There’s no secret to true love and relationships, but there are a few things you can do to make it last.
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It’s no secret that men often struggle with love, and a lot of it has to do with what we say to ourselves. Guys, we all need help with how we communicate with women, and I’m going to help you out with that. Here are 5 love secrets your therapist never told you about.. Read more about how do you tell if your wife still loves you after separation? and let us know what you think.
That’s true, I’ll confess it. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Weddings make me weep, and I like reading Nicholas Sparks books. I still get caught up watching romantic films like Titanic, Dirty Dancing, When Harry Met Sally, and Casablanca. I make up vacations so that I may buy flowers for my wife. But it took me a long time to find out how to establish a long-lasting love connection. My previous two marriages ended in divorce, and after 36 years of marriage, Carlin and I are still learning about love. The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best Is Yet to Come is a handbook for people who still believe in love but don’t have a lot of time on their hands.
Our career is chosen for a number of reasons. Part of the reason I wanted to be a marital and family counselor, I’m sure, was to better understand my own family life—my parents separated when I was five years old. My father’s irritability, anger, and depression were growing. My mother was always concerned and nervous, and she was preoccupied with death. I wanted to discover the mysteries of love so that I might have a long-lasting, passionate, strong, and fulfilling relationship. However, in order to grasp the mysteries of love, we must relinquish some of our most treasured beliefs.
- The first love secret is that love is not exclusive.
We are all aware that we may have a large number of “loved ones.” In addition to our spouse or lover, we may love our children, parents, and even distant relatives and acquaintances. We, on the other hand, think that love is confined to a select few and that we can only have one “great love of our life.” When we’re single, we often want for that particular someone with whom we may fall passionately in love and spend the rest of our lives.
However, love is not mutually exclusive. I tell my customers that there are 5,284 great mates out there for them to fall in love with and be incredibly happy with. Although the exact number is a joke, the notion that there is a “one and only” lover out there makes us more fearful than we need to be. The reality is that we can love a lot of people.
- Love Secret #2: Love is fleeting.
The couple who had been married for 54 years is the subject of a joke. “You never tell me you love me,” the wife grumbled. “When we got married, I told you I loved you,” the guy said. I’ll let you know if my opinion changes.” We have the erroneous notion that “when we fall in love, it will last forever.” In a love song, it sounds wonderful, but it doesn’t work in real life.
Assume you’ve just married. You’re passionately in love and looking lovingly into your spouse’s eyes, imagining a lifetime of happiness. Following the wedding, you settle down for supper. No one imagines that after the wedding supper, you won’t have to eat again. We recognize that our bodies need nutrition at least three times each day. We, on the other hand, make the error of assuming that love, once felt, will endure forever.
- Love is a sequence of emotional connections of caring and support, according to Love Secret #3.
In college, I remember falling in love with Jeanie. The fact was that everyone was smitten with Jeanie. She wasn’t the prettiest or sexiest female we knew, but she was always fully present in the moment when you were with her. You were engulfed in love as she gazed into your eyes. You had the impression that you were the most important person on the planet, and that she really cared about you. She appeared to bring out the best in you as well.
“Within each instant of loving connection, you become genuinely involved in this other person’s well-being, solely for his or her own sake,” Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D, writes in her book Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become. These love exchanges are similar to food. Every day, we need numerous experiences of love in order to be healthy. If you don’t nourish your relationship with love, it will perish just as you would if you didn’t have air or food to consume.
- Love Secret #4: Love and marriage aren’t always compatible.
I recall hearing a song as a kid about love and marriage being like a horse and carriage. When we fall in love and marry, we consider love to be the foundation of our partnership. We believe there must be something wrong with the marriage if love appears to vanish, as it frequently does in a long-term committed partnership. We believe we have selected the incorrect spouse or that our preferred partner has vanished.
“I still love my partner, but I’m not in love with them anymore,” I often hear couples remark. This is typically an indication that one or both spouses want to leave. But, in reality, marriage isn’t only about soft kisses and warm hugs. There will be confusion, rage, anguish, and agony, as with all hero’s journeys.
Dr. Fredrickson adds, “When you associate love with personal interactions, love may appear perplexing.” “It feels wonderful at times, yet it aches like hell at others. It raises you up with great aspirations for your future at times, and oppresses you at other times with humiliation over your shortcomings or remorse over your past actions.” Even in the greatest marriages, love tends to vanish when we need it most.
- Love Secret #5: In Stage 3 of an intimate relationship, love may seem scarce. Don’t give up hope.
Most of us have grown up with some version of the idea that marriage has two phases. We meet that particular someone and fall in love in the initial stage. Our love grows in the second stage, and we begin to create a life together. We’re going to live together and may have children. We hope that this period will continue, and that “they lived happily ever after,” as the fairy tales tell us.
Most relationships, though, aren’t like that. We don’t always live happily ever after, even in wonderful partnerships. There is a sense of disappointment and tension. “When Romantic Love fades, it seems like you can’t do anything right,” explain marriage specialists Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. Someone who was once your biggest supporter may turn into your worst critic. Napping takes the place of adoration. You begin to wonder, ‘Who is this guy I married?’ We used to get along swimmingly.’
It’s not always easy to offer each other the affection we so badly want. We feel deceived, and love’s well-spring seems to be drying up. Don’t be discouraged. This is the third stage in a mature relationship. It’s what I refer to as disenchantment. It’s a period when we must let go of all the expectations we have for our spouse. We view things not as they are, but how we would want them to be. The good news is that we now have the opportunity to view our partner clearly.
We don’t like what we see at first. What we don’t like are the projections from our damaged childhoods, for the most part. Most of us did not grow up with ideal parents, and the abuse, neglect, and abandonment we experienced as children resurface in this third stage. Indeed, one of the primary reasons we’re here is to bring these ancient wounds to light so they may be healed.
In the context of our adult relationship, dealing with these childhood traumas enables us to go to the fourth stage, which I refer to as genuine, enduring love. During this stage, we fall in love with our spouse again, and we may then go on to stage 5, discovering our purpose as a couple, where we can use the love we’ve built to accomplish good in the world.
In my Enlightened Marriage Masters Class, I show you how to go through all five phases of love. Don’t give up if you’re having trouble. Continue to provide as much love as you can. It’s yours to give to your partner, and it’s yours to keep. It’s important to remember that learning to love is a hero’s journey. It’s difficult, but then again, so is anything important in life. I eagerly await your response. Please share your experiences in the comments area below, and then follow me on Twitter.
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