Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage

What “season” is it for your marriage? Is it summer because things between you and your spouse are sizzling? Or is it winter because things feel a bit chilly?

Like many couples, when Jean and I first got married, we enjoyed being together every chance we could. In those early years, it was easy for us to think, “We’ll always feel this way.”

However, we soon discovered that relationships are like the weather – they change. Some seasons are filled with heat and excitement, while others are cold and a little dull.

Author Debra Fileta says how we manage the seasons of our marriage determines whether our relationship will grow bitter or better. She’s with me on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage” to help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to successfully navigate them.

She also explains how the four seasons can bring out the best and the worst in a couple:

  • Spring – Your relationship feels new and exciting. You’re attracted to each other and want to spend time together. You also sow seeds that will bloom in your relationship for years to come.
  • Summer – Your relationship heats up. Feelings are strong. You’re willing to be vulnerable and reveal more of who you are. You experience emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy.
  • Fall – As leaves change from green to orange to yellow, fall reveals the true colors of your character. It’s in this season that you come face to face with your own faults and personality quirks and that of your spouse’s. This is a time for practicing patience, learning how to handle conflict, and improving communication.
  • Winter – The warm feelings of other seasons cool, routines become ruts, and conflict increases. In winter, your roots will either push deeper, or they’ll wither beneath resentment and apathy.

Unlike nature’s four seasons, which occur in chronological order, the seasons of your marriage will come and go, even overlap at times. Each season is an opportunity for you and your spouse to be intentional about communication, growth, and intimacy.

Join me for my conversation with Debra Fileta on your local radio station, online, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.

While you’re online, why not take a few moments to try our free Marriage Assessment online tool? It will help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship and identify areas where you may need some improvement.

If you’re marriage feels stuck in the icy grip of winter, we have caring Christian counselors who will listen, pray with you, and get you on a path toward healing and hope. They’ll also direct you to additional resources in your area if necessary. Call us, leave your name and number, and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

And if you’re on the brink of divorce, I want to remind you about Hope Restored. These marriage intensives will go a long way toward facilitating healing between you and your spouse and bringing restoration to your relationship. The intensives take place in five locations:

  1. Branson, Missouri.
  2. Greenville, Michigan.
  3. The WinShape Retreat Center in Rome, Georgia.
  4. Cave Creek, Arizona.
  5. Wimberley, Texas.

 The number for Hope Restored is 1-866-875-2915. Or visit online.

Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Debra Fileta’s book Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

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