America's Hidden Epidemic: Roommate Marriages

By

America's Hidden Epidemic: Roommate Marriages
Passion and emotional closeness has gradually morphed into silent routines and polite indifference.

And yet, despite the anger and neglect most husbands and wives, as well as partners in sincere, long-term relationships do not want to be just roommates. They emphatically say they long for the lost “in-love” passion of being true soul mates.
Can roommates become soul mates? Can couples regain lost passion and get back “in-love” feelings? In many cases the answer is “yes” if they are highly motivated, willing to look at themselves honestly and get professional help to guide them through the journey.
Are you in a roommate marriage and want to change? Here are six pointers to get you thinking and acting in a more marriage friendly direction.
1.See Each Other New. Recapturing “in-love” feelings requires seeing your partner with new eyes, eyes that are not clouded by old images. We call this kind of seeing imageless perception.
Images are made up of bad memories you and your partner have of each other. Every hurt that’s not healed, every fight not made better, every disagreement not fairly settled adds to the image. These Images then color how you see and react to one another. They prevent you from seeing each other fresh in the present moment. Reacting from images is a major reason why you and your partner get stuck repeating old tit for tat cycles of bickering and blame.
Imageless perception interrupts this pattern by denying images the mental energy they need to survive. Whenever you notice yourself dwelling on past memories pull the plug on them by switching your attention to the present moment. Focus on what’s going on NOW, don’t contaminate the present by dragging in old images from past.
In the present you can consciously choose to create a more loving space for you and your partner to appear in. You can choose to be more forgiving; appreciating and valuing one another as if you only had today. Savor the good in your marriage, put it front and center, have gratitude for and celebrate all that works well between you.
2. Play Together. Playing together is where you create opportunities to re-discover the important things that first drew you together. Set some time aside on a regular basis to be alone together. This itself won’t be easy given your busy schedule but make it happen.
Once you’ve carved out the time try out some new activity that neither of you has done before. Keep it simple and stress free. A new activity means you’ll both be sharing an adventure on new territory. Make sure you don’t fill it with competition. Don’t tease one another. Instead have each other’s back; encourage one another and enjoy not needing to be perfect. This kind of non-competitive play can be a strong aphrodisiac.
3. Let Go Of Needing To Be Right. Living together 24/7 can spawn lots of disagreements and making yourself heard at those moments is important. But knowing when to let go is just as important. Digging your heels in, being rigid and refusing to budge can make you feel powerful. But it’s a false power that comes at a steep price: damage to your relationship.
If you want to get back that “in-love” feeling it will not come from a partner who feels they’re always wrong because you’re always right.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB