Most people who grow up believing in the power of love don’t understand why relationships fall apart, especially when people love each other. Why isn’t love enough to keep people together?
Falling in love is one of the most wonderful parts of being human. When we feel connected to another person our soul feels as if it has found a home. We feel understood and safe. We feel whole. This is the most exhilarating time in a relationship. It is also a temporary phase.
Love Isn’t One Long Honeymoon
So when people find themselves in the next phase when the glow fades a little, there is a reality check. When the intense feelings decrease a realization sets in.
You might be saying to yourself, “This is the person I married. This is the person I am in relationship with. Wow, he or she has behaviors that I don’t like. Wow, this person doesn’t get me the way I thought they would. How could I have missed this? We had chemistry, such great chemistry in the beginning. Isn’t that enough? Why isn’t that enough?”
We May Wind Up Wishing Our Partner Would Change
When we find ourselves in this stage we are really looking for our partner to morph into the person we want. If he or she could just do what would make us happy we would feel great. So we try and get them to do what we want so we will feel better. We try and try. Unfortunately our partner is doing the same to us: trying and trying to get us to change into the person he or she wants too.
As couples grow frustrated with each other, they disconnect from the good stuff they shared earlier in the relationship. Many couples stay in this stage for the length of their relationship. They adjust to each other and just make do. Other couples break apart.
Beyond Love, Relationships Need Effective Communication
Before that happens I like to help couples understand what they need. That way they can ask their partner for it, instead of expecting that partner to just know it and deliver. When couples can take a look at their own needs, wants and desires, then they can get them met. Until each person understands what will make them happy, there is no way anyone can give it to them.
So how does love fit into the relationship? Love is the basis for everything else: companionship, support, comfort, security, and safety. Learning how to understand yourself, your partner, and the relationship is key to getting and staying there.
Communicate Lovingly with Your Spouse
Read a Book About How to Communicate with Your Spouse
Can’t make it on Monday? Learn more about how to communicate with your spouse by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It has conflict resolution strategies, tips for feeling heard, and suggestions on how to express your love and celebrate your relationship. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.