What does killing spiders have to do with building a successful marriage?
Spring is here and like many other things in our lives every season brings with it not only the excitement of the new, but also the challenges of the new. Whilst our home is filled with excitement of longer days and the joys of warmer weather, one of the challenges I faced this weekend was dealing with all our little friends that decided to start waking up for Spring; the 8 legged kind, not the 2
That’s right, dealing with spiders was on my to do list over the weekend as in a matter of days the amount of cobwebs that have popped up around the house was rather alarming. Although there are many benefits to having spiders as a part of our ecosystem, they’re not that great when you have a little child in the house and they start crawling into your clothes or bedding and eventually give you that nasty bite.
In South Africa, I’ve been bitten by a few spiders in the past and let me tell you, the fears that go through your mind when your dealing with a spider bite is not fun. However, in most situations spiders are simply part of the territory. What we want to do though, is to create a safe environment for our family where we don’t need to worry that a spider would bite you inside your home.
In the past this meant regularly clearing out the cobwebs. The problem with spiders though is that once they’ve claimed their territory, they keep coming back and no matter how many times you clear the cobwebs, they could be back in a matter of days. Why? Because the spider who built the web has not been dealt with.
In the same way we want our homes to be clean of cobwebs, our relationships often need some cleaning too. Successful marriage relationships don’t simply happen. It takes work and intention to create a loving marriage. Just like our homes, our relationships often need some cobweb cleaning and freshening up too.
A successful marriage requires intentional efforts
What is shocking to me is how little people invest in their relationships after they get married. We spend years pursuing someone until they’ve said yes, spend months and often a lot of money on planning a wedding and then suddenly after we’re married the investment stops. It’s no surprise to me then, that so many couples are facing the dire straights of dealing with cobwebs that no longer make their relationship a safe and homely place to be.
In fact many couples who fail to go the distance say they are no longer attracted to each other or have drifted apart, when in fact they’ve simply stopped working at keeping the home clean and not only clear of cobwebs, but more importantly clear of spiders.
Cleaning cobwebs isn’t fun, but unless you start killing some spiders you’ll be doing it continuously.
Relational spiders can often lie dormant for years until that season in our marriage where it decides to wake up. Fear of rejection, lack of identity, insecurity, childhood hurts are only a few of the spiders most of us have to deal with. If we don’t deal with them, we’ll find our relationship filled with cobwebs, and annoyed at our partner that we’re needing to clean up all the time.
We all like to walk into a clean and fresh environment, but often we only do so if we or someone else has done the work to clean it up. When was the last time you freshened up your relationship? When was the last time you cleared out the proverbial cobwebs? More importantly, what spiders in your past have you not dealt with that is causing you or your partner frustration and “clutter” in your relationship?
Here are 3 things you can do to build a successful marriage, freshen up your relationship, and not only clean the cobwebs, but also kill the spiders:
1) Work with a marriage coach/counsellor
We don’t need to wait until the invasion of “eight legged freaks” before working with a trained professional. The best relationship workers are those that will help you discover the best in each other and give you practical tools to strengthen the connection. Don’t discard marriage coaching/counselling if you’ve had a bad experience. Find one that you have rapport with, maybe ask a friend or one of our team who they can refer.
2) Break away alone for some focused time together
There’s nothing like some focused time together to breathe new life into a relationship. Even better when that time away is spent attending some sort of training like “A Weekend to Remember” where you’ll hear top notch speakers share their stories and also give you thought provoking ideas to strengthen your relationship. You’ll also have time and space to have deep and meaningful conversations.
3) Equip yourself
Pick up a book or resource on relationships and tap into the author’s life work. By studying a book you can grow tremendously and gain the tips, skills, and thinking patterns that may have taken others a lifetime to collect. We can all agree that none of us are perfect, so what’s stopping us from investing the time? If you don’t know where to start, contact us today and we can point you in the right direction.
I’m glad that I’ve learnt the secret to kill the spiders around my home so I don’t have to deal with the cobwebs all the time. To build a successful marriage, we’ll always have work to do, but if we keep at it we can enjoy the benefits of a strong, healthy, and happy relationship.
Now, time to stop reading and write down what are the cobwebs you’ve failed to clean out in your relationship? What spiders are living happily in the dark folds of your heart? When was the last time you freshened up your relationship?