on Jun 17, 2008 @ 11:23 am|
How long was/is your longest relationship and how do you get past the inevitable "blah" phases?
|reply on Jun 17, 2008 @ 12:15 pm|
my marriage became a teenager on our last anniversary, and we were together for a little over a year before that. Trust me, we've had our blahs. I completely agree with the statement: "lust is a feeling, love is a decision".
In my experience, you don't truly fall "in love" and then back out of it. You decide (based on important factors like lust, extreme like, compatibility, similar goals/beliefs, etc) to love someone, and then you stick with it. I'm going to ignore certain deal breakers like infidelity for the moment, and just talk about the peaks and valleys in long-term relationships.
There are also life events that accompany trends in your relationship - pregnancy, career success (or lack), health issues, extended family dynamics... and then phases of life - first year of living together/marriage, "7-year-itch", midlife crises (often coincides with 15-20 years of togetherness), etc. These happen to pretty much everyone.
How do you muscle through this? If you've decided to love someone, you tolerate these lows. You remind yourself, daily if needed, why you are together in the first place. You also remind yourself that experience shows the two of you will eventually snap out of your funk and things'll be great again. You have to decide, though, if your relationship was ever built on love or just extreme like.
I'm gonna go there and pull a Bible verse on you all, and I'm sure many of you are familiar with it. 1 Corinthians 13 describes love as "patient, kind, does not envy or boast, is not proud or rude or selfish, is not easily provoked, doesn't keep score or relish your partner's hardships, celebrates good times, always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres." (I've paraphrased here). You do not need to be religious to understand the meaning here. True love handles whatever is thrown at it and if both partners try to love in this way, there need not be huge deal-breaker issues in your relationship.
Do I have true love in my relationship? I honestly believe the answer is yes. It doesn't mean we do all the things I just quoted, but we manage most of them. If your relationship is worth it, you need to ask yourself if you are loving your partner properly and ask him/her to do the same. My husband and I almost got divorced during the early years of our marriage. Since then, we had our wedding rings engraved with the Bible reference as a reminder to love each other in the right way. Take the spirituality or leave it: I think there's a ton of wisdom in those verses that anyone can apply to their relationship.
So now I've gone on and on, but I hope you understand the sentiment. The point is, if your relationship is worth it you just survive the bad and move toward the good.