The SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT REASON why couples fall out of love?
“They NO LONGER acknowledge how incredible their partner is.”
When did you start focusing on your partner’s “faults” instead of praising their strengths and their greatness? Ironically, its their strengths and their redeeming character that you “chose” them for in the first place.
You did do this right?
If you didn’t ‘choose’ your current partner based on “enough” of the qualities that you were looking for in a life mate, its likely because you hadn’t yet realized exactly what YOU wanted. Knowing yourself well and being confident to hold out for what you really want is how you choose a partner that will be highest in compatibility and ultimately the best choice in a life mate. You want to be highly compatible in your values, beliefs, goals, and even shared interests and hobbies because it is your compatibility that keeps you connected and grounded in your commitment to one another during life’s more challenging moments – and when either of you are weathering a storm.
Remaining honest about what you really want in a life partner helps you to seek this out and not “settle” for anything less. One of the biggest regrets couples have in choosing out of ego (false pretenses and beliefs) or fear (of not ever ‘finding someone better’), is that they chose someone who really wasn’t what they needed or wanted in a partner.
Before you decide that you have “fallen out of” love, re-consider what it is that you really want in a mate. Know that we tend to choose based on our subconscious desires to work out the unresolved relationships of our childhood. Who you already chose may be exactly the person you need to help you realize (and become) who you have always wanted to be.
Your love relationship IS the most significant relationship of your life. If you have chosen someone that you can truly be “yourself” with, then you are about to embark on a journey that will help heal you, while challenging you to seek and become more; and you will be able to support your loved one to do the same.
Continue reading below…..
If you are fortunate to have chosen a partner that you are highly compatible with, chances are even as you both change (grow, transform) over the course of life, you will still share many fundamental beliefs and core values that continue to fulfill you as a cohesive couple.
Here’s something to consider:
“When you’re feeling ‘IN’ love – is it because you are basking in the love that someone is adorning you with? What most people will never get to experience in their lifetime is how to become a ‘being of love’. Being love means that you have learned how to connect with the source of love that comes from within you. This “source” makes it easy for you to share your love with others and to adorn yourself IN the feeling of love. Learning how to “be love” means that you are never dependant on someone else to feel loved.” – Dorothy Ratusny
The other side of relationship longevity has to do with keeping the love. This is done by ensuring that you remain faithful to one another – both intimately (sexually, romantically, and emotionally). ‘Keeping the love’ also means that you continue to know your partner as a best friend, significant other, soul mate or ‘Covivant’ (French translation: “co-cohabiting with the one you love”). Since both of you are constantly evolving, there is always a need to continue to learn about and understand who it is you are in relationship with.
How you nurture love:
When did you begin to take for granted all of the amazing qualities that your partner has to offer? When have you last noticed and acknowledged those same qualities that you initially found so attractive and desirable, making your partner an easy choice for a spouse or life mate? Couples tend to begin focusing on the less positive aspects of their partner after being together for some time. These ‘other’ qualities, mannerisms, and character traits were likely there all along. Its just that early on in the relationship, you were solely focused and enamoured by all of their goodness – making these ‘other’ aspects of their personality – less significant. You may have also told yourself that any qualities about your partner that you did not like would somehow magically go away “with time”. Convincing yourself that any of your partner’s ‘unattractive’ habits and behaviours would likely change only sets you up for disappointment. Deep down we know that change only happens when someone goes in search of it out of their own desires (and is unwilling to “give up” in their quest of what they seek to change).
What nourishes love is: seeking to find all of the good that someone is.
If you’re feeling as though you’ve fallen out of love, ask yourself: “What has changed?”
Did you somewhere along the way stop seeing the good in your partner? Did you expect that he or she would never have an ‘off’ day (or week), or be negatively affected (or even consumed at times) by circumstances that are perceived as ‘stressful’ or challenging? (e.g. losing a job, suffering a physical injury, the experience of bankruptcy, death of a significant loved one, loss of a parent or change in a parent’s quality of life so that your partner has now become a main caregiver to their aging parent). These are only a few of the many life events that force us to face what we are truly made of – how we think and perceive life – and how we choose to deal with what happens “to us”.
Add to this, the blessings of life that come with being a parent. As you go from a happy couple with little responsibilities or obligations “in bliss” to a couple with one or more kids in tow, the life you signed on for is likely no longer the life you now live. It doesn’t mean that your life is any worse – it’s just very – different.
How do you keep the passion and love alive when everything is not what it once was?
Most times, a couple doesn’t even realize what has happened. They are so busy trying to stay on top of their hectic, fast paced life (attempting to hold it all together), giving endlessly to their children and aging family members, that they wake up one morning after another sleepless night with their needs unfulfilled, and perhaps desperate for attention (e.g. someone to remind them of how wonderful they are, someone to listen or talk with). The months, and possibly years of living a life in which one or both members of a couple feel terribly “lost”, “alone”, or as though life as they know it has “overtaken” them (they feel a lack of autonomy in their experience of life), make it very difficult to see the good in their partner.
But did you know?
Everything about “saving” a relationship, “staying in love” and being “forever happy” comes back to the moment in which you first chose your partner. Everything comes back to your choice in a mate.
We choose a partner based on how we feel when we are with that special person. Subconsciously we expect that this is how we will always feel when we are together. We don’t realize (and are likely never told), that it is you who is responsible for making yourself feel: ‘happy’, ‘loved’, ‘cared for’, ‘good enough’, ‘safe’, etc.
But wait? How do you do that when you’ve always been relying on someone to give you these positive feelings?
This is why so many unhappy people continue to stay in their doomed (and vastly unhealthy) relationship. They idealize the “good” moments of the past and create wishful thinking around what they hope it could be like again. They focus on how their partner used to treat them, and blame their partner for not being the same person that they once were – carefree, easygoing, positive, and self-assured, rather than realize that the ‘two way street of love inside of a relationship’ requires nurturing, kindness, care, and patience.
Consider why things have changed. Point the finger first at yourself. What have you said or done that has created hurt and pain in your partner? Who you are in relationship with today is not the exact same person that you once chose. Do you fall out of love because you are no longer getting what you need from a partner, or are you insightful enough to realize that you are partly responsible for who your partner currently “is”.
Have you contributed to (nurtured, supported, encouraged) your partner’s success as who they are, or have you been a contributing factor to their demise?
Rather than looking outside of your love relationship for the ‘things’ your partner used to give you (or at least some of them) – LOOK WITHIN.
No relationship will sustain itself until you realize the power that YOU HOLD. Stop giving it away. Stop looking to others and most often your partner to fulfill you, and look inside yourself.
ASK: “What do you need at this moment?” Identify the need.
Next ASK: “How can I give this to myself?” For example, “How can I contribute to my own feelings of: happiness, fulfillment, importance, value, high self-esteem, intelligence AND to feeling loved, appreciated, needed, deserving and important?
You see, you really don’t FALL OUT OF LOVE. You may realize that the person you chose is no longer (or perhaps never was) someone that is truly compatible with who you are presently. You may not feel the same intensity of love because you have stopped being that loving person you once were. In the midst of our confusion and sadness, and in feeling sorry for our self or the direction of our life, we stop giving; we stop being loving. If your partner has done the same, it means that you are not feeling some or all of the positive feelings that you once felt when your significant other would say or do what contributed to your feelings of positive well being.
The irony is… perhaps all along you allowed your partner to have a major influence over how you felt about yourself rather than taking responsibility for your feelings of ‘happiness’, ‘self-esteem’, ‘being loved’, ‘being good enough’, etc.
We love to be loved….but can we be compassionate and loving when someone needs our love?
Rather than look for the escapes, the distractions, the ways of seeking pleasure externally – go within yourself. For whatever you are in search of, realize that it exists somewhere inside you – wanting to be discovered – waiting for you to realize that it’s right here and that it’s been right here all along. Seek out the experiences, the feelings, the origin of what you really need and be prepared to give this to yourself.
Be prepared to learn how because likely you have been relying on someone else to do this for you for a long time. Find what is missing within yourself. Think about how you have shown and demonstrated love and affection for others and do the same for you. You will know best what you need. Taking care of your own needs rather than looking to your partner or others to do this is the most powerful demonstration of self-LOVE. In this way, you will never again be dependent on others for fulfilling your needs – one of them being – LOVING YOU. (Others will continue to contribute to the positive feelings you have about yourself. Your relationship with others can add to the quality of your life but you will no longer be at the mercy of someone else to love you).
Discover what it means to be self-sustaining, independent, to cultivate ‘self-love’ – to “fall in love” with yourself which frees you to love others not for how they make you feel, but because you choose to be with them in order to appreciate and love who they are. Love that you receive from them becomes the icing on the cake. But you remain the cake. (You retain the ability to be love, and to share it readily.)
For more on the subject of relationship love and choosing the ideal partner, please check out my Book, ‘The Purpose of Love: A guidebook for defining and cultivating your most significant relationship.’ ISBN 978-1-897178-50-8 (Insomniac Press, 2007). (Click on the book image to find out more including where to purchase it).