Zombies. They are EVERYWHERE. As a nation, we are zombie-OBSESSED…and not just on Halloween. These “walkers” invade our television and movie screens, and we actually sympathize with these lifeless, rotting creatures. Just the other day, I saw a Facebook ad for a ZOMBIE CRUISE. Yes, I said “cruise”. Seems crazy, right?
I honestly don’t get the “zombie craze”, but I do think we can learn a few things from the notion of a zombie. Over the years, my husband, Dave, and I have talked to countless couples that are simply sharing a home…just existing…in a lifeless marriage – a “zombie marriage”. Some of these couples have lived this way so long that they don’t even remember what it is like to have a flourishing, enjoyable marriage. They become trapped in a stagnant cycle of mind-numbing marriage survival from day to day. No passion or intimacy. NO LIFE.
That’s sad, and it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way.
God didn’t create marriage to bring us down. He told us that two are better than one in Genesis; therefore, marriage is supposed to make us better.
Marriage is a gift…a gift that should enhance our lives, not suck the very life right out of us.
So, how can we recognize if we are falling into a zombie marriage? Well, here are few signs:
1. You and your spouse only converse about the kids, work, finances, etc.
Yes, we need to take care of business, but we also need to remember to share our thoughts, hopes, and dreams with our spouse. This will help us to maintain a great friendship at the base of our relationship.
2. You and your spouse try and find excuses to NOT be around each other.
When we avoid each other, for whatever reason, we have a big problem. Avoiding one another only makes things worse. If we have a conflict, we must sit down and talk about it. If we have trouble talking about it, we need to seek help by going to see a counselor or pastor. Anytime the lines of communication are down in a marriage, the relationship can no longer flourish and other parts of the marriage begin to break down as well.
We need to “date” each other. Aim for once a week, but really, any one-on-one time we can spend with our spouse will be beneficial to our marriage as long as we are communicating in a positive and healthy manner. Plus, we need to have fun together.
Marriage is a blessing, not a curse. Have. Fun. Together.
3. You and your spouse haven’t had sex in a month (and you don’t have a medical reason not to do so).
Sex isn’t EVERYTHING until we stop having it. When we are regularly communicating with each other, dating one another, and treating each other with love and respect, then sex is a natural, physical outpouring of love that we can give each other. It is essential in marriage. When we withhold this from each other, we are greatly damaging our marriages and harming ourselves as well.
Whenever Dave and I are counseling a couple who is visibly annoyed with one another, nine times out of ten, they haven’t had sex in a LONG time. The look on their faces is reminiscent of a zombie (minus the blood and molting flesh)…lifeless, fake smiles hiding the anger and resentment they harbor inside. Unless they turn things around quickly, a couple cannot exist like this for long.
We must aim higher. We can’t settle for EXISTING.
If you think you and your spouse currently have a zombie marriage, please know that you don’t have to remain this way. You can have the enjoyable, thriving marriage that you desire. I encourage you to take time each and every night to talk to each other…not about business, but about your day, your lives, your dreams. Then, I urge you to pray together before you go to bed each night. Try this practice for a month, and you will be amazed at the life that God will infuse into your marriage.
You don’t have to settle for a zombie marriage. Shoot that thing in the head for good (just a little Walking Dead humor for my zombie-obsessed friends).
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For more information on how to build a stronger marriage, please check out our latest book “The Marriage Minute”, by clicking here.