- Mental Health»
- Mental Health Self-Help
Falling Back in Love After Falling out of It
Betraying a Vow
It seems to be such a common human trait to fall out of love and lose all interest for the person that we only recently adored. What did go wrong? Well, just as we can develop a physiological tolerance to a certain drug, some of us may see that person as if for the first time, noticing so many flaws that were not there before.
As I am going for my frequent walks to a park and some big shopping malls, I can't but notice those young couples pushing a stroller with a crying kid and obviously having an argument. My natural reaction is wishing to be able to stick their wedding photo in front of their noses and ask them if that argument was a part of those solemn wedding vows.
A Whimsical Heart
It's so unfortunate how many couples don't step into their "holy matrimony" with a mature readiness which would mean their being clear about what they want from marriage. Instead, they seem to be guided in life by a childish impulsiveness which makes them hot-headed for a while only to allow that feeling to wear off after a sexual saturation that seeks a "new drug".
You may see so many of them with that look of being tired and stuck, merely tolerating that "mess they got themselves into". Nothing of that dating phase of the relationship seems to have survived that sudden shift in heart.
With Arguments to the Rescue
What most of them never learned was that every relationship needs nurturing, like a house plant, or it is bound to perish over a time of neglect. They may gather enough willingness to fix the situation, but then again, they do it impulsively, by trying to bridge their personal differences.
In their inventory of the relationship they only see what the other one is doing wrong, so blaming becomes the name of the game. In the process they are only further alienating them selves from each other, as their effort is all based on negativities and how to smoothen them.
Power of an Imagined Loss
My approach could be somewhat radical, but if I happened to be their marriage counselor, I would first try to find out what's left of that love. For that purpose I would ask them separately how they would feel about some other person making their partner happy - in bed and otherwise.
You see, some folks are totally unaware of how much someone means to them until you face them with a prospect of losing him or her. So, instead of focusing on their differences and how to bridge them, I would put the emphasis on their left over feelings for each other and what could possibly be recycled there. Then that could be used as a stepping stone for a new and more mature version of their relationship.
Who Said Marriage Means a Guaranteed Fun?
Couples in trouble ought to realize how they have allowed themselves to exaggerate about the sameness in the part of marriage that's an unavoidable routine. Some dry realism may help if they are willing to face the fact that it's not "just the two of them" that are creating that feeling of sameness.
Namely, they keep seeing the same image in the mirror day in day out, they go to the same job every day, and so much else in life is the same - but they somehow manage to forgive that part of the monotony and suddenly only see their marriage of not delivering enough fun and excitement. Furthermore, they didn't disown their parents and siblings with whom they lived for a big part of their life - so what are they expecting from their spouses?
A Mention of More Serious Situations
Of course, there are spouses who "unwrap" their true personalities soon after the wedding bells get silent - by becoming abusive, maybe turning to alcohol, gambling, drugs, promiscuity, or hanging too much around their old buddies. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for a person to develop cold feet in marriage.
There are many, and I really mean many cases where one or both partners start neglecting their looks, their manners, even cleanliness, turning into slobs and jerks. Or they start displaying some weird behavior, like watching porno in front of their spouse or playing music too loud.
As Long as there Is Some Love Left
However, here we are mainly talking about cases where living together becomes a burden for no other reason but a lack of nurturing the relationship - everything else being relatively functional between them.
Such couples could also benefit by taking a romantic vacation together, so that the ambient itself inspires them to renew that flame that got sized down to that pilot on the gas stove. They could continue where they left off at their honeymoon.
Sometimes it doesn't take more than a small push in a right direction after which everything falls in its right place. But there has to be a willingness with an open mind to explore what else love has in store for them.
Things don't just change of themselves, and it's naïve to expect that the time itself may bring more adjustment between them "after they become more of a habit to each other". People don't "learn" to love through trials and errors - love is not an experiment, it either exists or it doesn't. That's why it's necessary to pick up the pieces of whatever is left of it and work on them.
Please, No Counselling by Friends
Whatever joint effort they may be making, it's important to stay away from confiding to friends about their marital problems. Unless, of course, there are serious extremes of an abuse in question, those delicate matters are better left within the confines of your minds and hearts, because that's where the change has to happen.
Indeed, no friend can advise you to "love your partner more", they can only confuse you with their own interpretation of the issue. Also, some intimate matters lose their authenticity in the process of a clumsy and unnecessary analyzing.
Let alone the possibility that your good friend, in attempt to be helpful by "taking your side" advises you to leave your partner if the feeling is not there anymore. Something along the lines of: "Don't waste your young years on a relationship without love"
The Grass Is Seldom Greener Elsewhere
We have to keep it in mind that any new relationship that we might start as a replacement for the current one is likely to reach this same point of saturation and feeling stuck. The second time around it can fall on us much harder because at that point all kinds of self-doubts would join the already existing emotional issue.
So, before we jump the gun and do something regrettably silly, we couldn't go wrong by asking ourselves what were those feelings that put us together in the first place. We didn't just fall from the sky into the same bed, we must have had a strong feeling for each other to get us there. What was that feeling on the wedding night? That wedding photo album may do wonders to revamp those emotions.
A Little Matter of Self-Esteem as Well
Let's see it also from an angle of personal integrity and self-esteem. If it would ever come to saying "Good-bye" to the partner for whom we have developed cold feet, the question could start haunting us : "Why wasn't I able to make it work? After all, relationships are not a rocket science, and there had to be something that I could have done."
Then, by doing that "something" we could take into our future a valuable experience and also a pride for handling the crisis so well. Not merely saving it, but also upgrading it, giving it a more mature version. It's also a precious lesson about our hearts sometimes playing little tricks on us, and then we have to step in with a conscious intent to bring those roaming hearts home.
Well, if we can restrain our hearts from falling in love with every good looking person that comes around, than we might as well "put some sense" into those hearts and nourish our love for the person to whom we promised our love in that solemn moment - while meaning it at the time.
I hope some of you might have found a little of a needed inspiration to try making more of your relationship with that special one of your life. Things in your case didn't even have to get to the point described in here - but really, how many of us could give it a little "tune-up", and make it more enjoyable to the both.