When love is not enough

A tale about a friend …

It’s been a dreadful, dull, dead three weeks. Somehow — despite everyday hugs and kisses and questions of how-was-your-day — they have managed to live past each other. And neither of them can figure out why or how it happened.

She has a condition, mild depression, but cannot attribute these dull weeks to it. He is overworked and underpaid but his stalled career did not lead to this barren time. All they know is that  they’re spending more time talking about how to have a conversation about sex than actually acting on the words they want to speak.

But instead they say “How was your day’” and “Want to have a bath’”

And so she finds herself sitting in front of her computer late at night. She used to be a prolific writer on Medium, used to be able to artfully describe the fantasies that would spill from her head. But now she’s left with a blank screen, the pull of another browser tab and a heart that hopes for a better tomorrow financially and otherwise and He imagines a world where he is gainfully employed and with an admirable and beautiful mistress. lol.

This is the usual scenario in most relationships (Married or Courtship). Being in love is not an adequate foundation for building a successful marriage.


Lets reason together to understand the reason for the above as I illustrate point

Love is not enough

Love alone is not enough. It really isn’t. It might not sound romantic, but it is so so so true. We’ve lost the meaning of what “love” is. We can say “I LOVE my new shoes” and “I love you” and it sounds like the same word. Hollywood’s romantic comedies tell us that love is a fantastic chemical reaction in your brain that triggers intense feelings of joy, passion and butterflies.  Love can be that, but if that’s your whole picture of love then be prepared for a bit of a reality shocker.

(This might be why gym memberships tend to outlast Hollywood marriages.) While these intense feelings are real, there’s more to love than that.  The butterflies are not what make up the deep binding kind of love that will last through the trials a marriage brings.

Rather than relying solely on a romanticized version of love, Chapman’s book lists five foundations you can really build a marriage on. You need spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical foundations. Intimacy on each of these levels is essential.  We’re told that physical attraction is the most important, but I think that it’s the least. An accident or illness, heck, even gravity, can change a person’s physical attractiveness. Don’t build a marriage on something so temporary.

Also, when looking at emotional intimacy, don’t confuse that with happiness.  Emotional intimacy is a mutual sense of security and acceptance. (I’ve heard it said, and I believe this to be true, that pursuing personal happiness at all costs is a sure way for no one to be happy.)

There have certainly been some arguments this first year where both my husband and I have felt intense emotions of hurt that leads to questions of “was this a mistake’” I would not allow myself to entertain a second thought of that nature because I think the more thoughts are kept in the mind, the more readily it can be spoken. And a word once spoken is as hard to take back as a bag of feathers that was opened to the wind.

When my husband and I started dating, One of his first questions to me was, “What does commitment mean to you’” My answer is that commitment means putting in whatever is necessary, time and money inclusive to make the relationship work. He held the same definition of commitment and that has enabled us to work through the conflict.  Beyond just compromising to maintain status quo, we’ve been able to grow together into a new, deeper level of love and commitment to each other.

And I think THAT is the main foundational piece to building a successful marriage…not feelings of “love”, but actions of togetherness and  trust.

Take the next step:
What does it mean to find “The One”’
What is your love language’
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