Drifting in Marriage? Find Your Anchors

Have you ever had an entire argument with your spouse that they didn’t even know about because you had the whole thing in your head, or made up a scenario about “what probably happened” in a particular situation before you’ve even had a chance to hear about it? I know I have. My imagination can get the better of me if I’m not careful. I can easily fill in the silent gaps with projections and assumptions. I can form an opinion on behalf of my husband and put words in his mouth. It is unfair of me and is usually inaccurate.

One of the greatest tools we have in marriage is the mind. As with most tools, it can be used either for good or for harm. When we make assumptions or create scenarios without knowing the truth, we are using our minds as a weapon against our marriage.

Why was he late? Why didn’t he respond to my text? Why didn’t he notice ________? What did he mean by ________?

Thoughts like these are coated in fear and distrust. Now, if there are legitimate reasons for concern, that’s a different story. But if our wandering thoughts are not based on truth, we need to heed Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says, “… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We must grab each wandering thought and hold it up to the truth. This discipline of the mind can make a huge difference in our marriages. Instead of assuming negative things about our spouses, we should let our starting point be to trust what we know to be true.

Philippians 4:8 further challenges us in the discipline of our minds by saying, “… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” In other words, our minds must be trained to stay away from what is false or impure and should instead hold fast to what is true, good, and right. And in our marriages, this discipline of the mind can help keep us anchored when we are amidst the waves of life. Here are some specific ways that we can do this.


Letting our minds go back to the beginning can be very anchoring. Think about when you first met your spouse and how you fell in love. What drew you to each other? What are some of your favorite memories from when you were dating or from the early days of your marriage? Replay in your mind some specific moments when you felt the most loved or most excited to be married to your spouse. Think about what used to give you butterflies in your stomach when you saw each other. Spend time thinking about all these things both individually and together as a couple. There really is something to “rekindling the flame.” The thoughts and feelings are still there; they just need to be reawakened sometimes.

If you find your thoughts floating around and away from each other, anchor yourselves with accurate thoughts of good memories together.


On your wedding day, the two of you stood in front of at least a few other people and made vows, or promises, to each other. If you are a follower of Jesus, you also stated these vows before God. Even if you can’t remember the exact words you said, you remember the heart and thinking behind them. Some days, it feels easy to keep those promises to love and cherish one another, but other days, you might need to remind yourselves that “this is what we said we were going to do”–even when it’s hard. The commitment means something. It shouldn’t be something we can get out of so easily. If you are committed to something, you are devoted to its care. And I believe that being devoted to the care of our marriages is one of the most important things we can do in this life.

If your marriage is feeling unsteady, anchor yourselves with the reminder of your commitment to each other.


Being devoted to the care of something requires more than just a promise, though. It takes actual work to back up the promise. If your marriage is healthy and strong, it’s because you’ve both been committed and have put in the time and effort. And you do it because you want to see your marriage thrive, not just survive. The word work can get a bad rap; it can feel like something really negative. But God created us to work (It wasn’t just a consequence of sin in the Garden of Eden.), and we get to enjoy the fruit of our labor–including the good fruit we experience from the work we put into our marriages. When both you and your spouse put in the time, effort, and hard work–all wrapped up in devotion to one another–, you will see a difference.

If your relationship framework feels a bit rickety, anchor yourselves with the important work that makes it stronger.


If you and your spouse are both followers of Jesus, you are committed not only to each other but also to God the Father. When you are living in the ways that Jesus instructed us to live and are treating each other according to those ways, you will see your relationship grow and flourish. It is when we choose to live outside of the ways of Jesus that we find ourselves struggling. We are sinful, broken people, so we are going to have these struggles. However, as followers of Jesus, we have hope and understanding that others do not have. Christ is our example of love, mercy, forgiveness, and faithfulness. Though we will never achieve perfection as He did, we can learn from Him and follow His example. We can also trust God to carry us through the difficult seasons in our marriages.

If you are feeling driven and tossed by the wind and the waves in your marriage, anchor yourselves with the knowledge and faith that God Himself designed marriage, wants to see your marriage flourish, and will help you when you ask for it.

The waves will come to our marriages, for certain, so we need to be proactive in knowing how to be anchored. Thankfully, “anchored” doesn’t mean being stagnant. There is room to move, and this flexibility helps us not to break but rather to grow. Anchors don’t hold us back; they help keep us safe. And when our anchors are connected to our Creator, we can trust and need not fear.

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