Don’t Freak Out About Your Marriage

lukewarm periods in marriage, improving marriage.
In my marriage post Why the Divorce Rate in 1900 Was Only 7%, I explained that most marriages go through periods when love grows lukewarm, when we need to adjust our attitudes so our marriages can thrive.

A young woman left this comment on that post:
“Hi, young wife here, can you describe the periods of lukewarm in your marriage? It kinda freaks me out! Thanks, great post.”

I thought others might also be freaked out by this revelation, especially young marrieds, so I decided to address her question in this post.

1. Not all marriages have to suffer through “lukewarm” periods if spouses are deliberately and continually working on improving their marriages and continually dealing with their sins and selfishness. But most of us are not that good. I'm not.

2. All things worthwhile take work, improvement, and readjustment. Feeling lukewarm about your marriage isn’t cause to freak out. In fact, thinking your marriage should always be romantic will give you unrealistic expectations and set you up for deeper disappointment.

3. Beware of certain times in life:
  • Transitions— deaths, births, job changes, empty nest, retirement, etc. Transitions are typically “messy.” If you expect this, you won’t be surprised by it. It’s best to look at these times as Opportunities with Thorns. The empty nest was our most difficult time in our marriage. I’d let my children become too important in my life, and without realizing it, my husband and I had grown apart. Those early years of our empty nest were difficult, but we “reinvented” our relationship and it became better than ever before.
  • Menopause--Beware of this time, ladies. And be extra gentle and understanding, men. I went through a premature menopause in my 30’s and it created lots of challenges. Make sure you educate yourself about the symptoms and treatments.
  • Health changes--Chronic illness and serious illness create new challenges in a marriage.
  • Aging--It's natural to tire more easily as we age. We don’t have the same mental or physical agility, and we need to give each other lots of grace.
But the most important thing we need to know about these lukewarm periods is they need not define our marriage. 

They will be temporary if both spouses want the marriage to improve. And the reason I know this is true: because God wants us to have good marriages and He will give us the strength and wisdom to do what it takes. 

We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13)

image: Free Digital Photos

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  1. Thanks so much for your wise insights and desire to build up marriages, especially in the life of this particular young woman, Gail! I hope that we all remember to invest in our relationships and resist the gradual pull towards a "lukewarm" marriage. :)

  2. Gail, I agree about the threat of lukewarmness being something we need to be on guard for. For me, I noticed a tendency for our marriage to slip into lukewarmness when I got lazy or distracted or selfish. When I'd forget that after the Lord, my husband was/should be my first ministry and priority. It's so easy for the tyrrany of the urgent to overshadow what's truly important. Thanks for exploring this topic, wise friend. :)

    1. Yes, Lori, I think it is easy to put our marriage on the back burner and think it will continue to flourish. Thanks for your insights.

  3. Thanks for this encouragement, Gail! I think it is so important to stay really in tune to little changes and little issues...marriages don't go bad in a day and it isn't usually because of a huge crisis. It's usually because of a build up of little things. But if you are paying attention to them, and committed to working on them right away, those periods of lukewarmness don't have to stick around.

    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives

  4. All things worthwhile take work... yeah!!! And it is so so worth it!

  5. Hey, found you on Matrimonial Monday! Great post!

  6. nice post thanks for sharing..found you thrue other bloggers hope visiting more..blessings

  7. Great post! I think the key is that we need to be consciously working toward a great marriage. Thanks for sharing with Thriving Thursday.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement. this lukewarm has actually been freaking me out! We are coming out of one transition after another in the last few years and dealing with many stresses and struggles. I appreciate your shining light and hope on this subject.

    1. Hang in there, Shannon. Transitions are always challenging, but things will not only improve, you will have a better marriage when you get through them. Just keep pressing into the Lord, asking Him for insights and keep loving each other.

  9. We definitely have a strong marriage, however the lukewarm and bad times have been there. Thanks for the encouragement and reminders and thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  10. Excellent advice!

    I like to phrase it this way -- if husband and wife are two parallel lines going through life, there will be times the lines come very close together and times they veer apart. Wavy lines are more accurate depictions of real life than perfectly straight lines!