Many couples hit a season of “meh.” It’s a natural part of marriage and something we all must navigate through. But I can hear some of the thoughts already: What is “meh”?
Whenever I talk to couples about the word “meh,” I get looks as if they’ve never heard the word. That is, until I use it in a sentence. Then couples realize they hear it all the time.
What do you want for dinner? Meh.
Do you want to go out? Meh.
Would you mind if my parents visited? Meh
Are you in the in “the mood”? Meh 😒
“Meh” can get the best of us. It’s the state of indifference. It’s that place where you feel a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
Guess what? We’ve all been there. All marriages face those times where you are going through the motions and things seem “meh.” Whether the season lasts a week, a month, or longer, every marriage hits that place of needing to break out of the rut you’ve been in. But please note: The feeling of “meh”is a sensation you are feeling and not the sentence your marriage is doomed to live out.
Recently, I’ve bought a new record player for my office. There’s nothing like the sound of Benny Goodman or Myles Davis playing on vinyl in the afternoon. But lately, this has become my favorite metaphor to point marriages to. When I put the needle down on the vinyl, it follows a groove (rut) to play a set of songs. If I want to change the song being played, I have to lift the needle of the groove.
I feel getting out of the “meh” is just that simple: you need to purposely do something to lift your marriage out of the “song” that has been playing. But, as I say so often at Kfirst, “Simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.”
Jog your memory
Of the 234 times the word “remember” is used in scripture, no book expresses it more than Psalms. From requests for God to remember His promises to moments of recalling who God is, our memories can be places where we can be recollect moments that provide hope and give us joy.
One of the greatest gifts God has given you is your memory. From remembering who God is to fantastic moments in your relationship, we need to rehearse what we know and the good we’ve experienced. Like any gift given, the devil would love to abuse it by reminding you of negative thoughts. This is where you need to “lift the needle” out of the negativity and place it in those moments of joy and victory. Those are the tracks you need to replay.
Push through the mood
As a very moody person, I tend to shy away from things I don’t “feel” like doing. One of them is running. Running is an activity I both love and loth (or love to loth). I can think of more reasons to NOT run even though I know there’s huge benefits to doing it. More often than not, Anne will tell me to “Suck it up and run. You’ll be fine once you get going.”
For the first mile, I’m complaining to myself about what else I could be doing and how I’m not going to do a “long run” that day. But around mile marker #1, my body is warmed up and I’m in a “mode.” Four miles later, I’m feeling good and glad that I got out there.
My actions produced the proper mood. As I said last Sunday, our emotions are not dictators but the indicators of what is going on in our soul. Your feelings are real and should be recognized. BUT I find that feelings follow actions. If you feel “meh,” then push though the feelings and take some healthy action steps to take.
Look at your rhythms
I think the great theologian Gloria Estefan said it best. “Eventually the rhythm is going to get you.” The patterns (habits) you live by become the rhythm of your marriage. Sometimes we get lulled by what we are just used to doing. And because “we’ve always done it that way,” “meh” sets in. Quite literally, the rhythm has gotten you.
I’ve seen it happen to churches. I see singles suffering from it. Far too many people are just in a rhythm of life that has been produced by the daily/weekly patterns they’ve developed. Someone once told me, “you can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” And until you step back to examine the patterns or habits you have, you’ll never understand what got you into “meh” or how to get out of it.
Where do you go from here? I’ve got two challenges for you:
- What is ONE rhythm to STOP?
- From negativity to fixating on unhealthy things, what is one pattern to stop? Where do you need to “lift the needle out of one track” so that you can begin another?
- What is ONE rhythm to START?
- Look for ways to appreciate your spouse.
- Get a daily 10-minute reconnect time.
- Plan a weekly date.
- Set daily timers on your phone to send an encouraging text to your spouse.
- Plan a weekend away.
- Once a month, find something new to do/experience together.
- Find a place in your local church to serve together.
- Find a book that you can go through together.
In so many couples I encounter, people tend to think there needs to be some massive shift to rescue them out. And because of that, there is this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness because of everything that needs to change. But often, when a marriage feels stuck, it’s not a huge change that brings the new season of refreshing. Often it comes in a subtle shift.
And the subtle shift, the new pattern/habit, can cause the Titanic to miss the iceberg.
Love you all. Praying for ya as you start ONE new rhythm today.
Thanks for letting me ramble…
BTW: My new book of my blogs came out. Click on the image to order yours!!