Ever feel like there’s a void between you and your husband? Whether you’re not quite sure if that’s what’s causing the distance or if it’s so big it’s evident to others, you can help fill that empty space. Don’t give up just yet. Filling the void in your marriage will take effort from both partners and it will take some time but with determination and persistence I believe you can if you both truly want to.
I feel the need to state that while I am not too fond of my past decisions, I am so proud of both of my boys and that I get to be their mom.
My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I split up pretty quickly after I became pregnant. I married someone else mid 2015. Kash made his debut In October. My divorce was final in December of the same year. Matt and I reunited the year after and shortly after moved in together. We not only grew up fast but we chose to grow up together – in a camper. So we’ve been through just about all of it. But we must be doing something right because we have been together for four years and just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Our marriage is not perfect by any means. We have good and bad days just like every couple. But through our trials and tribulations I feel that we both have learned several lessons and that it’s worth sharing what works for us for filling the void we once had in our own marriage.
I asked my husband, “In your opinion what are the most crucial components in our marriage?”. His response was, “Sex and communication.”
It’s evident that every relationship needs communication whether it’s friends, co-workers, and especially your spouse. I used to think that my husband and I communicated just fine but I realized that it wasn’t quality communication. Once we started being totally open and communicating our wants/needs from each other, it cleared up a ton of confusion on both parts. I guess we both had been a little hesitant on just coming straight out and saying exactly what we needed the other to hear. Take a 10 minute break and sit down and have a talk with each other on what you feel is missing. Let each other talk, don’t interrupt, and truly listen. Oh, and don’t expect the things you talk about to happen over night. It will take some time but stick with it. I promise it will make a difference. My husband and I still like to take at least one day a week to have those talks. We may have to turn a movie on for the kids or let them go visit Nana and PawPaw for a little bit but we feel that our talks are a very important tool in our marriage.
Pray for your spouse. I’ve always prayed for my husband but it wasn’t working. I had been asking God to change him when I should have been asking God to help change me. You can’t force change on anyone but you do have control over yourself. I highly recommend the book, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormiest Omartian. Her book is loaded with information and inspiration every wife should read. It’s not a lengthy book and the sections are fairly small so it fit into my busy schedule well. I love going back and refreshing my memory of it every so often. Aside from praying for your spouse, pray for your marriage too. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific things. Of course God already knows your needs but the more specific you are, the more you are trusting Him. Pray for unity, strength, restoration, desire, compassion, whatever it is you think is lacking and don’t forget to acknowledge the factors that still exist in your marriage.
Life is super demanding, especially as a mom. We carry so many titles and are everyone’s caretaker. I don’t know about you, but there are days I literally feel like my head is screwed on sideways because of the chaos. There’s often days where I’ll realize I’ve gone several days without showing Matt the appreciation he deserves. Even if it’s something simple as taking the trash out or entertaining the kids while I cook. A simple thank you can go a long ways even if it’s for something small.
Take time out of your day to let your spouse know you’re thinking of them. My husband leaves for work pretty early in the morning. Because of this, he likes to have something quick for breakfast. I often make homemade frozen breakfast burritos he can pop in the microwave. (Recipe coming soon!) The burritos are wrapped in freezer paper and I would write a little note on each one’s wrapper. Things like ‘I love you’, ‘hope you have a good day’, ‘nice butt’ etc. You would be surprised at how big of an impact that small message made on his day. Send them a text out of the blue that catches them off guard. This lets them know that even through your hectic schedule they are important enough to be on your mind. If they are having a rough day it will lift their spirits and if they’re already having a good day, it’ll just make it that much better.
This is something that I still struggle with. I have a pretty sassy and smart mouth to begin with and when it’s with someone I care so much about, it often gets ahead of me. I’ve had to learn how to step back and assess the situation before I speak. Often times things are said that we don’t really mean and sometimes those things are said directly to us. If this happens, don’t retaliate. Take a minute to gather your thoughts and then proceed with either kind words or nothing at all. The old saying ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ comes into play. I know, this is extremely hard but you can do it if you truly want to make things work. I told this wouldn’t be easy! It will however, be totally worth it.
I’m a pretty private person when it comes to sex but here I am… talking about IT. Publicly. Online. Only because it is so crucial in a marriage. In most cases, sex is an issue because it means different things to a man than a woman. Men see it as sex. Women see it as affection. Women tend to think if they fix the other issues first, then they will submit. But in fact, it should be opposite. Psst.. it’s normal to talk to God about sex too. Sex between spouses is His idea. (1 Corinthians 7:4-5) I know that there are days that when you crawl into bed you’re totally exhausted and it’s the last thing you want to do. In the book I mentioned earlier, Stormie gives some really great ideas for this. She recommends taking fifteen minutes to do something that makes you feel attractive. Such as putting on a favorite lipstick, lingerie, or a perfume. Take a refreshing shower if you need to. You’ll be surprised how feeling good about yourself has such a big effect on your sex life.
Even when things are going good and improving, don’t stop. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t stop communicating, praying, showing appreciation, taking time out of your day, or having sex. I can’t promise you a flawless marriage but I can tell you that these steps will have a positive outcome if you’re patient and persistent.
Here’s a list of frugal date ideas for busy schedules that will help you spend quality time with each other.
If you are in an abusive relationship – physically, emotionally, or of any form – please seek help from a professional. Reach out to a close friend, family, or church member about your concerns.