Just because we decided to be together does not mean that we agree to complete submission to each-others’ needs. There are times when I choose to do my own thing. Times when I’m away from home for long or short periods. With kids around there are often times when their needs are much more pressing.
By choosing whether to focus on what you dislike or what you like, you create your own experience and attitude towards your partner. Life looks quite different when you focus on what you like rather than what you don't. Your partner hasn’t changed, only your focus and this is something you choose.
Date night is standard advice for parents looking to reconnect as a couple. Every week you find someone to take care of the kids and then spend a wonderful evening and night together. After a few hours you feel like young lovers again and all the stress and strain of life will be gone. Yeah, right!
Each relationship has to face some tough conversations from time to time. These could be big decisions where you don’t see eye to eye with each other. They could be some unhealthy dynamics in the relationship that needs to be sorted out. Or a bad choice that one of you has made that has to be faced.
I recognise Love is an essential quality of being human – a Need. It is maybe even the most powerful driver and source of life energy available to us all. Some needs (food, air etc.) are necessary for mere survival. When we allow Love into our life we thrive, we grow and we can achieve so much more.
Love is more than a feeling. It is something we express or manifest through our words and actions. One way I like to picture it is as a flow of giving and receiving without any start or end. Like an infinity loop where there is no beginning and the giving and the receiving merge and love just flows.
When I tell my partner ‘I love you,’ it might mean ‘I feel some sensations or emotions right now that I’m labelling as love’. It's such a broad label used to convey a vast range of different feelings that it communicates nothing. 'I love you', could mean ‘I like you’ or ‘I am consumed with passion'?
Generally, I know my loved ones have positive intentions towards me. This means they usually do not go out of their way to make my life miserable. Usually. So why would they ever do it? I vhoose to believe my loved one is trying to say ‘LOVE ME’ just in a way that makes it unlikely I will hear that.
There are things I react to more strongly than others – my ‘hot buttons’. Don’t laugh, but examples that trigger my irritation are Mona putting the mugs in the wrong place in the cupboard or telling me where to park the car. Looking at these with distance, I admit they are possibly an over-reaction.
There is no universal model of a great relationship as we are all different. We all build our own marriages, families and lives and no two couples are the same. There is no single answer to this important question. Here is a compilation of some of their answers – and I added a few of my own thrown.