4 Anchors to Keep Your Marriage from Drifting

I was sitting at a local Mexican restaurant with my girlfriends, indulging in chips and salsa, chatting and laughing when somehow we started discussing a friend of a friend whose husband sleeps in a separate bedroom. They have a marriage which is basically a standard agreement or perhaps simply a convenience in some ways, I suppose. Upon hearing this my first thought was, “that must be such a lonely place to be.” And then I thought, “How did they get to that place?” 

4 Anchors to Keep Your Marriage from DriftingIf marriage is like two people sailing together in this big vast sea of life, how do we keep from drifting apart? or even worse, from drowning? 

Because seriously ya’ll, connecting with our spouses this year has been rather difficult for so many of us. We have learned so much about our marriages, ourselves, our homes, because well, we have been around each other and in our homes more than ever. Not to mention that we have all had to walk through many kinds of grief, disappointments and uncontrollable changes. It has been stressful, to say the least. And I don’t know about ya’ll, but when I am stressed, my people, mostly my husband, tend to get the brunt of my emotions. 

We have had to work at not drifting out to sea on our own. We have had to get very intentional and creative in our marriages.

Our kids are older so there were times this past year when we sent them upstairs and threatened them if they interrupted our homemade date with dinner and a movie. We made time for each other those nights, trying to ignore the “leave me alones” coming from upstairs.

I have also loved our new ritual of waking a little bit earlier on Saturdays and having coffee on the porch, sometimes with the fire pit on, just sitting and talking while the teenagers sleep. 

Those were definitely memorable times, but here’s the deal, if we want our marriages to last, if we desire not to be ships drifting along on this sea called life, potentially drifting apart or going in different directions or different bedrooms, we have to really work at anchoring our lives and sharing and connecting more often that not. 

My husband and I have been married almost 18 years. Not a lifetime, but long enough to have been on various voyages. We are very different people than when we first were married, we have evolved and changed, and not just in our waistlines; in many ways have grown up together. Despite everything, we still like each other, a lot. We still tease and flirt and hold hands.

I never want to sleep in separate rooms. I don’t ever want to get to that place of isolation and loneliness, because let’s be honest:: The loneliest place in the world can sometimes be in the bed you are sharing with the person who is suppose to love you the most. I can understand why a couple might choose separate bedrooms over divorce, but I don’t want any of it. 

Marriage isn’t easy. We are two different people driven by many things. What if we become so driven we start to drift away? It happens. Every day. All the time. Relationship status’ change. And we are all left wondering, “what happened?” Drifting. No anchor.  

4 Marriage Anchors

Anchor One:: Retreat

If you aren’t getting away with your husband at least once a year, go and schedule a weekend right now. I know, I know, you can make every excuse from kids, to work, to money…I get it. But listen, the best anchor, the most important anchor to make sure you don’t start drifting starts with getting away together. Jump on his boat {not sexually, though we will get to that in a minute!} and go off somewhere together. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but consider it an investment. Your marriage is worth it. Your kids will be fine for a weekend. Separate bedrooms don’t happen to people who retreat together. 

Anchor Two:: Reconnect 

Because you are a mom, you are pulled in 3,452 different ways EVERY. DAY. It is exhausting. By the end of the day you don’t want to answer another question, you don’t want to talk to another person, you definitely don’t want to be touched! This is why retreating and reconnecting is so important. We all know how hard it is to have a conversation and connection at home with small people always interrupting. When you get away and reconnect, you can hear yourself think, you can listen well, you can be present. What every person desires most is to be seen, known and loved. When you reconnect with you spouse, your eyes meet, your hearts agree again and you see each other. You aren’t drifting in the night. You are anchored together. 

Anchor Three:: Relax

What else is there to say. Relax. Get away, reconnect, drink wine, eat good food, do things you enjoy, have fun, try new things and have LOTS of sex. It really is that simple. When you retreat and reconnect, relaxing comes easily. Side note:: Yes, your children are probably being spoiled rotten by grandparents, the list of rules you gave them are covered in chocolate syrup and they probably watched a movie you would NEVER let them see…it’s ok. You will detox the kids when you get back. In a day or two they will be back to normal and hopefully, no longer constipated. Nothing a little Miralax can’t help. RELAX. They’ll be fine.  

Anchor Four:: Remember 

Remember with your husband. One of my absolute favorite anniversaries ever was when my husband had a bunch of questions that asked things like, “Do you remember our first date?” “What has been your favorite vacation?” “Do you remember our honeymoon?” And we spent the afternoon reminiscing and remembering all of the times when we retreated and reconnected. It was so wonderful. We remembered why we loved each other. We remembered all we had walked through together. We remembered why we said yes to each other in the first place. We remembered we were each others anchors. 

Drifting apart can happen to anyone. Sometimes the sea of life can get really choppy and can throw you off course, but if you use these anchors, make each a priority, intentionally reassess the journey, you won’t drift away. You won’t need separate bedrooms. You will have anchors to keep your marriage steady and secure. 


 

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Andrea is a true Houston native! Other than her college years at Baylor and a few summers with family in Guatemala, she has lived around the Houston area forever and cannot imagine living anywhere else. Especially because of family nearby as built in babysitters, so many friendships built throughout the years, and the great people of this city, Houston is so dear to her heart. In junior high her family moved to the Sugar Land area, but she attended a high school in town and spent as much time as possible at the Galleria in the 90s! After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Secondary Education, she married her high school sweetheart, Orlando, and they moved to the Richmond area where they have been ever since and where she homeschools their son and 2 daughters, ages 15, 12 & 9. Andrea is very active in Women’s ministry at her church and in her community. She began writing for more therapeutic reasons when the kids were small and soon began writing publicly, remembering her love for writing and realizing the gift and calling that it was in her life. She published her first book, Breathless: Prayers from a Mother Learning to Exhale in 2018, a devotional last year and is currently working on a few new projects. In her down time, Andrea loves alone time, especially because she’s an enneagram 4! She also loves coffee, hanging out with her family and friends, traveling, New York City, musicals, especially Hamilton, fair trade jewelry, and charcuterie boards! You can find her writing at www.andreaportilla.com or follow her on Instagram @dreaportilla and on Facebook.

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