Isn't NEW wonderful? I mean who doesn't love tearing open boxes, cutting off tags and peeling away plastic shrink wrap? Or what about that intoxicating new car smell?
It's the American way. Throw out the old, outdated, previous model and wrap your arms around Brand Spankin' NEW!
Perhaps your marriage is losing it's sparkle. Maybe it has a few scratches and dents. This is bound to happen if you've been married any length of time. You might even need of a complete overhaul.
We attempt to make things new in a number of ways:
Put A New Ring On It
They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. My husband and I went ring shopping when we were in therapy. It seemed like the thing to do. I might be the only girl who walked away from our first twelve week program without new bling. I did try on a few rings. But the diamond that seemed to out weigh the pain we'd been through was pretty large. When I saw the price tag, I realized it would have been like toting around a really nice car on my left hand. I opted out. I'm not sure diamonds help heal a heart.
Get A New Spouse
I'll admit I considered this and I know my husband did too. I mean it only makes sense. If you want a new marriage, get a new spouse. Thankfully I'm a reader, and I read a horribly depressing book that helped me cross off this option. As bad as things looked, our mess was finally out in the open after years of being buried under ground. That's when you can actually make progress. I had to ask myself, do I really want to spend the next few years of my life pretending I'm perfect all the while waiting for the next guy's imperfection to rise to the surface? No thank you. It seemed smarter to work on the the problems I already knew about.
Have A New Baby
Nothing spruces up a tired marriage like a new baby, right? WRONG! In my experience babies make for exhausted adults who have less time and energy to invest in each other. I like my sleep too much to consider this option, but a lot of people do. We idealize what a new baby can do for a relationship and although it IS a new level of shared responsibility, that doesn't always translate into connection.
Build A New Marriage
Who says you need new material to build a new marriage? David and I pulled on our steel toed boots, slipped on our leather gloves and did the work together. I won't kid you, it was the hardest work I've ever done in my life. 48 weeks of therapy, gut-wrenching homework assignments, regular accountability groups, countless books, hours spent processing with friends, and ultimately having the courage to surrender our pride and obey God all added up to a NEW marriage that is so much better than the one we had before. Honestly, we really like each other. We are enjoying life together. The work was worth it. I am so glad we didn't throw in the towel, tearfully grateful we didn't give up.
You want a new marriage? Roll up your sleeves and do the work together.
Check out our video blogs based on Dr Gottman's 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work.