It needs to be said that no relationship is perfect. You and your spouse can be together for six months, six years, or sixty years, and there will be aspects of your marriage that you will both need to work on.

Relationships are work and are meant to change you towards being a better person. There will be constant disturbances and disruptions in your relationships with others; these conflicts are made to test your relationships. Will you face the challenging adversity in your life and relationships and grow from them? Or, will you let these challenges and hardships get the best of you?

In your marriage, it is most likely that your spouse has disappointed you at one time or another, and you have done the same. I believe these disappointments are a part of life, and once you accept these ever-present conflicts and take them as an opportunity to grow with your spouse, you will be one step closer to winning what I call, the war of love. But remember, as you take the steps towards growth and change within your marriage, there will be some ups and downs. Try to remember that it is not about winning all the battles, but it is about winning (and growing from) the war of love.

The War of Love

I fully believe in the power of the date as a way to win the war of love. Dating allows you to grow with your partner and face the challenges and disturbances of life as a united front, and it keeps your relationship vibrant and energized. Dating takes you out of your daily routine and allows you to have quality time with spouse. For most of us, the concept of dating might seem like it’s only for the beginning of our relationships.

Dating and spending alone time with your spouse may then be cast aside to make time for work, children, errands, and simply life, because it may no longer seem like an importance. In all reality, dating and dates makes a huge difference in the quality of a marriage and intimacy levels.

What Is A Date?

So, what exactly is a date, after the marriage vows? Before the kids, work, and housework, dating was simply planning a specific time to spend anywhere from three to five hours together, and it is still the same—just a time devoted to you and your spouse. In order to grow even closer as a couple, I suggest developing a dating ritual.

You will need to agree on the details of the dating ritual before you get started. Keep in mind how often and how frequent you would like the dates to be, what time the date should be whether it is a breakfast date or a dinner date, and whose turn is it to plan the date. It isn’t as important when and where the dates are, but rather you and your spouse honor the dates and commit to the times you have agreed to.

While there are no rules to your dating rituals, I believe that there are some topics, discussions, and practices that should not be brought up and avoided at your next dinner date.

Try to steer clear from any problematic discussions; if you think that it will lead to either you or your spouse becoming annoyed, it is best not to bring it up. Avoid money discussions, and do not use your date as an opportunity to run errands or do some shopping. Remember, dates are meant to spend time with and become closer to your loved one, not times to argue, gripe, and cross off things on your to-do list.

Making It Happen

Now that you have all the details planned and you and your spouse are date ready, you might ask yourself, how do we make it happen? Before the gift of children, it might have been easier to find the time to spend with your spouse, but now things are a little different. Finding a responsible and mature babysitter, or as I like to call them angel-sitters, is an important aspect of your dating ritual, and your fight for the war of love.

If you do not have family in the area, like myself, having a person you can rely on and trust during your separation from your children is key. You and your spouse should not spend the majority of your date worrying about the kids back at the home front. This time should be spent re-getting to know your spouse.

Win The War of Love

The war of love is tricky and sometimes very difficult. There will be times in your marriage where it seems like all you and your spouse do is bicker and argue, but remember that these moments should not dictate the rest of your marriage.

Take the annoyances and arguments and all that is hard about your marriage and grow from them. Become a better spouse, and learn to celebrate your spouse and the love you have for them for a lifetime, whether it is through the weekly date, or through random compliments and “I love you’s.”

Celebrate the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with, and love them no matter the battles you may face on your way to winning the war of love.

Excerpt taken from: Miracle Of Marriage

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Heart to Heart Counseling Center offers counseling and intensives to help you achieve love and understanding with your spouse.

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