Marriage Help: Remember Home Base

marriage help

Remember when you first fell in love with someone?

Remember that quickening in your heart and mind, as the pieces of you that aligned clicked magically into place? Suddenly, there was another person in front of you who had interests and desires that seemed to match your own, and you were drawn to one another like magnets. You had intoxicating conversations that revealed similar goals, hobbies, musical tastes, past life experiences–so many things. Wasn’t that exciting?…It’s been awhile, though, and things aren’t as exciting as they once were. Think it might be time for some marriage help?

Here’s part of the problem:  life is a constant journey.

We’re not static beings, cemented to one another in order to be dragged along through the cosmos. Our world is a beautiful place, full of endless things to see and experience. We evolve in response to our environment, and it’s natural to zip from one thing to the next as we make new discoveries. We may pick up new hobbies, new friendships, new jobs–all sorts of things. Then, we may put them down again, and move on to something else. This is healthy evolution, and part of our normal human experience. Having a life partner doesn’t change that this happens. Having a partner can actually accelerate this process, because that other person can provide you with new variables to consider. This constant change can be scary to the other person, though.

So as you undergo this exciting evolution, you really only need to remember one thing: remember home base.

Home base is your safe zone, created with your partner.  It’s a  safe, secure and consistent space, based upon mutual love and respect. It’s built on your shared past, which started the day you met, and continues to this very moment. Home base gives you the stability of your shared relationship, which allows you the freedom to try out new classes, hobbies or interests.

 What do you do though, if you feel like you’ve lost home base?

What happens when you feel you are each splitting off, permanently, into different directions? Here are tips to steer you back towards one another, if you realize you need some marriage help.

Set up a time to review your shared history.

Every year, on our wedding anniversary, I pull out our wedding album. As my husband and I review the pictures together, we are immediately drawn right back into those powerful moments when we became husband and wife. We remember the private jokes, the last-minute dramas, the way our minister’s wife made us giggle–all of those tender things that are uniquely ours. You can do the same thing, and it doesn’t have to be your anniversary. Pull out your wedding album with your loved one, and review together the day you committed to each other. If you’re not married, get hold of something tangible that shows your shared history. Photos, past gifts to one another, whatever you have that records your time together.  Allow yourselves to feel again the strong emotions that you felt at the beginning of your journey together. Then…

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Set up a time to connect each week.

I don’t have to tell you how insanely busy our world has become. My husband and I are each drawn into hundreds of different directions, because of our different jobs and responsibilities. However, each Sunday morning is our time together. We have pledged that Sunday mornings, nothing else will be planned, except for us to be with each other. We may just drink coffee and read together on the porch, or we may hash out something that we had difficulty with over the course of the past week. It doesn’t matter–this is our consistent time to re-connect, and find our own home base again.

This is where we share our new goals, funny happenings or secret worries.

We share the difficulties that may be coming up in the days ahead, and ask the other for advice. Our Sunday mornings have hosted many different kinds of discussions, but each one of them has served to reconnect us in a world gone mad. You too can find this sacred space as a couple. Decide together what time can consistently be yours, and then make a habit to reconnect, and find your own home base again.

Research how you can further develop a shared interest.

Something brought you two together all of those years ago–what was it? A shared hobby, specific genre of music or identical majors in school? Recall whatever your initial connection was, and find something that further develops that shared interest. Perhaps you both love to read. Look online and find a local book signing that you can attend for a date night. Or dedicate a time to go running together, if you’re both sports enthusiasts. You both have at least one shared interest, which has helped connect you in the past. Hang onto that shared interest, and further develop it so that it can draw you forward into the future.

Go the opposite direction, and try to find something NEW that you can do together.

See if your partner wants to go on wine tasting with you. Or together, pretend you are a tourist in your own town, and visit some of the museums or art galleries you’ve never visited. Try a new ethnic restaurant, sign up together for a class at the local community center, or join a local supper club. Find something new, and see if it turns out to be something you both enjoy. There are plenty of things out there –work at exploring some of these things fresh together, so you can have some shared evolution to share and discuss.

Ask your partner for direct feedback if you realize it’s time for marriage help.

Stare the problem right in the face, and ask your partner for help. Say something like, “I feel like we’re drifting apart from one another. What do you think we can do to reconnect?” You may find (s)he has been feeling the same way. You may get a frank and helpful discussion, because you are right–you are veering apart. Or, you may get an apology, because the other person has no idea what you’re talking about. You won’t know until you ask, but by asking, you’re opening up the problem to your best friend, which can only be a good thing.

Being part of a couple can be challenging.

By always remembering home base, you can work together to find those moments that connect with your spouse, which will strengthen not only your commitment as a couple, but also who you are as individuals. I look forward to any feedback below, and remind you to please subscribe so we can stay connected.

Blessings!

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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.

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7 Comments

  1. Love the home base. All roads lead home. My hubby and I walk the beach early Sunday mornings. It was a spinoff of my increased exercise endeavors. I asked him to join me, and he did! And it has sparked his desire to get in shape more too….to do his own thing now as well. As the kids grow up and out, the home base brings us all back. Like my parents did for me, I want my kids to know all roads lead home, no matter what!

    1. Wow, what a great note–thanks! And those beach walks with your husband sound amazing–I love the solitude of a beach in the early morning. They sound like a great way to connect with each other, and I’m glad they’ve led to more interest in staying healthy. You sound like a great mom Trish, and your children are lucky to know they can always come home. Thanks again for your note.
      Blessings!

  2. Hi Chanler,

    Good to be over at your blog 🙂

    Wonderful post indeed. Yes, things never remain the same, and it’s the same case with couples – what they start off with, over time, takes a different turn. Most of the time couples grow together as they learn new things about each other, but sometimes there is a drift in relationships too, due to various reasons.

    After having written several posts on relationships, as one’s been married for a long time now, I can say that nothing works better in a relationship other than communication. The more you talk and discuss things, the better your relationships become, and this one point is tough for people – to take out the quality time for each other. Loved your tips, which in a way reconfirm the importance of spending time by being together, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing it with us at the ABC as well. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your positive words, Harleena. You’re right–making the time to reconnect, especially in our busy world which gets only more and more frantic, is so very important. It’s something that has to be done intentionally, you can’t just expect to stay connected if you don’t make a point of doing so. Thanks again for your kindness, and I hope you also have a great week. Blessings!~

  3. Hey Chanler,

    Great post. In the past when I have had a partner, having a home base has been the very reason I could confidently go out and explore the world. Knowing I could go back to that one person who I could not wait to see and share my experience with.

    I really enjoyed your pledge on Sunday mornings. I always like a date night or something that keeps us connected during the week. Keeping the communication open has always been a priority for me.

    I have always believed we can’t be everything to one person, so we have to allow our ourselves and our partners to go out and explore. But I certainly want my time spent with my man. While exploring is nice and wonderful to know you can do, spending time with that very special person is the priority. We live in such a busy world now, it is important to keep do things like the wedding photos once a year.

    Great post Chanler. I’m keeping home base safe.

    Rachel.

    1. Thanks for the great feedback, Rachel. Glad you’re keeping home base safe. 🙂 It’s getting harder and harder to do that, these days, isn’t it? Why I felt I needed to devote an entire post to the idea; we all have to rush around like mad, but really–home is what matters most, as it’s our sanctuary against the world.

      Thanks again for the comments.

      Blessings!

  4. Hi Chanler

    This is so awesome. The concept of remembering my homebase has never crossed my mind.

    You are right and I see how this concept does help relationships and strengthens them too.

    Thanks for sharing. Take Care

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