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Has real life chipped away at the fantasy of what you thought love would be? Elayne Grossmith offers strategies for growing in love.

New love is extraordinary. But, over time, couples find their love slipping away. For many, their "crazy in love" feelings faded, and partners ended up full of hate in divorce court. Still, others sought help to reignite the flame. How does the love die? What happens in life that destroys something so exceptional? Most importantly, how do you prevent it from happening in your relationship?

Like "Goldilocks," Megan searched until she found a partner that seemed "just right," her one true love. Love's magical sensations made her feel safe, and she started her relationship filled with hope. Her long-term relationship survived day after day and then month after month; it was for keeps. She was confident she had the ideal spouse. Megan built her hopes and dreams for the future on this partnership.

Her emotions were running full steam ahead. That's the mesmerizing part of love.

That was then. Now the reality is that Megan's workload as a mom leaves her tired, and she feels overworked, slighted, ignored, misunderstood, and unappreciated. Consider what happened to Megan along the way.

It wasn't that her husband changed or was wearing a disguise when his mask came off. Like many others, Megan had idealized her partner; she tended to be overly optimistic about him. Idealization can build expectations that, in most cases, are never fulfilled. It's easy to become disappointed and disillusioned with each other. It's tough to realize that your Rolls Royce is a Ford Focus. Real life tends to chip away at a fantasy of how life will be.




As she experienced the challenges of everyday life, Megan discovered a mismatch between her partner's actual behavior and how she anticipated he would act. Her partner acted in ways that drove her up a wall; she saw a side of him that got her all twisted in a knot. She lost hope after wrangling over issues, or maybe it was after one disastrous moment.

Satisfaction with a partner and the overall relationship is critical to keeping a relationship stable and on track. The bottom line is that if one or both partners are no longer satisfied with the relationship, love dies.

Think back to your love relationship before marriage. Remember the excitement and energy it created? You didn't want it to end.

  • You and your partner were motivated to stay on your best behavior.
  • You were motivated to discount anything that would be destructive to the relationship.
  • Nothing was too much trouble.
  • It was easy to overlook "the little things."
  • You were inspired to be cooperative and to disregard the negative.




Maybe it's time to return to those behaviors that give love a chance to grow.

  • Adopt a mindset that you'll fight to preserve the love in your relationship.
  • Start by achieving mindfulness as your baseline awareness. It's the mode of awareness you have when, for example, you're driving a car and conscious of what's happening around you. That's the same way you need to be in your relationship. By maintaining a state of mindfulness, you won't be swept away by your thoughts and emotions about love.
  • Then, recognize that everyone is imperfect. Accept that there isn't a perfect person anywhere on earth. Anyone you chose as a partner would have a set of imperfections that could clash with you.
  • Try not to respond in the heat of the moment. Don't feel desperate, as if it's your last chance to set your partner straight. A discussion will be more effective later after you've thought through what you want to say. Bite your lip if necessary.
  • Follow the sound advice Plato offered when he said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." People are often unaware of their partner's difficulties and problems. You can be kind to your partner with statements like these in your discussion about his behavior: "Are you okay? You're usually helpful to me, but you seemed preoccupied this time" or "I'm grateful you're there to support me, but this time it seemed different."
  • Monitor whether each partner is satisfied in the relationship, and if not, then know why not. Use your emotional awareness to stay attentive in your relationship environment and focus on improving your satisfaction. Rather than not knowing the source of your differences and eventual conflicts, remain curious, inquiring, and open to whatever's occurring. Awareness is the all-empowering solution.


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Maybe it's time to return to those behaviors that give love a chance to grow. #catholicmom


You'll need to sift through information, concentrating on the relevant facts, like what you need from your partner. You'll be shifting between various types of information regarding what you need and comparing it to what you're getting. Your goal is to expose the areas that will likely become your perpetual, never-ending conflicts.

Preserving your love will be work, but as Theodore Roosevelt said, "Far and away, the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."



Copyright 2022 Elayne Grossmith