We were counting down the days until our big move. It was our first move in eight years, so we had a lot of junk. I wanted to keep our new place feeling fresh and clutter-free, so I donated or tossed a ton. That was three years ago and go figure, we’ve managed to accumulate all-new clutter and an assortment of belongings that don’t have a place.
I recently got to organizing it all and started thinking about how my marriage can feel the same way—a little too cluttered, unprioritized, and with little-to-no space for its original purpose. If we recognize the need to clean the junk from our homes, why don’t we do the same for our marriages? Do you need to refresh your marriage with some spring cleaning, too? Keep an eye out for these 4 kinds of relationship junk that accumulate over time.
“Ugh, I’ll handle it myself,” became a go-to phrase of mine. I noticed it one evening when my daughter was in tears and my husband passively talked to her from a different room while looking down at his phone. I’m not saying he was right in this situation, but I wasn’t either. When you find yourself using phrases (internally or out loud) like “he never” or “I always,” chances are you’re beginning to harbor bitterness toward your husband for not meeting some expectation.
Refresh your marriage by choosing to communicate more clearly and kindly. Ask for help when you need it, choose your battles wisely, and don’t assume your way is always better.
It’s natural to begin reflecting back on past decisions as we get older. But if we look back on them with regret, we subject ourselves to negative thoughts and feelings, which means we aren’t bringing our best selves into our marriage. This might sound like, “If only we hadn’t gotten married so young,” or, “If only I had spent more time pursuing a career” or maybe even, “If only I had spent more time with my kids.”
Refresh your marriage and gain some perspective by reminding yourself of the things that have gone right or the obstacles you’ve overcome. Start a gratitude journal with your husband, pray for one another, and remind each other not to live in the past.
Refresh your marriage and gain some perspective by reminding yourself of the things that have gone right or the obstacles you’ve overcome.
Has your marriage been running on resentment and regret for a while? This could lead to some serious feelings of apathy. You may not even care about your marriage because you just don’t have any hope left. There are dark seasons in every marriage when we wonder if we’re going to make it.
Hang in there. Refresh your marriage by setting a goal. Try iMOM’s 30 Day Marriage Challenge, or send your husband a text every day just to let him know you’re thinking of him. The sacrifices we make in marriage are challenging, but for me, my source of strength is God. So when things are looking bleak, I can anchor myself to him and believe he will see us through.
Have you ever felt like an acrobat in a circus act, spinning like eight plates all at once? You’ve got to keep all of them spinning or they’ll fall. This was my life and I began dropping plates. My husband suffered because of my overcommitments, and our kids suffered, too. When the busyness of life takes hold, it’s hard to slow down.
Refresh your marriage by taking the time to reevaluate your commitments. Delegate what you can and learn how to say no when you normally say yes out of obligation. It’s not just about saying no to new commitments but about actually cutting out some of your existing ones and focusing instead on the relationship. That way, you can say yes to your marriage and enjoy each other at an unrushed pace.
What is some other relationship junk that could be thrown out of your marriage?