Build a happy marriage. Strengthen your marriage. Develop genuine love. Cultivate a lasting love that never fails. Make your marriage grow. Cultivate romance, passion, and intimacy in your marriage.

It is the day that seems like no other, that is, the day you met the love of your life. The first few months seem like a whirlwind.  You cannot get enough of each other. It is like time is standing still and you would move heaven and earth to buy out more time for each other. There are magical moments of loving expressions several times a day. There is a litany of words that convey just how deep your love runs for each other. It is as though you cannot get enough. Both of you say to each other over and over, “I do not want this to end.” Both of you beg the other that the passion never ends, the romance never ends, that routine never sets in, that you never get bored with one another, or that you never want to be like other couples.

The Beginning of the End

It was inevitable and the unthinkable happens about six months in, as you look up one day and realize the relationship is not what it was. It has now become routine, there is less of everything that once was. How did this happen? Does it happen to everyone? What can be done to not allow your relationship to end up where you have grown apart? What can be done? These are important questions. They actually have balanced answers so it might be best if we offer you an answer to each before we delve into the many ways you can cultivate your love.

How did your relationship slow down from what it once was to where it has become routine? This is actually normal and to some degree perfectly fine, and even beneficial. The beginning of a relationship is very difficult on both parties because you will take time out of things you need to do, you will skip sleep to have more time, your energy and drive will be in overload. There is no way to maintain this level of passion, love, romance, and desire. However, do not let that comment lull you into thinking it is fine to let your marriage weaken to certain levels because it can fall into disrepair, boredom, lack of interest, even anger over feeling obligated to express what you once desired to express freely.

Does it happen to everyone? Yes, there is no exception to this, every couple goes through the part of the relationship where things settle into a marriage that is still filled with love and passion but realistically, not 24 hours a day.

What can be done to not allow your relationship to end up where you have grown apart? There are many ways to maintain, develop, grow, and strengthen the marriage. This takes time and effort, so if you are not up for such work, do not expect a lasting love. Now we will deal with what can be done?

Strengthen Your Marriage

Do you want to continue in your marriage where you would rather spend time with your spouse than with anyone else? A strong marriage is the result of hard work. Appreciate and value warm, intimate communication with your spouse, for it reassures them that they are loved. In this communication learn your spouse’s feelings about as many things in life as possible and try to adapt your approach respectively. Try to understand each other’s viewpoints. Always speak lovingly, being aware that a well-chosen word can either build up or tear down. It is the little things in a marriage that keep a marriage alive. As your marriage grows over the years, phone and text each other throughout the day just to see how the other is doing and express your love and appreciation for them.

Continue learning about each other. A strong marriage is not inactive but grows richer and stronger with time. How well do you really know your spouse? Do you understand his or her feelings and thoughts on many different matters and issues? How often do you think about your spouse? How often do you think of the wonderful qualities and characteristics that drew you to your spouse in the first place?

No human is perfect and no marriage is perfect. And no couple is always going to agree. If you lack respect for your spouse, this will be evident in the way you communicate with each other. If this is not dealt with, the marriage could be heading for failure. The proud person will make excuses for their behavior. Rather, you should acknowledge your weaknesses as opposed to pointing at the faults of your spouse. When you are hurt, you should pursue peace, rather than be offended and than using harsh words or icy silence. Can you ever imagine life without your spouse?

Your Spouse Is Number One

Every marriage requires hard work from both the husband and the wife. If the wife is working hard to please only the husband and not herself, he will be satisfied. If the husband is working hard to please only the wife and not himself, she will be satisfied. You have to want it to make it happen. Is improving your marriage the priority? If your marriage and your spouse is important to you, they should be your primary focus of your time and efforts. Yes, of course, you take care of your children and family responsibilities too but you never drop the effort at making your spouse number one.

Test and Examine Your Marriage

2 Corinthians 13:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Keep testing yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Keep examining yourselves! Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail to meet the test?

The apostle tells us that as Christians we are to test and examine whether we are maintaining and growing our faith. We can apply this same principle to our marriage. You can test and examine whether you are maintaining and growing our marriage. When was the last time that you truly took a good look at your marriage? How did you feel about what you saw? You need to buy out the time to see how each of you is doing, both in the marriage and with life in general. The goal in these tests and examinations are (1) to do it together, (2) do not talk about superficial stuff, (3) but rather discuss what is really going on in the marriage. Share insights into how you feel about each other’s positives and show loving concern over things that may be troubling you. In a marriage, you must be proactive (strengthening the marriage) rather than reactive (responding to your marriage after it has entered difficulty). Like cancer to the body, you want to cut off major problems while they are small.

Realistic Expectations

Husband, your wife is not like you. Wife, your husband is not like you. When you use “should” statements, you are projecting yourself on your spouse. “You should be doing this,” or “you should be doing that.” Being one with your spouse does not mean 100% agreement on every detail of life. Think about the best of your spouse. Now, understand he or she is not perfect. Moreover, if you fall into comparing your spouse with the ideal perfect spouse in your mind, then he or she is doomed to failure and you will believe that you are in a bad marriage. Neither of you is the enemy of a happy marriage that prize belongs to Satan, who does not want you to have a happy marriage.

Cultivate Intimacy

Do not take everything too serious. Be able to joke with each other without there being repercussions if a joke falls flat or ends up being insensitive. Be imaginative and be willing to have fun even during the hard times.

Share your life with each other. Find something in life that you both can enjoy together. Doing things together will keep the friendship part of your relationship strong.

Keep the flame alive. All too often the relationship can grow routine, boring and tiring without our ever noticing. You go from not being able to get enough of each other to feel as though you are obligated to show affection. When things have calmed after the storm of love at the beginning, realize that you do have obligations outside of your spouse in life. However, this does not mean that you cannot show expressions of love throughout every day. Paul told the Ephesians that you should never go to bed angry. You should never go through your day without having made several brief expressions of love to your spouse and reciprocating the ones that he or she has shown you.

You need to be physical with your spouse every day. You need to kiss, to touch, to hold and hug, to hold hands, and yes make love. When you and your spouse are physical with each other, you stay in a place of trust and love with each other.

Put your love into words every day. You need to affirm your love in words to your spouse every day. You can text, you can call, you can visit, and offer genuine expressions of love. This will encourage a very personal connection with your spouse. This will cultivate intimacy as you open your heart up to your spouse.

Do intimate things together often with your spouse. You can go walking together. You can watch a sunrise or a sunset. You can walk through a park. You can go out to romantic restaurants. You can spend a weekend away at a romantic place. You can go to the movie theater. Whether you know it or not, intimacy is being prepared to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be sure to talk to your spouse about how he or she impacts your heart.

Communicate on major and important issues. You can talk about future goals, parenting, finances, politics, and religion. This ability to talk about the deeper things in life can be difficult at first but it is like anything if you do not give up, over time it will become easier. You must be willing to join in meaningful conversation so that you two can get to know each other better.