The Dead Sea is featured in many narratives of scripture. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water because there is no outlet. Everything that flows into the Dead Sea pretty much stays there preventing anything from flourishing. Similarly, when our marriages have no outlet they can risk becoming like the Dead Sea: lifeless. [Tweet This]
My wife has admitted before that she’d lost hope in our marriage. She felt our marriage was lifeless and destined to remain that way. Almost all hope had been lost. While I wouldn’t admit it, I believe I’ve felt that from her, but also felt it myself. We’d spend years struggling and trying to solve our financial, intimacy, and communication problems. But oddly other couples close to us would seek our advice, perspective, and help in their marriage. We typically tried to distance ourselves from that and from sharing what was going on with us.
But later we learned an important lesson about this. Keeping our struggles to ourselves, bottling things up inside, individually, and as a couple was sucking the life out of our marriage. We became ‘salty’ towards one another, and sometimes to other people. Having outlets is how to keep a marriage alive. Here are 5 ways to do that.
1. An individual or married confidant you trust.
I heard a statistic that said 70% of men who committed adultery would not have if they had one true friend. Wow! We all need someone to serve as an outlet that we can openly and honestly share our struggles.
2. A couple who needs marital advice.
Later on in marriage one of the biggest lessons and blessings came when we began to have the heart to help and encourage other couples. Although our marriage had challenges, we were still willing to encourage other couples through our own experiences. This gave us hope. It caused us to listen and follow our own advice and it gave us one more reason to work our issues out.
3. A physical outlet.
We all have heard of the benefits of physical activity. It benefits our health, both mentally and physically. Not only does it benefit our bodies in this way, it benefits our marriages. When we move our bodies we feel better, we feel more energetic, we think clearer, and more. All these things translate to our relationship as we feel better about ourselves. Physical activity is a huge stress reliever, and marriage and life can be stressful.
4. A mental outlet.
Some may call this a hobby. No matter what you call it this can help to clear your mind and just give you a break from the everyday things that happen in life, marriage, and family. Maybe it’s reading a book, playing a game, or just some quiet time alone to think. These type of outlets are very important.
5. A getaway.
At least once per year my wife and I get away for a weekend alone. It’s the same weekend every year. And each and every year it is right on time. By the time it comes around life is weighing on us; married life is sometimes challenging, family life is busy and work bogs us down. Then we get our getaway weekend, and it provides the outlet we need to refresh, refuel, refocus, and re-engage with one another. It’s amazing and it will keep your marriage alive.
If you don’t have an outlet or outlets in your marriage then your marriage could become salty and slowly die. Be sure to make sure you are pouring out as much as what is coming into your life. Help others, share your struggles and get away from it all from time to time. Your marriage will thank you and stay alive.
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “How do you feel about our marriage lately?”