“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock,the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.“ – Proverbs 30:18-19.
The couple has gone on several dates. When reflecting on the experience so far, it is common to hear one of them say, “I definitely think we made a connection. It is not something tangible, but it is there.” Making a connection is important when dating but deepening that connection and understanding of your mate becomes all the more important once you get married. Growing that connection infuses relationships with new spirit and life.
But as I have said several times in the Unforgettable Love series, dating is one thing, and marriage is something else. That is because once we are married life happens. Responsibilities and time commitments grow. As a result, the close connection God wants married couples to enjoy can become neglected and strained.
Don’t settle for a week connection. Talk about your schedules, and time commitments. Find time to spend together to just talk. Talk about your individual lifestyle preferences. Talk about your daily joy and disappointments. Talk about even the little hurts, so these small things don’t build up into big things that will come between you. Talk about possible solutions to any big areas of disagreement.
And finally talk about your spouse’s needs. They may need you to be reliable, to be honest, dependable, and on time. Let your spouse know that, no matter what, you will always care for and value him or her. Be genuinely interested in doing what’s best for your spouse and your marriage. They may need you to give more time and energy to your relationship. They may want you to respond differently: they may want you to simply listen without judging, criticizing, or problem-solving. They may have a need to know that you care about his or her thoughts and feelings. They may need you to understand why they reacted in a certain way by asking questions so you can better understand what’s bothering your spouse, and why. They may need you to understand your spouse’s perspective on the issue and to clearly communicate yours. They may need you to avoid defending yourself or blaming your spouse. They may need you to be willing to be open to doing things differently.
There are numerous other examples I could give, but my goal was to give you food for thought, not to be all inclusive. Here’s the bottom line. If you want a deeper connection with your spouse make sure you are communicating and in that communication you know his or her needs.
- Do you think you have a good understanding of your spouse’s strengths, weaknesses, desires, and aspirations? If not, what can you do to find out more about these aspects of his or her character and personality? How can this knowledge deepen your connection with your spouse?
- How would you describe your “long view” of your relationship? Where do you see yourselves in five years? Ten years? Twenty?
- There is a famous saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Does this maxim apply to marriage? If so, how?
- Do you ever feel that you’re simply too busy to deepen your connection with your spouse?