Posted: September 13, 2018
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Most people mistakenly think the key to marital happiness is a matter of finding the “right person” by luck or providence. If this is your mindset there’s a good chance you’re divorced or you will be. The real secret isn’t finding the “right one”, it’s learning to love the one you’re with.
Lots of energy, time, and money are put into trying to find, attract, and lock down that special someone. The feeling of being in love is phenomenal and makes the sun shine brighter on the darkest or brightest day. Then, after the initial hormonal high of love wears off, the pop and fizz goes flat.
The truth is lasting love actually has very little to do with finding the right person or what we’re feeling after the new shine wears off. Instead it’s about knowing how to “make love” in your heart toward your spouse. Yet the majority put very little effort into learning how to love, even though they deeply long for love.
If you’re asking if you’re with the right person, you’re asking the wrong question. If you buy an iPhone and you can’t figure out how to use it, trading it out for a different brand of smartphone isn’t going to fix the problem. You have to learn how to use it.
You have to learn how to make love. There are universal principles that control our experience of love. If you learn and apply these laws, you can produce predictable results in your marriage. You can make a connection that will make the difference.
The way I see it, you have 3 options.
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
This is the option that most couples, who don’t divorce, take. Once the sizzle fades, they accept that marriage isn’t going to be what they hoped for. They surrender to not being passionately in love and find a pattern of life that gets them by, surviving but not thriving.
We are creative creatures; when we put our mind to finding a way to justify our choices we can generally come up with something. So finding a reason to give up and stop trying won’t be too difficult. But, it also wont be too satisfying. Unlike with the airlines, our baggage is guaranteed to show up at our new destination. Once the pop and fizz goes flat there, you’ll be back in the same boat. Just with more pain, regret, and less money. Let me save you a bunch of all of the above – this isn’t a good option. Even when it’s necessary, it’s a terrible option.
LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH
Just because you’ve tried everything you know doesn’t mean you’ve tried everything and it’s hopeless. The laws of love are universal and are learnable. Invest the time and effort to apply them and you will reap the relational benefits from doing so. They can be found in the Bible, in books, videos, and the wise words of those who have mastered them in their own marriage. You just have to be humble enough to seek them out and embrace them.
Few, if any, investments in life have the kind of quality of life return that learning how to love does. It’s worth everything you put in to gain the happiness it produces.Back to top