Supposedly, we are rational beings with a pretty good overview of life’s ups and downs… so how come all we’re taught to prepare for is the day we find ‘The One’ but not what to do the day we fall out of love with that same ‘One’?
It’s really kinda funny when you think about it. It’s not even statistically probably that we will stay in love for more than two years… three years max – hormones make sure of that!
I hear people claim to be happily married and still very much in love with their significant other after many years. However, I have yet to meet any of these people in real life. I’m sure they must exist but since I think we all agree that they are in a minority, isn’t it about time the rest of us came up with a game plan?
Yeah, some sort of plan instead of what most of us do… Start looking for faults, cheat, withhold, increase the blame frequency, make life more and more difficult for our partner… until they have no choice to end it with us unless we beat them to it. Never mind the kids. Children used to be a reason for people to stick together. Not so in this day and age when many women are better off financially as single mothers.
But shouldn’t the challenge of staying in love for a life time be the real challenge? I’m not after proving that ‘happily ever after’ exists but I’d like to believe that it is worth fighting to keep sacred vows real. Words mean less and less and we suffer on a global scale because of this. There is simply no accountability to be seen anywhere any more.
Here is a five point plan for making it possible to fall back in love again after you fall out of love:
* Be realistic about the fact that a relationship has ups and downs, and especially the fact that the first excitement about being together wears off after about 18 months. Talk about this from the start and make a plan to keep love alive together!
* Don’t be afraid to argue. Resentment builds quickly if there is no way to let off steam. But find a way of arguing that doesn’t cause damage.
* Make pleasure a priority. It is all too easy to focus only on work and necessities like mortgage payments and school runs (especially when the kids are young). Have a weekly date night. It doesn’t have to be big night out but it has to be time devoted simply to doing something pleasurable together (does not have to be sex).
* Seek the help of a professional. There is no harm in seeking outside help from a relationship counsellor or sex therapist (unless one of you end up in bed with the therapist, but that’s for a different post).
* Cherish him and show your appreciation in every imaginable way. Yes, I realise that this is a ‘fake it until you make it’ approach if his snoring alone is driving you up the wall but it possible for love (even if in the form of agape rather than eros) to survive even during emotional dry spells. That’s just the thing about emotions… they come and go… and then they come back again. Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen after you’ve signed the last of the divorce papers.
Remind yourself to treat your spouse at least as well as you treat your best and most cherished friend. There is no reason not to. In your old age, you will want to know that the one you are holding hands with is your best friend as well as lover.
Getting a divorce and regretting it is worse than trying for another six months. Know when to call it a day only after you’ve given your love the chance it deserves. And be careful with those vows. Words are magick and if we water them down in one area of life, they lose their power in other areas too.