“We don’t make love much anymore. I’m rarely in the mood. My partner doesn’t want sex as often as I do.”
If you work with couples, you will hear this a lot.
What I call “Marriage, Inc.” has taken over the love life of many modern families. Careers. Kids. Rushing around with a to-do list. Fatigue. When your couples fall into bed at the end of the day, they are just too tired for sex.
We all know that feeling love and emotional harmony with your partner is wonderful; feeling angry is not! But anger is a natural part of life and is therefore inevitable, especially when two people share life closely. One of the biggest challenges a couple faces is how to deal with anger—both their anger toward their partner and their partner’s anger toward them.
Jealousy can easily take over our relationships, make us angry, agitated, and depressed, and hijack our emotions. Sexual jealousy can be so powerful that it can even lead people to break up their romantic relationships. So, if something can be so destructive, why do we feel jealous? Why are we the cause of our own suffering? Do we want to suffer?
We are facing global challenges as we move into the 2018 New Year and our world becomes increasingly out of balance. Life is showing us that living within dualistic consciousness and the illusion of separation does not serve us. We are all being called to wake up to the non-dual truth of our shared being and find solutions in an infinite intelligence beyond our conditioned mind.
Certainly no one picks a self-absorbed narcissist as a love interest intentionally, but because narcissists are so charming at the beginning of a relationship, anyone can be taken in. Once the charm fades, as it always does with a narcissist, many people end the relationship. But there are some who continually fall victim to the narcissist’s charm and stay in the relationship long after the charm has faded and the critical, controlling, and self-serving behaviors take its place. Why?
I teach marriage and family therapy graduate students at Northwestern University, and I start my course with a 10,000-foot overview of the history and study of intimate relationships. Year after year, I am struck by the aliveness of love. While the desire to love and to be loved is woven into our DNA, our intimate relationships—the crucibles within which love is created and maintained—are embedded within our larger social and cultural contexts.
For the last several weeks we’ve been presenting views and definitions from a variety of researchers and psychotherapists on the consuming and powerful force commonly referred to as love. We’re just about ready to move on to other subjects (we promise we’ll return to love again, eventually), but need to add one final point.