I think it’s human nature to crave security – security around our job, our finances, our health and our love. As children, we look for security in our parents’ or carers’ unconditional love and as we move into adulthood, and find our life partner, we expect our love to endure and want to know with certainty that we can rely on our partner for their trust, reciprocity, caring, respect, thoughtfulness and love. Essentially, we want to know that we are secure in our relationship.
Yet life has a habit of throwing us curve balls – events that can send our life in a different direction to what we expected. In terms of relationships, there may be a specific event that causes our love to unravel (eg cheating, dishonesty) but more often than not I see comments that indicate there was a gradual falling out of love, or that one partner has seemed to have given up on the relationship.
In order for a relationship to thrive, it needs to be constantly fed with expressions of love – and the longer these acts of thoughtfulness are absent from a relationship, the harder it is to bring the relationship back from the brink of separation. Yet there was once reciprocal love there, so it’s worth fighting for – someone has to start the process – will it be you, or are you waiting for your partner? If you have felt disconnected from each other for quite some time, it may also take a while to repair the rift and for you to feel comfortable expressing your love to your partner. You may even like to try the idearly app prompts – they are very gentle and can help to give you ideas on how to express your love. Beware though! It may all feel a little uncomfortable and downright weird for a while, until you develop a new habit of expressing your love. You may also feel that your love is not being reciprocated – but be patient, it will happen – the timeframe may depend on how long your relationship was in a state of disconnect.
In addition to the free idearly app, another great resource is ‘The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’ by Gottman and Silver (hop into the Resources tab to find this book) – there is much wisdom here based on years of research and if you want to strengthen your relationship, this might be a good place to start.
And just remember….. everything worth having in life is worth putting effort into.