Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 2

Busting Marriage Myths Series: Part 2

John ThurmanBy John Thurman5 Minutes

Myth # 2 A Great Relationship Demands a Great Romance

I can hear you right now? What do you mean it is a myth to want great romance?

I’m talking about expecting the unrealistic Hallmark™ romance. Trust me, your life with your spouse should include plenty of excitement. There are times when you and your spouse need to make an effort to be romantic; to go out on real dates as you did when you first met, to fill your life with unforgettable memories.

Have you ever had a picnic in your backyard or a green space near your home? One without kids, smartphones, just the two of you making memories and making out? Add a couple of blankets-lay back and watch the stars appear after sunset?

Why not try it sometime. Just lay there and share memories from your past, laugh together, maybe even shed a tear together. And while you are at it, a little snuggling and making out would be a bonus. It’s a lot cheaper than dinner and a movie and will satisfy you on a deep level.

Fill your years with simple, beautiful memories.

But don’t fool yourself! As shocking as it may sound, the truth is that being in love is a lot different than falling in love. I have spent hundreds of hours in the counseling office listening to married couples tell me, “John, the thrill is gone, I just don’t feel like I am in love anymore, the spark is out.”

Having heard this more times than I care to remember, I had learned that what they are saying is that, “I don’t feel the way I did when we first were falling in love.” The person says that they genuinely miss that dizzy feeling of infatuation at the start of the relationship. This is a normal part of the first phase of love – the idealized love, which, according to the latest research, is based on a host of different emotional, psychological, spiritual, and biochemical reactions, which can last a few weeks to two years.

The idealization/infatuation stage is an addictive experience; review songs about love, and you will see what I mean. There is nothing like the thrill of the chase, the initial courtship, the feeling that you have found someone who is the salvation for all else that is lacking in your life. Falling in love not only brings our surging sense of desire, but it also makes you believe that you can overcome anything. You are convinced that your loneliness is over for good. You are confident that you have found your soul mate-a person whom you can talk with about anything. This person will not only listen to you, they understand you!

Over the years, I have seen scores of couples who believe that their love will conquer all only to discover that after some wear and tear, they feel that life has gone out of their marriage, and they feel like giving up.

If you have been deluded by this myth or are in the midst of the infatuation stage, enjoy it, exploit it, but don’t think that it will last forever.

Remember, live in the real world. Great romance can be caring and checking on where your spouse is if it is getting late. Great romance can be as simple as sharing the newspaper in the morning, sharing a cup of hot chocolate, or spontaneous snuggling. Great relationships and great passion? It is all in the yardstick that you use to measure. It is all in defining what “great” means in the real world.

Reprinted with permission from John Thurman.