If you have ever experienced falling in love, then it’s likely you have also experienced falling out of love. It tends to happen more frequently in your teens and early 20’s when you’re experimenting with the kind of person you want to spend your time with. Early experiences with committed relationships increase the chances of loves found and lost. As you move into early adulthood and your experiences expand you begin to gain a sense of self, who you are, and what you are really looking for in the person with whom you want to create a lifetime partnership.
You start out strong. It’s easy to be with your love. You don’t fuss about having to make compromises. It’s easy to find time to spend together. Conversations are easy, interesting and frequent. You look at the brighter side of your partner and the relationship. It’s not terribly difficult. You are on a “love high”. You actually choose to to focus on the positive in your partner rather than their flaws. The less than ideal aspects of the relationship tend to be marginalized. You are “in looove!”
As time goes by life changes, responsibilities increase and real life difficulties emerge. The “love high”
dissipates. Perhaps spending time together becomes less of a priority. Maybe it becomes more difficult to look for the positive and easier to find fault. If you do not consciously choose to nurture your relationship, then it will naturally move into a place in which you feel less connected and less interested in what your partner is doing and saying. It’s likely you will feel disillusioned and disappointed in the relationship. You may begin to wonder if you chose wisely when you married. When couples say “we just fell out of love”, it isn’t because you discovered horrendous flaws previously hidden. It’s because you didn’t actively work to keep love in the relationship.
Are you feeling a loss of those intense “in love” feelings? If so the good news is it does not need to be the demise of your marriage. There may be some repair work to be done, but if you and your partner decide that you want to create a marriage that is fulfilling and loving, it absolutely can be done! You can make the choice to move on and into a mature love that can bring you years of intimacy, connectedness and fulfillment.
In choosing mature love you choose to live each day with purpose and consciousness in your marriage. You consciously choose to behave lovingly toward your partner, even when it isn’t easy. You actively listen to what they have to say and engage in conversation, without criticism. You express how you feel, or ask for what you would like without injecting complaints or personal jabs. Hug, kiss, hold hands, sit next to each other on the couch when watching a movie instead of across the room from each other. Make time for each other. A mature love doesn’t require you to enjoy the same activities, the same music or have a mutual passion for sports. What is required is a positive and loving intention to be a good partner. Do your best to be encouraging of each other, especially in times of trial and difficulty. There will still be disappointments. Mature love will console, not blame.
Choosing to build a mature love isn’t without it’s challenges. You are after all only human, and there are times it will be tempting to think about the possibility of “greener grass”. Negative aspects of the relationship will still exist, but you can choose to focus on the positives – just as you chose to to do when you were falling in love. You may not be able to choose every feeling, but you can choose an attitude, how you behave and how you respond to your partner. When couples choose to move beyond the “high” into the “deep”, they are opting for a committed partnership that often goes beyond their expectations on the day they said “I do”.
February 20, 2018