New Year, New US: Part 1Jan 07, 2022
It's January. For most people that means winter. Some people's winters are a nice and sunny 75 degrees, but many people's winters are a balmy 10 degrees where you never see the sun. Relationships aren't that much different. Sometimes it's sunny and 75 and sometimes it's cold and dark.
Since my winter is cold and dark...I (Ashley) want to take us to the beach! Picture beautiful sunny skies, listen to the waves crashing, and feel the sand between your toes. Picture your literal paradise.
As a kid, I actually had the opportunity to go on a trip to a place just like that, a place called Hawaii. I was a 17 year old kid, I had two younger sisters, and really by random chance, some friends from school were in staying in the hotel next to us...jackpot! So naturally I was thinking, "this is amazing. I don’t have to hang out with my family, I don’t have to hang out with my sisters, and I can go hang out with my friends in paradise." Of course, my parents quickly put the kibosh on that idea (as parents of disgruntled teens do) and instructed me that anything I was doing had to include my sisters. Within seconds of uttering, "Okay, fine." my sisters, my friends, and I were headed out into the water with a huge inflatable tube. I wish I could say it was one of those sweet giant floating unicorns, but alas it was the 90's.
The 6 of us were just floating around having the best time soaking up the sun; laughing and splashing without a care in the world, until we not only lost track of time...we lost track of our distance from shore. All of a sudden I blinked and we were well over 100 yards off the coastline and we were moving really quickly in the wrong direction. I remember making eye contact with one of my friends, and we had this moment of "holy...oh my gosh...we are so far...so far from where we are supposed to be right now... How did we get here?" We were in trouble.
Fast forward to year 7-8 in our marriage....
We had been living a mostly idillic marriage. We were floating in paradise, until all of a sudden we weren't. I wish we could say we made eye-contact and shared the same thoughts of disbelief and terror, but we weren't talking much at the time and were spending as little time together as possible so that we didn't fight.
I'm pretty confident we’re not the only ones who have drifted. We have worked with enough couples to know that EVERYONE drifts...It's a literal law of nature. The problem is not the drift itself. It's recognizing drift before it's too late by keeping an eye on the shore, and knowing how to get back to bliss when the waves of life move us a bit off course.
We have all had these moments where we think we’re okay, and then all of the sudden, we’re not. The reality of relationships is that we drift, it’s what we do.
Picture me, 17 year old Ashley. My parents likely said, "be careful, don't go too far out." But now we're 100 yards off and we're stuck. My parents told me to be careful. Do I tell them I’m not doing well? How do we get help here? We definitely felt that way in our marriage...we weren't supposed to have drifted and so we didn’t know where to go.
The other thing we like to point out is that each relationship looks different than the next one. My parents also probably told me, "no!" a couple of times among my pleas and argument that "other kids get to go out into the water." (Parents, you know!)
This happens in marriages, too. It’s easy to look at the couple next to you and think, "They don’t have any issues, how can we possibly have all these issues and survive?" The problem is when we measure ourselves against other relationships, we get the Facebook version of every other relationship. Remember: EVERYONE drifts. Everybody has issues. The point is that you have to focus on your relationship...the things that anchor your relationship so you can adjust to that when you drift. If you focus on another relationship you will get off course even quicker.
To bring it home here in part 1 of our 4 part series for the New Year, we want to start by giving you a chance to evaluate your relationship. With the understanding that we all drift, you should identify where in the journey of drift you are on, and then we will work through ways to maintain or course correct over the course of the next few blog posts.
Evaluate below where you are to start the year...
- A Day at the Beach
- On the Rocks
There is no right answer here other than the one that best describes your relationship. Hold on to that starting point, and we will return next week to help you create some anchor points to survive and successfully navigate the drift.
P.S. Stay tuned for more information on a free webinar following this blog series just in time for Valentine's Day.
Take YOUR relationship from "BAD to GOOD" or "GOOD to BETTER."
This FREE discovery guide is the perfect starting point for couples with a
deep desire to experience marriage success!
This is what you'll learn...
✓ The 3 RELATIONSHIP KILLERS affecting your marriage.
✓ The 3 LIES we believe about marriage.
✓ The 3 ANTIDOTES for improving your marriage.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.