U.S. Fleet Forces Command Deputy Chaplain Cmdr. Richard Ryan shares his reflections on strengthening connection with your spouse this holiday season. In addition to following Chaplain Ryan’s tips, you can reinvest in yourself and your relationship with your spouse through a CREDO Marriage Enrichment Retreat. Learn more about free CREDO retreats and workshops in your area, here.
Krispy Kreme donuts are my favorite. You might not know this, but Krispy
Kreme donuts exist in different stages. Let me explain.
In college, my friends and I would go to the Krispy Kreme shop late at night when we saw their “Hot and Now” sign on. We knew that sign meant that the donuts would be hot, fresh, and would melt in our mouths. This is the first stage.
The second stage of a Krispy Kreme donut can be observed at a grocery store. Some grocery stores sell Krispy Kreme donuts, but not of the “hot and now” variety. These are room temperature at best, and are prepackaged.
The third stage is the worst, in my opinion. It occurs when you pick up a Krispy Kreme donut expecting it to be good, only to realize that it’s a few days old and stale.
Marriages are the same way. When your marriage is new, it is filled with excitement and joy, similar to how we felt when devouring our “Hot and Now” donuts. As time passes, your marriage may cool off a bit; your interactions with each other becoming more mundane among the bustle of family life. And without attention, your marriage may lose freshness and become stale. While I hope that is not the case, if it is, there is always hope. Here’s one idea that might help.
During the holiday season, talk with your spouse about committing to improve your relationship. Take time to connect like you used to connect. Growing closer is something that you cannot put a price tag on. Consider giving the gift of a new commitment. You don’t have to go as far as renewing your vows (although that’s not bad either), but there are several possible commitments to think about:
- I will be encouraging.
- I will pray for our marriage and our family.
- I will make our relationship a priority.
- I will revisit my expectations.
- I will champion you.
- I will be nurturing.
- I will be responsible and reliable.
- I will be honest.
- I will be faithful.
- I will connect with you.
- I will reveal my inner self to you.
- I will allow you to influence me.
- I will work through issues with you.
- I will forgive.
How will making each commitment change your relationship? Try picking a few of the commitments listed above or creating some of your own. Then look your spouse in the eye and let him/her know how you are committed to them. Reassure them that you are a person of your word. Then post your commitments on your refrigerator and keep talking about them throughout the holiday season. Pick a commitment of the week and leave your spouse a love note telling them how you are honoring that commitment and why it is important to you. This kind of thing will help keep your marriage fresh and alive.
Back to Krispy Kreme donuts…Do you know what happens to a stale Krispy Kreme donut when you put it in the microwave for 30 seconds? That’s right! It becomes “Hot and Now” again. The same can be true for your marriage.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas,
Looking for more ways to strengthen Family Fitness or other tips to stay fit this holiday season? Follow us during the 21 Days of Total Sailor FITmas now through January 3, 2016 for small acts to help you navigate stress and build resilience throughout the New Year.