Band AidIt is generally safe to assume that something is amiss in your current romantic relationship if your thoughts, feelings, and desires leave your longing for a “real” romantic connection.

Many partners in a hurting romance will describe a sense of feeling lost. They wonder what could have happened to the closeness that they used to enjoy. “Could it be that we were young and immature and easily impressed by the excitement that came so spontaneously in our marriage?”  This is a common question one of the partners might be asking. “Perhaps the kids have preoccupied too much of our time, love, and attention” is usually another line of thought. 

Couples who have once known love will often miss the loving feeling they once enjoyed. They will long to see the excitement in each others eyes instead of the new sense of disinterest they see in each other lately. Partners may ‘politely’ tolerate each other’s questions and opinions but a true interest in each other’s life does not appear important anymore.

“What is going on??” becomes an exasperated lover’s biggest question.

Once it has been established that your romance has lost its romance, the alarm that is raised in the relationship may stimulate efforts to renew the old bond, or renew the excitement you once had.

Many couples will feverously plan a trip or schedule a date night. Unfortunately a couple who has reached the level where they think they have “fallen out of love” (whatever that means!) is likely to find that date night commitments all too frequently lose their fervor. The memories of a crucial romantic vacation will have faded within a month of the couple’s return to the reality of career, home, and family. They return to the demands of parenting or career challenges and find themselves once again on the treadmill of life. “Date night” – or romantic getaways – usually prove to be only a small band aid for big crises.

We believe that a big crisis deserves a big solution. Your relationship deserves two partners who think big together. Dare to dream. It is all right to have great expectations for your relationship with your romantic partner.

We do not believe that romantic discomfort is caused by unreasonable expectations. On the contrary, we have found that proponents of that philosophy are probably in a relationship themselves that you and I would find unattractive – or perhaps they have spent years in their own unfulfilling relationship.

Do not settle for less than honesty, openness, mutual support, respectful and loving treatment of each other, intimate communication, and being able to count on your partner…if these are in fact the attributes you are looking for in your relationship.

One way to cultivate this vision is to have a daily “date” time to get to know each other again. If you and your partner are willing to go to any lengths to repair your relationship, then the 25 minutes a night – or morning – will go a long long way towards reconstruction.

Read a relationship oriented book together, or a daily meditation book, one page at a time. Spent five minutes to sit in silence and meditate together on what you have just read. Write some of your thoughts on to paper and then share your findings with each other. Try holding hands in prayer or reflection. Do not allow your work or other family obligations to infringe on this important sacred time (and yes – turn off your cell phones!). Create the imperative and then schedule your other obligations around it – not the other way around!

Please click HERE to share with us some of the effective ways you may have found beneficial for putting romance back in to your own romance. Or perhaps you have tried some of these suggestions and you still struggle. We would like to address some of your concerns in our future blogs!

 

This article was written by John & Elaine Leadem, senior supervisors of the  Leadem Counseling & Consulting  offices in Toms River, NJ and East Brunswick, NJ. The content of this article is based on their upcoming publication titled “A Decision to Be IN Love” (Leadem & Leadem, 2014).

In this next publication John and Elaine address the challenges associated with establishing or rebuilding romantic health and provide valuable tools for building romantic bonds.

This specific article is based on the chapter titled “Should we really be concerned?”

 

 


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    Last reviewed: 8 Jul 2014

APA Reference
Leadem, J. (2014). Is Your Relationship in Trouble?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/couples/2014/07/is-your-relationship-in-trouble/

 

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Elaine Leadem, MSW, LCSW & John Leadem, MSW, LCSW are authors of many books, including One in Spirit & An Ounce of Prevention.
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