Every marriage has a culture. What’s yours?
When I refer to the culture of your marriage, I’m not referring to your ethnic background but to the prevailing atmosphere between you and your spouse. What are the predominant characteristics that your marriage exhibits?
Why Culture Matters
One of my favorite business sayings is:
Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
The quote is attributed (some think wrongly) to management guru Peter Drucker. Regardless of who coined the phrase, it is absolutely true.
In business, the truth is that the culture of your company has more influence on outcomes than strategies or plans you develop. Actually, you need both, but if your culture doesn’t line up with your aspirations, it’s almost impossible to achieve your goals.
When your strategy fails, you need to evaluate your culture.
It’s true in business, and it’s true in marriage.
Do you have hopes and dreams for your relationship with your spouse that you’ve longed to see fulfilled but haven’t yet come to pass, no matter how much you’ve tried? Maybe it’s time to take a look at the culture of your marriage.
Changing Your Culture
Culture is rarely something a couple creates on purpose. Most of the time it is the cumulative result of hundreds or thousands of past thoughts, words, and actions. That’s why it can be difficult to change. Over time, culture creates a well-worn track that your marriage runs in by default.
The process of shifting your marriage culture starts by assessing whether the track your marriage is running in now is taking you where you want to go. What do you want to have more of in your relationship? Improved friendship? Better connection? Deeper intimacy? More spiritual togetherness? Greater passion? Have more fun and adventures together? These are all great desires, but the key to seeing these things grow in your marriage, particularly if you have been after them for a while, is to shift the culture in ways that line up with your desires.
It often takes determination to change the culture in your marriage, but it can be done if you are willing to be intentional and put in the effort required to change old habits. But it will be more than worth it when the changes in your marriage that you’ve wanted for a long time begin to take shape.
In the next few posts, I’m going to propose a few areas to evaluate where patterns may have taken hold that can negatively affect the atmosphere of between you and your spouse, and I’m going to offer a few culture-shifting tips. So, stay tuned…
Between now and then, I want you to take some time to do a helpful little exercise. Write down five words that best characterize your marriage and the relationship between you and your spouse. Be honest with yourself in this, because this is the starting point for evaluating your current culture and where you’ll begin in the change process.