Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored


Marriage and the Road Trip, Part 3 of 4

Married life can be comparable to an extended road trip…spending long hours together deciding where to go, how to get there, what to eat and who’s driving. There’s bad weather, dull conversations, and traffic to make the trip difficult sometimes (not to mention occasionally getting lost), however, find the right traveling companion and follow a few key rules of road etiquette, and your bound to have a great time…and collect a lot of great road trip memories.

This post begins a multipart series of tips for marital bliss. I hope you appreciate my suggestions, and that they contribute to a smoother ride for you and your beloved companion.

Read the previous posts here:
Part 1 -
Part 2 -

Drop Expectations & Welcome the Adventure:

Sometimes the worst enemy of a great road trip is lofty expectations. Have you ever followed one of those grand travel center brochures to a complete waste of time? Ever visited the world’s coolest shopping center in Atlanta, Denver, or Austin? We’ve seen them all. Our review: “underwhelming”.

Marriage can be like that too. What’s sex like to someone who’s watched prime-time television? Underwhelming. What’s romance like in marriage compared to the thrill ride of dating? Underwhelming. Why? Expectations. Life, both secular and sacred, can give us unrealistic expectations for the future. There is nothing harder on a spouse than expecting him or her to live up to the example of your father or your dream husband after one year of marriage. Change takes time. Change takes encouragement, not condemnation.

This is not to say that you should expect the worst for your marriage, or that you shouldn’t consider it a relationship with a lot of thrills in store for your life. But be realistic, and plan to let the best parts of married life surprise you. Celebrate the flowers when he brings them home for you. Thank her for dinner, even when it’s not as good as Olive Garden. And find something worthwhile to talk about around the world’s largest Cast Iron Skillet. The more you allow the contributions of your spouse to thrill you, the more that you are thankful for them, the more they will want to do them for you.

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