Happily Married Couples Don't Live on Autopilot

I just watched the last episode of a four part series finale of black-ish. The comical show is about a Black family raising five children and dealing with everyday situations. In the four-part finale, the husband, Dre, and the wife, Bow, had been arguing for a while and couldn’t find a rhythm they both could move to. As a result, Dre moved out and the couple tried to live as co- parents. I appreciated the writers did not allow the tough season of marriage to end in one 30- minute episode. I was moved by the portrayal of a married couple struggling to figure it out only to find themselves moving further apart each time they tried to draw closer to each other. Many married couples find themselves in this position where they believe their differences are insurmountable. It is unfortunate that during these times, many couples decide it is easier to live separately or divorce. Is it easier to leave and start over with someone new? YES! New relationships are fun, exciting, and thrilling. New relationships don’t have months or years of hurt feelings, unforgiveness, and repeated disappointments. New relationships come with the hope of being a different person and responding differently. Additionally, new relationships provide many firsts. For example, the opportunity to learn a new person. The first kiss of a new love which can be tempting. However, new relationships fade and become old.

Unlike many TV shows, I want to tell you a good marriage takes work and the amount of work differs everyday. There are times when you’ll need to work harder at your marriage because of work schedules or demands of the children. Other times, your rhythm will seem effortless.

If you allow the circumstances of life to pilot your marriage, your marriage will become transactional. During these times, conversations may be difficult, arguments may be frequent, and intimacy may be nonexistent.

As a married couple, I encourage you to be intentional about tuning into each other’s lives, learning about each other, spending time together, and being intimate. Just as you decide you’re going to work each morning, decide you’re going to do something to improve your marriage each morning. It doesn’t take much to handwrite a 3-line note of appreciation or to send an appreciation text. It doesn’t take a lot of time to order flowers online. Watching a basketball game and asking questions about the game or the players could be the beginning of a new passion for you. You’d be surprised how much of your home you can clean in 15- minutes if you focus on one area.

If you’ve allowed your marriage to become transactional and need help, we are here to help. You’ve invested years into building a life with your spouse, try something different, build oneness.

If you’re not married and you and your significant other are struggling, it is a good time to seek help before you take any other steps in your relationship. Getting help can be the beginning of a healthy marriage, set on a firm foundation, equipped with tools to deal with everyday challenges.


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