Remember when you were first married. Remember those butterflies in your stomach and the feeling of being “in love”.
Do you remember all of the “newness” and the excitement it brought?
The “first time” of moving in together.
The “first time” you bought a house together.
The “first time” of having children together.
The “first time” of getting jobs.
The beginning of marriage is so new, and it’s full of “first times”.
Then life takes over. The newness turns into routine. Priorities shift from your spouse to the kids and work. There aren’t as many “first times”, if any. There isn’t much excitement anymore.
The reality is that we stop working at our marriage. It’s too hard to continue to create more “first-times” because they take effort. “First times” take energy. “First times” take us working through some level of discomfort to make them happen.
Eric Ravenscraft wrote an article on Lifehacker called Embrace Discomfort by Pursuing More “First Times”. He starts by saying that, “Discomfort is an essential part of the learning process, which is why it’s a shame we avoid it so much.”
Seth Godin talks about our comfort zone in this short blog post.
Aren’t they both true? Isn’t it a shame that we avoid discomfort? We settle for boring and not exciting in our marriage because we would rather be comfortable than experience the discomfort of making an effort.
If we’re willing to work at it, we can grow our comfort zone, and the literal act of growing our comfort zone can become a habit.
If you want to improve your marriage, be willing to put in effort. Be willing to do the uncomfortable things that take energy. Be willing to grow your comfort zone.
If you want to improve your marriage, create more “first times”.
The first time we’ve gone here.
The first time we’ve been alone in a long time.
The first time we took a day off work to be together.
The first time we’ve tried this restaurant.
The first time we’ve ever done this.
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