Reviving Romance When Love Starts To Plateau
By Richmond Acheampong
After being together for a long time, the romance in most marriages starts to fade. We want our love to never end and desire to be closer to our partner but the stress and busyness of life gets in the way. Interestingly many couples facing this dilemma think their love has fizzled, when in actual fact, their communication has reached a plateau.
In every relationship there are two levels of communication. The first level is surface communication and the second is deep communication. Surface level communication involves discussing the details of daily life, like paying bills, sharing chores, where to go for vacation, discussing the kids and so forth. Deep communication is more intimate; it involves sharing your feelings, hopes, dreams and fears. Deep level communication occurs when an individual feels secure enough in a relationship to be vulnerable with their emotions and be their true self. It's this level of communication that fuels the romance and keeps the love alive in the relationship.
If you feel like your love is fading, evaluate the level of communication in your marriage. Understanding why and how you communicate is the first step towards improvement.
Ask yourself the following questions
1. While growing up, was communication in my family encouraged or discouraged? Was it deep or superficial?
2. Who was the better communicator, my mother or father?
3. Which parent was easier to talk to?
4. Is my communication style like my father or mother's?
5. Would my spouse say I encourage him/her to share vulnerable feelings?
6. Do I feel like my spouse listens to me and values my thoughts?
7. When something upsets me outside of my relationship, do I talk about it with my partner or keep it to myself?
8. Are there situations where it's hard to express my feelings or thoughts? If so why?
Several factors influence your communication level, but upbringing has the most dominant affects. Here's an exercise that will help deepen the level of communication with your partner and build trust once it's implemented.
Relationship Wish List:
Both of you get a piece of paper and write down 10 to 15 things, you want the other partner to do for you (make sure it's not degrading or painful). It can be going out on dates every week, back rubs, letting you go out with friends, etc. Be sure to include even those things you think are petty and trivial, like putting socks in the blue laundry hamper instead of the red one (it's all part of expressing the real you). Once you're done, exchange lists and talk about it.
1. Were there things on your partner's list you expected to see?
2. Were there any surprises on your spouse's list?
3. How did you feel about sharing your wish list? Hesitant? Excited? Embarrassed, or relieved? If so why?
4. How do you feel about doing the things your spouse wants?
If there are items on the lists that make you or your spouse uncomfortable, talk about them and negotiate something else. No one should feel coerced into doing anything uncomfortable, because it damages trust. After reviewing and discussing each other's wish list, take one suggestion and implement it. Every month add a new suggestion (from each other's list) to your routine, and continue to do so until the list is completed. The key to success for this exercise is patience; don't expect perfection, be patient with each other as you try to establish new routines in your relationship.
After being vulnerable with your true feelings, the level of love and security in your relationship will grow. Especially when both partners are accepting and supportive of the other's feelings and wishes. Under these conditions the level of deep communication thrives and love flourishes. As your appreciation for your spouse grows, the passion and romance is revived.
About the Author: Richmond Acheampong is the director and founder of Parent Tree family Resource. A web site promoting family health and balance with thought provoking articles, books, advice columns and resourceful links. For more information, visit: http://www.parenttree.com