Are you worried about losing that loving feeling with your spouse? You wish you felt like you did when you first met. Sparks fade and fireworks fizzle, but the friendship and intimacy in marriage can keep growing.
Everyone's marriage naturally changes over time. And most hit a dry spell when their relationship is better described as living with a roommate, being a financial partner, or upholding a business contract. Ouch!
While emotionally divorced couples can be stable and functional, it sure can be miserable. Learn how to think and feel more positive about your spouse again, even a midst life's ups and downs.
Speaking as someone who has been married for over 15 years, I don't want to be just a financial partner with my spouse. I know marriage isn't all fireworks and long kisses, but I don't want to daydream that divorce is the only way to be happy.
Even though I've received extensive relationship training, I have been known to blame my spouse for my unhappiness. And to think if only I could get him to do more of this or less of that, I would be happy.
It wasn't until I started to take a good look at myself and realize how I create my own negativity and resentment. And how looking for positives to balance the negatives could help me be less critical.
I am discovering how I can make different choices in my thinking and relating, so I am easier to live with. That's not to let my spouse off the hook, because I definitely no longer take all the blame either.
What about you? Have you wondered if you'd be happier on your own? Well if you aren't ready to end your marriage yet, then this post is for you.
Where Do The Positive Feelings Go
Many people tell me they love their spouse, but they aren't in love. Well, what does that mean? I think it means they have shut off their positive feelings while resentment and hurt feelings have replaced them. This is usually a gradual process that initially is out of one's awareness.
Some people are afraid to get hurt, so they turn off their positive feelings. While others resent and blame their spouse for their unhappiness. Again this is a natural relationship process. If we become more aware of the pattern of interactions, then we can start to shift our thinking.
The secret to successful marriage isn't to eliminate all negative thoughts nor to only have loving feelings toward your spouse. The secret is actually having more positive than negative thoughts and feelings about your mate. So how do you turn those positive feelings back on, if you've lost that loving feeling?
2 Ingredients for Falling Back In Love With Your Spouse
While there are many ways to notice more positives in your life, relationship, and mate, I think the following two choices are a must:
Choice #1 = Want To Be More Positive: When you choose to stay because you think your life is better with your spouse in it, then you are choosing to fall back in love. You may be unsure how to get yourself there, but you want it. You will need to want it because it can be challenging to change your own thoughts and feelings.
If you don't want your feelings to change, then it's almost impossible to make it happen. More likely, you are probably okay with being emotionally or legally divorced.
Choice # 2 = Be Willing to Be Self-Responsible: When you have spent years convincing yourself that your spouse is to blame for your unhappiness, it can be hard to realize you have a part in the problem. But when the idea that you are ultimately responsible for your happiness clicks, you can start to shift this pattern.
You can begin to look at what it's like to be married to you, the good and the not so good. Then one choice at a time, you start to take more responsibility for your happiness, and become less dependent on your spouse to change. While it's great if they want to change, your happiness is less dependent on it. This is a liberating change!
I am convinced that we are never done changing and that progress isn't always forward. Whether you are making progress, moving backward, or stuck in one place, there is always another choice to make.
What do you do or say to yourself that helps you think more positive about your spouse?