Now this may sound like a strange question. But think about it – what do windshield wipers do? You may be thinking, “Isn’t it obvious? They get the rain off of the windshield.” While that is certainly correct, I want you to visualize how they operate. “Hmm, well they are synchronized and operate together to get the job done.” That is absolutely true. But the reason one relationship expert coined this term is that while the do accomplish the task, they never intersect.

More and more frequently, I am seeing marriages of 25, 30, or 35 years that fit this description. It doesn’t happen overnight but it typically is a gradual transition. It isn’t anything that either party does on purpose. It is just that without intentionality to prevent it – it happens.

Think about it. If you are in a lengthy marriage with kids, it wasn’t always this way. Starting out of the gate your relationship was a priority to each other. But the kids came along and they require focus and attention. Before long, you are running one kid to piano lessons while your spouse takes the other to football practice; while one of you attends the piano recital the other is supporting the other child by being at their game. There is certainly nothing wrong with any of this. However, if we let this continue for 18 years, the kids go off to college and we find ourselves living with a stranger. Like the windshield wipers, we got the job done, but we never interacted and our relationship grew cold.

But it doesn’t have to remain this way. There are steps you can take to prevent it in the first place or, if you are already there, strategies to revitalize your marriage. Next time, in part 2, we will look at some of those specific steps. I promise you – there is hope!