Keeping The Love Alive

(As Published in the Hyde Park Living Magazine)

The Czech poet, Rainer Maria Rilke said, “I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people; that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other”. This would not be a verse on the average Valentine’s card that tells us we should be conjoint if we are truly in love. However, in my experience of working with couples over the years I have found that the troubles in relationships have a lot to do with not accepting the individuality of spouses.

If we are to keep the love alive it takes action on our part. Love has to evolve, no matter how beautiful it is at the beginning. A bud is usually never as beautiful as the mature flower and yet it has to be there before the flower can exist. We need to actively work at helping our love to evolve. Evolve, of course, means to change and we all know that most changes involve growth and pain.

What can I do to feel happy with my partner and ensure that love is the center of our union, rather than a function or a duty? Am I waiting on my spouse to change his or her approach? This is such a common stance and yet it leaves people with such frustration and disappointment. YOU must be the one to try bringing the change about that you desire. We can’t change our partners but we can try to change ourselves and the situation. We have so many defenses up, that predate our marriage, which prevent us from being vulnerable to our spouses and the result can be a deep sense that I am not being understood and am not fulfilling myself.

I need to fulfill myself. I need to let down some of the defenses that keep my wife/husband from truly knowing me. I am the one who needs to talk out about my feelings, needs, wants and desires. Most people do these things when they first meet and yet then get consumed by all the other aspects of married life. Try not to be just another person. Start to work on bringing about what you feel a need for in life. It’s ideal if your spouse will start with you but if they won’t then start yourself and there’s more chance that they will then move with you. It won’t be easy but what’s the alternative? Don’t try to bring huge changes about but do little things that will make a difference for you and the relationship. Maybe it will be taking time off to reflect or showing more awareness of you partner as you part in the morning or return in the evening. You could establish a date night or day each week. Try to touch more or ask more about how your spouse’s day went. Exercise together, etc. Just don’t let you marriage grow old but help it to grow new each day of this busy life.

Tony Fryer

About Tony Fryer
I am a Systemic Marriage and Family Therapist/Mediator and a Team Building Consultant. I have my own Private Practice in Cincinnati and am originally from Ireland. See for more information about me and my work.

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