Why Real-Life Love is Worth the Struggle
May 12, 2017
Why Real-Life Love is Worth the Struggle

by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil


It has been said that you craft a relationship by practice, practice, practice. It does not just happen. In fact, 80% of couples choose to stay together after adultery in marriage. Monogamy is a conscious decision.  Divorce is not an option or exit for those who have reached real-life love. Their mindset is different. Their mindset is we will make it work! It takes discipline to be married happily. 

Adultery is now higher for women than it is for men. Career women may see life without a spouse as palatable because of the burnout they feel from carrying most of the responsibilities alone. Social networking after work pulls apart the intimacy and connection between a couple. People can look up old sweethearts and eulogize those memories. This makes them feel younger and fancy free. 

There is no conflict or conflict resolution needed. Polite marriages are higher in adultery because they lack conflict which gives us passion. The bored are looking for the pizazz of first love, but are searching for it in the wrong place. No one knows that with better imagination and ingenuity you can have an affair with your own partner. 

For those who claim monogamy is not natural to humans, studies suggest that married people have better health, sex, wealth, and happiness. Women in relationships feel more sexually satisfied after 15 years together. The longer a couple is together the more sense of kindness returns later in life-similar to the way the relationship was in the courting period.  

This is real-life love and if you've got there you've traversed the power struggle it took to get there. After you conquer the power struggle stage you have more respect for each other. When you reach real-life love, you accept each other as you are and you are better for it. You have grown together as improved individuals. 

Here are some tips for reaching real-life love:

  • Avoid criticism and contempt. These contaminate intimacy.

  • Be kind. Talk, and connect daily. Look into each other's eyes for 30 seconds daily.

  • Participate in verbal aphrodisiacs daily. These are as simple an exercise as complimenting each other and they make you feel more sexual toward each other. Research shows that men have a greater need for affirmation than women do.

  • Don't hold grudges. Say you're sorry even if you don't think you did anything wrong. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

  • Fight by appointment only. Compartmentalize fun from conflict resolution and, only then, use fighting fair appointments. Make appointments time limited with permission from your partner who is the non-initiator of the fight. Walk in each other's shoes to resolve conflict with action items to change behavior included. Participate in high energy play to raise endorphins after a fight. 

  • Have sex once a week.  Schedule and program in sex as a priority. Sex plays an even bigger role in marriage satisfaction than money compatibility.Do not feel guilty for a weekly night out away from your kids. Children are the biggest romance wrecker because couples put them or their demands first. Men need to take on greater responsibility as the guardian of connection and ease the women's burden. Even a walk or getting an ice cream together counts as a bedroom romp. 

  • Focus on how your partner wants to be loved. Ask and they shall tell. Make sure you understand how they want to be loved. Does your partner see love as you spending time together, helping with chores, making dinner, or physical affection or sex?

  • Explore novelty and new interests together. It's shown that the most successful couples are the ones that take on the other's interests.  Jimmy and Roslyn Carter attribute their famously long, 70 year old marriage to "trying to do everything they can do together, together."
It is not conflict that is bad, it's how we handle it and deal with it that can make or break a marriage. Most people have no idea how to navigate conflict--that is the problem.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil is a renowned relationship therapist with more than 35 years experience, a global phone-based practice, and a private practice in New York City with a 98% success rate!. She teaches an online course, Marriage and Relationships: Keys to Success and authored best sellers, "Make Up, Don't Break Up," a book turned movie, "Adultery: The Forgivable Sin,", and "Financial Infidelity." Get instant access to tips, resources and her free video for singles and couples -  Make up, Don't Break up, at www.DoctorBonnie.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.  

Posted by Staff at 2:44 PM