Advice on Giving
A teacher and mentor that I highly respect once said, "We go to relationships to give, not to get." When both partners are giving freely, both partners are also getting without having to ask. This is how true intimacy, trust and appreciation is built in a marriage. If your marriage is struggling, ask yourself how much you are really giving while expecting nothing in return. This article is a wonderful example of how giving can turn things around, whether you subscribe to the religious aspect of it or not.
Not "In Love" Anymore?
"I'm just not *in love* with him/her anymore." I hear that a lot from the couples I coach. Long-term relationships go through stages. They evolve and change and have highs and lows. After the infatuation of meeting and falling in love, then the excitement of starting a new life and family together, many couples hit a stage that feels, well, dull and monotonous. They see that as a problem in their marriage. What they don't understand is that EVERY relationship hits that stage.... Remember...our bodies and emotions are in constant flux...and necessarily so. It is impossibly, and even unhealthy, to remain in a constant state for too long. So, naturally, relationships will have times of excitement and times of boredom. Times of newness and times of endless familiarity. In order to sustain your happiness and contentment in your marriage, you need to understand, and find great joy and self-growth in, all stages of the relationship. Feelings of being *in love* change over time, from infatuation to deep, mature, and completely fulfilling love. Don't get stuck.
For more advice, follow me on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/steponecoaching/ or join the Facebook group "Making Marriage Work."
The 5 Love Languages
A great exercise for couples is for both partners to take the "love languages" survey. Then, talk about the results. Explore different ways your spouse can "speak your language." If you need help interpreting the results or trying to speak a new language, I can give some suggestions!