“We never do things that I want to do; it seems like you prioritize other things over me.”
What happens when you hear your spouse say this? Dr Greg Smalley believes statements like this are a warning sign worth noting. In order to build strong marriages couples should fight for their time together.
“That’s a great fight because it exposes relational drift. It’s easy for couples to start drifting apart, leading parallel lives”
When this relational drift happens loneliness can start to set in. According to Greg loneliness in marriage is a red flag.
“One of the worst emotions that we can ever feel within our marriage is loneliness. Because God created us to be in a relationship. We got married to be one, and the opposite of that is when we feel lonely. That loneliness really causes people to look outside their relationship and so we don’t want that relational drift.”
Dangerous relational drift is subtle, but God can help us stop it in its infancy.
“Sometimes don’t see it, but it’s there. So that’s what
“When you start to hear those kinds of things – ‘we never do anything together’ – we should welcome that. Usually on the other side of that argument will be ‘let’s figure out how we can reconnect‘ and ‘what do we need to do, do we need to have a date?’ Then we begin to brainstorm ideas on how we can better connect.”
Erin Smalley points out that it’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of looking to other things when we feel lonely in marriage.
“It’s easy to prioritize going out with girlfriends or the kids. The bottom line is that we need to fight for that time together as a couple, just the two of us. Because if you don’t fight for it, it is so easy to fill the time with other things and so prioritizing the time is huge.”
Dr. Greg Smalley serves as executive director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises.
Erin Smalley works alongside her husband at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO, where her family makes their home. She has also published numerous articles for ParentLife, HomeLife, andMarriage Partnership magazines.
Key Scripture: James 1:2
Featured Songs: Oxygen – Lincoln Brewster; The Lion and the Lamb – Leeland; Take Another Step – Steven Curtis Chapman