Working on a Dream




Saturday, July 7, 2012

This is Why your Marriage IS failing

Ahhh the days of old.
When she would drive to your house after the graveyard shift; you would see her car pull up and you would bolt outside to greet her with a handful of flowers and a a pair of new shoes. 

-Those were the days!

The days of you making mixed tapes with every song somehow sharing exactly how you felt about the person. The days of her making your favorite dinner with candles lit just as you walk in the door. The days when one of your cars would break down and it did not matter because you would walk to see one another if you had to.

Did you ever stop and wonder what had happened since you and your spouse first started dating?

Now you two are more like a couple of Goodwill Mannequins sitting next to each other on the couch, both decked out in your fabulous grey tattered sweatpant suits.

Sound familiar? Of course it does.  Keep reading as I will help make sense of this relational mishap.

Every person has an Acquisition Strategy when dating.  At this point of your life, you do not have a mate and you want one, so you put on your very best hoping to win over the girl or guy of your dreams.  Men do things like: go to the gym, buy flowers, say nice things and take long walks with their potential mate.  Girls do things like: wear makeup, dress really cute, cook, and talk about how they are OK with everything their future husband wants to one day accomplish. [If you can't find the humor, it's your fault].

The Acquisition Stage is all about attracting your future spouse. As comedian Chris Rock once said, "When you are dating, you are acting like you are when you go for a job interview."  In others words, you dress your best, speak with grace, and put your best foot forward.  This is the best version of you that you are presenting to your potential other half.

Generally speaking, you and I have no problem with this part of the game.
After you get the girl, something kinda weird happens -you get sloppy. And you get lazy.  You won her over, now you are comfortable.  You tried really hard during the acquisition stage because you were trying your best to win over your potential spouse but now that you have him, its the grey sweat suit outfit every single day.    

Let us move on to the second stage, the stage where our marriages fail.
The Retention StageThis is the phase where you continue to grow your relationship.
Here you will be intentional about two things: 
1.  That the first phase of your relationship is NOT a phase.
2. That you will have to continually work to foster a blossoming relationship with your spouse.

AND guess what that means?  Work.
See, Hollywood gets it wrong every time as they continually showcase the ability to attain the person they are attracted to, but over time split because of that funny little word I mentioned above: Work.
The point is that all those homemade cards, love letters and cute pictures must be your relationship; not a part of it that was years ago. 

All the effort we placed in the Acquisition Stage must not cease at the Altar when you both say, "I DO."  Your marriage will be, should be, and can be your greatest accomplishment when you leave this earth.

My advice?

-Continue wooing your spouse- 
Just as a fire dies without fuel, so will your relationship -with the most important person in your life- without intentional love. 

"I am the Vine & you are the Branches...
Abide in Me & you will bear much fruit."
John 15: 5


Roberta KISTS said...

One day at a time re-commitment = 42 years happy marriage

Lauren said...

This is an awesome post! Have you read "Real Marriage" by Mark Driscoll? If not, make it a part of your plan!

Anthony K said...

Lauren, I will def. check out his book. I love his preaching and have read other books of his.

Thanks for the suggestion!