By Sheila White, MFTC
Does a couples’ love feel different over time?
Early in a relationship couples are “high” on each other. Love is exciting, all-encompassing. Your partner is absolutely perfect. Life is perfect. And it is a beautiful thing. This love. Being together. Exploring each other.
As time goes on, after a couple of years your perfect partner isn’t so perfect any longer. Your partners’ weaknesses become more apparent. We all have areas of strengths and weaknesses. We are all perfectly imperfect. Frustration, disappointment, and anger show up more frequently, and fighting.
How a couple argues can cause a relationship to succeed or fail.
The high from falling in love isn’t there. Questions of “Does my partner have my best interest in mind and on their heart? Will they be there for me?
Couples can resolve and manage conflicts as a “we”, or fight with each other and hold on to bitterness. Fighting and holding on to bitterness, keeping score, are steps to separation and divorce.
Everyone “loses it” once in a while, what is key is what you do to repair the relationship after you lose it.
Learning to listen without being defensive, being aware of your partner’s pain, and have empathy are some of the skills needed for a couple to learn how to navigate conflicts.
Love becomes a decision, a commitment to your partner to the relationship. A commitment to improve and grow closer to each other. And to get help from a professional if needed, to learn how to argue without harming, how to communicate, learn what you need and what your partner needs. These skills don’t always come naturally.
The priority becomes how can we trust each other even more and learn how to be there for each other. The greater the trust is related to the level of joy or enjoyment in a relationship. Enjoying and appreciating each other.
Being grateful for and highlighting your partner’s strengths. Being grateful for the attributes that brought you together in the first place.
Over time love can feel like you and your partner fit together like a soft leather glove.