Apr
06
2011

Three Ways to Put Love Back in Your Marriage

Wendy and I are in love. Could ya tell?

We’re celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary this month (April 20). Last week we celebrated by going to Glen Eyrie and spent two nights in the Castle. It was a fantastic time!

We wish other married couples were as in love as we are. Sadly, we witness friends struggle with love.

When a man is spilling his guts to me about how difficult things are at home, or a girlfriend is complaining to Wendy about how difficult of a husband she has, we often boil down the problem to this simple truth: The two have fallen out of love with one another. They may point to this or that reason, but–unless there are infidelity issues–most of these reasons are petty. They are mountains made of molehills, situations blown out of proportion.

We can do no other than shrug our shoulders and say, “You aren’t in love anymore.”

Here’s the good news for couples who are out of love: You can fall back in love. You can! It’s easier than you think.

I hate to sound like a cheezy positive thinker, but falling back in love requires a change in attitude. I kid you not! Here are three that, if you apply them, you’ll begin the journey back to the same kind of love you once had, maybe that crazy-can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other kind of love.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

The motto of love resembles a popular saying out there: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” We enjoy listening to Dr. Laura on the radio, and one of the most common questions she asks dissatisfied wives or husbands is, “Tell me the worst thing you can think of about your spouse.” They typically give some petty thing (e.g. he leaves his dish at the table, she spends too much on groceries, whatever). Dr. Laura will always come back with, “That’s it?” And then ceremoniously rip the caller up and down for making way too big of a deal about nothing.

Married couples who love each other don’t sweat the small stuff. Wildly crazy in-love couples like Wendy and me follow up the saying with “it’s all small stuff.

2. See weaknesses as strengths.

Gals “rag” on guys, guys “moan” about gals. It’s pathetic to see sometimes. I challenge you on this: consider what you’re “ragging” or “moaning” about. It is typically something that is your spouse’s strength!

Years ago, I had a friend who was an avid hunter. He took me hunting my first year in Colorado and taught me much of what I now know about Colorado elk hunting. The guy loved hunting and loved teaching others (like me) how to do it. This was his strength, very likely one his wife was originally attracted to before marriage. Now married, though, she beat him down every time he’d come home from a trip. “If you cared about me as much as you cared about hunting …” she’d say. They eventually divorced. Sad.

Imagine, the very thing that is complained about is the very thing that can empower your spouse. Love empowers each other!

3. Hope for better, more loving marriage.

Couples can discover the joys of love in a marriage. It is almost a surprise to a husband and a wife how easy it is to love each other. Instead of bearing down on each other and exaggerating each other’s faults, they get into each other and explore each other’s feelings, thoughts and emotions. Their relationship continues to build. The sky is the limit for them. They’re on cloud nine, and things are only going to get better.

A lifetime together with a marriage full of this kind of love is too short.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado, with 14 of their 16 children. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Dawn

    Thank you!

  • http://bethany.preciousinfants.com Bethany

    Terrific article, Chris and Wendy!

  • Kayla

    Thankyou for this article. My piece of advice (acquired through bitter experience) is to remember that firstly and foremostly, ‘to love’ is a verb, not a feeling.

  • http://www.everydaychristian.com/ Amy Wingfield

    Sharing this one with others….. and my husband, Thank you!

  • http://kjllovemylife.blogspot.com Kristin

    My husband and I are also madly in love, and I have many friends struggling. We had a long road to get to this place (including divorcing and later remarrying one another). At times I find myself feeling almost guilty that our relationship is as good as it is! Ridiculous, I know. I wish all my friends could have what I have in their own relationships. Thanks for sharing. “)

  • Sunny

    YES! I think you hit the nail on the head here.:) My husband and I love each other so very much. It took him almost dying, being separated for a year, losing our first baby and most of our earthly possessions to bring us to the point we are now. Each situation brought out our ‘flaws’ in each other, but also our strengths. To God be the glory!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Wow, Sunny and Kristen. It sounds like you both have quite the testimonies!

  • Christina

    How do you counsel on infidelity issues?

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      We counsel on an individual basis, so don’t take this as an answer (I know nothing of your situation). Infidelity is the one reason Jesus gave to allow divorce (Mt 5:32). That said, He still hates divorce (Mal 2:16). It reconciliation is possible, go for it.

  • sandra

    May I say,I really recommend Dr Dobson’s book ‘Love Must Be Tough’ for infidelity.It is written from a Christian veiwpoint,(of course).
    I speak from experience when I say,it does work! :)

  • Rachel

    Thank you for sharing those wise tips! I’m no expert at marriage (I’m still pretty new to this marriage thing), but I’m finding – through experience – that complaining is a big ‘love-killer’. So is built up resentment and unforgiveness. I think those things will hurt any relationship, but if left to fester, they seem to be seriously damaging to a marriage.

  • Janetkiessling

    Amen!!! & Congrads!! We,too, will be celebrating 20 years of marriage to each other in July!!! And it has been AWESOME! Not each & every moment was or will be – but we are each others best friend – FOREVER!!! Thank you, Lord for my husband!!!! We still feel like we just got married! Can not believe it has been 20 YEARS – where did the time go? We talk about everything, forgive each other – before the sun goes down – sometimes that might happen at 2 in the morning – but at least it got done :)! We hug & kiss in front of our
    children!!! What else can I say – we are a match made in heaven!!! :) Thanks Chris & Wendy! Also just finished your book – “Love Another Child”………………….I am soooo ready for another one!! :) Have a good week!

  • Rachel S.

    Next book… Love in your marriage : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629763916 Rebecca ‘Farrar’ Dawdy

    Agree but have one addition to add to the #2. Love Languages can make a difference, mine is Quality of Time (secondary is Words of Affirmation). I LOVE that my dh hunts but there was a time when he went a LOT w/my cousin (and others) and I was feeling neglected. He didn’t have time/money to take me, his WIFE, anywhere but he could jump at the chance at a trip hunting (out of state for a week) and the money spent hurt our household acct. Now, my parents (dad is a preacher) instilled such lessons to me all my life that marriage is for life and you work things out, basically to do as you mention and seek the good, etc, so I always have been one to work on things and never give up/seek divorce BUT I did want to add that even with all that I felt the same…if only you cared about me the way you do about hunting (or more specific, if you would spend the time w/me that you do w/others hunting) Counseling sharing w/him MY love language and also seek to give love in HIS language of love has helped so much, still work in progress. I grew up w/grandpa and cousins hunting, LOVE it, LOVE the meat, etc, BUT MY family also spent quality time w/their wives (his dad, and grandpa did not) and THAT was what I was craving/missing and deeply hurt. Yet, I had it DURING dating and I even went hunting some w/family and dh. Just some additional thoughts, sometimes it’s not the actual hunting/fishing/etc that is the problem but the change in emphasis and wife not having love tank filled. This may not have had any bearing in the story you shared, but it might on another wife reading. Love your books and appreciate your heart for others…I share the desire to save marriages :o) Blessings.

  • Flutenwooten

    When the going gets tough, spouces NEED eachother! Recently (and presently) my husband and I have gone through tough times. Miscarriage, loss of employment, ending ministry, moving to a new state, illness, death of loved ones. All of this in the last 4 months! That can make or break married couples. We know that when it all happens at once we are under enemu attack, we both have salvation in Christ, but it was still a difficult road to travel. When the dust settled we are still together, still very much in love, still a family. How? God’s grace and true love! <3 I see a new book coming out down the road: "Love in a Marriage", thank you for sharing Chris & Wendy, you are an inspiring couple! Blessing on your upcoming baby! 20 years, 16 kids, who would of thought that was even possible? God knew it was!

  • TAMMIE E.

    Sometimes though it may just be too late, too much has gone on that cannot be shared, fixed or forgiven. Sometimes it is just easier being alone and not dealing with everyday being a fight. Too much has happened that cannot be taken back.

  • Joyfulmomof4

    I agree with all that. But my husband has hardened his heart to me. He wants nothing from me except to basically watch the kids, cook food and keep house. We don’t talk much or anything else. I don’t know what to do. I was an awful wife when we first married 8 years ago, but things have been continually improving since 2005. But he’s still bitter against me. He says he resents me and doesn’t love me anymore. IDK how to change that.

    • Joyfulmomof4

      Actually, could you please delete my comment. I don’t want to complain. He’s a great, hard working man.