During April I saw a lot of couples struggling to simply love on another. Why is it so difficult to just be the essence of love? Why do couples stop giving and receiving love?
Apart from the difficult and obvious issues of deep wounds and intense fighting, I have seen, over and over, how couples can just drift apart over time from lack of relationship nurturing. It takes energy and time to keep the love present. Couples stop showing the love. They stop expressing it in unique ways. They stop focusing on one another. They stop spending time together because of full and busy lives. They watch many Hollywood couples break up. The divorce rate is high enough to make me nauseous.
The pain we feel in response to the negative behavior of another can quickly build resentments. I’ve written a lot about the resentment bricks that become walls. One of the ways that these bricks get laid is pure neglect. A lot of the issue is the ending of the honeymoon phase. Part of what makes the relationship so amazing in the beginning is the experience of being special — being pursued by the other (through love letters or flowers or special dates or planning a future together). It seems that when we have “captured” or “hooked” someone, we relax in our pursuit. As a person reduces their pursuit, the other feels the change and begins to imagine there is less love coming their way (whether it’s true or not). We all enjoy being pursued and noticed and special and loved. If our partner is off working sixty-hours a week, it’s difficult to get what we want from them in terms of focus and time. This is when affairs occur, by the way. If another person shows interest in us and we feel that warmth inside that happens when we are pursued, we will be drawn in that direction. How do we stop that from happening?
To put it quit simplistically, you want to be sure that your partner is continuing to feel special and you can increase the odds that they won’t wander off by loving them, pursuing them and appreciating them. The Internet is full of romance ideas. There are books galore about it too — workshops as well. And in a plug for my friends Emmett and Denise Culley, I have personally taken their weekend course entitled “Relationships 123.” It is local and is about pursuit and appreciation and a lot of other amazing things – things I suggest every couple do to make sure you are sending the message of love and pursuit.
So, I’m suggesting that you find the time to regularly do something special and unique for your partner to make sure they are pursued and feel special. For almost every couple I work with, this is the first step to rekindling the romance and the intimacy.
Thanks again to my amazing clients that keep reminding me why I do what I do.
Copyright © 2005 Russell Wilkie, MFT