Marriages are built on a foundation of trust, however time is the structure by which marital bonds are formed. Consider the earliest periods of a relationship where two individuals, driven by the power of attraction and adventure, ultimately prove their commitment, dedication and devotion to one another by their prioritization of time together. They make the time necessary to discuss their day, share their feelings for each other, and engage in fun and romantic activities. I call these initial attempts at bonding the “first things.”
When The First Things Are Lost
Carrying the first things forward into a marriage is essential. Why? Because when they are lost to the responsibilities of work, parenting, and other involvements they place an undue strain upon a couple’s emotional bond. The results in their feelings of connection waning, and the development of vicious negative cycles which are utterly painful. Inversely, when the first things are applied over the course of the marriage, all kinds of potential exists for the perpetuation of a strong emotional connection.
There Is No Law…
Remember, there’s no law which says a relationship has to grow dull once marriage occurs. If any stale effect or dullness occurs, it’s generally due to a couple settling into a status quo or being distracted, even fatigued, by the various responsibilities of life (i.e., parenting, work, church involvements, etc.). This pattern of settling, shifting their focus away from the prioritization of their relationship, and growing apart can be reversed when spouses once more resume the first things.
Changing Course for the Better
Changing course may feel like a grand shift at first, but once a couple begins to experience a resurgence of their emotional connection, after applying the first things, they quickly begin to see what was missing and realize how essential it is to continue making their relationship a central priority. Furthermore, spouses also need to keep in mind that this notion of prioritization is reflected in how they structure their time.
When spouses initiate date nights, vacations, evening walks in the cool evening breeze, and morning conversation over coffee they keep breathing life into their partnership and allow a true vibrance to unfold. Taking time to talk through the first things which they had done at the beginning of their relationship is a wonderful place to begin changing course for the better. My best to all of you who’ve read this article and decided to reinstitute the first things in your marriage.