Does Your Marriage Need a Spring Cleaning?

Does Your Marriage Need A Spring Cleaning?
 by: Mark Webb 

Does your marriage revolve around your children or grandchildren? Do you and your spouse spend too much time apart? Have you grown apart? Imagine your marriage 20 years from now. How is it going to be if you keep up with your current approach? If you don't like the thought of your future with its present course, then your marriage may need a spring cleaning.

Ernest Holmes said, "Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it." Have your thoughts undermined a once great relationship? If so, you can redirect your thoughts and thus redirect the future of your marriage. Most couples put more effort into the planning of their vacation than they do their marriage.

Remember the days of dating each other? You couldn't get enough of each other and gladly gave a lot of attention to your partner. After a couple gets married they are pulled apart by things like their career and the needs of their children. A routine develops and if the couple isn't careful, so does a sense of boredom.

Unfortunately, your spouse tends to get blamed for the boredom. But don't be too quick to judge. Simply because you have been together for a number of years doesn't mean that you know your spouse today. People change. As men get older, they tend to shift focus from their career to their family. Women tend to go in the direction of career because they have put their career pursuits on hold for the sake of their children.

The goals you had early in the marriage have probably changed. But your partner may have the assumption that you still want things the way they were in the beginning. Especially in the ages between 35 and 55, what's important to you and what matters most are usually being re-evaluated.

Talk with your partner about what is really important to you. What would make your life more satisfying? Listen to your spouse. Encourage them to share their views. Be open to what they say. Don't be too sensitive or defensive. Don't be judgmental. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you overreact to what they say, your spouse isn't going to talk to you.

Try to be accepting and positive of what your spouse has to say even if what you hear surprises you. If you have a hard time keeping your mouth shut, I suggest you sit on your hands. Somehow this simple behavior helps you keep quiet so that you just listen. Remember, one good idea could be life changing to your marriage.

Be curious and eager to know your spouse all over again. It doesn't take both of you to do the spring cleaning, even though it helps. You'd be surprised by what one dedicated spouse can do. And just like the spring cleaning of your home, your marriage deserves many cleanings. Keep your marriage fresh and alive. Tap into your ability to dream again. Rediscover the beauty of your husband or wife. Take one step today towards the renewing of your marriage. Then take another step tomorrow. And so on and so on..

Here are some additional "cleaning solutions" for your marriage.

1. Try to see your spouse with fresh eyes.
2. Keep your mind focused on your spouse's positive qualities.
3. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Forgiving yourself and your spouse is an attribute of the strong.
4. If you are keeping score of your spouse's mistakes, you are setting your marriage up to fail.
5. Life is too short to allow boredom to infiltrate your marriage.
6. Good things often come from the difficult times.
7. Strive to genuinely understand your spouse.
8. Break your routines to keep the marriage exciting.
9. Maintain an attitude that encourages openness.
10. Strive to find the magic that is waiting to be discovered in your spouse.

About The Author

Mark Webb, Licensed Marriage Therapist

Mark Webb is the author of How To Be A Great Partner and founder of Partner Focused Relationships™. Sign up for Mark Webb’s “Relationship Strategies” Ezine ($100 Value). Just visit his website at http://www.powerfulrelationshipadvice.com or http://www.therelationshipspecialist.com