CHECKLIST CHARLIE

Depressing Marriage? Ways to Beat Marital Blues

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Countless young brides have looked at me in bewilderment and said, “But he wasn’t like this when we were dating!” Well, no he wasn’t. Often our friends don’t like to admit they feel depressed about the state of their union. Still, the truth is all marriages hit lonely patches.

“I think it is wrong of women to put on make up and get all dressed up when they are dating, then get sloppy after the wedding,” said a dear friend of mine whose wife of over 40 years always looks fashionable and pulled together.

“I agree with you, except for one thing,” I replied, “Not once when we were dating did David ever suggest we just stay home and watch television.”

“Oh, I never thought of it that way,” he laughed. He and his wife have been together so long, their fashion choices often accidentally match.

Even if fashion is the least of your worries, sparking up a little gentle companionship in your world is as easy as picking out the right tie.

#1 A Dream Day. Make a list of what your dream day looks like. Now, make a parallel list of what you think your spouse’s dream day might include. If there are any overlaps make plans to do those things soon. If not, ask your spouse at dinner to check your work and correct anything you may have forgotten. Hopefully, this should spark up a very entertaining conversation.

#2 A Prayer Focus. Set aside 15 minutes to focus quietly on what God wants to do in the life of your spouse. Prayerfully ask God to remind you why you married your sweetheart in the first place. Can you still see the underlying character and strength of the one you married? Don’t be too spiritual about it either. You can pray for yourself. I do it all the time. “Lord have mercy,” may be my favorite prayer ever!

Then, ask God how He can use you to accomplish His purpose in your marriage. Write down a few ideas and check back with God same time, same place next week to begin a watchful, joyful prayer vigil for your marriage.

#3 A Warm Welcome. As your spouse walks in the door tonight, speak one thing that blesses you, something personal you don’t usually think to mention. At dinner, speak another. At bedtime, a third. Do this for one week. If within a week, your spouse isn’t returning the favor by expressing thankfulness for you more frequently, please write me. I am going to want to help you think of some more strategies to test.

If you have any tested strategies that work at your house, I hope you will share them, dear reader, for us all to benefit.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Comments are invited at cathykrafve.com.

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