Combating an Autopilot Marriage

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t’s been said that our bank account and our calendar show where our priorities lie. Does your calendar reflect that your marriage is a priority? So many people go forward in life assuming they have decades to go. It’s easy to get into a “We’ll fix it when we have time” mentality, but this type of thinking can be toxic in marriage.

Here are a few steps you can take to be proactive in your marriage:

  1. Avoid procrastinating
  2. So many times we find ourselves in a difficult season. It’s easy to say, “Let’s just push through until the season is over, and THEN we’ll invest in our marriage.”

    But inevitably a new season comes and brings new challenges. It’s so tempting to say over and over again, ”We’ll take time for our marriage after this crazy season”. Years can end up passing without ever taking the time. It’s a vicious cycle.

    INSTEAD: Take small steps to invest in your marriage today and every day. The most important human relationship in your life deserves the best of you.

  3. Change your schedules
  4. In response to #1, many will say, “But we don’t have the time.” While this may be true for a very small portion of people, the truth for most is that they simply choose to spend their time on other things, assuming they’ll spend time on their marriage “when my schedule clears up.” This is a falsehood too.

    INSTEAD: Choose to schedule time as a couple first. Plan weekly date nights, time without the kiddos, a weekend away, etc. That may mean something else that’s good can’t happen for a season. It’s okay–your marriage is more important than other commitments, the bathroom remodel you’ve been itching to finish, or your kid’s soccer league.

    Having a strong marriage is the most important thing you can do for your kids. It will set them up for success in life more than any activities ever could.


    “Having a strong marriage is the most important thing you can do for your kids. It will set them up for success in life more than any activities ever could.”

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  5. Recognize when you’re distracting yourself
  6. It’s easy to set our hopes on a future event, thinking that it will make us happier with each other. Here are a few common ones:

    “We’ll be happy when we…”

    • Get engaged
    • Get married
    • Buy a house
    • Start the dream job
    • Have kids
    • Go on our dream vacation
    • And many more…

    These are all great things to get excited about, but it’s important to realize that they will not, in themselves, bring happiness to your marriage.

    INSTEAD: Chase happiness as a couple now, whatever stage you’re in. Don’t pin your hopes on events. Work on your mindset and find happiness in your relationship. That can take work sometimes, but it’s worth it. Once you have learned to find happiness in who you married instead of what you have, everything you have is just a bonus.

  7. Choose your direction
  8. Talk about your dreams for your marriage with each other. What do you want to accomplish together? As individuals?

    By talking often about where we want to be, we can shape our important decisions to meet these goals. If your dream is to spend lots of time at home with your kids, a career that has you on the road all the time might not be best. If you’re traveling a lot, it may be time to start conversations about a career change that would have you home every night.

Overall, the biggest thing you can do to avoid being passive is to avoid going on autopilot. Commit to each other that you will spend time together pouring into your marriage regularly. Make that your top priority. Jobs will come and go. Intense seasons of life will pass. Kids will grow up and start their own marriages. Your marriage is the only thing that stays with you your whole life. It’s important–treat it as such and you won’t regret it.


“The best way to strengthen your marriage is to commit to spending regular time together pouring into it.”

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Have you made serious changes to prioritize your marriage? Would you like to? Share with us in the comments–we’d love to hear from you!

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adam & Jess

Hi, we’re Adam & Jess--we’re so glad you’re here!

Our marriage got off to a rocky start in 2014 and quickly escalated into a full-out crisis. God healed us, and now we're inviting you to walk with us as we all journey toward healthier marriages together!

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