For most of us, love and marriage go hand in hand. At least in the beginning of the relationship. After all, it is love that gently sways us to the alter to say our ‘I do’s’ till death do us part. It is love that brings two people together in such a way that they feel the need and desire to commit to one another for an eternity. And it is love, which we use to measure the strength of our relationship.
Yet as the years pass, and the kids come along, and the house and car payments build up marriage becomes more of a partnership than a romance for the vast majority of married folks. The burning fire and passion that brings two people together is so heated in the beginning that it may seem as if the feelings will never cool down. And even if they were to cool down just a tad the two of you would still always be ‘in love’, right?
Unfortunately, according to experts relationships eventually move past the passionate and wild stage within two years from their beginning. Then, they evolve in to what is considered the 98.6 degrees of love. The brain processes such strong emotions and hormonal reactions at the onset of attraction that it is unreasonable to assume humans can live that way forever. (Still, we all believe those feelings will last) And the initial feelings in a relationship often cause people to act like idiots, and make it easy for folks to completely rebuke reality. So at some point, according to sociologists the brain has to return to normal. And when it does, many people begin questioning their marriage and wondering how important is love in their marriage?
The reality is that your relationship may be pretty stable. The two of you may not fight, may not be having money problems, and may be for the most part satisfied. The two of you can talk, have a decent (while not wild and crazy) sex life, and your kids seem to be happy. In other words, you fit in to the whole ‘white picket fence, one car and a minivan way of life.’ Chances are you take one another for granted on a daily basis, and rarely if ever feel your heart do back flips when your partner walks into the room. In fact, it may feel as if the fire between the two of you has completely burned out and that you are both merely going through the motions of a relationship.
Then you wonder. Do you still love your partner? Do they love you? Is the relationship stronger now than it was ten years ago or has complacency and stability placed a fork in the road? Is there any way to get the fire and passion back in the relationship, or have the two of you just grown so used to one another that you will never experience those feelings again?
Most people who question their love for their spouse, or their spouses love for them are simply disappointed that the relationships lacks the fire and passion that initially brought the two of you together. Yet according to relationship experts, this is completely normal. It may not ‘feel’ normal and you may be wondering if the two of you are headed for divorce. Yet, the majority of couples feel this way at some point or another.
One of the reasons that so many couples face troubles in their marriage is because their expectations for the future are set so high in the beginning and so unreasonably so, that stability may feel like a major let down. You may miss the days of feeling so in love that you can barely breathe, and may pine for the past when not a minute went by without you thinking amorous thoughts about your partner. But this doesn’t mean that the relationship is over, even if life feels a tad boring at the moment.
Too many people give up on their marriage during the stability mode hoping that they can relive those initial, crazy feelings of love. The reality is that stability and building a partnership is an important part of a good marriage. Rather than question whether you love your spouse or whether they love you, your energy may be better spent trying to rekindle the romance between the two of you. Many couples go through different cycles of attraction to one another, and you may find with a little effort and communication you can recreate the passion that you felt prior to marriage. And at the same time, you need to really sit back and look at your marriage and your partnership and ascertain whether you are unhappy, not in love or simply bored. Many people give up a good think believing that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence only to realize that their relationship and lifestyle wasn’t so bad to begin with.
The fire, passion, fury and hotness of any (and possibly every) relationship is bound to wear off at some point. Good marriages involve two people who are able to ebb and flow with the demands of life and the marriage along the way. It is absolutely normal for married life to become a little bit predictable and perhaps ‘boring’ from year to year, and the two of you may be stuck in a rut of complacency. Even so, there is nothing that says recharging the romance and excitement cannot happen. If you miss the early days, then take action to recreate them. Go out of your way to be unpredictable, and take a leap of faith from your daily routine to add some spice to the relationship. What you may find is that your relationship now, with years of hard work and trust behind you can be even better than it was in the beginning.
In the end, it is completely up to you whether you want to be happy and satisfied with the way things are albeit slightly mundane, or whether you want to see stability as a negative thing in your marriage.