Combating an Autopilot Marriage

by |


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.”

    Share Tweet

  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.”

Share Tweet

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!

Want to dig deeper?

Check out Radiant Marriage Academy, our free 16-lesson course!


(Fully free. No catch.)

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!

7 Days to an Awesome Marriage

Check out our free eBook and connect with your spouse!

7 Days to a More Intimate Marriage

Follow Us

Treasuring the Tiny Moments

The goal for the day was simple...Get food for dinner and prepare a delicious meal for our friends who were coming over (while still social distancing). I had gone to the store and had everything that I needed...except for the fish. I was planning on making fish with...

Choosing Your Spouse Over Your Checklist

We published an image of a quote on our social media not too long ago, and it struck me in just how profound it is. The quote, by D.L. Moody, is this: “If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his...

How to Love Your Spouse Through Their Rough Day

There I was in my car in the garage processing through the events of my day. You know those days where everything just seems to go wrong? This was that day. From dropping a smoothie onto the floor in the morning to having a rough interaction with a friend to work...

7 Game-Changer Questions to Fight Disconnection in Your Marriage

Have you ever gotten to a place in your marriage where you felt completely disconnected from your spouse...and didn't have a clue how you got there? In these times, it can be so easy to ignore the problem and become apathetic. In the moment, ignoring things seems like...

10 At-Home Activities to Do as a Couple

Let’s be honest. The past few weeks have been a bit insane. Have you been going a bit stir crazy? Have you craved being with your friends or family? Do you miss hugs? Are you finding yourself losing track of days and time? Us too. In the midst of being under “shelter...

4 Ways to Take Charge of Anxiety

Army. Green. Couch. Can you picture it? Now hold onto that image and I’ll come back to it. If you have read my posts for any length of time, you know that I struggle with anxiety. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I realized how much I can fixate on things…...

Faith in the Midst of Uncertainty

I t was dinner time when we found out that Washington had issued a “shelter in place” mandate. While we live in Idaho, Adam works in Washington. And Washington was the first of the two to issue the mandate. Like many of you who have these state rules right now, we...

7 Ways to Grow Your Marriage During COVID

This last week has been insane. I feel like I woke up on Friday last week and the world had started to end. Grocery stores were being emptied, in-person church services had been canceled, schools were closed, and my graduate program was put on hold...and I couldn’t...

Abandoned, Alone, and Afraid

Abandoned, alone, and afraid. These three words have been the theme of my feelings over the last month or so. We're in this weird stage of life where so much about our current situation feels unsettled and nothing is secure. Our finances, not having a home base, our...

Building Momentum in Your Marriage

Having a great marriage isn’t based on one moment, one action, or one success, but rather a pattern of right actions (and corrected wrong actions) over time. This may seem obvious--doing the right thing is commonly best practice--but the effects are less obvious. It’s...

Want to build an awesome marriage?

Get started with Radiant Marriage Academy, a 16-lesson online course to help you build an awesome marriage.

The best part? Thanks to our patrons, it's completely FREE. No credit card. No upsell. No catch. Just great, free marriage tools to help you make your marriage awesome.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest