In our last post, we discussed Step #3 of the five best first steps to save your marriage. Step #3 was “Start Speaking Your Spouse’s Language” and we encouraged you to use what you learned from taking the “Five Languages of Love Assessment” and practice expressing your love for your spouse in the way that they understand it best.
In this post, the fourth of our five-part series, we’ll discuss the fourth best first step to save your marriage:
Step #4: Be Consistent, Not Constant
If you’re parents, you know that consistency is one of the most important parts of successful parenting. You probably also know that constantly focusing on change or improvement doesn’t work. In fact, it’s as unsuccessful as consistency is fruitful. Why? Because no matter how much we want to resolve something or make something better, we all need a break from the mission from time to time.
Think about a new workout program. You may be completely committed to getting in shape, but you can only work out so many hours in the week. In fact, even though working out consistently is one of the keys to success, you’re supposed to take regular breaks so that your body can recover and return to the workouts fresh and revitalized.
The same is true of marriage, especially when you’re taking steps to save your marriage.
It’s great to be committed and it’s essential to be consistent. You need to stick to your goals and keep working on them together. But you shouldn’t make it the only topic of conversation or the only thing you do together.
You’re not going to fix every single thing that you don’t like about your partner or your marriage and that’s okay. We read a very good article recently on WebMD. In it, Dr. Shea Graham Kosch, PhD said:
Most marital conflicts don’t ever get resolved. There are always issues around in-laws, children. Solving the problems doesn’t really matter. What’s crucial is keeping things positive.”
We think this is excellent advice. Taking a break from “working on the marriage” is essential to keeping both you positive about what you’re doing.
Make sure that you talk about lighter subjects, that you give each other some space and that you do something together besides working on the steps.
Next time, we’ll talk about Step #5: Go for Progress, Not Perfection