There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable. And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.There is no predictable timeline for how long a marriage can remain in this breakdown crisis, but many couples eventually arrive at a crossroad where they feel pressured to choose a path of resolution or disengagement.If the option of separation is chosen, one or both parties has given up trying to work on the relationship and have resigned themselves to the fact that the marriage is over.When you’re getting serious about someone, don't ask: “Are we in love?” The question to first ask instead is: “Are we becoming good friends?
I had tried really hard up to that point to hold it back, honestly. I think part of me recognized that she was much smarter and more modest than me. This fire was burning in me, a fire that burned just like that second date: I was in love. Marriage, quicker than I was ready for, did this thing: it started sucking away that emotion. In other words, it was in the practicality that I found the love I was looking for. That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire. I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country. It’s time that we changed the conversation about love. Because until we do, adultery will continue to be common.
Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.
And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.
Unresolved sustained conflicts and disagreements that stack up over time can become magnified and toxic, infecting the spousal relationship which can fuel a downward spiral leading to a marital breakdown process.
If this happens, effective communication, trust and respect can be lost.