When we were courting (yes, I know that's an old fashioned word), we were on our best behavior without any effort. We were trying to win over our beloved. S/he was the most amazing person we'd ever met. So beautiful/handsome. So sexy. Our hearts beat faster just thinking about each other. We couldn't wait for the day's events that kept us apart to be over so we could be together again. We hardly needed to sleep! We gazed into each others' eyes, laughed over silly nothings, created our own in-jokes, told each other every little thing, discussed our philosophies of life, walked hand-in-hand, listened to music and "our" song, went to The City, rode hard on our bikes together, tasted each others' food at restaurants, told each other how wonderful, smart, creative, and incredible we were, walked on the beach at sunset, went away for long romantic weekends, listened closely to each others' life stories, brought little gifts or flowers to one another, picked up lattes for each other, were proud to introduce each other to friends and family . . . the list of things we did and wanted to do were endless . . .
I'm sure that list didn't include taking you for granted, rolling my eyes when you talk, not having sex very often, paying more attention to my device(s) than to you, working till all hours, shutting you out, criticizing and focusing on who is right or wrong, getting defensive and judging each others' parenting styles and in-law interactions. Phew. Just writing that makes me tired.
All of us may dip into those poor behaviors now and then. Hopefully not often, and hopefully not for any extended length of time.
As the Talking Heads sing so aptly, "How did I get here?" And even more importantly, how will we get back to being a happy couple, at least most of the time?
There is a healthy, sustainable positive cycle of love and commitment--of inter-dependence--that we can reach and enjoy over our lifetime together.
In this couple's blog I will expand on all of these topics and more, in greater detail. They encompass neuroscience and couples, years of research by the best in the field on what is needed for couples to stay together -- happily, and not just for the kids; essentially how to go from being good partners to building a better marriage.
Over time, I will integrate knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples.
I look forward to hearing your comments and questions, and yes, I'm a therapist, I want to know how you feel about what I say here. I will do my best to answer as quickly as I can.
If you want one take-away this week: Do a lot of what you did when you were dating.