I’m the kind of guy who actually likes to mow my lawn. It’s a great outdoor activity combining physical exercise and memories of warm summer days with my dad. The smell of fresh cut grass invigorates my soul and I love seeing the lawn looking good. I usually mow my lawn on Saturdays but one weekend we traveled out of town and I skipped mowing the lawn. By the time I got around to mowing again the grass was out of control. Mowing long, thick, moist, grass isn’t nearly as fun. Although I generally like mowing it quickly became a chore.
Do you ever feel like your marriage is out of control? Like marriage is a chore?
My dad taught me a few critical adjustments when mowing the lawn gets tough. The same lessons provide practical ways to thrive when marriage becomes a chore.
Get to it
No matter how long and scraggly the grass gets, now is the best time to get to it. Putting it off for another day or another week only allows it to grow more, look worse and become a bigger task.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when your marriage is tense, when everyday feels like another conflict. You have a lot of work to do but don’t panic. Panic either leads to frantic anxiety or paralysis. Avoiding your spouse or giving them “the silent treatment” makes the problem worse. Stop ignoring the problems in your marriage and get communicating with each other now. Interact beyond the logistics of everyday tasks to make your limited time together quality time. Share your heart with each other today and don’t delay.
Slowing down helps the mower cut through the tall grass. Keeping a fast pace while mowing long grass makes lawnmowers get clogged.
The temptation with unpleasant chores is to get them done too quickly. If your marriage has become a chore you’ll be tempted to rush a solution and end up making a bigger mess. Marriage is not a rip-off-the-bandaid kind of event. Slow down. It takes time to rebuild healthy relationships. Be patient. Slow down and invest the time it takes to reconcile with your spouse.
Take small bites
Aim the mower so it cuts less of the long grass on each pass. It’s another way to allow the mower to cut the tall grass effectively without getting bogged down.
In marriage it’s important to only address one thing at at time. In marriage counseling I meet couples who try to discuss money, sex, parenting, in-laws, and work schedules all at the same time. It never works. You’ll get bogged down and wonder why it’s so hard to communicate. Take small bites. Focus on one thing at a time when you’re talking to your spouse. Stay on topic and don’t give into the habit of bringing old wounds into the discussion.
Have you ever felt marriage was a chore? What did you do?