You can’t wait to get married.

I love them so much! “He is my best friend and soulmate.” “When we get married, life will be perfect.” “I’ll do anything for her.”

The wedding comes and goes. Months and years follow. Children are born. Jobs take priority. Life settles in and at some point, you’re hit with a new reality: The person I loved is now just the person I live with and tolerate.

We couldn’t keep our hands off each other before we got married. Now we don’t even hug to say goodbye. Intimacy has dwindled. Is this really as good as it gets? Has my spouse become my roommate?

It’s hard living with someone else and it’s easy to fall into a default way of living. You don’t want a divorce so you live with the awkwardness and make it work as best you can.

I know what it’s like to be a person of faith and not wanting to admit that things are crumbling in your relationship. You are afraid to reach out for help because you don’t want the people to know that your life really isn’t perfect.

If you find yourself in a similar marriage, you are not alone. There are so many couples out there living more like roommates with privileges than a married couple.

Here are a few warning signs you are in or close to the roommate zone:

You barely communicate when apart.

When you do get a text, you subconsciously feel grated. It’s a bother. You are at work and don’t want to focus on whatever request is being asked of you. Spend some time praying together. This may seem weird for a bunch of us to do but it needs to be done.

You begin to dread your spouse saying your name.

Every time they say your name, you know it’s because a task is associated and it’s begun to irritate you. This is natural if you’re not actively working on taking care of each other’s needs. Take care of the other person.

It’s hard when you aren’t getting the love you know you deserve. Still, show love and take care of them and their needs. Go above and beyond. Serve one another. The famous saying, “Intimacy starts in the kitchen” is right. Take care of your spouse and show more love daily. Speak words of encouragement to one another when there’s no task list to be done.

You feel more life when speaking to another person of the opposite sex than your spouse.

You look forward to seeing them and talk with them. You wonder if they will like what you wore to work that day and you tend to wear outfits they complimented more often. This shows that you are deficient in the love area at home and are slowly beginning to fill those needs elsewhere. This is a major red flag to the health of your marriage.

Speak openly to your partner about your needs. If it’s a conversation surrounding intimacy or sex, be open about that too. There’s nothing wrong with needing a schedule or speaking to a counselor that might help you reconnect. Life is crazy and we fall into default mode rather easily. Neglecting your connection ultimately pushes you further apart. I have friends who have an “every Tuesday” rule because it’s perfect timing for their schedules. Work at your connection. It’s important to protect that, no matter what. Even when you’re mad, irritated or tired. Chances are that if you prioritize your “schedule,” you will forget why you were mad or irritated in the first place.

You spend more time on Facebook or Instagram than talking with your spouse.

Maybe you’re online checking out other people or posting photos because you need the likes, comments and messages for affirmation. Stop letting social media shape such a big part of your life. Don’t let other people’s highlight reel make you feel as though your life isn’t up to par or like you need to showcase a perfect representation of your own.

Don’t let likes and comments from someone else affirm you more than the comments and touch of your spouse. That’s a danger zone to avoid entirely. Put the phone down and schedule date night. Try learning a new hobby together or checking out the new places in town you’ve been interested in. Don’t let something as shallow as social media take you away from what’s actually in front of you.

Your life and your marriage are important. Don’t give up. Fight for them. And don’t settle for a roommate when God gave you a spouse.

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