Why You Aren't Happily Ever After Anymore

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unhappy after marriage
Did you think once you got married, it would be smooth sailing and now it's anything but?

People date, putting their best foot forward, to acquire the relationship they want. If you are married, you succeeded at the Compatibility Stage of Relationships, deciding you and your spouse had enough in common to make a lifetime commitment to each other. Congratulations! 

How many of you thought that was the hard part — that it would be relatively smooth sailing from there? How many were surprised by how much their partner changed, seemingly overnight? I know that happened in my marriage. I tell people it was as if my husband had an overnight visit from the Body Snatchers because he was so different from the moment we returned from our honeymoon. My head was spinning and perhaps his was too. What Leads To A Satisfying Marriage

This happens in many marriages and there are two main reasons for it. First, once people have acquired something they want, they often begin to put their focus on something new, neglecting the maintenance behavior necessary to hold onto their original acquisition. The second reason is the differing beliefs, values, and expectations we have around marriage. Let's look at each separately.

Once people have acquired what they want, they turn their focus to something new. They figure they have what they want, so now it's on to the next acquisition. We stop doing the thoughtful, considerate things we did while dating. After all, the pursuit is over. We have our prize. Now we can turn our attention to other important things in our lives. The Power Of Intentions: Thriving Through Divorce

When I wrote my book, Secrets of Happy Couples, I interviewed 100 happy and satisfied couples who had been together at least ten years. One man admitted to me, "Dancing is what you do to get the girl; once you've got her, you don't have to dance anymore." Can you relate to that? Are there things your spouse used to do while dating that he or she no longer does?

I find this to be particularly true in the sex and romance department. As a general rule, women need romance to feel sexual, and men need sex to feel romantic. This works really well during the Getting Together Stage and the Compatibility Stage of relationships, when each of you had pleasing the other as your goal but once you enter the committed Maintenance Stage, something usually changes.

This is usually a process that happens slowly and gradually. You may not even notice it as you begin to do less and less of the things you did when you were dating. You may tell yourself things such as, "The children take my time." "S/he knows how much I love him/her." "There's no money to go out anymore." "I have to put food on the table." "There's no time left at the end of the day." "I'm exhausted." 5 Marriage Secrets For Valentine's Day

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Kim Olver

Speaker/Presenter

Kim Olver, LCPC, has been featured in Whole Living, Women's World, Fitness Magazine and Counseling Today and is the best-selling, award winning author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life.

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Location: Country Club Hills (Chicago), IL
Credentials: LCPC, MS, NCC
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women
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