Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.
Men are men, vows are words, and words are winds.
-- George R.R. Martin
Betraying a Vow
It seems to be such a common human trait to fall out of love and lose all interest for the person that we only recently adored. What did go wrong? Well, just as we can develop a physiological tolerance to a certain drug, some of us may see that person as if for the first time, noticing so many flaws that were not there before.
As I am going for my frequent walks to a park and some big shopping malls, I can't but notice those young couples pushing a stroller with a crying kid and obviously having an argument. My natural reaction is wishing to be able to stick their wedding photo in front of their noses and ask them if that argument was a part of those solemn wedding vows.
But, young or old, such couples seem to be far from realization about their true reason for arguing. It's not about his forgetting to buy milk; not about her deciding to cook that dinner they "just recently had", or his inviting his single and drinking buddy for dinner.
It's about that initial sweetness of love turning kind of sour. Then, as people usually do, they equally unconsciously try to rationalize it by finding "faults" in one another, not daring to face the truth about their falling out of love.
Could it be a developed sexual tolerance that craves for a "fresh stimulant"?
It's so unfortunate how many couples don't step in their "holy matrimony" with a mature readiness which would mean their being clear about what they want from marriage.
Instead, they seem to be guided in life by a childish impulsiveness which makes them hot-headed for a while, only to allow that feeling to wear off after a sexual saturation that now needs a "new drug".
You may see so many of them with that look of being tired and stuck, merely tolerating that "mess they got themselves into". Nothing of that dating phase of the relationship seems to have survived that sudden shift in heart.
Everything what used to be exciting prospects of exploring a new life, now, as if by some dark spell turned into a routine, including that paramount of their relationship---sex life.
Those proverbial "headaches" at bed time happening more often, and that faked yawning sending a signal of "being too tired"---and again, rationalizing it with a "hard day at work", "a gas-giving last snack", with a convenient phony burp or two to prove it.
The sound of those wedding bells becoming more and more distant and replaced by a noisy washing dishes, or a too loud football game---something to put some life into an otherwise boring day that neither wants to admit.
Cold feet in every form that falling out of love may come up with.
Silence isn't always agreement. Sometimes people no longer argue because they no longer care.
-- Joyce Rachelle
With Arguments to the Rescue
What most of them never learned was that every relationship needs nurturing, like a house plant, or it is bound to perish over a time of neglect. They may gather enough willingness to fix the situation, but then again, they do it impulsively, by trying to bridge their personal differences.
In their inventory of the relationship they only see what the other one is doing wrong, so blaming becomes the name of the game. In the process they are only further alienating themselves from each other, as their effort is all based on negativities and how to smoothen them.
Those cynical remarks about marriage that are supposed to be funny during friendly getting together carry the signs of their yet unexamined truth. Friendships gain a new level becoming one after another a therapy session, while each is confiding about the other's shortcomings, faults, lack of tact---hey, even lack of that much promised love.
Then may come that worse phase---the one of giving up, surrendering to the "rude awakening" to the realisms of marriage. For, if anybody, those friends and mothers somewhat getting tired of the replays of the same story will serve it out with an air of experience and wisdom.
"We all have been through that. People change in marriage, and there is nothing to do about it. Just get the best of what's available, and learn to tolerate the rest" --- say they, until it starts sounding like truth.
An imagined loss may have a great impact on a cooling heart.
My approach could be somewhat radical, but if I happened to be their marriage counselor, or at least a close friend, I would first try to find out what's left of that love. For that purpose I would ask them separately how they would feel about some other person making their partner happy---in bed and otherwise.
You see, some couples are totally unaware of how much their partner means to them until you face them with a prospect of losing him or her. So, instead of focusing on their differences and how to bridge them, I would put the emphasis on their left over feelings for each other and what could possibly be recycled there.
Then that could be used as a stepping stone for a new and more mature version of their relationship. From my little intuitive knack in people's issues, I know that preaching slogans about life doesn't have nearly as much of an effect as cornering people into a realization where the only way out is facing their emotional truth.
You tell your kid that his classroom sweetheart will love him more if he is showing off some smartness, and he may do more to fix that "d" in math than if you tell him that "he's got to try harder, and spend less time playing".
So, back to our cold-feet lovers, it may stir some emotional crap in them when they picture their partner in someone else's bed, at someone else's table, laughing and loving the life together.
Sex is only boring if you are.
-- Merlyn Gabriel Miller
Who Said Marriage Means a Guaranteed Non-Stop Fun?
Couples in trouble ought to realize how they have allowed themselves to exaggerate about the sameness in that part of marriage that's an unavoidable routine. Some dry realism may help if they are willing to face the fact that it's not "just the two of them" that are creating that feeling of sameness.
Namely, they keep seeing the same image in the mirror day in day out, they go to the same job every day, and so much else in life is the same---but they somehow manage to forgive that part of the monotony and suddenly only see their marriage of not delivering enough fun and excitement. Furthermore, they didn't disown their parents and siblings with whom they lived for a big part of their life---so what are they expecting from their spouses?
It also helps to realize that the proverbial "greener grass on the other side" would also come to this same point of "turning yellowish"---if not watered.
There is something like an investment in relationship, and that's what basically makes people mature over those who maintain a position that it's the others' duty to cater to their comfort and entertainment needs.
"If you love me you will do so-and-so" is a policy that leads right to a marital inferno, because no one of a sane mind will accept it.
Spontaneity can bring a couple under the sheets---but marriage insists on all those little things that spell commitment.
But then, some relationships may go bad beyond repair.
Of course, there are spouses who "unwrap" their true personalities soon after the wedding bells get silent---by becoming abusive, maybe turning to alcohol, gambling, drugs, promiscuity, or hanging too much around their old buddies. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for a person to develop cold feet in marriage.
There are many, and I really mean many cases where one or both partners start neglecting their looks, their manners, even cleanliness, turning into slobs and rude jerks. Or they start displaying some weird behavior, like watching porno in front of their spouse or playing music too loud...in other words, showing a total lack of respect for their partner.
Situations like that call for more than reevaluation of feelings and trying to save whatever can be saved of relationship. But no one can tell such a person how to go about it---some may settle for what they've got, others may terminate a relationship that stopped making sense. It's hard to generalize about disillusioned human hearts and to play smart about what's the best next step for them.
We can't control how each day will fall, but we can control how we fall into each day. Learn to make adjustments to match the circumstances.
-- Anthony Liccione
As Long as there Is Some Love Left
However, here we are mainly talking about cases where living together becomes a burden for no other reason but a lack of nurturing the relationship---everything else being relatively functional between them.
Such couples could also benefit by taking a romantic vacation together, so that the ambient itself inspires them to renew that flame that got sized down to that pilot on the gas stove. They could continue where they left off at their honeymoon.
Sometimes it doesn't take more than a small push in a right direction after which everything falls in its right place. But there has to be a willingness with an open mind to explore what else love has in store for them.
Things don't just change of themselves, and it's naïve to expect that the time itself may bring more adjustment between them after they have become merely a habit to each other.
People don't "learn" to love through trials and errors---love is not an experiment, it either exists or it doesn't. That's why it's necessary to pick up the pieces of whatever is left of it and work on them, slightly rearranging them so that they satisfy a more mature idea of marriage.
Let's keep friends out of it. Unless we are ready to share it with our calm mind, we are not ready to share it with anyone.
Whatever joint effort they may be making, it's important to stay away from confiding to friends about their marital problems. Unless, of course, there are serious extremes of an abuse in question, those delicate matters are better left within the confines of your minds and hearts, because that's where the change has to happen.
Indeed, no friend can advise you to "love your partner more", they can only confuse you with their own interpretation of the issue. Also, some intimate matters lose their authenticity in the process of a clumsy and unnecessary analyzing.
Let alone the possibility that your good friend, in attempt to be helpful by "taking your side" advises you to leave your partner if the feeling is not there anymore. Something along the lines of: "Don't waste your young years on a relationship without love".
For, love is a very personal matter, and no friend can know exactly what is qualitatively left of it, no matter what words are used to describe it. That old saying seems to be appropriate: "Words sound different in mouth and in ears".
Whatever we decide to do, let us not jump the gun and do something hasty. Giving it some time for a quiet contemplation over the issue gives our hearts and minds a winning chance to come up with something other than a regrettable move.
In those moments we should ask ourselves what were those feelings which brought us together in the first place---instead of pondering upon those feelings which are driving us away from each other.
For, we didn't just fall from the sky in the same bed, we must have had a strong feeling for each other. What was that feeling on the wedding night? That wedding photo album may turn out to be a powerful tune up for a confused heart.
It's not a lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
A Little Matter of Self-Esteem as Well
Let's see it also from an angle of personal integrity and self-esteem. If it would ever come to saying "Good-bye" to the partner for whom we have developed cold feet, the question could start haunting us :"Why wasn't I able to make it work? After all, relationships are not a rocket science, and there had to be something that I could have done."
Then, by doing that "something" we could take into our future a valuable experience and also a pride for handling the crisis so well. Not merely saving it, but also upgrading it, giving it a more mature version. It's also a precious lesson about our hearts sometimes playing little tricks on us, and then we have to step in with a conscious intent to bring those roaming hearts home.
Well, if we can restrain our hearts from falling in love with every good looking person that comes around, then we might as well "put some sense" into those hearts and nourish our love for the person to whom we promised our love in that solemn moment--- while meaning it at the time.
I hope some of you unsure hearts might have found a little of a needed push in this article to try making more of your relationship with that special one in your life.
In your case matters didn't even have to get to the point described in here---but really, how many of us could give it a little boost, and make it more enjoyable for the both.
The video below contains a story which could inspire anyone who has developed cold feet for their spouse or partner.
Falling Back in Love
© 2016 Val Karas
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 29, 2016:
Paula - I salute to your sense of reality, and the way you are experiencing those dear ones that are not around anymore. You can certainly serve as an example to many folks who may be wrestling emotionally to achieve some peace of mind. Stay well my good friend. - Val
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 29, 2016:
Rjbatty - Many otherwise good discussions are bound to come to a point of mutual misunderstandings. In our case, the primary cause could be the way we choose to look at psychoanalysis as a tool for helping married folks - or helping anybody for that matter. From your profile I gather that at a time you were considering becoming a Jungean therapist, so there is our main stumbling block - since I don't believe in psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis has greatly depreciated as a therapeutic modality, actually to the point where many are asking why it is still being practiced, considering its statistically terribly low rate of success. I am not an expert, but I happen to have an opinion, and I think its significance is only historical.
As for its originators, I am sharply against "sweeping under the rug" their moral and personality flaws. It's like a bald man selling elixir for hair regrowth. If their science could not help THEM to be more balanced individuals, then they haven't got much to give as a contribution to science. I think the problem of that era (when their popularity picked up a momentum) was something like "scientific snobbism", and quite a few "biggies" in science were not making much sense despite their popularity. (Like Anton Mesmer, to mention one). Noam Chomsky knew Jacques Lacan personally, and he calls him a first class charlatan. As nothing in the cultural paradigm dies easily, Lacan is still "highly esteemed" and his crazy, almost impossible to decode theoretical cosmetics is still a subject of many study groups around the globe.
If you took a peek at my profile, you could have noticed that it's my passion to think out-of-the-box ; I don't fall for big names and credentials so easily. To me, science should not be a religion with some untouchable, unquestionable deities. Human nature is way too complex to be covered by any single modality. One can be depressed for causes other than psychogene, and as orthomolecular psychiatry would tell us - those causes could be chemogene, as only one of possible causes. Even chronic constipation or an unhealthy life style could cause it, not to mention food sensitivities and allergies, lack of neurotransmitters like serotonin, GABA, dopamine or endorphin...so many things. The same goes for many other so called psycho-pathological problems. So imagine how many of those poor suffering souls were (and still are) spending years on a therapist's couch regurgitating their "childhood traumas".
Modern ways of therapy don't focus on digging into the past and bringing to the surface of consciousness those possibly traumatic emotional patterns - in a hope they will dissolve there. A much more radical approach is an insistence on creating new neural pathways with the patient's focussing on what is WANTED, not UNWANTED in their emotional repertoire. As neuroscience would say : "Brain cells that fire together - wire together".
But let's leave this stuff.
My hub did not exclude the possibility of married couples being helped by some sort of counselling. You and I stumbled (beside a couple of other things) over the question of "maturity". When I talk about immature folks I am not talking about those borderline cases where counselling may make a difference, but those stubborn cases of an ingrained selfish attitude which some folks simply can't shake off. Oftentimes it's a matter of person's I.Q., as they just can't process logically what you are telling them. Personally, I have met more such individuals than I care to remember. I'll never forget a confession of a psychotherapist in his book that said: "Thinking of the resistance of some of my patients to get well - I often felt like kicking their ass all the way to the door."
Anyhow, I understand your passion for psychoanalysis, and you certainly gave it more attention than I did, due to my intuitively guided intellectual favoritism. I won't argue with you over the value of psychoanalysis, and I can respect your own mind style, just as I can respect my own. So, let's leave this subject and keep consuming what's a delicacy on our own intellectual menu. Have yourself a great day. - Val
Suzie from Carson City on April 28, 2016:
Val.....Rest assured my friend.....I can attest to the fact that I have never felt "loneliness" in my life~~~even when alone. Loneliness is a frame of mind, a negative attitude that if left to fester, can consume an otherwise free & happy soul.
There are many people I love immensely whom I "miss" very much. I have my memories and I treasure them, maintain them and allow them to be enough. There are things within our control and then there are those that are not. I prefer to work with what I have, because it's real.............Peace! Paula
rjbatty from Irvine on April 28, 2016:
I'm sorry to read your reply to my comment, as it suggests that I'm being argumentative just for the sake of appeasing my own sense of right or wrong.
There is nothing personal going on. I merely wanted to point out a different perspective -- one which you can dismiss or take into consideration. My references to Beethoven and Einstein were to illustrate that men of genius can have moral flaws yet still produce viable and admirable works in their respective fields.
Thus, I wanted to point out that though Jung and Freud were hardly saints, their works should not be discredited because of their own moral failings. I don't think one should throw out the baby with the bathwater.
I will admit I went over the top by assuming you hadn't read the works of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis. I can see where this would be contentious; however, I cannot understand how anyone who has read their massive accumulation of work could dismiss their input into the psyche on the grounds of moral failings.
Yes, one might expect that an individual with deep insight into the human psyche should or ought to be somehow above rebuke, but even men of genius are not beyond petty human foibles. Yet, this does not invalidate their work. Does it?
You conclude your Hub by stating "Let's face it, if we can restrain our hearts from falling in love with every good looking person we come across, then we might as well put some sense into these same hearts and nourish our feelings for that one person to whom we promised our love on that solemn day - and meant it at the time." I agree with you full-heartedly.
Reaching such a conclusion and honoring it requires a level of maturity -- no doubt about it. My only footnote to your Hub is that counseling a less-mature individual about the rigors of true fidelity could be of some benefit. I'm not even saying that such counseling would be of benefit -- only that it might be of benefit in some cases.
As we know 50% of marriages end up in a divorce. If we could prevent a tiny fraction of these breakups from occurring (by never taking place) via some well-crafted counseling -- yes, based on the foundations of psychoanalysis -- wouldn't it be worth it?
In California, for example, couples must undergo a blood test. I suppose the test is to ensure that neither partner has venereal disease. That seems fair enough, I suppose. If the government can do that, why shouldn't we require a one-day seminar on the full psychological demands of marriage?
For most, I'm sure that such a course would seem tedious and irrelevant. But maybe -- just maybe -- 1% would have second thoughts. It's just an idea I throw out there for consideration.
Like you, I'm not looking for a contest of wits. I'm an older chap myself (62) and don't have a hankering for stirring up the pot, but I had hoped my counterpoint to your argument would be looked upon appreciatively, as we all have our separate viewpoints. You can publish this or consign it to the junk heap -- either fate is okay with me.
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 27, 2016:
Hello Paula, my friend - These are really some good news, and let me congratulate you on your wise decision. I knew it would come to that, because you are such a smart woman.
So you are a queen-mother among all those-two legged and four-legged "male specimens" at home. Good for you, and being solo just might be a blessing in disguise, who knows. Do you ever think about it this way, or you still get those lonely moments? Wait, I know I am calling you a"friend", but I shouldn't be so nosy with these questions, so just ignore it. - It's past midnight, not my bed-time yet, but I guess you are already having your beauty sleep. Well, sleep tight, and sweet dreams, my friend. - Val.
Suzie from Carson City on April 27, 2016:
Hello there Val....I am solo. No special man in my life (relationship-wise) Of course the loves of my life, 4 amazing sons & 9 amazing grandsons. Val, even my fur babies are male...1 dog 1 cat! I certainly adore all those men!
But let me relate your title to the topic we last discussed via email.
I have certainly "Fallen out of love"...with ZERO chance of ever falling back in love....& you know what I mean!! Thanks for being a pal!
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 27, 2016:
Rjbatty - Unfortunately we will have to discontinue our discussion because of an attitude problem. I mean, for some reason that only you may understand, you are showing signs of being wound up to disagree no-matter-what. Let me explain.
You are obviously an intelligent person, and if it was not for this attitude problem you would have easily noticed that I talked about PSYCHOANALYSTS not being able to help themselves - which is not the same as mentioning Einstein (a theoretical physicist) and Beethoven (a composer) having some personality flaws. Out of the same attitude you assumed that I "didn't read Freud or Jung". Psychology, at its best is only an interpretive, not an exact science, and that's all I wanted to say, which you twisted into that assumption. I am 71 years old, and I read Freud, Adler, Jung, and Horney in my teens, when you were not probably born yet. (Sorry if this assumption about your age is wrong).
I did not really intend our discussion to turn into an intellectual confrontation, because I am too mature for these games. You gave me a clear signal of your intentions when you missed the point by bringing Einstein and Beethoven into discussion. Hypothetically, if those two gentlemen had any personality issues, their knowledge of theoretical physics and music could not help them to overcome those issues, whereas "fathers" of psychoanalysis were expected to have less of personality problems than they had.
I have a friend-psychoanalyst, and we have had many constructive discussions, without ever putting down each other's competence to discuss human nature. So, sorry to say it, but I don't accept a certain tone. - All the best to you. Val
rjbatty from Irvine on April 27, 2016:
I'm not too sure where you are drawing your references about Freud, Jung or Lacan, but it's all beside the point. It's like saying because Einstein had an affair (or affairs) his theory of relativity is automatically discredited. Even great discoverers were merely human beings, yet to discredit their contributions to science because of moral indiscretions is ludicrous. Beethoven (not a scientist but an artist) probably died to complications connected with syphilis. Does that render his compositions as being without merit?
You say, "...You can't "teach" emotional maturity." I disagree. I don't see any reason why this area of human nature is immune to enhancement by the sharing of knowledge. I think the "emotional maturity" of most individuals can be advanced significantly with the right teachers, the right approach, with patience, the right vocabulary and insight to their individual plight.
The ordinary populace doesn't have to absorb and understand the full findings of Freud and Jung in order for them to gain benefit. And when you actually read the works of Freud and Jung (which you haven't), they stress over and over that each person's psyche is individual; therefore, any "models" are only useful in helping differentiate psychological types. They say nothing about squeezing "human nature" into "predictable models." This is what makes the work of psychoanalysis so extremely difficult.
Education does not seem to play a role in the success of a marriage, but this is looking at college grads vs. high school graduates -- not individuals who underwent a crash course in self-examination and psychology. Since nothing like this (to my knowledge) has been undertaken, we simply do not know how beneficial such an approach might be, but we can't simply dismiss it out of hand.
Yes, some couples stay together until the end. But, what may be driving this? I'm sure you've heard the term "mutual dependency." Who is to say that a couple remains together out of love or simply convenience?
Unfortunately, guys/gals may have to go through one or two marriages and divorces -- along with periods where you are alone and hopefully trying to learn something about yourself. Even with the best advice, sometimes we have to learn things the hard way -- by actually living through them. Divorce is tough, but when you see the error of your ways, it makes more sense to bail out than continue the agony.
The idea of romantic love is ephemeral and probably did not even exist until the Renaissance. Some of the pain might be ameliorated by education. If someone had taken me aside and said, "Listen kid, this is how it goes..." I would have listened. I might have even been spared a lot of anguish. As you suggest, "some folks step into marriage emotionally unprepared due to their immaturity..." Just as a societal experiment, what if we raised the intellectual capacity of 3% of those young people who wed? Wouldn't that (perhaps) amount to thousands of people who would be spared the heartbreak of a failing marriage and ultimate divorce?
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 27, 2016:
Ribatty - "Adapting" may mean slightly different thing to you and me in this case. To me it means "settling for what if left - love or not". To you it means making an effort to smoothen the individual differences and upgrade love as it goes through its stages.
There are confused people, maybe pressed by too many life demands who may degrade their relationship as a result of their inner emotional turmoils. THOSE CAN be helped by a scientifically based guidance, because they have maturity which is only brought to the surface.
On the other hand some folks step into marriage emotionally unprepared due to their immaturity where childish selfishness is the biggest factor. You can't "teach" emotional maturity, just like you can't "teach" someone to love their partner once that love is gone. You can't "make" someone fall in love. because loving is not a moral issue but an issue of the heart.
Many people may be brought to the point of intellectually seeing their emotional problematics, but that will not make a darn difference.
Let's go logically into it. If merely "knowing" about the mechanisms behind a problem would be enough, then Carl Jung would have helped himself not to contemplate suicide for the most of his life; and Sigmund Freud would not mistreat his wife and foolishly keep smoking after surgeries of cancerous growths in his mouth; and Jacques Lacan would not have been an absolute asshole of an egomaniac, sleeping with patients, slapping them, and amassing money by reducing sessions to 10 minutes.
If those giants of psychoanalysis were not able to help THEMSELVES, how could their science have helped others? My point being that human nature is way too complex and multilayered to be squeezed into some predictable models of interpreting.
And getting back to married couples, I am asserting again that I have personally seen MANY ordinary, uneducated couples who stayed in love till their last breath, as opposed to MANY examples of smart and educated folks whose education actually seemed to be an obstacle.
rjbatty from Irvine on April 27, 2016:
But, Val, you must admit that love can evolve (in fact must evolve) or even the 50% who stay married would be reduced to zero. When a couple first comes together, isn't most of this attraction based on chemistry (i.e., sex)? And once the sex becomes routine, isn't it true that the relationship either takes a step forward in maturity or simply falls apart? I don't agree with you that adapting "is nothing but a passive divorcing." Many couples fall out of sexual intercourse but would never consider leaving one another. Sure, half of our population would rather move on than face any kind of adaptation, but the other half is more bonded by something transcending sex.
Some people never seem to fully tune into the whole spectrum of love, but very many do. You say, "...it shouldn't be a high caliber science - since many ordinary folks stay together and happy till their end. Basically, it's about maturity..." I agree with you (in part). We'd have to debate what constitutes "high-caliber science." I think you can take complex psychology personality complexes and reduce them to the state where the average Joe can understand them -- at least to some extent. In so doing, I think this is exactly the kind of knowledge required that leads to "maturity." As far as I've read to date, maturity is not a genetic predisposition but something that we learn as we attain adulthood. Education and knowledge isn't an answer to the dilemma but I see these as useful tools in (1) causing potential partners to hold off on marriage; and (2) force married couples to reflect upon themselves before lurching toward divorce..
Val Karas (author) from Canada on April 27, 2016:
Ribatty - It would be great if Jung's concepts, or anybody else's ideas for that matter could mean anything to a person who, from a selfish point of view, simply chooses to dump a partner - "because he/she is not any longer a source of pleasure" to them.
Even "adapting" is nothing but a passive divorcing. It really takes some emotional maturity and wisdom not to see the imminent stages of love as a stagnation of love. Many couples allow boredom to creep into their mentality, which automatically spells depreciation of all people and circumstances in their life, no matter how good they may be at their face value. Meaning that such a person will get fed up with their Rolls Royce and their wife for exactly the same reason. And even if he gets another wife, soon he is bound to paint her with colors of boredom, when she stops being a novelty.
So again, it shouldn't be a high calibre science - since many ordinary folks stay together and happy till their end. Basically, it's about maturity, not about any set of guiding ideas in marriage. We either have that capacity to love, or we don't.
rjbatty from Irvine on April 27, 2016:
They say familiarity breeds contempt. I don't know if this true or not, but something happens along the way. After the endorphins fade, you are stuck with just another human being. You can learn to adapt to the change (despite the letdown) or you can throw in the towel and seek those greener pastures where the endorphins might once again start raging.
Before allowing anyone to be married, it should be mandatory that they attend a class in psychological projection and gain some basic knowledge of Jung's concepts of the anima and animus. This probably wouldn't deter many from taking the plunge, but somewhere down the road, he/she might remember the idea of psychological projection and put less of an onus upon their mate and a bit more upon themselves.
Val Karas (author) from Canada on March 11, 2016:
Lela - I certainly like the mature way you are handling Bob's apparent imperfections. You know how it is as we get a little older - sometimes we are prone to project our little dissatisfactions with ourselves onto those we love. We do it out of being unconsciously self-critical and wondering "Am I still lovable?" - and then we make our spouses aware that "they have their flaws AS WELL", making it easier to forgive ourselves.
Relationships are really about our basic self-love. The way we are treating that inner child in us is the way we treat our dear ones.
Now, isn't it great that you and Bob still have "that something" between you that certainly went through its phases over the years, but you can still proudly call it "love"? Good for you, old honeymooners!
Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 10, 2016:
I don't like the way Bob puts dishes into the dishwasher... but I'm grateful that he does help by putting dishes in the dishwasher!
There are lots of things that irritate me about my husband, but i constantly remind myself that he does many more things that i enjoy.
So i ignore the irritations and thank him for helping. He is trying and he is loyal to a fault.
So love is still there. It just needs to be polished like fine silverware. :-)
Yanglish on February 11, 2016:
As is well known, falling in love often leads to emotional and physiological instability. People who are truly in love tend to focus on the positive qualities of their beloved, while overlooking his or her negative traits.