Couples are struggling to understand how the love they once shared has changed and they are now edging towards separation or divorce.
Many of these couples are unaware the love they had died because they didn’t know what to do to keep it alive.
Sadly many divorces happen because they think their love is dead when in reality it was simply dormant.
Relationships need feeding or love will die
Relationships need feeding and so many couples are not understanding how they are killing the very thing they want to keep.
Love can start to die in a marriage when one person starts to focus on themselves and their own needs, this can happen if
- the person is naturally self-absorbed
- the person is living in a needs deficit so they feel uncared for
- the person struggles to trust their partner – this could be for good reason or they suffer from trust issues.
- the person doesn’t know how to grow a relationship
Couples who are most successful have learned what their partner needs and are focused on making sure those needs are met.
Needs not being met can kill the love
Far too many people are giving to their partner what they themselves need, totally unaware their partners’ needs are going to be very different.
This is going to be frustrating for both people and can create emotional distance.
When both people take their focus off themselves and practice putting their focus on each other this can create a foundation of security without security needing to be their focus.
Many couples try to get their needs met in distorted ways – I’ll do this for you, if you do this for me. This trade of needs comes from a focus on the persons’ self-interest.
Love can’t grow from a focus on me. “Me” focused relationships will always suffer.
I give to you because it’s who I am, creates a significantly more powerful connection that would feel authentic.
It’s important to stress that when you are giving that you don’t lose who you are in the process. Many people I see are people pleasers and they live with partners who are happy to take. This is a distortion and kills love.
Giving to your partner must connect you to who you are and who you want to be.
Communication problems can make love a struggle
When couples are happy especially in the early days they are not seeing their communication differences. When stress hits their differences become significant.
Unfortunately, these misunderstood differences actually cause more stress as the couples struggle to make sense of their conflict.
If we look at a very basic example; some men are trying to fix the problems that women don’t need fixing. All she needs is someone to connect to and talk to and he keeps trying to shut the conversation down and move on.
Many women with this problem feel he doesn’t care and the men are frustrated she’s not happy he tried to help her.
Not being able to connect with each other is another factor that kills love as they are always on different pages.
I spend a significant amount of time training couples how to speak and listen to what their partner is really saying.
A generalisation is men are not naturally good at translating what women are trying to say and women are convinced they are being crystal clear. This is a recipe for disaster because in her mind he doesn’t care and this will lead her to switch off love.
She can also try to look for a deeper meaning to his words when in reality what he says is probably all he means.
Again every couple is different but if you’re not getting through to each other there will be a comprehension problem that will create a disconnect.
Self-protection kills love
Many people are trying to avoid vulnerability, in western society we are taught vulnerability is a bad thing. Unfortunately, vulnerability is a critical key ingredient in keeping couples love alive.
Someone who won’t be vulnerable is protecting themselves. Self-protection in relationships kills love.
The key to being vulnerable is being able to positively influence the relationship no matter how good or bad things become.
This takes a real understanding of your partner, how they think and what they really need.
Many people in long-term relationships will say they have love for each other, but what they struggled to keep alive is their ability to be “in love” with each other.
If you don’t know what you are doing you can without knowing, kill your love and connection.
Keeping a relationship loving and passionate is a skill that so many couples lack. Sadly through social conditioning, they expect their passion for each other to dwindle and when it does they don’t worry.
Loss of passion is just one sign their love is being challenged.
As the years pass at least one person in a couple is swopping their need for passion with a need for security and it’s killing their love for each other without them knowing.
The key to a successful marriage is becoming conscious of how to successfully keep your connection alive and you can both only do this through understanding.
That understanding isn’t natural for men or women so has to be learnt.