The love that a newlywed couple shares does not sustain a marriage. The cliché “the honeymoon’s over” is cliché for a reason.
This was brought to the fore of my thinking the other day as a friend and I watched a DVD of Robert Lewis talking about challenges to a good marriage. One of those challenges was something he calls a “creeping separateness.” “We” becomes “I,” “us” becomes “self,” common interests become his and her interests, "together" becomes "you" and "me."
I remember a schoolteacher here in Fort Wayne who was going to be retiring soon. Her husband worked in Indy and was renting an apt. there where he lived during the week. He came home on weekends. She expressed the idea that retiring and actually living with her husband every day might be kind of a chore. I was incredulous. (I was in my first year of marriage at the time.)
The key to overcoming creeping separateness, according to Lewis, is doing things together, and he has several recommendations.
I can see this whole reality in my own marriage. We can get busy—both of us—in our own spheres, even within the same house; so busy that we have little chance to talk except to exchange need-to-know information.
So today’s session was my 857th reminder that marriage doesn’t just automatically maintain “wedded bliss” status. It takes work; it takes my time and attention. My love for Sara can’t withstand the test of neglect.