March 5, 2004

The Return of Love

The Disillusionment of Marriage is caused by the separation of the illusion of love and the reality of being. Most people are able to suspend their belief systems when they attend a movie. Whatever the premise is, is what is accepted. If the movie is on Mars with spider man flying through self made webs there is no problem allowing this to happen, and when the movie is over there is no difficulty readjusting to reality. However, when most lovers marry; the illusion and often the reality is that 100% of each others needs are met. The needs during that phase might have been boredom, loneliness, sexual or whatever else one married with the idea that their needs would continue to be satisfied.

Most people can adjust to losing 20% of the illusion that they mentally created, but when the balance of needs versus reality slips below that level; serious questions arise as to the strength of the lasting unity. When either spouse feels that they could function alone better without the mate because the mate has ceased to fulfill any of the necessary functions, then the marriage is unable to maintain this union. If this is your situation then try these efforts: Each partner should make a list and share it with the other concerning the image that they had or have now of what a marriage should entail. What similarities do you both have? Are you doing your part to uphold those needs? Is one or both of you spending more time with other endeavors {Such as with children, finances, work loads which can create legitimate distractions} instead of putting some work into your relationship? Your entire fabric of life may need to be restructured from the way you spend money, to how or with whom you spend your time or there may need to be more shared duties? If you have done this and nothing has budged, then turn to a counselor.

There may be deeper issues that have not been addressed: such as personal cleanliness, in-law problems, differences in life-styles and disciplining procedures that effect the way the children are raised. Frequently there are topics that are so sensitive that divorce often seems easier than confronting and correcting the problem. The major problem that couples have is that they wait until the level of reality is in the range of a 0-10% score and then expect instant improvement after they have allowed the romance to be long gone with needs unmet for years on end.

The adjustment to reality and the illusion can arrive to a closer percentage, but donít delay. The greater the rift between the two, the greater the chance of malfunctioning and divorce. Resentment over the past often gets in the way of a complete recovery, so that issue needs addressing in a separate manner. It can be accomplished, but is material for another column. However, as the two align once more into reality and illusion combining, the love returns.