Path of Separation and don’t know what to do to get onto the Path of Intimacy.
Choose to Do Something Different
If you sense that your marriage is on the Path of Separation and want to get it onto the Path of Intimacy, I’m going to issue you a challenge:
Make a decision to change something!
If whatever pattern you are in isn’t bringing you the intimacy you want, decide to do something else.
Now if you immediately began thinking of the five things you want to change about your spouse, you need to think again. You can only change you. You can’t change your husband or wife and you normally can’t change your circumstances. What you can change is yourself.
What’s amazing is that it often doesn’t take huge steps to change course and move toward deeper intimacy. Often times it is a lot of little steps that make the biggest impact.
The most important first step is to change your thinking. Get it settled in your mind and in your spirit that you are going to get your marriage on a different path, on the Path of Intimacy. Decide that you are going to do what it takes, that you are going to be open to changing your behavior and attitudes, and that you not going to settle for the way things have been.
The next little step is to begin to pray for your marriage. Pray specifically for the intimacy in your marriage. This is a prayer that God is eager to answer. He loves passionate and intimate marriages. He designed them to be that way. He is FOR your marriage.
As I mentioned above, intimacy is the number one topic of interest in my new reader survey. A close second is those seeking “practical marriage tips.”
The good news is that very soon I’ve got the perfect opportunity to do offer a bunch of practical tips. Starting October 1st the Christian Marriage Blogger’s Association (CMBA) is sponsoring a bloggers half-marathon challenge. Over the course of 13 days, I’m going to give you 13 specific, practical ideas on how you can get your marriage onto the Path of Intimacy.
Some of these ideas are going to challenge your idea of what's normal for your marriage. Some of them will inspire you. Some of them will probably stretch you outside of your comfort zone. Some of them will lead you to create ideas of your own.
Don’t miss a single post!
If you want to be sure to get all these great intimacy ideas, sign up to get my blog posts delivered right to your email inbox. Just enter your email address below (it will never be shared with anyone).
What if you already have a decent level of intimacy in your marriage? Well, no matter where your intimacy is at right now, there is ALWAYS more. You can have as much intimacy as you want; as much as you are willing to go after.
Who is with me? Who is going to choose to make a change for the sake of their marriage?
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
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