Welcome back. In the first section of this three part series we looked at two common marital myths that undermine relationships. Moving on, here is a breakdown of another two lies about marriage to consider…
Love Is A Feeling
In the English language, the word “love” covers a lot of ground, and wears a lot of hats. We say “I love ice cream” and “I love my car” with the same candor that we say “I love my spouse” and “I love my best friend”. Same word, many different meanings.
In this regard, the Greeks had it right. They had a different name for different kinds of love, which allowed you to convey an idea without any confusion regarding what it was that you were feeling. The truth is that romantic love, the kind that we associate with that “butterflies in your stomach” feeling, is the result of oxytocin in your brain. This leads to an increase of dopamine, the hormone directly linked with feeling good.
However, because this sort of chemical reaction in your brain isn’t something that can be sustained over long periods of time, you can’t base your love for someone based on purely how you feel in your stomach. A lack of butterflies does not mean a lack of love. Real love, the kind that lasts a lifetime, needs to be composed of so much more than just “feelings” in order to survive the rough patches and weather the storms that life throws at you.
If Two People Love Each Other…
“If two people love each other……they would, or should, or could…..”. Somehow the implication that love is enough to make a relationship work all by itself leads many couples to the incorrect understanding that their partner must not love them, because if they did, they wouldn’t be having these problems.
Just because people argue and disagree, doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other. But the truth is that while love is a critical part of a relationship, it isn’t the only brick in the wall. Love without trust or kindness or honesty just isn’t enough to sustain a relationship.
The flip side of that argument is the fact that love gets used as a manipulation tool. “If you loved me, you would…” Fill in the blank here: do the dishes more often, not go out with your friends as much, clean up after yourself when I ask you to. In other words: spend more time doing things that make me happy. But if all we are ever trying to get out of our marriages is personal happiness and satisfaction, sometimes at the expense of our partner’s satisfaction, we may have missed the mark entirely.
Join us next time, as we wrap up this series with the last two items on the list of lies we believe about marriage. Until then, if your marriage has fallen short in ways that you cannot reconcile, call us at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys can help you pick up the pieces, and construct a solid future for yourself. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the event of crisis.