Whether lovers, husband and wife, or in various stages of relationship, there are often many obstacles that provide an opportunity for growth. Many of the couples and individuals that present in my office, are dealing with issues of having “fallen out of love.” They state that they are “not in love” with their partner any longer, after many years of marriage.
There is also an all pervasive climate of thought among many of my friends and peers that, “BEING IN LOVE” ….is SIMPLY A FANTASY, and that…..”NO ONE IS REALLY HAPPY AND IN AN ENDURING RELATIONSHIP.”
I was at a loss for words, stunned to find that so many are disillusioned with LOVE and what they had/have expected from it in their lives and relationships. Although I work with so many of the above issues in my office, statistically I thought the percentage of happy vs. unhappy marriages lined up differently. I always assumed that I had a skewed view of percentages, based on the fact that the supposed “happy” couples wouldn’t be coming into my office, yet they did and do exist in today’s society.
So then what exactly has happened to our standards of LOVE in today’s 21st century?
A huge question to answer. First, I’d like to address the difference between consciously making the decision “to LOVE someone” and “being IN LOVE.”
“I’m in Love”…how often we hear this term of art from young lovers, to old. Being “in love” is not an actual love, but rather, falling into LUST. It is wonderful, and madness at the same time, lasting anywhere, according to anthropologists and researchers, from 3 months to 18 months. Then, the beautiful ethereal clouds of lust and wonderment lift, and you find yourself looking at your lover asking, who the heck is this person and why did I fall for him/her to begin with??????
“Loving someone” is another reality altogether. This is a purposeful decision, based on numerous constructs of the thinking process. Constructs such as reason, emotions, intimacy, sexuality, vision, foresight, intuition, logic, and finally, committment.
When couples present in therapy with issues of lack of libido or desire for one anther after many years together, it is important to understand the process of long-term relationship.
Behavioral scientists and researchers are finding that there is more to the mind body connection than ever known before. It seems that couples that stay together, produce larger amounts of a chemical known as oxytocin, which is the “glue” of relatonship. It binds the couple emotionally and appears to produce long term compatible relationship. Although it may not be the hot, lustful relationship you once experienced with your partner, the relationship is comfortable and loving.
So then the really big question is, How do you Bring back the desire and lust for your partner?
Sexual health depends on both adequate psychogenic-in the mind, and biogenic- in the body functioning. Many sexual and relationship concerns result from internal conflict, something in the mind and interpersonal interactions preventing optimal performance, both physiological and emotional.
With this said, I like to state that there is big difference between making love and mechanical sex.