A more interesting number is the percent of marriages which end in divorce. It is commonly accepted by researchers that in the USA and Norway, for example, the rate lies between 41 to 51% in first time marriages and around 60% in second marriages.
One thing is certain. Divorce rates are very high and the personal and societal costs and pain involved is enormous. It is for me, doubly sad when you think that most of us start off in marriage "in love." We have fallen in love. What a rush. What a wonderful thing, being in love. But what is love? And what is falling in love?
Take a minute now and answer those two questions for yourself. Go ahead do it, nobody has to see your answers, right? Oh, by the way, why do we fall out of love? What happens?
Well, here is what researchers and marriage and relationship counsellors have found out. Falling in love is a state of heightened arousal and euphoria created by the relationship you have with another person. Research shows that this period usually does not last longer than between nine months and two years.
During this period we are not always as practical and logical as we could be. Our feet are often not touching the ground. We live in this fantastic dream world. We see our partners as perfect and wonderful. Nothing could go wrong. But it does. Why? And how can we keep the love in a relationship?
After two years or less we start to see our feet touch the ground. We become more realistic, critical and demanding. Usually falling out of love is not the same lightning strike experience as falling in love was. In fact it takes some years before that seemingly perfect relationship you had is not at all perfect. It has become stressful, unsatisfying and unhappy.
At this point, people often ask, "What happened to the love?"
In the past there were two ways of dealing with this. To stay or to leave the relationship. Fifty years and more back in time people toughed it out. It was a commitment and they stayed to the bitter end. Looking at some of the results of this approach we see it wasn't always positive. The other way was to walk away, to get divorced. People did not divorce so easily back then. That has changed as todays statistics show.
This does not mean that those who stuck it out and stayed with it until the end were better or smarter than you. But researchers and experienced marriage counsellors have found there is a third way. That third way is to learn some relationship skills and techniques and do the work to put them in practice. This builds Real Love.
Next post we will talk about Real Love. What happened to the love? What are the skills and techniques you need to learn and practice to personally grow and create a wonderful and lasting relationship? Also, a heads up. We will be holding a super one day course with lunch for max 5 couples on October 26th. Details to be forthcoming.
Hey, please remember to comment, Like Us or Tweet us below. Thanks and have a wonderful week, Bob and Marianne. ®