Have you ever heard of the honeymoon phase?
I really hadn’t heard of it until I was engaged. I remember, excitedly, telling people that I would be getting married, and I remember being met with this phrase: “Oh, the honeymoon phase is so sweet. Just wait 5 years. Just wait 10 years. Just wait 25 years. It’ll pass, then see how excited you are to be with him.”
Hearing people say that was disappointing to say the least. Marriage was supposed to be fun and full of love, wasn’t it?
We are four years in, now, and I am confident that attitude and communication make all the difference. Looking back, I am glad those people said what they did to me because they showed me exactly what I didn’t want for my marriage.
Back then, I couldn’t imagine how two people who were in love could get married, only to end up so unhappy that they had nothing good to say about each other.
Then I got married, and something strange happened.
In the same way that life gets in the way of friendships, life got in the way of our marriage. There were days that we spent more time going through the motions of being an adult – taking care of our home, doing laundry, and making plans – or doing our own things – playing video games most of the evening and watching Netflix for hours – than we did taking care of our relationship. And we spent more time talking about boring adult things (that do need to be talked about) than we did talking about life itself.
Dating had seemed so easy, and I never really realized how much time we actually spent on deepening our relationship until it wasn’t happening anymore…until we got married. We didn’t talk for hours every night anymore. We weren’t staying up until 3am just so we could see each other.
I don’t know why I thought our marriage would just be amazing without putting as much time towards it as we had done before, but we eventually came to a place where we felt more like roommates than we did husband and wife. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a few months before either of us even noticed how disconnected we were, and it wouldn’t have happened without the Lord speaking to us through prayer and other friends.
In less than a few years we had come to a place where we weren’t happy with our marriage, and it was our fault. This is where attitude and communication came into play.
I refused to feel hopeless because I knew I didn’t have to feel that way. God could totally refresh our marriage in every way we needed.
So one day my husband came up to me and said, “I feel like I’ve been a better roommate to you than a husband, and I’m sorry for that.”
I was so thankful that he said something because I had felt that way for a little while, but didn’t know how to say it or really what the problem even was. We started talking about the things we felt were lacking in our relationship and from there asked each other what was going well and what exactly needed work.
It has definitely taken time, but our relationship is in the best place it’s ever been. We are working on communicating regularly, so we don’t, unknowingly, fall back into that place again.
And I make a conscious choice to see the best in my husband and talk about it often with him and other people. The more you practice something, the easier it becomes, so it’s not difficult for me to find something nice to say about him.
When I look back at what some would call the honeymoon phase, I realize just how immature our love really was for one another. It’s easy to love someone who never disagrees with you and never chooses the Playstation over spending time with you. Love – the kind you choose when you marry someone – takes a lot of effort, but it is so worth it.