I have a friend who is a passionate advocate for animal adoption. She calls a good adoption as “finding the animal’s Furrever Home!”
Falling in love feels like finding a “forever home.” You found the missing piece of yourself…you feel whole for the first time in your life…you are sure all your problems are over…together you can conquer anything…and you dream of living happily ever after!
Dr. Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., in his book, “Getting the Love You Want” labels this the “unconscious loving” stage of a relationship. It’s more commonly called the “honeymoon phase.”
Then, inevitably, she leaves her dirty clothes on the floor, he overdraws the bank account, and the honeymoon is over. Hendrix calls this the “conflict stage.” He concludes that the relationship thrives or fails based on how the couple manages conflict. Multiple researchers agree.
But, “Conflict wasn’t part of our dream! What’s wrong? Did I marry the wrong person? Did she trick me by hiding annoying parts of herself? Did he play the charmer when he really has such horrible habits?”
In truth, the real purpose of the relationship has just begun. Yes, it’s possible to live happily ever after, but not without growing into the dream. Your love for your partner, and your commitment to the marriage, is what motivates you to change habits that prevent a happy, loving marriage.
This year my blogs will be exploring different areas where commitment to GROWING will enable you to experience the delight of your DREAM COMING TRUE. Hendrix calls this process “conscious loving.” Conscious loving is accepting that what “ticks you off” about him, is your call to growth. Her annoying habit is your trumpet call announcing it’s time to grow.
Dreaming isn’t the problem! Dreaming helps us imagine the ideal of where we want to go. But in order to actually arrive at our imagined destination, we are called to GROW into a more authentic self, slowly discarding habits or attitudes that prevent the DREAM from coming true.
As you nurture the relationship, the relationship uncovers a more mature, more kind, more loving you.