I’ve realized that building up a marriage is a lot like building up your immune system. If I’m not getting enough sleep or eating well, my immune system gets low, and I’ll catch any cold. If I take care of myself, then I don’t get sick.
Showing love and care for your spouse builds up your marriage immune system too. Showing attention, saying thank you, being thoughtful -they all build up the “bank”. That way, when there is a bad day, everything doesn’t come crashing down.
If you make deposits into your marriage bank, then when something big happens, your spouse can draw on that and come out fine. If the bank is empty, your marriage is in danger.
All the things you did when you were dating are all the things you should do when you are married. The number of years married makes no difference. Perhaps that is part of the “seven year itch”. You are used to each other, and you start to take each other for granted. So you slide a little, and then you discover that you just don’t care about each other as much. You don’t care, because you don’t “take care”. You have to tend a marriage, like you tend a garden. If you don’t work on it, it gets overgrown and ugly.
Just like a bank, you have to make “deposits” – make special breakfasts for each other, give cards for no special reason, come to visit at work, do an extra chore – it doesn’t have to be things. In fact, you are probably better off if you don’t buy things. You want to show them that you are thinking about them.