Spring Cleaning – Taking Inventory of your Marriage
March 15, 2022
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
Spring, of course, is the time of renewal. Flowers start to bloom, the weather turns warmer, and we head outdoors for longer stretches of time. Baseball comes back, and, as this year the pandemic recedes (thankfully), we celebrate making it through another winter.
January and September are often, for various reasons thought of as the ‘divorce months.’ However, as this New York Times article makes clear, March is actually a month when divorces can spike.
Spring is also, traditionally, the time of spring cleaning. In addition to cleaning out your child’s bedroom or the garage that you’ve been putting off, it can serve as a time to “clean” your marriage— to ask yourself questions and see if your marriage is working for you, and your spouse. Here are three questions to ask yourself:
- Are you listening, and are you being listened to? It sounds like the set-up to a bad joke, but it’s true: the longer you’re married, the less you tend to hear your spouse. So, what can you do to counteract this? Take time to stop and really listen. To the extent you can, turn off the television, tell the dog to stop barking and, most importantly, stop staring at your cell phone. Give your spouse your full attention and expect it at times. This many not be feasible all the time, but it can happen sometimes if you make it so.
- Are you being encouraged to be the person you want to be? (And in turn, are you encouraging your spouse?) No one stays the same person they were when they got married. People change and evolve, as do marriages. Do you feel your spouse is supporting you as you try, every day, to become the person you want to be? In turn, are you supporting your spouse, though that may require sacrifice of time, money, attention, etc.? Take time to sit, pour a cup of coffee, and talk about your common and individual goals.
- Are you still romantic with your partner? This is a big one. As the stressors of marriage pile up over the years— children, work, and paying the mortgage, to name just a few— it can be very easy to slide into a groove of viewing your partner as your co-parent, your housemate— anything but who they started out as: your lover. (We saw this trend exacerbated by the pandemic, in fact, as your spouse also became your office mate.) Even though time is at a premium in most marriages, it’s vital that a healthy marriage take time out to be romantic (even if that means scheduling that time in advance). Whatever romance and intimacy with your partner may look like to you— be it anything from a simple spring walk together to an elaborate meal out— most longstanding, successful marriages realize that at some point you need to tune out the world and get back to the basics of how and why you fell in love.
Everyone in our office wishes you a happy spring, for your family and your relationship!
If you find yourself contemplating separation and/or divorce this spring, consult the Family Law Department at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC. To learn more: https://lmllawyers.com/family-law/.