Growing Love When Your Marriage Feels Dry
I’ve never been much of a cut-flowers kind of girl. To me, for purely practical reasons, cut-flowers were not a draw because of their short shelf life after being cut. Add my extreme frugality, I just couldn’t appreciate the beauty of flowers that would wither over the edge of a vase in a week’s time.
My husband quickly gave up on surprising me with bouquets and instead took to buying me potted orchids. I received the first one on our mid-summer anniversary and proudly displayed it for months on the kitchen window sill. I enjoyed being greeted by the blossoms every time I arrived to the kitchen sink, and the blooms lasted for a whole five months before dropping into the sink one by one.
I had thoughts to toss it since all signs of life were falling into the sink, but for some reason I didn’t. After some time, two seemingly dead sticks with no blossoms poked up out from the soil. I watered it here and there, not sure if anything would happen. Those sticks weren’t showing life yet; but were signs of promise and hope.
A few weeks into watering dead sticks, I looked up a youtube video about how to care for an orchid to help it bloom again. It was simple. Prune the two stems that had dropped their blossoms, water sporadically, and wait.
Within a week, tiny buds formed, and within two weeks, the first new bloom burst forth.
I’ve found this cycle of blooming and re-blooming to be a profound picture of the seasons of marriage.
Sometimes marriage is wonderful and the blossoms are on display. Both husband and wife are on the same page, moving in sync with each other and working as a team. Sometimes things are a little more like dead sticks sharing a pot, void of any signs of life— feeling the pulls of the more challenging aspects of marriage. The days when words don’t come out right, feelings are hurt, and the trust that precludes vulnerability feels shaky.
Marriage is not easy, but it is a worthy pursuit, a growing and sanctifying process with many ups and downs.
Just because you don’t always see the blossoms doesn’t mean the love isn’t still alive. It takes effort to tend the many differing needs, wisdom to navigate the emotional minefields of insecurity and unsaid expectations, perseverance to journey through the bumps, and sacrificial love to find your spouse in the fray.
Wife Step: If you’re in a season where the blossoms are falling or haven’t been seen in quite a while, ask God for wisdom to see around hurts and instead see the heart of your spouse. Communicate honestly and gently about your own needs, and ask your husband to share what he most needs from you. Don’t be afraid to apologize, or to ask for an apology, and enter conversations with an eye on what you can give to the man you’ve married to show your love.
Emily Sue Allen is the founder of the Kindred Mom blog and host of the Kindred Mom podcast. Soul care for moms and helping women find rest and joy in the midst of busy life are among her greatest passions. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. Emily lives with her six kids and husband of 13 years in the Pacific Northwest, and personally blogs at emilysueallen.com. Find Kindred Mom on Instagram and Facebook, and follow Emily personally on Instagram.