When we’re having trouble in our marriage, we often begin looking outside for explanations for our behavior and to understand what is occurring with the diminishment of care and feelings for our spouse. The most important thing to do when keeping a marriage alive with passion is to embrace change and to seek out new skills to help your relationship grow in depth and maturity. This knowledge comes from becoming more self-aware of our needs and wants, but it also focuses on how better to understand, appreciate, accept, trust, and respect what makes our spouse feel loved based on their needs and wants as well.
We all want to be loved, and to be allowed to remain true to ourselves when we are in a marriage partnership. In the beginning, we fall in love with all the similarities of interest we share together. Hopefully, this also embodies our very human values of truth, honesty, and justice too. So what happens after the first few years of marriage when the novelty of being head over heels in love dissipates? If we encourage growth as individuals and add to our relationship skills to nurture and put effort into building up our relationship, then this fledgling me-centered love blossoms into a mature love that allows us to both: (1) grow as individuals, but also (2) form a bond to one another that deepens as we go through the ups and downs of life together. We do this by respecting and honoring one another, showing appreciation, and nurturing our need for romantic love and acceptance. How you do this is different for men and women, if you understand for example that women need more emotional support to feel loved /connected/not alone, and men need more affirmation to feel loved/respected/needed, then you’re able to love the person in the way they need to be loved, rather than the way you want and think they should be loved.
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