When couples are experiencing emotional turmoil and dis-connect (regardless of the reason) I always ask the question: “Tell me how you met and why you fell in love with your partner? Couples then pause and look at me in an extremely quizzical way. Almost as if to say: “Hey, I want to tell you what’s wrong with her/him, not reminisce about the good ole days”. (Thank goodness I have a thick skin because believe me, some of these looks could kill!) Nonetheless, I persevere and what follows are some of the most beautiful stories of romance and love you could possibly imagine. And just when I thought I have heard the absolute best story of how and why a couple fell in love – I hear another story that trumps it and on it goes. These incredible stories of love and romance are truly amazing and full of wonderment and joy.
So what is the value of remembering how you met your partner and why you fell in love with your partner in the first place when the two of you are at a point in your relationship where the very thought of each other sends a shiver of contempt, not lust, down your spine? The answer to this question is really simple so listen up.
Many couples ignore signals that their relationship is going south until it is in a rapid downward spiral – unraveling at the speed of sound. At this point, everything about your relationship and everything about your partner is negative, or at least it appears to be that way. In other words, you have created a negative mindset about your romantic relationship and your partner. So when you think negatively about your partner and your relationship, negativity is, in fact, all you see.
The danger of this negative mindset is the creation of a filter whereby anything positive about your relationship is filtered out; conversely, any and all negative aspects of your relationship come into view with a laser-like focus. Therefore, you really cannot see any positive aspects about your relationship or your partner; it has all been selectively blocked from your mind.
Therefore, my proven relationship tool of having couples remember and then verbally describe to each other memories of their early meetings and dates, and how they fell in love, creates the start of a shift from a negative mindset to a positive one. This shift eventually evolves into a positive mindset which creates positive feelings of warmth and tenderness towards your partner and your relationship; feelings which had been dead and buried for quite a long time. A positive mindset about your relationship allows you to see the positive in both your partner and your relationship. For example you might start to have feeling described in the following sentence: “Maybe he isn’t such a complete jerk after all”. This might sound like a rather small concession towards your partner but remember, a triumphant journey starts with one step at a time.
Next time you find yourself thinking negatively about your partner or your relationship, think back to when you first fell in love and feel the feelings these thoughts create inside your heart. Maybe they haven’t changes as much as you have come to believe they have? Maybe someone else in the relationship has changed more? Just a thought.