This week’s blog could have many titles and hopefully will address many of the questions I get on the topic of ‘…so now that we are married – now what?’
Some of the questions relate to: ‘Keeping Love Alive’, ‘Holding on to the Spark’ or maybe related to the question: ‘How do we Sustain a Marriage after 10, 20 or 30+ Years?’ Sometimes the questions are just about ‘What to do from Becoming Bored’
There is so much I could say about this topic I scarcely know where to begin. The reason you become bored in relationships is that you think there is nothing more to learn about the other person or you lose the want to find out if there’s something still worthwhile knowing. In short, you become bored because you most often just don’t want to be bothered anymore.
When you first meet someone, and you don’t know them well enough yet to see the negative qualities they possess, you just want to get as much of them as you can. You want to be with them 24/7 to feel the good feelings you get just by being near them. You want to know there most personal thoughts, about everything, in your quest to prove to yourself that they really are the right person for you and so much so that they become perfect in your eyes.
And then one day you think you’ve got them figured out! From here then it’s a short step to it becoming all too much trouble.
And by the way this goes both ways – they think they’ve got you figured as well. So as you stop talking to them, they stop talking to you and you get into a stage of relationship that I call ‘Assuming your way into oblivion’.
There’s an old adage that says to ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME. From there it’s a downhill slide into second guessing and taking the others needs and wants for granted.
The funny thing about this is that you unconsciously encourage this by your own expectation that if your partner truly understood you then they would know what you are thinking and thereby what you are wanting and/or needing and would somehow then just magically do it.
But guess what you aren’t a mind reader, most of us aren’t anyway, and as well as you think you might know your partner you really have no idea. You have not had his or her life experiences for one thing, you don’t process your thoughts in the same way as he or she does and therefore you will naturally respond to things differently.
So to get back to the topic at hand – if you’re not a mind reader then neither are they. The way forward then is to keep talking, stay curious and always check out what’s new for the other person. Share your thoughts and feelings with them as well and never give up.
I have met with couples that have issues that keep coming up for them. They might even have a brief conversation about it and, for a moment at least, it seems that things might change. But guess what? The issues just keep coming back again and again. And this is why: The real core of the issues were never fully understood in the first place and just as often by the person holding the issue as well as by the other trying to grapple with it.
So if you don’t get it for yourself then what hope has your partner got of getting it and consequently what hope have you got as a couple to really find a satisfactory and long-term resolution?
The answer is none.
You need to be friend to your partner as well as a lover. Never assume that you really do know what they mean when they say ‘… you know.’ The truth is if they don’t, you can’t either. Friends are interested about each others thoughts and feelings. They ask meaningful questions and listen actively to the responses. This consists of more than an ‘I understand’ and may actually require a statement about what you think you are actually hearing so that the other can confirm, or restate or expand, so that you can really get down to the truth about what they are actually saying to you.
In this way you can never get bored as there’ll always be something to talk about. And it won’t matter that you have been married for 30, 40 or even 50 years as there will always be something more to learn about that person that you’ve never known before. And just maybe there will be something to also learn about yourself.
To get you started on this quest check out the page on my website titled ‘quizzes and questionnaires’ and look for: ‘My life in 34 Questions’. Answer the questions for yourself and for your partner before sharing your answers. You might find out something you never knew before.
So until next time – Relate with Love