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We hear it all the time. “I have fallen out of love with you,” spouse says. Meanwhile partner feels as if the rug has been yanked out from under him or her.
Hollywood makes a big deal out of this idea of "falling out of love" and often, it's an excuse? for the romantic lead to find their "one true love" and live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t and shouldn’t happen that way in real life and usually, our notions of falling in and out of love are based on fantasy rather than reality.
In everything, to be forewarned is to be forearmed and the best marriages are entered into with eyes open and enough information about mature relationships to ensure that it can weather storms. Even before a couple gets to the point of “falling out of love” with one another, it is important that they have understood what it really means to love and the commitment it entails.
First, to fall in and out of love assumes that we understand love to be this heady feeling that carries us away. The rational human being is out of control under its intoxicating, head reeling influence..
The truth is, based upon years of experience with thousands of successful marriages as well as psychological and scientific studies of human behavior in relationship, the reeling feeling is not all that love is.
Sure, it may feel that way at the beginning and yes, it is absolutely normal. But it is also ephemeral. The feeling has a
And when the prospect of spending years together sets in, the correct question to ask one’s self would be “How now do I love without the initial thrill?” It is often precisely when the feeling fades that numerous couples misunderstand and turn to divorce or separation due to irreconcilable differences.
Worse, while still married, they start seeking for something or someone that will “bring back the feeling again” outside the marital relationship. Simply because they lack the understanding of what love really is.
Examining what one believes and expects out of love is a valuable first step.
- How do you describe love and what do you think it can do for you?
- Does it guarantee passion all the time?
- Will it always bring out the best in the two of you?
- Will you two ride off into the sunset?
- Will love conquer all?
Ask yourself these questions and then some and you might find out some things about your attitude towards love that may prove unhealthy in the long run. Be prepared to discover that love, at its best is not all these things. But, it’s more.
We also have to discover that relationships have their stages. We begin with the experience of falling in love, then the honeymoon stage. After that however is the crucial part.
The feelings fade and, if misunderstood, chaos will ensue. If prepared, with our understanding comes the expectation that even if the feeling may not be there, it doesn’t mean we don’t love.
This is vital for both parties in a relationship to internalize. Love is a commitment. It is not just a feeling, it is an action.
A mature person loves by choice and not simply by circumstance.
Love is the product of all the very best a human being has to offer to another – body, spirit and a sound mind – rather than the other way around with love taking the person for a ride.
When all else fails, however, and the time of preparation has passed, how could one hope to save a marriage where one spouse claims to have fallen out of love with the other?
Short of emphasizing the value of pre-understanding and maturing the relationship even before this could happen, there are a few things one can do.
If the other party is willing, dialogue is a good place to start. There are numerous tools and methods available for a couple – together or with a counselor/mediator – that would help them examine their present situation.
Talk to your spouse and tell him or her that the relationship deserves at the very least, dialogue. Dialogue births understanding and truly comprehending why the marriage is failing can actually provide the insight on how to repair it.
If there is a commitment to at least try to get the marriage back on track, renew your beliefs about love, as well as your goals and expectations about your marriage.
Rather than acting like two individuals bringing their own agenda into the relationship, explore seeing the relationship as a couple with a couple’s agenda. The maxim two become one is a good thing to remember here.
Do some positive loving acts for your spouse – without expecting anything in return. These mirror your mature, positive view of what love really is. Make these acts little things.
They don’t have to be grand gestures. It’s the little everyday things that matter, showing that truly, loving is little everyday things as well.
Finally, a paradox. While working on the marriage, work on yourself too. Don’t allow the circumstances to beat you down.
Keep your into of making some physical changes such as keeping fit or making some personal changes in the way you dress or your hairstyle. Unrelated to your marriage crisis I know, but it’s amazing how small personal changes can impact on the way you feel about yourself and others.
Engaging people attract, while depressed and those who try too hard repel. If you want to bring back the love, love yourself first and become lovable.