Marriage Monday: Like & Love

          Can I love my spouse, but not really like him/her right now? I remember a time in our marriage where I was not liking my man. And my guess is, he wasn’t liking me much at that point either. I can make a list of what was going on in our lives, and place some blame on how and why he wasn’t very likable, but my guess is, again, he probably could do the same. We had young children. One of them wasn’t sleeping much at all, and only wanted mommy. We were struggling financially. I was babysitting daily for another baby, attempting to make some extra income so I could afford to stay home with our children. We were in a rut. He would go to work. I would watch kids. He would return home. I would hand off kids and go outside, trying to get a moment or two without a child attached to my body. He would get frustrated because the child would scream and didn’t want daddy. I would come back into the house to a crying child, other children needing things, and now a hubby who was anything but happy. And the cycle would continue. We would get irritated with one another quickly. We would think of our own needs instead of attempting to meet our needs together. It wasn’t fun.

            But, wow, I did love that man. If anyone would have asked either of us if we loved our spouse, we would have said, “yes, of course.” However, we sure weren’t doing a great job at displaying it in everyday life. And the results were…we didn’t like each other much.

            Thankfully, that phase didn’t last too long. We learned to communicate much better. We learned to forgive more quickly. We learned to serve the other more effectively. We learned to see the needs of the other more often. We learned. Period.

            Marriage is a process of learning, isn’t it. Today, I ask, do you find yourself in the “I love my spouse, but I don’t like my spouse” phase? Unfortunately, some couples spend years in this phase. It’s not a healthy, productive, and certainly not a fun place to reside in your marriage. Marriage is much more fulfilling when we not only love our spouse, but we like him/her too.

            When I look back at that phase, I see some important components at play on my end. I see a woman who wasn’t happy with herself. I see a woman who was exhausted. I see a woman who probably had some depression creeping into her life. I see a woman who was lonely. The list goes on, but the point is, I wasn’t at a great place emotionally. And Todd could make a list of his components, as well. We were two people who were struggling on our own, and not making the decision to come together, communicate, and see what we could do for the other. We were too caught up in the “me syndrome”. If I could sit down with that young Misty today, I would suggest she and her husband sit down and have some conversation on how they could meet the other’s needs more effectively. I would tell her to intentionally do something to serve her husband every day, even if that wasn’t reciprocated. I would tell her to get a babysitter, and go out and do something fun with this man she loves…and find out what it’s like to not only love him, but to like him again.

            Don’t stay stuck in that spot; take a step today to make your marriage better. If your spouse isn’t onboard for talking to you about it, make a commitment this week to do something for him/her that would show them you’re in the game. You’re ready to step it up and become friends, have fun together, laugh together…that you’re ready to figure out how to like one another again. And if you already are doing great in your marriage, awesome. But don’t take that for granted. Don’t let the fire burn out; fan the flame. Continue to be intentional about doing something to make it better each day. Your marriage is worth it.

Intentional Ideas for Strengthening Your Marriage this Week: 

*Ask your spouse, "What could I do to make your week better?"

*Do an activity you had fun doing together when you were dating.

*Leave a note for your spouse that tells him/her at least three things you like about them.

*Let your spouse choose something for the two of you to do together, and make the arrangements to make it happen

#marriage #marriagematters #love #marriagemonday #loveoneanother #love #serve #spouse

Misty Cramer © 2023

Misty Cramer is an author & speaker who recently released her first book. The Every Day God, 40 Daily Devotions for Walking with God through Everyday Moments, quickly made it's way to Amazon's #1 New Release and Best Seller lists in multiple categories. In this book, she authentically shares her own story to remind us all that God has a specific plan, even in the midst of life's messes. She has been married to Todd for 39 years and has five adult sons. While they enjoy their time as "empty nesters" in rural Michigan, they also love visits from their sons, two daughter-in-laws, and two granddaughters. Misty sends out a monthly devotion as part of her newsletter, and she'd love to send it along to you. The link to subscribe to the devotion, as well as the link to Misty's book can be found below: 



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