Often when things go wrong in a marriage we start looking at the “big” things–we can’t communicate; we share different values; our sex life is lousy. And yet, I think, in general, the first thing to go in a marriage is the friendship. The root of most marriage problems is that we stop being friends. And when that goes, everything else follows.
Yesterday, in my post about living in a loveless marriage, I talked about the concept of a “Love Bank”: think of your relationship as a bank account. Whenever you want to talk about an issue, or discuss a problem, you’re making a “withdrawal”, because that takes a toll on a marriage (even if, in the end, it’s a good thing to do). There are unhealthy ways of making withdrawals, too–being selfish, sniping at someone, picking a fight, etc. But all of us, even if we’re angels, will have to make withdrawals at some point.
The thing about the Marriage Love Bank is that it really can’t go into a negative balance. You have no overdraft protection on it. So if you’re going to make a withdrawal, there has to be a balance there. But life, in general, draws the balance down. Just living together provides some stress, and your balance will start to diminish unless it is built up. And the best way to build it up is to laugh together. Spend time together. Feel like friends, because then you’re on the same team!
That’s why I often tell couples that if you have a major thing you need to resolve, it’s better to spend a month building your friendship and learning how to talk together again than to delve into that huge issue. You have to have a foundation of goodwill before you start trying to deal with a big problem.
I’ve written at length on how to build your friendship and do things together, and so I thought today I would link to those posts for you. So here you go: go spend time together, build your friendship, and build up your Love Bank balance!
Hope these bless you! Now go build your friendship.
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