Mark: Jill and I have made many changes over the years to improve our marriage. We’ve both looked at our own contributions to the hurts in our marriage and worked to make the changes we’ve needed to make.
Jill: Because we’re not perfect, we’ll have to make those adjustments for the life of our marriage…and so will you if you want to keep your marriage healthy.
Mark: One of the things we talk about is that when things get off-centered in marriage, it’s usually an accumulation of little things. Things that simmer under the surface. Things unnoticed. Unattended. Undetected. Untouched. These can cause an unraveling that gains momentum over time. A fade of one centimeter to another.
Jill: The key to stopping the fades is addressing those little drifts while they are centimeters off-center and not inches or yards or miles.
Mark: Behaviors that are off-center by centimeters can be adjusted with a conversation or two. Sometimes easy conversations…sometimes hard conversations. However, if those “reset” conversations don’t happen, we easily slip back into bad habits or old patterns of behavior.
Jill: Mark and I recently had one of those conversations. Mark provided accountability to me that I had slipped back into old patterns. It wasn’t something I wanted to hear but it was something I needed to hear. I needed to get back to center.
Mark: During our conversation, I realized that I too had gotten off center. The truth is sometimes you drift from center without realizing it; and sometimes you do. What could lead us to drift? Busyness will definitely leads us to drift because we begin to economize our relationship. Being tired can also cause us to drift. Not taking care of our thoughts, hurts, or frustrations will definitely lead us to drift.
Jill: Relationship drift is normal and yet we can’t allow ourselves to remain there. We have to have the courage to lovingly call it out (in ourselves and in our spouse). We have to be willing to accept the accountability. We have to be willing to be moldable in God’s hands as He matures us through our marriage.
What about you? Do you recognize any of these warning signs in your own relationship? Do you realize you are drifting? Why are you drifting? Will you find the courage to have conversations with your spouse if he or she is drifting? Will you find the courage to admit you’ve moved left of center and reset accordingly?