Valentine’s Day is around the corner. It makes one think about the love of your life and maybe how that love has changed over time. Maybe you and your spouse are newly in love and everything is all flowers and roses or maybe the love is there but the spark is dulling or maybe you aren’t where you’d like to be – at all! Whatever the case, now is the time to think about and pour time and energy into your marriage. I’m pleased to post a fantastic article by Dr. Leslie Griffin & Kayla Tucker Adams on this topic.
New Year, Renewed Love: How to hit the reset button on your marriage
The new year has rolled around once again. It is the time of year that people break out their starting blocks, get on their marks and with their eyes laser-focused on their goals, take off toward the finish line hoping to achieve success. From weight loss, to starting a business, to financial planning, people are casting a vision for their lives and checking off accomplishments one at a time. For many, a new year is an opportunity to start over, to begin again. After a tumultuous year like 2020, a reset is exactly what we need. However, we cannot become so focused on replenishing our mind, body, and bank account (or career) that we forget about our heart. While we’re making everything brand new in our lives, continuing the status quo in our marriages seems silly right?
It’s no secret that the pandemic put a lot of pressure on marriages. Job loss, home confinement, virtual school, health concerns and the everyday stresses of life have caused many couples to consider throwing in the towel. But what if there was another option? What if every couple could push a big, red “RESET” button and begin the process of renewing their love instantaneously? You’re probably thinking, “That would be great!” Well although we don’t have an actual button for you to push, we do have some suggestions that will help you transform your marriage and make your love brand new.
- Cast a vision for your future. Marriage is about two people working together to achieve a common goal. Where do you see yourselves in a year or two? What is the purpose of your union? What legacy will you leave? Consider these questions and more as you work to clarify your vision.
- Lay it all on the line. Discuss the things that are hindering physical and emotional intimacy in your marriage. Honest and transparent communication is the only way to overcome relational challenges.
- Cease and desist. Stop the behaviors that are destroying your marriage. If you don’t know what they are, ask your spouse. Be willing to listen and seek to understand. More importantly, receive what your spouse has to say and agree to take action. Any behavior or people causing division in your marriage must be eliminated.
- Don’t just tell. Here is where the saying “don’t talk about it, be about it” applies. Love is not merely a word or feeling. Love is in your actions! Your spouse must hear you say, “I love you,” but they must also experience your love through day-to-day interactions.
- Change your thinking. In order to change your behavior, you must first change the way you think about yourself, your mate and your marriage. For example, your mate is NEVER the problem. The problem is the problem. If you can attack the problem and not your mate you’ll be well on your way to a renewed love and a happier life together. When you feel the urge to point your finger, take that finger, turn it in-ward and ask yourself, “What am I doing (or not doing) that’s causing our relationship to suffer?”
- Mind your marriage. Consider implementing a weekly “check-in.” Use the same grading rubric from week to week. For example, how did each of you do in the areas of love, honor, respect and support? If the point value for each one is 25, see how often you can score a 100.
- Renew your commitment. One of the most important things you can do to reset your marriage is to renew your vows. This can be done privately or publicly, but make it special. Get dressed up, buy flowers if you’d like. Take pictures and eat cake. Vows are powerful words! They represent a promise and signify your commitment to make your love last a lifetime. As you recite them again, you may find that they mean more now than they did the first time.
- Call in reinforcement. If you are unable to reset your marriage on your own the smartest thing to do is seek support. A mentor couple, pastor, professional counselor, ministry leader or relationship coach is ready and willing to assist. Sometimes an outside perspective is all it takes to reignite a flickering flame.
About the Authors
Kayla Tucker Adams is a highly sought-after public relations executive, motivational speaker, writer and on-air talent. She is founder and chief strategist of KTA Media Group, a full-service communications firm specializing in public relations, media training, crisis communications, community engagement, book and product launches, digital marketing, social media and strategic partnerships. An award-winning public relations professional, Kayla Tucker Adams is highly regarded as one of the best in her field and has worked with bestselling authors, movie producers, corporations, school districts, numerous celebrities and some of the most influential people in the world, including Oprah Winfrey and T.D. Jakes, and global nonprofit organizations, including March of Dimes. In addition to being business partners and parents to their daughter, Kayla and her husband, Chris are also certified relationship coaches whose mission is to breathe new life into marriages. www.kaylatuckeradams.com, www.marriage-cpr.com
Dr. Leslie Griffin, founder and CEO of Marriage Champs, is on a mission to improve marital outcomes in America! She believes that intact families should be the norm rather than the exception and plans to do all that she can to ensure that more marriages survive and thrive! Dr. Griffin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Youth Studies, a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy and a Doctorate degree in Family Studies. She is a native Wisconsinite, but currently lives in Dallas, Texas with her family. www.marriagechamps.com