Keeping emotional love, passion and affection alive in your relationship isn’t easy these days.
When our spouse doesn't respond positively to our expressions of love, we get frustrated.
Most people forget--and don't notice--that the wonderful first stage of a passionate and euphoric new love doesn’t require a lot of effort.
We don't notice that it doesn't take much effort because we’re swept along by a river of positive emotions. In that phase of love we’re willing to do almost anything to make our partner happy and feel loved and appreciated--and vise versa.
We forget that we are devoted to making a very big effort and taking action on a very frequent basis--to keep our loved one happy. And...we happily do it. It makes us happy to, and, too.
In Stage 2 that changes.
As couples come down from the emotional high of new love, they need to make the transition to the second stage of love. Stage 2 is more intentional. Stage 2 Love requires a conscious, consistent and fairly constant effort--from each person--to learn about, understand and meet the emotional needs of the other. John Gottman refers to this practice as creating "Love Maps".
To keep a passionate and loving marriage alive and well, each person in the couple needs to keep updating their partner's love map.
Many couples fail to make the transition from the wonderful emotional high of new love (Stage 1) to Stage 2: intentional, conscious, enacted love.
When couples fail to make the transition from new love to intentional conscious love, what usually happens is that they get “feelings” for someone else, then divorce and remarry—and repeat the same exact cycle with another mate. Stage 1 love but not Stage 2.
It’s important to learn how to make the transition from the high of new love to the intentional stage of love. Marriage counseling helps couples keep their love alive and make this transition so their relationship is reborn.
Through marriage counseling that is skill based and communication oriented, couples can learn how to express their love in a language their partner or spouse understands.
Good intentions are not enough.
To sustain a passionate marriage or relationship we each must also learn how to meet our beloved’s emotional need for love--and do that on a consistent basis, because we want to, love to, and it feels good to us and to our partner to do that. That's Stage 2 Love.