This guest post from Eric at Better Husbands and Fathers is one of my favorites, and I can totally relate to his message. I hope it resonates with you as well. Don’ t forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts!
Swimming. Biking. Running. About a month ago I competed in a triathlon.
Today, as I ponder this experience, I realize that my preparation and participation in the triathlon is analogous in many ways to achieving lasting happiness in marriage.
Let me explain.
I registered for my triathlon about 2 months prior to race day and knew I had some work to do to get ready for the big day. Those who have participated in such a race know that training for this 3-sport event takes hard-work, planning, and dedication (not to mention a patient and understanding wife!).
As the race approached I trained 5 days per week. I purchased some additional equipment and supplies so I could perform my best on race day. I learned the routes and trained on them. I read all the material in the information packet provided. I was ready.
Due to my preparation, I had a great race. I still finished in the middle of the pack, but I had a successful race, I felt good physically, and it was a lot of fun!
Since race day, I have stopped training; I have only exercised twice, put on a few pounds, and am in much worse shape than I was on race-day. I let other demands in life take priority over my physical health and well-being.
Before you married your wife, you made sure to do your best to impress her, to woo her. Much like my dedication to getting in shape for the triathlon, undoubtedly, you were dedicated to building this relationship. If you were like me, you wrote love letters, went on dates multiple times per week, and were 100% committed to each other.
Then comes the big day. You were so in love and had been preparing for this day for a long time. You had a beautiful wedding and your cheeks even hurt from smiling so much!
You went on your honeymoon and your love had never been stronger. However, when you returned to reality, did you stop trying in your relationship?
Did you stop putting in the effort to “exercise” and nourish your relationship? Did you let other demands on your time take priority over your spouse? Whether it takes 6 months or 6 years, this happens to most marriages.
Here’s how you can avoid (and combat) this tendency:
Whether you’ve grown apart or not, having a long-term perspective, dating your spouse, and potentially seeking professional counseling can help you achieve and/or maintain a happy and healthy marriage.
What other ideas do you have to share for keeping your marriage fit and healthy?
Eric has been married for 4.5 years and is a father to a 2.5 yr old boy (and has another boy on the way!). He lives in the Seattle area and runs the Better Husbands and Fathers blog, which is designed to create dialogue among men who want to be “better.” You can also follow him on twitter @BetterHusbands .
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.