Baseline:  Is Your Marriage Normal?

Roland Martinez

Is your marriage normal?  What defines normal and what authority or assessment gets to determine what a great marriage is?  Marriage is a journey filled with thrilling moments and times of utter despair. Therefore, it’s important to look outside of yourself and each other to have a clear understanding of where you and your spouse stand as a couple. Let’s explore what we’ll call your baseline in marriage, and why the conversation matters.

What is a baseline in marriage?

We need to make sure we have a grasp of what that means. Your marriage baseline represents the current state of your marriage relationship. Consider the level of satisfaction, communication, intimacy, purpose, and overall well-being that you and your spouse experience on a regular basis.  This will give us a reference point in our marriage that helps us determine the health of our marriage, giving us a guide that exposes areas for growth and improvement.

Why identify your baseline?

Soul searching: 

Sadly, many people lack self-awareness. They live life surrounded by people who only tell them what they want to hear, and if anyone tells them what they need to hear, they are quick to push them away.  (Consider Proverbs 27:6) Prayerfully, we as individuals, as well as in our marriage we need to invite those we trust to speak. Again, we need to invite those we trust to speak into our lives. While we wholly find our identity in who Christ says we are, we know that there is safety in a multitude of counselors. (Prov 11:14) Ask and the Lord will bring people into your lives that will love you enough to help smooth out your rough edges.

Cultivate emotional intimacy: 

I Peter 3 takes a deep dive in the types of healthy interaction a married couple should be having. Take some time to read and reflect on the first 13 verses. You’ll see how quickly we drift from a healthy baseline in our marriage relationship. The realities of life create distance between couples. Therefore, it’s easy to allow long periods of time to pass away without experiencing emotional closeness.

How to identify your baseline:

Consider your current experiences, emotions, and daily interactions in your marriage

What brings joy and fulfillment. Also consider what brings dissatisfaction and tension. Prayerfully bring those before the Lord. Determine to share the good and which of the challenging things are worth sharing. Remember, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8

Have a Conversation. 

Open and honest communication is paramount to understanding each other’s perspective. A healthy relationship is one where there is freedom to “undress” in every way, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, as well as physically and there be no shame. This is God’s ultimate plan for marriage. How He designed it in the garden. (Gen. 2:25)

Seek counsel.

Seek out a trusted friend, family member, or if necessary a professional counselor to help you navigate the experiences you're processing and the conversation you're having. It always helps to invite a trusted, godly, objective voice in your life and marriage.

Identifying your baseline in marriage is a great first step toward building a strong, healthy, and fulfilling relationship. Four things happen as a result.

  1. You know where you stand as a couple.
  2. You are able to set realistic goals and work together to accomplish those goals.
  3. You can share in the joys, challenges, and sorrows that life brings with greater intimacy and confidence.
  4. Embrace the journey of always pursuing getting to know each other deeply.  Stay curious!

Every marriage is unique. We often say, there is no one size fits all, no silver bullet to experience all the Lord has for your marriage. We can, however, apply practical and biblical principles to continue in our marital journey. This will ensure that our baseline is progressing towards two becoming one.

For more information, listen to our podcast on this topic.

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