4 Ideas to Revive Your Marriage

Couple kissing behind a heart-shaped balloon

Dear Selfless Esteem,
My husband and I have been together now for over 20 years – whilst we get along and are good friends, I feel we simply don’t make time for each other anymore. I can see us getting to the stage when the kids flee the nest, we’ll end up divorced like so many other couples. I guess my question is: how to bring the fire back into our relationship? Thanks!
Disgruntled Wife

Dear Disgruntled Wife,

Thanks for bringing up a question that many other couples are probably asking themselves too. According to the article, “Will the Marriage Survive When the Children Move Out?” by Stef Daniel, 30% of marriages over 25 years end in divorce.

But there’s hope in your case because you stated you still get along well as “good friends.” And so, here are four suggestions for how to revive your marriage. 💘

1. Do What You Did Before Children.

When you started dating, you made time for each other. And you felt an exciting curiosity as you gathered information about each other. Now, other obligations, like raising children, have been time consuming. Also, familiarity has replaced the curiosity. (You may be interested in the post, “The Honeymoon’s Over, Now What?” and “How To Address Problems with Your Spouse the Right Way.”)

Couple laughing Photo by Gary Barnes

Prioritize spending alone time together, but start with a small, achievable goal like going out to eat or going for a walk once per month. During your time together, only talk about light-hearted topics; the purpose is to make new fun memories and inside jokes. You may find a couple of ideas when you scroll down to the “Fun Conversation Starters” section in the article, “150+Funny Conversation Starters Guaranteed to Get a Laugh.”

2. Strengthen Your Relationship.

If you haven’t done so already, learn about the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman. Find out which ones each of you prefers and then use those more often.

Another way to revive your marriage is to make deposits in each other’s “emotional bank accounts,” as described in The Gottman Institute video, “Invest in Your Relationship: The Emotional Bank Account.”

3. Get Help.

After 20+ years of marriage, there’s bound to be some deeper, underlying problems, such as disappointments, disagreements, and family of origin issues. I recommend that you find a competent therapist, who can help you find solutions, which are specific to your circumstances, in both individual and couples therapy. (See the posts, “What Is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP” for more information.)

4. Pray.

God’s wants you to have a strong marriage. (See Matthew 19:1-10 for what Jesus says about marriage and divorce). Therefore, ask Him for help to revive your marriage. For more information about prayer, see the post, “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”

And this brings me to the final point. Keep in mind that that God loves you more than any person ever can. (For more details about His amazing love, see the post, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem” and “The Real Truth About God.”) “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). 👩‍❤️‍👨

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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  1. TC

    The 5 love languages was a fun read. So interesting how people can interpret the exact same action so differently. I really like that you recommended counseling even though they are getting along; as you alluded to there could be many unspoken disappointments creating an emotional distance. The fact that they are still good friends puts them ahead of the curve, though. Great advice to get into counseling while things are still cordial. May the Lord preserve their marriage. 🙏🏽

    1. Gina Leggio

      Thanks so much for your response. And yes, I’m a proponent of therapy for many situations. Even therapists have therapists.:)

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