Romance Fragility Of Love Between Man And Woman
We want to believe in the permanency of love. Falling in love seems so overwhelming and delightful and even frightening that it seems to mean a once-in-a-life experience. Such a feeling must rise above minor differences, even major differences. What does it matter that one is 50 and the other 20 or one is heavy and the other thin, or one is bald and the other endowed with flowing hair. Everything appears alive with the belief in the miracle, the triumph of love.
And then the world comes crashing down. A difference comes out of nowhere. She doesn't want to go see the Dodgers or he is not interested in going to a book signing. She has a special girl's night out on a night he wanted to stay home and make love or watch a movie or just be together. Other problems surface. They seem little, but are they? She wants him to read a certain book or he wants her to check out a political article. She is a Democrat and he is Republican. How comes they didn't know that before? Is it possible it never came up or was it merely ignored? After all how would such a minor element in their overwhelming great love matter. And at first it didn't matter.
Then an avalanche of differences arises. One or both have become angry over a misstep or minor disagreement and suddenly "you don't understand me" rears its ugly head. Some misunderstandings are triggered innocently. A friend or relative inadvertently says something about a past event or a former relationship and the ears open for more. But more is not forthcoming or is dragged out and eyes open wider and that perfect couple is slightly less perfect. "Tell me more," a refrain, known to lead to trouble, issues forth and the "more" pours kerosene on the kindling fire. Quickly, fire extinguishers are wielded but to no avail because the cage door has been opened and the little creature inside is now loose and starts to grow in front of your eyes.
So what do we mean my fragility in love? The first moment in love when all seems so rosy and pristine and innocent that is meant to last forever, slowly crumbles and can become an avalanche. Love has turned into its opposite and the fragility has been realized and the relationship cracks open.
Is this commonplace? Is this the expectation that follows love that seemed so powerful and solid? Alas, the answer is "yes." Love's capacity to color a world in the brightest and loudest colors has become an elusive and even ephemeral interaction.
Are we thus doomed to never have permanently that feeling of "falling in love?" The answer in this case is "no." By understanding that an all-encompassing love is a partial illusion that will generally diminish after a period of time we can forestall its impact and consequences. But an even greater love can take its place.
All humans are capable of immense powerful sexual connections that for a brief period have provided a couple with a special magic that sets them apart. But such states of mind are generally short-lived. A couple therefore needs to be aware of the ephemeral nature of intense love and consciously replace this heightened love with the security of "real" love born of understanding and communication. Perfectionism and idealization are no longer pertinent.
Communication and its connection to intimacy, mutual understanding, passionate sex, sharing core interests and nurturing of their separate lives are sanctioned and supported. That is what can occur and the fragility that had cast its shadow on couples will have diminished and even disappeared. Instead a couple has created a more lasting, intimate and loving bond that includes mutual respect for separate growth and the nurturing of mutual independence.
By Marvin H. Berenson, M.D. September 20, 2011
To reach the highest levels of love, intimacy, communication and sharing that come from the building of understanding and trust and to also discover new and effective ways to have a wonderful, romantic love life reading "Love and Sex" and "A Guide to Healthy Relatinships" offers in-depth suggestions, advice and methods to help you.
Visit http://www.drmarvinberenson.com/ to review "Love and Sex" and "A Guide to Healthy Relationships" and sign-up to receive Dr. Berenson's highly informative biweekly newsletter and two FREE gifts.
Marvin H. Berenson, M.D. is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, USC Keck School of Medicine, psychiatrist, lecturer, author and artist.
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