Seasons of Marriage

Erin Smalley self

We are mid-point in the summer season, and I really have been missing my husband. He has been home, but I still miss him. I’ll explain. We have been enormously kid-focused and family-focused for the summer months. Therefore, our alone time has been pretty limited. Therefore, I miss him. I miss the times of traveling alone. I miss the kids going to bed early. I miss having a regular date night.

This all got me thinking, there are many different seasons we experience in our marriage journey and this season is one we feel a little bit more disconnected, even though we have actually spent a lot of time together. We have been playing at the beach, swimming at the pool, hiking and dragging kids up the trail, or seeing the latest Disney movie. It’s a season. The season of summer.

Some seasons we feel super connected and more in love than ever, and then there are those seasons of disconnectedness and distance, maybe even silence.

If your season feels more cold and disconnected (more like winter), here are a few tips:

Wives have influence. Use it to change your marriage relationship.

”Changing your own behavior may trigger your spouse to want to make changes. The secret lies in how we target our energy and efforts, because our capacity to change others is entirely based on our willingness to change ourselves. This is not double-talk or trickery, it’s simply the reality of relationship dynamics. If I create a change in my own attitude and behavior, my spouse and the marriage itself will automatically be forced to change.” (Dr. Marina Benjamen)

In my new book, The Wholehearted Wife, I talk a lot about the influence we have as wives. Often, we want to focus on our husband’s behavior—what he is or isn’t doing. Instead, focus on what you can control—and that’s you! There are many things you can change—including your behavior, your views, your attitudes. This will have an impact on your relationship. And can move the relationship into a new season!

Any behavior you desire to see in your spouse – model it!

It sounds so simple.If you want him to speak kindly to you—speak kindly. If you want him to compliment you—speak compliments to him.

Recognize that all couples go through different seasons in their marriage.

It’s not just you and your marriage. Often when Greg and I meet with a couple who is “stuck”—they will be shocked when we share about our personal disagreements, conflicts and difficult seasons we have been through. They say, “Well, if you guys can make it through that—there’s hope for us!” Yes, there is always hope! Hold on to it!

Erin Smalley is the mom to three girls, ages 6, 16, and 19, and one son, age 12. Erin was a labor and delivery nurse and then returned to school to earn a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Although Erin thought she had sent her last child off to kindergarten, she and her husband, Greg, were blessed with their youngest child through the gift of adoption. She works very part-time at Focus on the Family in the Marriage and Family Division, while attempting to balance life at home with four kids. She has co-authored three books, her favorite being, Grown-Up Girlfriends—Real Friends in the Real World. You can reach Erin at or

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