When we fall in love we have deep feelings that what we are experiencing is amazing and unique, and unlike anything we have ever experienced before. For many of us it’s a dream come true, finally. So why doesn’t this wonderful feeling last? Why does it seem that after a while you begin to feel misunderstood by your partner? How did this shift happen? Just a little while ago you were just so close it felt like you were sharing one breath?
This is the hardest part of falling in love; the after. What happens when that intense desire and pull to be together eases a bit and other things start to creep into that magical space. It just doesn’t seem right, it shouldn’t change. It should stay just the same as it was. So what’s wrong with my partner? That’s often the first question that pops into our heads.
Other questions might include, “Why does he or she act the way they do and why are they getting on my nerves? I don’t think they love me as much as they did or they wouldn’t act this way. Maybe they are falling out of love with me. What should I do? I want to get what we shared back. How do I get it back?”
As a Marriage and Family therapist, one of the most common questions I am asked by couples is, “How do we get back to the way we were?” It would be great if there was a map for people, a set of instructions everyone could follow and then everyone could go back to their loving, magical place and never worry. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen and there is no set of instructions. There is however, a way to find something else, and maybe you might find it satisfying in another way, and it could be richer and deeper and safer for you as well.
This probably sounds like just words to you, because if you are in a difficult relationship you are already working to make it better and what you are doing may not be working, so how can you think it could be richer and deeper and satisfying if that’s not what you are experiencing. I understand, but here is what I believe.
As I work with couples I know that one way to get to a great relationship each person has to begin the journey of self; what do I think, what do I feel, what makes me happy, sad, uncomfortable, lonely, etc. This is the journey of the inner-self. All of us dabble in this from birth, but to be in a healthy relationship you have to be advanced in your own knowledge of yourself in order to be a good mate to your partner.
Understanding yourself is one of the foundational keys to building a life-long partnership. You want to build something that lasts, through life, so you and your mate can walk the journey together. That means you keep the big picture in the forefront, and you don’t let the disagreements tear you apart. There will always be misunderstandings. You live in different thoughts and minds. Get to know how your partner thinks and feels. Ask questions even if you think they are silly. All of us long to be of interest to another. Show your beloved you are interested in him or her.
Try not to take your mate for granted. Too much in life doesn’t go our way. Make a pact with your partner to make the relationship the one place where you will try to be on the same page, allowing understanding of each other and coming to a common ground. No one should be winning, both of you should feel good. That’s how you make love last.
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