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Learning to love

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning , you fall in love with your spouse . You anticipate his call , want his touch and liked his idiosyncrasies .

Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard . In fact , it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience . You didn’t have to DO anything . That’s why it’s called ” falling ” in love .

People in love sometimes say : ” I was swept off my feet ” . Think about the imagery of that expression . It implies that you were just standing there , doing nothing . Then something came along and happened to you .

Falling is love is easy . It’s a passive and spontaneous experience .

But after a few years of marriage , the euphoria of love fades . It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship . Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all) , touch is not always welcome (when it happens) and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies , instead of being cute , drive you nuts .

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship , but if you think about your marriage , you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage .

At this point , you and/or your spouse might start asking , ” Did I marry the right person ?” . And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had , you may begin to desire that experience with someone else . This is when marriages break down . People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment .

Extra-marital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes . Infidelity is the most obvious . But sometimes people turn to work , church , a hobby, friendship , excessive TV or abusive substances . But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage . It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else . You could . And TEMPORARILY , you’d feel better . But you’d be in the same situation a few years later .

Because (listen carefully to this):

The Key To Succeeding In Marriage Is Not Finding The Right Person; It’s Learning To Love The Person You Found .

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience . It’ll NEVER just happen to you . You can’t ” find ” LASTING love . You have to ” make ” it day in and day out . That’s why we have the expression ” the labour of love ” because it takes time , effort and energy . And most importantly, it takes WISDOM . You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work .

Make no mistake about it . Love is NOT a mystery . There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage .

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity) , there are also laws for relationships . Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger , certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger . It’s a direct cause and effect . If you know and apply the laws , the results are predictable … you can ” make ” love .

Love in marriage is indeed a “decision”… Not just a feeling.



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