From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Why Love is not Enough…
The idea of falling in love is positively intoxicating.
While it is perhaps the greatest of all “natural highs”, many of us judge the
merit of love and attraction on the basis of “chemistry”. In spite of our
hormones or perhaps, because of our hormones, lovers crave the tingly sensations
associated with this revered state of happiness. Not surprisingly, many of us
feel let down when the emotional surges begin to even out. Here are a few more
thoughts on the matter.
- Tentative Love. In the beginning, we are single,
we are solo, we are alone. Like butterflies, we investigate the flowers of the
field in search of possibilities. Some of us are shy, others are bold, but all
of us are looking for that perfect match. In the beginning, we test out love
on the basis of talk and touch. If our words connect in a way that is
pleasing, we move on to touch. If the touch is pleasing, we relax just enough
to let down our shields so we can examine each other’s true values. Little by
little, we learn how we are alike and how we are different. Sometimes, we fool
ourselves into thinking that we are more alike than different. Sometimes, we
fool ourselves into thinking we are more different than alike. Sometimes, to
keep from “seeming the fool”, we proceed with the relationship but secretly
keep the motor running and leave one foot out of the door.
- Grand Canyon Commitment. Sometimes when we pass
each other’s tests and we pledge our undying loyalty to each other, we also
make a commitment to remain together forever. At this point, our love begins
to multiply! Our extended families become a very real part of the picture,
maybe we add some children, some pets, and a mortgage, and then poof, we
become citizens in a much more complicated and demanding family system.
Couples who keep talking, touching and deciding things together, soon find
that they can co-command any size ship from a rowboat to an aircraft carrier.
However, without the talking and the touching and deciding things together,
life can become as unsteady as a canoe.
- Temporary Insanity. Sometimes, just when we think
we have everything, our eyes can begin to play tricks. We look in the mirror
but we cannot see ourselves. Of course, we have changed but if we no longer
recognize ourselves, we may start to grieve for the person we used to be. If
we have stopped talking and touching and deciding things together, we may feel
lost and look around to see where we fit in. From this semi-connected state,
it is easy to become disconnected from our primary relationship and get
hijacked into a new connection through a series of small and quiet
interactions with a third party.
Before we know what’s happening,
a kind of brainwashing can occur, complete with its own chemistry. Like addicts
to a drug, we may lie, steal and cheat in order to aid in our own abduction.
Like a storm, extra-marital affairs affect everyone in their path but the real
damage is done to the sacred trust we call loyalty, which lies at the
very heart of the relationship. My own research suggests that love is important
and it’s important to feel satisfied with love in a relationship. In the quest
for marital satisfaction, however, love itself is not enough! You must
also be able to trust your partner when your back is turned! In other
words, to a very large extent, satisfaction in marriage depends on our
satisfaction with loyalty in the relationship
- Eternal Love. What a gift it is, when you’ve
spent the majority of your years together, raised children, and fallen in love
with your grandchildren, to still stand beside your mate, still talking,
touching and deciding things together. Those who know about this sense of
eternal love, have mastered the fine arts of love and loyalty, and have
built their lives upon the foundation of their shared values. Those who share
eternal love are natural mentors for marital satisfaction. Their love
becomes an admired legacy for many generations that follow.
In a perfect world, each of us would easily find our own
perfect mate. Like a truth serum, finding love would inspire us to open up and
reveal our authentic selves to our beloved. In a perfect world, we would always
be non-judgmental, supportive and respectful of each other during both difficult
and happy seasons of our lives. In a perfect world, love would be regarded as a
precious resource that should never be taken for granted. In a perfect world,
neither of us would have to be perfect people; we would just naturally be
perfect for each other!
This article is dedicated to my parents who are in
their 60th year of eternal love!
©Copyright, 2005, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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