Couples come into my counseling office for many reasons. Some are having on-going conflicts they can’t resolve. Others are having trouble with their parents or in-laws. Some are struggling in their sexual relationship. Others are at odds over finances. And some just seem to have different ideas about what makes for a good marriage.
But there was one couple who came into my office who summed up marital issues in one simple sentence. “We have lost the magic.“
Ever feel like your marriage has lost the magic? If so, maybe it’s because:
- You are not as adventurous as you we’re when you were younger.
- You don’t communicate as much as you once did.
- You seem to be different people now that you have children.
- Your responsibilities have increased and your free time has decreased.
- You don’t have the sex life you once had.
- Your age is beginning to slow you down and stove you up.
What ever the reason, if you feel your marriage has lost the magic, you might need to…
- Reconsider your definition of “magic.“ If your definition of magic is having all the time, money and energy you want to do all the things you want, then you certainly need to redefine magic. Maybe your idea of magic needs to shift from “lifestyles-of- the-rich-and-famous,” to “lifestyles-of-the-secure-and-comfortable.
- Reconsider your expectations. Everyone enters marriage with rather idealistic expectations, but marriage has a way of denting those expectations. Things go south when we either hang onto our idealistic expectations and expect our spouse to meet them, or throw away our idealistic expectations and expect our spouse to completely ignore them. Realistic expectations fit somewhere between pessimistic and idealistic, and you and your spouse must reconsider your expectations to make sure they are more realistic than pessimistic or idealistic.
- Reconsider your communication. Early in marriage, you talk a lot about your dreams and desires, because those are all ahead of you. In the middle stages of marriage you talk a lot about the facts and figures of getting by, because that’s what’s staring you in the face. But when hopes and dreams have been acquired or adjusted; and the tyranny of raising kids, paying bills, and making a living are not as pressing; then it can seem like there’s less to talk about. Your communication may seem to stall. But communication is not just about quantity. It’s also about quality, and though I’m not suggesting that the longer marriage lasts the less you have to talk, I am suggesting there are times when you use less words but share more heart.
- Reconsider your age and stage. Marriages go through stages. Somethings are more difficult in some stages. That’s not a loss of magic, that’s just reality. For instance, it’s more difficult to find the time and money and energy for adventure and communication and sex when you’re raising toddlers or teens then it was before you had kids. Likewise, there are some things that are just easier for us when we’re younger. (Yeah, I know. I hate it too.) Be realistic with these stages snd ages. You don’t necessarily have to give everything up, but you don’t need to beat yourself up when some things change.
- Reconsider the difference between a loss and a let-go. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time and a season for everything. You can desperately trying to hold on to Spring, but no matter how hard you grasp it, spring will eventually slip into summer. The best you can do is make the most out of the season you’re in. Then, when that season is over, look towards the next one and make the most out of it. What does that look like marriage? Well, you might not have the energy you once had, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. You might not talk as much as you used to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk more deeply than you used to. You might not be having the same frequency and type of sex you once to did, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t be sexual. This is the difference between loss and letting go. The former is out of your control, while the latter is under your control.
One last thing. Remember that magic takes a lot of work. A good magician works for weeks, and months, and even years to pull off something that looks like magic. So, keep working and consider this…rather than losing the magic, maybe you’re ready to experience a new and different kind of magic.
If you relate to this post, which of the above do you need to reconsider, and what’s one things that might help you capture a new and different kind of magic?
Copyright © 2018 Bret Legg