Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In a Loveless Marriage With Children? Tips and Advice That Might Help

Understanding That A Loveless Marriage Can Also Be Detrimental To Your Children: 
I understand that many folks in a loveless marriage feel like they are doing this all for the sake of their kids. And, grated, I don't think that many people would argue that avoiding divorce is the right call. But, some experts will tell you that children would rather come from a broken home than a home that is broken. I'm not entirely sold on this. As a child of divorce and from knowing countless people like myself, I can tell you that most of us wish that our parents had found a way to work things out.

With that said, no child should grow up in a home where there is so much drama and fighting that the child doesn't feel safe or secure. However, this is usually not the case in the emails that I get. In fact, there is often not all that much fighting. Things are usually quite cordial, but not loving. People will often assume that so long as the home is stable and without drama, staying together is optimal for the kids. This could well be true, but demonstrating a marriage without mutual affection, attraction, and love is likely not the marriage that you would like to model for your children either.

When your children marry and begin to set up their married life, there is likely no question that you wish for them to be happy and in a mutually loving relationship. If this was not modeled for them, they might grow up thinking that a marriage devoid of these feelings is normal or acceptable. This is likely not what you want for them.

Everyone deserves to be happy and fulfilled in their marriage. You, and your children, are no exception. Of course, the great irony of all of this is that you're making these sacrifices for your children. But, in the process, you might be demonstrating what you don't want for them. You want for them to know what a mutually healthy and satisfying relationship looks like and how it functions and this of course, is a catch 22.

Deciding To Change The Landscape Of Your Loveless Marriage: Prioritizing Your Own Needs And Happiness: I find it very common that people in this situation are in the habit of putting their children (and the needs of those children) first in their line of priorities. This is admirable and understandable. But, you deserve to be happy too. And your children deserve parents who love each other as much as their children. I have seen these loveless unions turn around time and time again. But, the first step in this is accepting that the two of you need regular time together away from your children in order to reignite some of the spark and to rediscover what drew you together in the first place.

Often, when I begin to allude to this, people will say things like "you don't understand. There is nothing there. We just don't love each other anymore. I can't even imagine spending regular time alone with him." In response, I will often ask if things were always this way - even in the beginning. Because, I'm always skeptical that someone would chose this kind of relationship when dating. Usually at this point, the person will admit that things were in fact quite different in the beginning. But, somewhere along the line, something was lost and they fear that there's no way to get it back.

I firmly believe that you can get it back. I have done this in my own life. I can't tell you that it's always easy. But, most of the time it's possible. It's sometimes a gradual process and sometimes you have to take baby steps. But, if you are determined and try to make very small improvements on a repetitive basis, you will often find after some time that your marriage isn't as "loveless" as you once assumed.

Often, the perceived lack of feelings is the direct result of incorrect perceptions, getting into bad habits, of forming habits of neglect. Very often, bringing back awareness and efforts can begin to change this. Yes, it can feel awkward and vulnerable at first. But this is your family we are talking about. This is your life (in which you deserve to be happy, I might add.) It's my experience that there's no reason that you can't be happy within the family that you already have. Yes, it's going to take some work and some changes, but I know first hand that it can be done.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Signs of a Loveless Relationship

Relationships take work and dedication. Falling in love is easy enough, but maintaining a healthy, committed relationship takes work. Unfortunately, if you are one of the many who turn around one day and ask yourself, "Where did the love go?" you aren't alone. Knowing the signs of a loveless relationship can help you decide what you need to do next.

You Spend More Time Apart Than Usual - Every couple should spend some time apart. Healthy relationships consist of two people who are still able to maintain separate identities. However, if you are choosing to spend time away from your partner just to avoid him, then that could signal something is up. People in a loveless relationship will drift apart. They stop doing the things they used to do and may even dread the thought of attending social functions together. 

Conversation Becomes a Struggle - When two people are in love, they enjoy each others company and are excited to talk to each other. Couples in a loveless relationship will find themselves talking less frequently. They may even argue and bicker, making conversation unpleasant. If you start to argue often enough, the two of you eventually avoid conversation altogether. Not being able to talk through your problems, or not wanting to talk about your problems can be a sign that the love has disappeared in the relationship. 

You Become Less Giving - In a healthy, loving relationship, each person gives to the other. For example, you may take him to lunch just out of the blue, or he may bring you home flowers for no special reason. In a loveless relationship, each of you begins to think more about yourself and less about the other person. You may even become selfish, which leads to bigger problems. When each person is only thinking about himself, there is no mutual respect for each other. The relationship can break down very quickly once you become selfish.

You Are Thinking of Calling It Quits - If you are thinking of calling it quits, then it's a good sign that the love is gone. If it doesn't break your heart to lose the other person, then it's time to call it quits and move on with your life. If there are problems that you believe could be addressed, then feel free to work on them with your partner. However, if you've tried to work together and have attended counseling sessions and things still haven't changed for you; then it's time to admit to yourself that maybe the love is gone.