The big message here is that EVERY relationship is different. Pay attention to what is “normal” for you and your partner and honor that. Know that there will be seasons to your relationship too.
None of this means that passion and connection have to fade or die.
You and your partner can weather the seasons of your marriage by doing these things...
#1: Find ways to appreciate every season.
Don't create problems where there aren't any.
While it is important to recognize and address resentments or conflict that come between you two, don't over-analyze or expect problems that don't exist.
If, for instance, you are focused on your career or caring for your kids, this doesn't have to be a bad thing for your relationship. It may simply be a period of time where attention is focused elsewhere.
No matter what is pulling your attention away from one another, you two can still maintain a healthy and loving connection.
#2: Always question your assumptions.
The way that you view a season, event, comment or situation can literally mean the difference between staying happily together or splitting up.
Before reacting to something your partner said or did, take a moment to question what you are assuming. Ask yourself what is true and then make a decision about how you will proceed based on facts and not on potentially inaccurate guesses or assumptions.
#3: Learn from each season.
Even the most difficult times in your love relationship or marriage have something to teach you.
For example, if infidelity happens and a couple decides to stay together and rebuild trust, there is a lot that they can learn. They can identify the habits they each have that cause distance in their relationship and they can make meaningful changes to vital areas like communication and intimacy.
#4: Don't cling to the past.
What gets a lot of people in trouble is when they essentially live in the past.
Whether it's the fact that your partner lied to you 3 years ago or the way that he or she doesn't surprise you with gifts like when you were dating, your continued attention on the past doesn't serve you or your relationship.
Now is the time you have. Now is the season you and your partner are currently sharing together.
Make amends, forgive hurtful words and actions, celebrate the good times you've had together AND be present and fully engaged with what's going on in your relationship right now.
#5: Make your relationship a top priority.
When you're living in the present moment with your partner, you can more easily give your energy and attention to creating a fabulous season now.
Despite the challenges you face and the many responsibilities you each have, you CAN make your relationship a top priority. (Your kids and your career don't have to suffer either!) This is perhaps the most important strategy for weathering the seasons of your marriage.