Drifting is natural, it happens sometimes without giving it much thought. Add to that our human propensity to get bored with the familiar rather quickly. Once the romance wanes in our relationships, we can be tempted to drift. We attempt to convince ourselves and our life mates that we’re not drifting, but we both know we are.
My daughter and I were out in a bay once when our boat lost its anchor. She went swimming after it. We barely noticed how far and how quickly that boat drifted away from us with the outgoing tide. It was just right there beside us a few minutes earlier.
What are the ingredients to a marriage that drifts? All too often we experience unmet expectations. Our disagreements become more intense and we seem to have conflict more often. Perhaps even old, destructive life patterns reemerge. Or, maybe we get behind financially and can’t seem to catch up. We’re working more hours, away from home more hours and unhappy for more hours. Now we’re feeling unfulfilled and it is so easy for marriage boredom to increase.
We didn’t mean for it to happen but life is full with our schedules, our children, yes, even our ministry. We’re missing one another, we’re not communicating as we should and we left certain disciplines that help to maintain a healthy marriage. Now we’re both feeling the sting of unmet needs and mumbling under our breath the negative things that bug us about our partner.
It can change; there is hope. We can reverse the effects of drifting. Here are seven steps we can take.
- Confess it to God and one other. Confession brings it into the light. It puts the subject on the table so to speak.
- Get back to dedicated times of communication about the personal and the nonpersonal. Get back to sharing everything in conversation with feelings and real-life intimacy.
- Pray while you communicate. Speak to God about your drifting from each other. Share your heart with your heavenly Father and ask Him for solutions to the drifting issue. Expect to hear those answers and then implement them.
- Get back to spending quality time together. There is no compromise; we need time together to relate, to have fun and to be friends again.
- Stop waiting on feelings. If you wait on feelings to return, you’ll never act. Act first because right actions bring about right feelings.
- Write out your mission statement. If you have one, find it and read over it once again. If you do not have a couple mission statement then you are missing out on writing down your reasons for marriage, your why. Get busy and put into writing your marriage mission statement.
- Dream again about where you desire your marriage to go and to grow. Vision is a focus for the future for the two of you. That focus runs adrift when we lose sight of us.
Rest assured, drifting can occur with each of us. But it is not our game plan to stay there. We must take steps to counteract the drifting that has taken place.