The level of love in marriage can decrease over time unless both people put their best foot forward and make their marriage work. By working on maintaining that love in your relationship, even if it requires some personal sacrifice, you’re guaranteed to have a happy marriage. To help understand why the level of love can decrease in marriage and what a couple can do to maintain the love in marriage, I have interviewed psychotherapist Joyce Dolberg Rowe LMHC.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I have been a professional psychotherapist and relationship expert in private practice in the Boston area since 1980. I was personally trained in 1996 by Dr. John Gray, acclaimed author of the world-wide best selling book Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus. I am the Director of the Mars & Venus Counseling Center in Quincy & Hull MA, and over the telephone. I also provide supervision to Mars & Venus counselors nationwide. I spend my time locally counseling individuals, couples, adolescents, children, and families.
Why does the level of love in a marriage seem to decrease over time?
“Love grows over time; what decreases is the amount of endorphins that drive lust and intense desire. The same level of courtship that draws a couple tighter in the beginning is the level that will keep him or her happy over time. When an individual continues to make their partner feel special and desirable, their passion can maintain and develop a more satisfying pitch. Love does not grow by itself. It requires effort; that was what ‘˜they’ meant when they said marriage was work. Each partner must give 150%.”
What can happen to a marriage if the love in the relationship diminishes?
“When love diminishes, generally sex falls away, too. One or both partners become sad, angry, sarcastic, insecure, and feel rejected. Often times blaming and shaming begin. Arguing can take over. Resentment begets resentment. Cheating can happen. Their marriage may be doomed, or this couple may seek help to try to find his or her way again. With the right counseling, it can be successful.”
What can a couple do to maintain the love in marriage?
“They can ‘˜fake it ‘˜til you make it’, and find ways to rekindle the friendship and their sexual attraction. They can go for counseling. They can ask themselves these questions: ‘Are we spending lots of quality time together? Are we laughing enough? Dancing enough? Reading together? Playing together? Doing Yoga together?’ It is important to rediscover what brought you together and then build new memories.”
“If they have children, they must remember that they are teaching their children how to be loving adults in a relationship, not only how to be loving parents. Parents must put themselves first, and allow the children to know this.”
What last advice would you like to leave a couple that has the desire to maintain the love in marriage?
“Assume good will; your partner wants you to be happy. Be patient; you are not perfect and nor are they. Ask for what you want, in a straightforward pleasant tone with out complaining; your partner is not a mind reader. Give 150% of yourself. Make dates in advance of the day; never take courtship for granted. Use terms of endearment often and mean them; when you call your lover, “honey”, it is impossible to follow it with a rude or off-putting attitude. Attitude and tone of voice mean a lot! Don’t forget to flirt — and often.”
Thank you Joyce for the interview on how to maintain love in your marriage. For more information on Joyce Dolberg Rowe you can check out her website on www.marsvenusboston.com.
Increasing Your Sexual Activity in Marriage
How to Put the Sizzle Back in Your Marriage
How to Deal with Annoying Husband