What To Do When Your Relationship Runs Low On Love - mindbodygreen
Take it from the pros: This advice will ensure your relationship stays healthy take a weekend trip to visit family, or just spend time 'doing you' for a while. . When you expand your definition of sex and lower the pressure on. Avoiding a spouse's demands may benefit low-income couples but in demand- withdraw, relationship satisfaction declined during that time. It felt like a pivotal time in our relationship. People say that marriage isn't easy and you have your ups and downs. Well, we were definitely experiencing a low.
In the "enchantment" phase there is a lot of laughter, playfulness, affection and sexual energy. Negative traits are minimized or ignored or rationalized. Wounds and Adaptations are softened and soothed and minimized during this bonding phase.
There is a great emphasis on similarities and "sameness". The person is not lying or deliberately exaggerating; in the romantic stage while on "drugs", that is a genuine expression of the present experience.
In many ways, love really is blind. Even the "sophisticated" couple is not immune to this phenomenon.
One partner will say, "I don't believe in this "we are so alike" stuff. I value differences and believe differences should be acknowledged and respected!
Understanding Fear of Intimacy
We are going to have a great marriage! We both respect differences! The enchantment or romantic stage is necessary, but temporary. In this stage the couple is hopefully bonded and connected and appropriately committed.
I tend to see this enchantment stage as a little be of grace in nature. We are given a taste of the potential of the relationship, but unfortunately, it is a chemically induced taste and cannot and should not last forever. The enchantment stage will gradually evolve in the next stage -- the Power Struggle Stage. I have worked with couples where it lasted only a few weeks before the power struggle emerged and have known other couples where it lasted years.
How long the romantic stage lasts seems to depend on how much time the couple spends with each other and the amount of "woundedness" or "baggage" the individuals bring to the relationship. But eventually, for virtually all couples, the enchantment phase ends, the drugs wear off and are no longer secreted, the negative traits emerge with a greater impact, wounds and protections from childhood start being activated and the relationship moves into the "Power Struggle".
Sometimes also known as the "Growth Struggle" by those who like to think positively, this stage is often very stressful to a couple.
- Low-commitment relationship gets complicated
Where a partner once wanted to spend lots of time and energy in the relationship very different than the parents who were always too busy ; now the partner is quiet, pre-occupied, unavailable very much like the family of origin.
Where a husband or wife was, in the Romantic Phase, kind and respectful and listening; now in the Power Struggle Phase, he or she becomes impatient, authoritative, unresponsive -- again somehow familiar from childhood or teen experiences. This can be very distressing and even frightening. At some point there is often the panicky thought, "What have I done? I've married my Mom! While this is not a universal experience and while the intensity and precision of the this experience varies greatly, this is a very, very common and "normal" experience in intimate, committed relationships.
The Fork in the Road At this point there is a fork in the road. One way is what happens to couples who sort of "do what comes naturally".
Low-commitment relationship gets complicated | The Seattle Times
The other way and I'm afraid it is the Road Less Traveled is what we hope will happen for couples who choose to try to understand what is happening in intimate, committed relationships and who choose to do the necessary "work" of the relationship. See How to Work on a Relationship. The First Turn in the Fork in the Road Couples who courageously struggle with what is happening in the Power Struggle Phase without the understanding, skills and tools will tend to do one of two things: This is where almost fifty per cent of all married couples divorce.
Someone concludes that they have made a selection error, they feel the despair of the Power Struggle and decide to end the relationship.
These are the couples who create the famous "U" on the marriage satisfaction charts. More about that later. Some look at these statistics and say there is something wrong with marriage. I believe that the problem is not with marriage, but with our understanding of marriage, what it is, what is trying to happen and what to do about it. Intimate, committed relationships will go through a period that requires work and healing. We need to start seeing this as normal and desirable, not an indicator of a bad relationship.
An we need to create "smart marriages" that know how to handle the Power Struggle and how to tap into the healing qualities of the relationship. These courageous couples who stay together through the unhappiness of the Power Struggle tend to adjust by creating what is call a "parallel marriage".
They both put their time and energy into other activities and interests school, work, children, faith communities, hobbies, books, computers, etc and the energy that goes into the relationship is minimized.
We can overcome our fears of intimacy and enjoy more loving and more intimate relationships. The experience of real love often threatens our self-defenses and raises our anxiety as we become vulnerable and open ourselves up to another person.
This leads to a fear of intimacy. Falling in love not only brings excitement and fulfillment; it also creates anxiety and fears of rejection and potential loss.
For this reason many people shy away from loving relationships. Fear of intimacy begins to develop early in life. We learn not to rely on others as a coping mechanism. After being hurt in our earliest relationships, we fear being hurt again.
We are reluctant to take another chance on being loved. Therefore, when someone is loving and reacts positively toward us, we experience a conflict within ourselves. Our capacity to accept love and enjoy loving relationships can also be negatively affected by existential issues. This can lead us to feel more pain about the thought of death.
How Low/Fluctuating Self Esteem Impairs Relationship Satisfaction
When we push our partner away emotionally or retreat from their affection, we are acting on this fear of intimacy. These distancing behaviors may reduce our anxiety about being too close to someone, but they come at a great cost.Tough Times in A Relationship : ADVICE
Acting on our fears preserves our negative self-image and keeps us from experiencing the great pleasure and joy that love can bring. However, we can overcome fear of intimacy. We can recognize the behaviors that are driven by our fear of intimacy and challenge these defensive reactions that preclude love.