Most men marry a woman in the hope she will not change and, regrettably, most women marry a man in the hope they can change him.
What does this mean in terms of the direction the marriage will take?
When people fall in love they can only see the positive in each other.
Men fall in love with the smile, the creativity, the spontaneity and sexiness of the woman. The smile is the first thing that attracts them. Her smile tells him that she’s happy being with him, that she finds him sexy and safe to be with. Her smile gives him clues of what she really likes.
All she has to do is to smile and he’s engaged. That creates a circle of more joy for her, and her smile becomes so eloquent that it would take a book to translate all the meanings.
Yes, she is the woman for him!
However, women fall in love with their ideal man, and often fail to see the fear and negativity that usually remains hidden during the falling in love time. She can imagine in him the strength of a father who is non-judgemental and supportive, that notices her feelings and always takes care of her needs and desires, thoughtful and self-sacrificing.
Who would not fall in love with this paragon?
But, what she gets is not a paragon. He is a real man, with moments of weakness, preoccupation, fears and self-centred desires. There is no mind-reading, no superhuman endless strength.
And judging the man against the superhero vision can lead to disappointment and resentment, and then away goes her alluring smile.
And then one day he sees a woman who isn’t the sexy, alluring goddess he married. He feels judged, attacked, unappreciated and chained to a complaining angry harpy.
How do you fix this?
When you are full of inner doubts, or that voice of criticism in your head just won’t shut up, you start looking for outside sources to make you feel better – you search for the glowing angel or the heroic superman. And that’s what you see in your mate as you fall in love – this more-than-human who loves you, who makes you feel worthy. Until they mess up, and you realize they aren’t superhuman, and maybe you’re not worthy of a superhero’s love after all…
So first, learn to appreciate yourself. Accept and love all that makes you unique and special – your strengths that you can offer as gifts to your mate, and the weaknesses that make you vulnerable and give you room to grow.
When you can accept your own humanity, give yourself a break, see your own beauty, you break that cycle of shoring up your own insecurities with unreal expectations for your spouse.
Loving your ‘imperfect-ness’ lets you love the humanity of other beings, especially your husband or wife.
Stop judging yourself, and you can accept them as they are. Not an angel, not a monster. Another human being on the journey of life who will stumble and fall, and still be there to pick you up too. And then life is an amazing experience you share as you both grow older and wiser and better together.
Are you struggling in your marriage and not sure how to bring it back to that amazing fall-in-love feeling? Join me in New York for my next couples workshop. Work with me and other motivated couples who want to create an amazing, passionate connection together.