Just Married… “It all started out perfectly. We were so in Love, but somewhere along the way the Love ran out!”
When you fall in love with someone, the infatuation you both experience is exhilarating. You are elated. Everything is just dandy. You are doing the happy dance! You both are sure this will all help hold the relationship together.
Life is good. AND then…
What you take for granted… disappears! You stop dating. Bad mistake. Those sexy lover’s talks turn into lover’s quarrels, then arguments or disagreements become more prevalent. Children are born (Hmmm, didn’t expect so many changes) – more responsibility. Effective communication is on a downward spiral. Differences in their personalities and opinions begin to surface. Resentments begin to build. There’s not much sexual intimacy anymore, if any. The relationship feels empty. You move progressively farther apart. You both begin to lose interest and then someone says the “D” word!
“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest, never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.” – Ann Landers
He leaves his dirty underwear on the floor for her to pick up. She nags him to help her with the housework and he says, “Ill get to it later,” and never does. She begins to shut down. He knows she’s angry but when he asks her, “What’s the matter?” she gives him the silent treatment or walks away. Communication is by far the single biggest aspect that holds lovers together or tears them apart.
First of all, the Love doesn’t run out. It’s still there. We simply allow the fire for each other to go out. You must consistently fan the flames with Love and attention. Probably not on purpose, but when you stop working on the relationship and begin to take each other for granted, what would you expect? It takes work – the kind of work you do together – to keep the fire burning. It takes a lot of energy and commitment. Never lose sight of why you married your partner in the first place. Successful relationships do not work on autopilot.
Why do couples drift apart? Couples drift apart when they do not take time to talk and listen to each other. Ask him or her and the answer you usually get is that they’ve just drifted apart. It’s time to get rid of the drift word. Never allow yourselves to drift apart.
Holding on to what doesn’t work and being too darn stubborn to try to make it better serves no one and makes no sense. A stubborn person always thinks they are RIGHT. They are often into being right so deep that there seems to be no way out and sometimes that drift happens so slowly that they just don’t notice until it’s too late.
“Oh, no! I didn’t see that coming!” A comment like this usually comes from someone who was being complacent and was taking their partner for granted.
How does this happen? What makes people run away instead of holding on to each other, letting go of what doesn’t work and renewing their intention to allow the relationship to heal when tough times happen?
A twice-married woman summarized her attitude toward drifting in the following manner: “I think drifting describes so many people in this world, especially with so much external pressure and stimulation hitting us constantly. We deal with it all by not dealing with it at all. It certainly expresses what I do about so much that is difficult to face in my life.”
It’s time to reconnect! Here are only a few of the changes you should consider working on:
• focus on communicating better and more often
• become better listeners
• avoid blaming
• begin dating again – Make one night each week a date-night
• take responsibility for your actions and feelings
• spend more time together as a couple – Discover new activities you can enjoy together
• be more affectionate and considerate
• surprise each other with special things, not just on special days
• become partners in parenting
• respect each other’s differences
• find moments to connect with your partner many times every day
• support each other in extended family conflicts
• invent new ways to nurture your relationship
• journal your feelings in a private journal
• remember to say, “I love you” (out loud) to your partner at least once every day (more often is best!)
• place a priority on spending quality time together
• be proactive by creating a plan together
• overlook those small negative habits your partner has that get under your skin – Focus on what you Love about them
• seek professional coaching
Now begins the restoration of your marriage and the path to reconnection! Prevent yourselves from drifting apart by making your marriage a top priority. Growing together as a couple is an essential component in any happy marriage. Are you willing to change?
“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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