Is your spouse your cellmate or soul mate? In other words, do you have an intimate relationship with your spouse or is your relationship merely functional? Evaluate the typical days in your relationship. How much time do you spend together daily in personal conversation giving each other your undivided attention, i.e., the television isn’t on, newspaper or book is not in your hand, etc.? How often do you have sex and make love (they are different things)? How many things do you do together where both of you are involved in accomplishing something as opposed to just being in the same place at the same time together?
Many couples do not invest enough time in the marriage relationship. Instead, they gradually fall apart emotionally and personally as they become trapped by the daily grind of work, bills, children, and other responsibilities. People spend more time researching the best home to get, the best vacation to take, or the best car to buy, than they do “researching” their own marriage relationship. We need to invest more
What is a soul mate? In marriage, I will define a soul mate as that spouse who you are deeply connected to emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually. Your soulmate is someone that you are joined to and treks through life together. It is the “one flesh” that the Bible says a husband and wife become. Soul mates are together, which I believe is extremely important in a marriage relationship. If the husband and wife are not together, then they are not soul mates, even if they could be.
What is a cellmate? In marriage, a cellmate is a spouse that is only responsibly connected to their spouse. There is little to no emotional connection. They are simply getting things done like raising the kids, paying the bills, going to work, etc. They are not trekking through life together, but rather merely happen to be walking down the same road next to each other. Cellmates are not together. They are just in the same place at the same time, so to speak. They are both trapped in Household, Inc.
Cellmates may get along with each other fine and seem to be happy. However, at an emotional and personal level, they are miles apart and perhaps unhappy with their lives if they yearn an emotional connection with their spouse. Cellmates may even have sex, but that sex will be to fulfill their libido as opposed to making love.
Being cellmates may not be all bad depending on the couple. Some people are content with having a functional relationship instead of an intimate one. In some cases, a functional relationship may be all the couple knows, and therefore don’t pursue an intimate connection with each other. Problems occur if the husband or the wife desires a personal connection with their spouse, and that doesn’t happen for many years. These problems can grow into severe issues as the years past until finally the husband or wife has had enough and checks out of the marriage, so to speak.
Escaping the Cell
This doesn’t have to happen. A couple can move out of the cell and into the garden. They can move from cellmates to soul mates if they become aware of the issue and work to correct it. There is a scripture in the Bible that I always recall, and that is, “The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches come in and choke the word and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). Basically, the grind of everyday life can choke the life out of anything if we allow ourselves to focus on it and convert our lives to mere existence and survival instead of a journey. Are you on a journey with your spouse or are the two of you merely sharing the same cattle shoot together?
It is possible to escape the cell and become connected at the level of the soul. However, both husband and wife need to want this. If only one is pursuing an intimate relationship and the other is not, then strive, resentment and hopelessness can, and probably will creep in and further destroy the marriage relationship. Of course, the spouse wanting an intimate relationship may also give up and resolve that his or her relationship to their spouse will only be functional and there is no hope to connect at an emotional level.
Here are a few tips to help you and your spouse escape the cell.
Repent – Decide to Leave the Cell Behind
The first thing that has to happen is to repent, i.e., decide to make a change and leave the old way behind. Both husband and wife resolve to not live a mere functional life in the cell, but to pursue a journey of life together intimately. The husband and wife decide to pursue each other at a deep level
Anything that you want to accomplish takes know-how. Educate yourself about what makes a happy marriage (Congratulations. You’re reading this article, so you’re already on the way). Learn what couples can do together and build a list of activities you can enjoy together. Learn how to resolve conflicts so that resentment does not creep into your marriage and destroy it. Learn and then do it.
Prioritize the Marriage
If you don’t prioritize your marriage relationship over the children, job, family, clubs, church, etc., then it will be that much more difficult to become soul mates. This is because the cares of the world are still dominating your life. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to forsake everything to spend time together. Not at all. It means that you will not take your marriage for granted when making plans and taking care of responsibilities.
Have Less Sex and Make More Love
Having sex with your spouse isn’t necessarily an intimate affair on an emotional level. Sure, you are intimate at a physical level, but that doesn’t mean that you have connected emotionally with your soul mate. Allow sex to become making love as you seek to purposely connect with your spouse during sex. Use sexual relations with each other to involve more than the body but include the soul. Use sex to connect deeply with your spouse by making a lot of love together.
Spend Quality Time Together
You can’t be intimate if you’re not spending time together. Spending quality time together means that the television is off, the smartphone isn’t nearby, the tablet is not in your hands, etc. Spending quality time together may mean that you have a deep conversation about sensitive, important, or personal topics. Take walks together. Go on a bike ride together. Do some shopping together, etc. Figure out what you can do together and do it.
Prioritize this even if you have children. Find a way to get alone together. Take vacations with only the two of you. Getaway together. Stay at a hotel for a night or two at a hotel near you just to get away from the daily grind. Live with the Amish for a few days! Just kidding. I happen to love visiting Lancaster, PA where the Amish are located.
Be Crazy With Each Other
I’m very good at this. At least I think so. Have some fun with each other. Laugh with each other. Joke around with each other. Mess with each other. Have pillow fights and the like. Wrestle each other and, husbands, allow your wife to get you in a head-scissor or reverse scissor. How sensual would that be—or whatever turns you on. Anyway, relax and have some fun in your life. Of course, keep it in the realm of comfortability with your spouse.
Evaluate Your Relationship
It is important that you keep tabs on your relationship. Don’t make it an analytical thing, but rather, periodically determine if you are getting more intimate with each other or if you are falling back into the daily grind. Are you becoming soul mates or are you gradually going back into your cell? Just keep an eye on your progress and make adjustments as needed.
Stay Connected To Jesus Christ
I think this is very important. I experienced a time in my married life when I was evaluating myself so much that I caused feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and a lot of other bad feelings about myself. That adversely affected the decisions that I made for years, which in turn affected my marriage. However, I stayed connected to God and eventually was pulled out of that stupor by the Word of God.
Staying connected to Christ will help you not depend on you to make things better. The Bible tells us that God blesses the righteous and surrounds them with favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:12). You and your spouse should spend some time reading and discussing the Bible together. This will help you to stay connected with each other and apply the glue of God’s word into your life and marriage. Success is imminent! Live by God’s word (Matthew 4:4).
Forgive and Resolve Conflicts
Resentment is the silent killer of many relationships, and not just marriages. It is almost impossible to build a healthy marriage if you are harboring resentment towards your spouse. You must forgive your spouse for you to move forward. We don’t realize that holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and thinking the other person will die. No. Holding resentment will destroy you and your relationship from the inside out. Forgive your spouse and resolve conflicts.
Resolving conflicts with your spouse is something that we must practice to get good at. It is also imperative that you are forgiving and understanding, not allowing resentment to germinate. Sometimes you may have to compromise. Sometimes you may have to give up what you want for the sake or benefit of your spouse. Sometimes your spouse will do those for you. It’s always a “give and take” in any relationship. So, don’t expect everything to go your way. Forgive your spouse for offending you and resolve any conflicts that arise between the two of you.
Change You, Not Your Spouse
A big mistake that we may make with regards to building a happy marriage and escaping the cell, is that we try to change our spouse. You cannot change another person, at least not directly. You can only change you. So, work on being a better husband or wife. Learn what makes a man tick or a woman tick so to speak. Be a better you and your spouse will respond to that, just as he or she has already responded to what you’ve done in the past. Change you to escape the cell to change your marriage.
These were just some insight into what you can do to escape the cell if you find that you and your spouse have a cellmate relationship instead of a soul mate. Pursue to be a soul mate and you will obtain it. Both husband and wife must want that kind of relationship for it to truly manifest. Seek a happy marriage with your spouse…and have some fun too!
Save My Marriage, Marriage & Making it Work
Free Ebook: What Happens to Love In Marriage
Get your free copy of "What Happens to Love in Marriage?" Learn the path that love takes in a marriage and how you can nurture it to produce the loving, happy, and fulfilling marriage that you desire to have.