Nurture the source
The very beginning of a relationship starts with two unique individuals whose lives slowly mesh together, they love one another and hopefully they will grow together. These two individuals do all this whilst simultaneously blending their backgrounds, personal tastes, families, incomes, sex drives, careers and friends (It’s a miracle people can actually cohabitate). Cohabitation of two people takes planning, communication, thought and effort. Just like any creation, a relationship requires effort.
A long-term relationship is an ever-evolving organism. So, to enter a marriage with the idea that “finally I am now married in bliss from here on out” is sadly naïve. There are so many factors that two people bring together, on top of the fact that you share your space, your home, your bedroom; you bid your spouse good night and you wake to them in the morning. When things are going well and you’re feeling the love, this arrangement is perfect, but when things aren’t running quite as smoothly there is no escaping each other when feelings flare up. You have two choices; you either work through it together or choose to move on.
Did you know that in the U.S alone, approximately 40% of marriages end in divorce?
Let’s put this in perspective:
- The chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a 40 year period is 67%.
- Half of all divorces will occur in the first 7 years of marriage, and most couples only seek counseling in the 6th year of marriage.
- Some studies find that the divorce rate for second marriages is up to 10% higher than for first marriages.
These statistics are alarming. But why? Why is marriage so tough at times? Why do some lifelong relationships tick, while others tick away like a time bomb?
The answer is simple. Often the cause of separation stems from the basic misunderstanding of
- What love is.
- What it entails.
- Neither spouse recognizes its value until it is too late.
Too often, a good marriage is taken for granted rather than given the nurturing and respect that it deserves and desperately needs.
Inevitably, the honeymoon ends and life goes on. We get busy at work, we invariably spend more time with our coworkers, we hang out with our girlfriends or buddies; we end up discussing our relationship woes with them or merely taking our kids out together. We end up spending more time apart and confiding in people with whom we share our day.
Every marriage has its nagging problems that require attention but what often happens is people end up thinking the relationship is difficult because they married the wrong person. But no marriage is tension-free.
The mistake we make is that we think finding love guarantees eternal bliss; leading us to neglect the journey, the day-to-day issues, activities and events that shape our lives together and as one.
Think about it this way: would anyone seriously entertain the notion that once he or she had found their dream job, with the ideal work place ,they would no longer need to work hard? No. This approach would inevitably lead to failure. You keep working hard and striving for the next goal, as your goals shift and the dynamics of success alter with your ambitions. There is no difference when it comes to relationships. The real hard work begins after we fall in love.
One might say:
“I never felt this frustrated by anyone before. Only my spouse makes me feel this way so it must be his fault.”
But actually the opposite is true. What bothers you most about your mate is often not about him or her but a past experience that we’ve had in our lives or how we feel about ourselves. The people closest in our lives are like little mirrors to our faces, they reflect back at us that which comes from within. It may reveal:
- a fear that we’re having
- or an insecurity that’s brewing
- this relationship may bring it to light
Regardless of the cause, it’s the lesson that we take that will either allow us to remain close to our partner or to grow apart.
Remember, “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings” ~ Anais Nin.
We need to create time where we can come back together with our significant other, and reconnect and share. This is a fundamental aspect of any relationship. We must put the time in because this love connection has the potential to be totally satisfying, essentially helping us grow to levels of emotional intimacy that we are not yet aware exist.
1. When last did you and your partner share in an intimate dinner for two?
2. Do you share more with your friends that you do with your partner?
3. Do you hide things from your partner to avoid their feelings from getting hurt?