DIVORCE and Marriage Counseling - What to do when the magic dies
This week another celebrity couple announced their quiet and amicable divorce. Diana Lane and Josh Brolin announced the end of their (second) marriage. In the past I've written about other notable couples; Ashton and Demi, Bruce and Demi, Tom and Katie with the same underlying and universal theme. I use celebrities because they do the hard work of being archetypes for our culture today. Celebrity and archetypal themes bring us closer together as a culture and allow us to work through things vicariously.
Let's ask the burning yet basic question; with all the resources available to celebrity couples why are many unable to find the peace, lasting love and stability that most people crave and desire. What can the rest of us do make sure that in our own lives we don't let the magic die? Here a few things I suggest in my practice.
1. Set realistic expectations for what your mate can do for you and vice versa. Your partner cannot fill your emotional needs or your every desire nor should you expect them to. When you feel "whole" you attract someone who is "whole" and this leads to greater life and love satisfaction.
2. Play hooky! Relationships demand sacrifice, so sacrifice what it most important to you for your loved one. Emotional intimacy and connectedness grows over time so spend your time with the one you love and make it quality time. Take off the occasional day or night to just hang out sans kids, sans phone, sans bills. Get out of the house just the two of you and watch the day melt away.
3. We are in a constant state of change, as your beloved changes, grow with them and learn to adapt to who they have become not who they were. If the change is congruent with your emotional Watch the signs, read body language, speak the language of your heart. Your beloved's nonverbal cues are much more powerful and revealing than what they say with their written or verbal language.
4. When you feel in your gut that something is wrong, listen to your intuition, don't blame and get help. Either you or your love are in distress or are in a state of change which needs to be supported . Your relationship is a living, breathing entity all of its own and when one person changes the tempo, the other must adjust. Sometimes we dig in and refuse to adjust and our partner refuses as well, we cannot move forward if we are constantly playing "chicken".
5. Trust yourself; when you fell in love with your partner, there was a reason. Your needs may have changed, your partner may also have changed. Counseling allows you to open the channels of communication and build a deeper, more resilient bond. You deserve that chance and so does your love. Make it a great day!