For the past year, we’ve had many couples come to our centre to learn more about how to prepare for their journey ahead as husband and wife through our Marriage Preparation Programme.
Couples who come are full of excitement and anticipation for their journey — and why shouldn’t they be? They are in love. That great feeling when both gaze into each other’s eyes lovingly or whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears; the future looks promising and nothing would be able to separate them.
Fast forward a few years and things can seem quite different; couples’ most common refrain is that they don’t love each other anymore. It seems the flame of love and passion has fizzled out, and many husbands and wives just aren’t “in love” with their spouses anymore.
Falling out of love really shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone; change is part of life, including a change in the relationship between husband and wife. In relationships, we’re always doing one of two things: either growing together or apart, and the natural forces of life can cause us to grow apart unless we do things to counter that process.
In Dr Willlard Harley’s book, “Fall in Love and Stay in Love”, he notes that, “Romantic Love is the feeling of being in love — finding someone irresistible.” This is the first kind of love couples have for each other before marriage and some still experience it years on.
There is also a second kind of love in marriage, which he calls “caring love” — it represents a decision to care for your spouse. This is an action word; to do what you can to make your spouse happy. Love is not just a “feeling” word, it is also an “action” word; your actions make your spouse fall in or out of love with you.
His concept of “Love Bank” is that the marriage relationship is like your bank account; you are either making deposits or withdrawals. If you do something positive and make your spouse happy, you’ve made a deposit. If you’ve hurt your spouse emotionally or done things that make your spouse unhappy, you’re making a withdrawal. When you’ve done more harm than good, your love bank dries up — the love is gone.
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