While the world is doing their best to act in good faith and maintain a six-foot social distance, it caused me to wonder about marriages that have been “social distancing” for years. We’ve met with couples who were not sleeping together any longer and couples who rarely have intimacy. We’ve met with husbands and wives who no longer take the time to communicate about their day and who no longer pray together.
For some, they’ve come to the conclusion that this is normality – a sort of growing old together with acceptable life changes. But those are excuses for what they have allowed into their relationship. They are excuses for abnormal behavior leaking into their hearts and minds causing a separation. They tolerate something they would have never tolerated early in their marriage and the long-term result has been social distance within their relationship.
It hurts because they both long for what they’re missing, but either one or both are too proud to admit the deficit, let alone take steps to heal it. There is an answer for social distancing in a marriage that goes so far as to affect and disrupt daily life. Below are some practical steps that you can take to alleviate the distance that may have come between you.
- Admit within yourself the reality of the distance and then take a step of faith and open up about it with your spouse.
- Ask God for forgiveness, ask your spouse for forgiveness and forgive yourself for allowing distance to occur.
- Attempt to create a list of any areas the two of you feel there might be distance without judgement or argument.
- Take a step to begin to close the distance. For example: in what ways can we improve our communication connection and when, where and how can we start?
- Create a new habit of thinking about our connections and how we can keep improving them.
- Go for a walk together and hold hands. It is amazing what can be generated from these simple gestures.
- Pray and ask your heavenly Father for other ideas for closing the gap and reclaiming intimacy within your marriage relationship.