Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How to Fall in Love AGAIN

I frequently have a couple come in and one or both of the individuals are concerned about the fact that they aren't "in love" anymore. Many people believe that this is a sign that the marriage is over. That couldn't be further from the true.

If you talk to happily, married couples who have been married over long periods of time, i.e. 20 or 30 years, they will tell you that the feeling of being in love comes and goes and if you put it on a graph, it would look a lot like a sign wave. That feeling of being in love can be influenced by many things such as stress, the need to hyper focus on something outside the marriage, illness etc.

When I explain this to most couples, they often say they miss that feeling of being in love. Of course, you can only experience that initial feeling of being in love once, because one of the contributing factors to that state is the newness of the relationship. It's a time of heightened awareness and discovery. But you can experience something closely related and something that feels even better than the "high" because it includes the comfort of knowing and trusting your partner. The "high" isn't quite as high, but the feeling of "love" is much more loving.

So the next question from most couples to me is usually is, how do you fall in love again? The "in love" feeling occurs at any time because there is a very focused attention on another person in which you ignore or minimize their flaws. Judgement of the person is suspended and 3 things occur.

1. You're working hard to try to know and understand your partner. You have a deep curiosity about your partner, who they are and what they are all about.

2. You're looking for reasons to like and admire your partner and are giving them feedback about what you see.

3. You are making efforts to engage and connect with your partner.

Here are a few of the things you might do to recapture the feeling of being in love.

1. Unexpectedly, call your partner and tell them you love them and are thinking about them and/or tell them some of the reasons you appreciate them.
2.  Look at your partner as if it was the first time you ever saw them and/or as if it was the last time you will ever see them.
3.  Reminisce about a special time the two of you had together.
4.  Surprise your partner--leave an "I love you" note in an unexpected place--anything that is unexpected and is just for their enjoyment.
5.  Do some of the things you did to woo your partner when you first met.
6.  People who are in love are playful and usually become great playmates. Bring that back to your relationship if it has disappeared.

Falling in love again doesn't take big, extravagant gestures, like running off to Paris. It's the small things that we can do often that bring back those feelings.

If you and your partner need help with your relationship, you can reach me at 512-795-0402 or go to my website.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Building Trust in a Relationship

Six Major Deposits that Build the Emotional Bank Account
(How to Build Trust in a Relationship)

  1. Work on understanding the other person.
    • What is important to the other person must be as important to you as the other person is to you.
    • True understanding of others requires that you listen for understanding not in order to respond.
  2. Attend to the little things.
    • Little kindnesses and courtesies as well as little discourtesies and unkindnesses are important.
    • In relationships, the little things are the big things.
  3. Keeping commitments
    • Keeping a commitment or a promise is a major deposit; breaking one is a major withdrawal.
    • Being unwilling to make any commitments is as much a withdrawal as making them and not keeping them.
  4. Clarifying expectations
    • The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals.
    • You make deposits when you make expectations clear and explicit in the beginning.
  5. Showing personal integrity
    • Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth — in other words, conforming our words to reality.
    • Integrity is conforming reality to our words — in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations.
  6. Apologizing sincerely when you make a withdrawal
    • Sincere apologies make deposits.
    • Repeated apologies interpreted as insincere make withdrawals.
Excerpted from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey