Marriages can be caught up in that dreaded vortex of work, family, stress and more work. You look yourself in the mirror and you feel as if you don’t know yourself anymore.
“Who have I become?” You ask yourself.
You then look at your spouse and try to remember all the good and sweet things in your life together. You try to grasp at those moments that are now just cobwebs in the dusty bin we call “memories” and it’s just not the same. Life is just not the same. It has become tepid, cold and sometimes even business like. Is this really what life, marriage and love is all about? Is this the place you’ve been dreaming of?
Every couple has its own personality
Every couple is not the same. As unique as we are as individuals, a man and a woman together as one forges a union where two don’t just become one. The husband is the wife, and the wife is the husband. Just as the two come together physically in the act of procreation to create a new being, a union creates an entity that is quite separate from its component parts. That is why it is hard to come up with a bullet point list of things to do to “fire up” or “spice up” any couples relationship. We must realize that each and every couple is different.
Explore and discover each other’s mysterious side… Or let it go
It’s true that we may sometimes have that feeling that our spouses may be hiding something from us. Such a suspicion may be true most of the time. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Each one of us may yearn for something that is not familiar or something that reminds us of how our bodies felt like when we were young. Marriages as a long term partnership can be quite routine and predictable. As individuals in a cooperative partnership every now and then we yearn to find that distinct individual. In a sense, it’s akin to embark on a soul searching endeavor.
The approach to this is complicated and I may not have all the answers even though I have been married for more than 10 years. The tricky part is in either opening up or coaxing the partner to open up by showing that you are ready for this kind of change. Long term partnerships like marriages often develop unwritten behavioral systems and rules that may sometimes preempt unnecessary hostility or aloof behavior. That’s why some partners will naturally hesitate to willingly listen or speak about something that’s totally different from the partnership’s original intent. Compound this with the complications of routine daily life and even financial concerns and you have a constricted system that’s based on reactions to previous experiences. Reactions lead to arguments and arguments lead to hostility then hostility leads to an untenable and unstable partnership that endangers the marriage.
However, left ignored and forgotten these embedded desires or issues that linger within will soon resurface should the opportune moment arise. The solution is to create an atmosphere of openness, transparency and most importantly the absence of judgment. A holiday in an unfamiliar place without the kids coupled with a new experience creates that paradigm shift in the marriage where each couple could just be just as they are when they first met.
At the right moment, questions that are hypothetical in nature are the least intimidating and the most thought provoking in these instances. Opening up and shedding that shield of emotional invulnerability by discussing similar but external situations also create an atmosphere of discussion.
No one solution is perfect and sometimes it is easier to just adopt the attitude of “come what may” especially when it comes to troubled marriages. But like all partnerships, they either come to an end or survive through trust, openness and communication.
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