Years ago, while working as a camp counselor, author Craig Jutila floated on a canoe to the center of the lake for a few quiet hours alone. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the water was completely still.
It was after hours, and no other boats were out. So he did the only sensible thing: With an extra life jacket for his pillow, he nestled in for a short nap.
An hour later, he woke up to the voices of strangers. When he sat up, he discovered his canoe had beached itself along the shores of a campground filled with curious onlookers. A slight breeze he hadn’t noticed caused his canoe to drift, and he ended up somewhere he never intended to be.
Like that canoe, marriages can drift. There’s no obvious conflict or struggle, only subtle distractions that lull a couple to sleep. They hardly notice they’re losing interest in one another until they end up somewhere they never intended to be.
You’ll know your relationship has drifted when you’re thinking, “We’re just not clicking,” “This isn’t what it used to be,” or “We’re like two trains going down different tracks.”
Co-authors Jim Burns and Doug Fields say when your marriage feels distant, you’re either going to choose to stay on the same course, or you’re going to choose to make course corrections. They say the secret to remedying your marriage drift is to make course corrections early.
How? They offer eight suggestions:
- Laugh daily and date weekly.
- Slow down.
- Celebrate differences.
- Choose the positive.
- Fight fear and conflict.
- Have great sex.
- Enjoy the baby.
- Keep your promises.
Jim and Doug are with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Starting Your Marriage Out Right” to offer solid biblical insight and practical strategies for strengthening your relationship – whether you’re dating or you’ve been married for years. They also answer questions from Focus on the Family interns who were in the studio audience.
Right now when you pledge your monthly support to Focus on the Family we’ll send you a copy of The First Few Years of Marriage: 7 Ways to Build a Foundation That Lasts as our way of saying thank you. And if you can’t make a pledge, we’ll send it to you for a donation of any amount. (Visit our website for more information.) Your prayer and financial gifts enable Focus on the Family to offer life-changing help for families. So please join with us today.
And why don’t you take a few moments to try our free marriage assessment online tool? It will help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship and areas where you may need some improvement.