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Why Romance Stops and How to Keep it Alive
By Helene Rothschild
Are you frustrated with the lack of romance in your relationship? Have you been puzzled why it disappeared? Do you feel more like roommates?
You are not alone. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I had many clients who experienced the same problem. Through the process I developed, HART (Holistic And Rapid Transformation), I was able to assist them to successfully rekindle their romantic love by helping them to understand the causes and solutions.
To begin with, love is not enough. It takes two people who have high self-esteem and good communication skills to maintain a long standing, healthy relationship. Unfortunately, we do not teach these vital things in school. In this article, I will deal with the communication patterns.
Some of the major causes of this problem are how people deal with their negative feelings of fear, hurt, anger, resentment, etc. There are four basic patterns couples have. Three out of the four are dysfunctional and likely to affect what happens in the bedroom. I always ask the couple to stand-up and face each other up so that they can experience their negative reactions and then change them to positive ones.
The first stance is two active aggressors. You know when they are angry because they are being critical and likely raising their voices. This is a noisy household with many heated arguments. I ask the couple to face each other, shake their pointed fingers, and pretend they are having an argument.
The second pattern is two passive aggressors. This household is quiet but there is a cold war in the mist. Both people turn their backs from each other. They deal with their negative feelings by shutting down. However they are often expressed covertly with sarcasm, being absent or late, forgetting important dates, etc. If they have the courage, one day, they ask for a divorce, or ease their pain with an affair.
The combination of the active and passive aggressor is the third dysfunctional pattern. To picture this, imagine one person shaking his angry finger while the other turns his back. These patterns feed each other. The more one expresses anger to their partner, the more they move away. The active aggressor then feels angrier and escalates the attacks.
As you can see, everyone loses in these three dysfunctional patterns. What then to do? The only functional way is the active aggressor puts his accusing finger down and the passive aggressor faces his partner. With constructive communication skills, they can resolve their issues and feel even closer. Once they come to win-win solutions and make agreements, they can maintain a romantic, loving relationship.
By the way, this model can be applied to all relationships including business partners, friends, children, siblings, and co-workers. Being caring and loving will bring people closer. Passive or active aggression will push people away.
For couples, I also recommend that they take care of their appearances to maintain their attraction. It is very helpful to schedule weekly date nights and monthly weekends away to keep their relationship intimate. This is also a gift to the children as they can do well with happy parents. The couples are also then modeling a healthy relationship.
In summary, romantic intimacy is often affected by what happens outside of the bedroom. If you are having romantic problems, look inside yourself to see what you can do different. Pointing your finger at your partner or ignoring them will only escalate the problem. With awareness and communication tools you can enjoy the loving, romantic relationship you desire and deserve.