Do you remember the scene at the beginning of the movie – in the bar when they are singing the song You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’? Tom Cruise was quite the charmer.
I never imagined at that young age that once you found the “one” that you’d ever lose that lovin’ feeling.
I was wrong.
Love is a verb.
Love is an action.
The most significant human struggle is consistency.
Our human-self easily becomes complacent.
You are fighting against the natural person inside of you, that is why it is so rewarding when you win and so easy to fail.
Our marriages are not immune to this struggle.
Many think that once we “find” the one, that it should be easy from this point on. Actually, the easy if there is such a thing, already took place in finding the one.
The real work still lies ahead, as the infatuation starts to fade away slowly. Now when you roll over in bed and look at your spouse, it will take YOU choosing to love this person – DAILY – through your actions, words and efforts.
It will no longer come from that natural pull you had in the beginning; that magnetic feeling that brought you together.
That pull and that feeling have to be CREATED now, and only you can be the creator.
I have a lot of passion for this subject.
After working with so many women and hearing many individual stories, I am in awe of the incredibly challenging lives many couples live.
Heartbreaking stories as well as stories of hope that inspire me. But each one has their own set of challenges, and it’s interesting to observe from an outsider how these couples maneuver through these challenges.
I have learned some powerful lessons though. I think it is wise if we will all sit back and reflect on our own belief of how LOVE works.
The perfect love story:
He sees her from afar. He feels a pull. He walks towards her. Their eyes meet, and they instantly connect. She has just come out of a bad relationship, and this gentleman swooped in and rescued her heart.
Months later they are planning a wedding. Both in bliss over the love that they feel. The wedding day is going to be perfect. Every detail was taken care of. The day comes, and the couple is celebrated and wished well wishes for years to come.
As they ride off into the sunset looking into each other’s eyes, they can’t imagine a more perfect life. They finally made it, and they live happily ever after.
Any of you that are married know this is a bunch of crap.
First, most engagements don’t go that smooth. This should be clue number one that married life that lies ahead of them will be anything but perfect! Perfection doesn’t exist, especially in human relationships.
Marriage is two imperfect people coming together and creating AWESOME imperfectness!
Second, Happily Ever After only happens when WE CHOOSE to work at it and create it.
Half of the people who marry do not understand this concept;
because the divorce rate is about 50%.
First, let me preface, yes sometimes divorce is the answer, I get that, BUT I do not believe it is the answer most of the time. Then out of the other 50% that stay married, I am quickly discovering many of those relationships are struggling. And some have chosen to just settle for less than happiness.
I believe we can enter into our marriage commitment and with work, dedication, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, love, more work and some more work we can create our Happily Ever After.
BUT IT WILL NOT BE CREATED BY ITSELF.
Have you ever heard these words or felt them yourself?
“I just don’t love my spouse anymore, we have fallen out of love.”
“If it were meant to be it wouldn’t be this hard.”
“I struggle to have deep feelings anymore for my spouse, they just aren’t there, and I can’t force them to be.”
“I love my spouse, but I am not in-love with my spouse.”
“I watch couples around me, and we just don’t have what they do, it’s not there.”
These words are real.
Life often gets in the way of the most essential things in our LIVES. We lose focus and one day we wake up to a stranger.
This doesn’t mean love has failed and it’s over.
You’ve done the first part in creating change, you’ve recognized something is off.
We have to see this first before we can change anything! Now you need to be intentional and start loving this person you have dedicated your life too.
Stop moaning that the feelings aren’t there. That isn’t going to create them. YOU are going to create them through your efforts and choices.
If you are feeling this way, a detachment from your spouse, imagine what your spouse must be feeling as well. It is time to forget yourself and start serving this person you have been sharing a life with.
Be intentional. Be conscious. And start working on YOUR part, because that is the only part you have control over.
You cannot rely on the infatuation feeling to come back. You cannot depend on it happening with setting a goal in a notebook. It has to be intentional. You have to put a plan together and put forth a conscious effort.
Start today doing 1 thing a day INTENTIONALLY for your spouse. Ask them how they feel loved by you, and apply that. 1 thing a day, just start there.
As you plan it, think about it, and follow through with it, you will feel through time new feelings arise for this person you have committed your life to.
Remember complacency is the greatest human struggle. You can’t do this for a few days or even a few weeks and think all should be better. It took time for you two to grow apart, it will take time for you to reconnect.
What are the challenges you are having in your marriage?
Is it communication?
Get Dr. Sue Johnson’s book Love Sense and read it together. Or John M. Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work. Imagine that. No one taught you what to do AFTER you said you’re I DO’s. This is plain craziness really, but it is true for most couples.
We have to be willing to learn to create a connection. It won’t make itself. We have to to make it.
Is it time together?
Has life sucked the LIFE out of your marriage?
Everything else is coming first? Are the kids screaming louder than your needs or his needs? Work is always a priority. The to-do list is never-ending.
Let’s back up here a little bit.
The kids are a product of the LOVE that brought you together.
Your kids will thrive knowing that their parents love each other and take time to be with each other. The reason you work is to provide the means for your family to be a family. Just an FYI, your family starts with the two of you.
You need to look at your priorities and adjust. Your spouse should be first on your to-do list. And time together on a weekly basis is a must! Time away on vacations is a must!
If quality time is one of your love languages, it may take needing to spend time together daily!
Do you struggle to feel loved and can’t figure out why?
Chances are you aren’t being loved in the language that resonates with you. And you are probably not loving your spouse in their language as well.
We often will love the way we WANT to be loved.
How do you fix this? You choosing to learn a better way. Get the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman as well as the book His Needs, Her Needs building an affair proof marriage by Willard F. Harley and read it together! Set each other up for success. Discuss what your reading together.
Marriage takes work. Be willing to do YOUR part, which means you need to learn how to love your spouse in THEIR language. It will be uncomfortable at first if it is a language that doesn’t resonate with you, but it will eventually come more naturally especially after you start seeing the benefits! It is amazing!
There are many other areas your marriage might be struggling in, and there are resources to help you.
You do not need to settle nor do you need to pave the path alone.
For me, my greatest struggle was not being heard. At least that is how I felt. As I went through my journey to discover my part I learned that men really do speak a different language than women and I was not speaking in my man’s language.
This is different from love languages.
My man thinks and works totally different than me. And I was assuming he was a version of me and when he wouldn’t act or react the way I thought he should, I felt like he didn’t care about me, didn’t really love me. And I started to close down. Emotionally detach. This was not healthy and I knew it.
So I decided to find a better way. This is why I am at where I am today. Helping women learn The Language of Men. It has changed my life and my marriage!
Love is a verb. An action.
Nothing will change unless you choose to be actively intentional. That means at a conscious level.
You cannot rely on your subconscious or the natural man or women inside of you to create it. You will fail.
You have to form new habits. You have to be willing to learn and be open to the idea that you don’t know all the answers, but you are determined to find ones that will help you.
If your unhappy in your marriage the world will quickly tell you that it must be wrong. “You are not happy well get out of it while you can.”
Look at the statistics for 2nd and 3rd marriages. The odds are against you.
If there is no abuse in your relationship, I believe all relationships can grow in closeness and they are worth fighting for. Obviously, both partners need to be willing.
A quick word to those that have pretty good marriages.
First, celebrate this achievement! This is an incredible blessing in your life! Acknowledge it and celebrate it!
Second, never let your guard down. You have a good marriage – choose to keep it that way by always making it a priority. Doing YOUR part. Don’t let up or you too will wake up one day wondering how you got here.
Whether you are a husband or wife, please let these words into your heart.
Your marriage is only going to be what you CREATE. There are so many worldly distractions to keep us busy enough to never find time to work on our marriages. Say no to other things. Re-prioritize your priorities putting your spouse at the top of your list.
We work so hard to provide well for our families.
We support our kids in their activities and spend a lot of money doing it. We work to set ourselves up for success to be financially secure. We go to the gym and work out and try to eat healthy.
None of these things matter if your marriage falls apart.
We have it all backwards.
At the top of our list should be nurturing our marriage, then the rest falls after that.
But so often I hear these words, we don’t have the time and we don’t want to spend the money on THAT. THAT happens to be the most important thing in your life!
Your marriage sets the foundation for all other happiness in your life.
If your marriage isn’t doing well, chances are most of these other areas are suffering as well.
Your kids will love you more and feel more secure knowing they have parents that love each other.
This is the greatest gift you will EVER give them.