So often in coaching couples about their relationship, I hear one or both partners say, “The passion is gone. We’re just roommates. It’s just not the same as it was.” How sad to have moved away from the excitement that once was.
While it may be true that with the passing of time some couples tend to tilt away from the consistency of effort that is required to keep them on track, it doesn’t have to be that way.
When you have experienced a pulling away, a slowdown in affection, sex and all the other important things that seemed to matter when you first met, it is often difficult to begin again.
The hardest part of coming out of a slump is acknowledging you are in one. You cannot solve a problem that you cannot admit you have.
Don’t give up! The power to break through a slump is in you.
If you are thinking, “It’s no use. I’m tired of doing all the work in the relationship. He/She isn’t even trying. I’ve got to get out!” Think again. Your interpretation of how things are colors what happens next. It alters your forward motion. While in the heat of battle, it may feel easier to leave the relationship rather than do the work you committed to in the first place. The odds are against you.
Making another relationship work most likely will not work if you do not take time to work though the issues you are currently experiencing. It is most difficult to start over in a relationship you are already in, much less begin a new one.
Adversity does not create a great relationship – it reveals it! Upsets create the wisdom necessary to grow in spite of the situation. Upsets stimulate courage to face what’s next. To have a problem be an experience of value, you must be attentive to the lesson the upset presents and be courageous enough to do what is necessary to avoid a future setback for the same reason.
It helps when both partners are in agreement. Obviously one person cannot do the work of two. Remember you are in a partnership. It takes two! The sad truth is, you know the relationship is over when one partner refuses to work on the relationship.
Once the decision to move forward is clear, getting started will be your next hurdle. It requires your personal urgency. It will take a leap of faith. This may feel like you are living your life in the leap; not being sure of what will happen or where you will land. It will also take courage. It will take both partners working together, making new promises and beginning with baby steps.
It’s time to make some new choices such as changing your thinking, constructing new behavioral patterns and changing your relationship from one that may be sinking into the abyss, into one you can be proud to be in.
At least now you know what doesn’t work. Perhaps this is good. Don’t do your relationship that way anymore. The secret is to not repeat past destructive behaviors. It is much wiser to learn to remake the future than to continue to relive the past.
Copyright © 2009 – 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 a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.
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