No need to flounder.
A marriage on hold does not need to flounder. It can still flourish and grow even though the spouses are separated by time, crisis, or distance. There are times in any marriage when an event or a crisis causes separation for a time. Sometimes the couple still lives in the same house, but a crisis takes all of their attention. There is little time to foster a relationship because emotions and energy need to go to someone else. Other times, the couple is separated by miles for days, months, or years.
You’re still married, but it seems like there is little time to communicate, bond, or enjoy each other’s company. Responsibilities take you different places for a time, and energy usually spent in time together is shifted to other people or other things. It feels like you have a marriage on hold.
So what’s a couple to do when things are helter-skelter and out of control? What’s a couple to do when it seems their marriage is on hold and there’s little time or energy for sharing, much less time or energy for intimacy?
What to do when a marriage is on hold.
- Recognize this as a season of life – one of those seasons for which you vowed, “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health . . . .” and commit to getting through it together. To do that, you must talk about it – and find ways to stay connected. It’s okay to schedule a time for intimacy.
- Realize that there is danger in each one continuing his own course without communication and sharing with each other. Satan wants nothing more than to steal the props of our marriage; he stops at nothing and will use anything to weaken the moorings in our marriage. Don’t allow this season to become a downfall.
- Remind yourselves that one can only put something on the back burner for so long until it’s lost or forgotten. Back burner if you must, but continue to keep life by stirring your emotions for each other.
- Reach out and Touch! Utilize modern day methods to stay in touch and keep the fire glowing. With social media – texting, facetime, video chat, and phone calls at no cost, it doesn’t take much to “reach out and touch someone.” Send messages for him and him alone; talk on the phone and reiterate your commitment to making it through this season together.
- Remember that God gives grace. ASK for it. Depend on His grace to make it through this storm with your marriage unscathed and more intact than before.
It can be done, but it is easier done when a couple realizes what is happening and recognizes the dangers. By recognizing the dangers, we can more readily combat the temptation to give up – or avoid reconnecting. Commitment to our marriage defines how we respond when our marriage is on hold. Keep your commitment strong, and your marriage – even on hold – will endure.