Keeping It Fresh
There’s nothing like going to the fresh-fruit section at your favorite market spot and picking out the juiciest pieces you can find! If you’re like us, then at one point or another, your eyes became bigger than your stomach. By the end of the week, those leftover pieces of fruit are turning brown and mushy, and ultimately find their final destination reluctantly at the bottom of the waste bin.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just a shopping experience.
This is the real reality of false expectations.
Here’s how it works:
When we get married, our lives are in front of us. The future is bright. We are emphatic about the prospect of future happiness and creating a path towards oneness with this other person. But shortly after marriage, the reality of “forever” settles in, and we are faced with a decision.
How are we going to proceed down this path together?
First things first: this goal cannot be attained if, while on the road, we are still thinking about the road we didn’t travel. Past options cannot become present possibilities. How can you think your spouse is “the apple of your eye” if your eye sees more than just her? Part of strengthening your marriage is not just being proactive in bringing yourselves together, but also being smart about the things you should distance yourself from!
Let’s take a look at some of the things we may think are harmless, but in reality, may be pulling us in directions off the path we set out to create with our spouse.
When it comes to the internet, nothing is naturally off limits. It’s the wild west. Everybody is aware of how much sexually provocative material there is on the internet - something which is undoubtedly toxic to our relationships. But besides the amount of sexually provocative content, there is something much more subtle which has the potential to creep into the vitality of our relationship with our spouses: social comparison.
Social media never lets us leave the past. There was a time when a breakup meant never seeing or talking to that person again. But now, you can check in on your ex’s life anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, they can even pop up on your account against your will!
A great amount of difficulty in cultivating a healthy & passion-filled relationship in our marriage is our heads constantly thinking or creating a fantasy about someone else. We know it may be difficult, but for this reason, we highly suggest looking through your friends and followers lists on social media and thinking twice about who you allow to pop up on your news feed. By limiting the scope of what we see and who we interact with on a daily basis, we allow ourselves to stay focused on our spouse and not the imaginary life we could have had without them.
On The Inside
The other part of keeping it fresh is the actual proactive building of your marriage; the tools you employ to bring each other closer together.
The greatest tool we can use is the secret to building any and all relationships: giving.
Depending on what they need, and what they ask for:
Give your focus.
Give your effort.
Give your time.
Give your love.
Where we give, we love. And therefore, how much we give to our spouse will determine the levels of depth and potency our love can access. In addition, making someone feel that they are important in your eyes adds a specific sensitivity which creates a mutually trusting and loving relationship.
Ultimately, the health of the relationship is dependent on how much importance you put on working to make it thrive. Be proactive! When you treat it like something important, it will be important. When we go ahead and act in the way we want things to look like, we start to see another reality come to life.
If we can do this, if we can be diligent in our relationships, create the proper boundaries, and give ourselves fully, not only will our relationships look and feel like Day One, but they will exceed any expectation we had on that day.
In other words, the fruit we chose will always stay fresh.