Parenting can be tough on the marriage relationship.
When you add homeschooling into the mix, it can be very easy to place your priorities on curriculum choices, children’s needs, sleep, and reaching out to other homeschool moms who “get you.”
These are good things, but when marriage takes a backseat, your priorities are out of whack.
I get it. I have been parenting and homeschooling kids with various special needs, behaviors, and learning differences for over 11 years.
I am also married to a man in the military. He has crazy hours and has even been gone for years of our marriage. This lifestyle created a very child/personal need-centered family. We ended up not nurturing our marriage, and over the years we became two tired people who lived together.
I desperately needed to fix things.
Years ago, I read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. (You can visit his website to learn more.) We determined that my husband’s love languages are physical touch and quality time. Mine tend to be words of affirmation and acts of service.
I show my love through servanthood, even though that is not his top love language. I’d been starving him for far too long. I made a determination to start showing him love through his methods, even though they weren’t my normal expressions.
It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but it has made such a difference in our marriage! I started by regularly holding his hand, rubbing my hand across his back as I walked by, giving hugs, sitting close to him on the couch, and finding ways to enjoy time together. We bonded over the World Cup even though I didn’t have a clue what was happening. We have also found several shows that we enjoy watching together.
I have started to really appreciate my husband and feel a passion that has been absent for a long time.
Just by catering to his needs, it has made me love him more! In return, I am also feeling more loved (though my goal is to make him feel loved). I am astonished at how well this has worked. We still have work to do, but we are on the right track.
I want to be honest, this takes effort and isn’t always comfortable, but it is so worth it!
Above all, a marriage is meant to glorify God.
He needs to be first in your marriage and family. It is not God-honoring to allow your marriage to burn out. It may take you to admit that it needs to be relit and to make the first move. Do it.
I also encourage you to pray for your husband (especially for his salvation, if he’s not a Christian) and ideally, pray with each other. Read the Scriptures together. Lead this renewal by example. Your marriage will flourish.
Put Christ first and love well.
“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” Barnett Brickner