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Like, Love, In-Love

What makes for a healthy marriage?  In my experience having a good marriage requires three components: like, love, and in-love feelings.  How many couples have all three operating at high levels all the time?  Very few.  The consistent and stable component is love.  I have couples going through a divorce where they both acknowledge that they still love their partner.  However, the like and in-love feelings fluctuate throughout the marriage, even in healthy relationships.  Of course all three of the components are interrelated.  If I don’t like my partner then I probably will have a difficult time being “in-love” with them.  Many couples that are struggling in their marriage say that they have lost the passion and in-love feelings.  I believe that the like and in-love feelings require effort and energy to maintain.  It’s normal for those feelings to wax and wane, but some people ignore the waning until it’s too late.  Have you lost that in-love feeling or don’t like your partner much these days?  What are you doing about it?  I believe that couples need to work on liking each other again in order for the passion and in-love feelings to return.  There are many ways to re-connect with your partner, but someone has to initiate the change.  Maybe finding an activity that you both enjoy and can participate in together will bring back some of the like.  It also helps to have regular times for communication and positive interactions.  Being able to respect and forgive each other will increase the like feelings.  You may have to take a look at yourself and ask, “Am I likable?”  Taking responsibility for our own actions and behaviors can lead to greater connections.  You can have the trifecta of like, love, and in-love, but it happens with action.

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