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My Articles: Passion: After the honeymoon

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After the honeymoon
Have you ever noticed how people change when they get married? Have you ever experienced how your partner just doesn't seem to be the same person as the one you married and the spark seems to be missing? This is not necessarily confined to married couples. This can and does happen to all types of relationships, but is most pronounced in long-term relationships. You may notice, if you eavesdrop into a male populated bar, men talking about how the wife is fully to blame for this situation and now that she has caught her man, she is hell-bent on changing him. I am sure that women's circles have a very different story about how the guy has lost interest in them and doesn't seem to notice them anymore. Well, the question remains, what really happened to the relationship?

Well, to help answer this question, and to give you some info on how to stop this happening to your relationship, let's first look at life in general. Life is made up of stages, and during the transition from one stage to another, one experiences turmoil and confusion. These stages actually start right at birth. We have all heard of the "terrible two's." A children turns from being a complete angel to a terrorizing monster for a year or two. Well think of it from the child's point of view for a second. They have just spent the first two years of their life getting used to their new surroundings, being completely helpless, getting used to their body and it's limitations and they are just now learning to communicate with their parents and siblings. They are also becoming more and more self-aware and, in short, are transitioning from the stage of being an infant, to being a toddler. Of course there is going to be turmoil and confusion! A similar thing, but on a much bigger scale, happens when they go from being children, through puberty and into their teenage years.

Ok, so what does all this have to do with relationships? Well, look at it in terms of stages. In each stage of life, an individual is involved in many different things. For want of a better word, I will call each of these things a game. As a person enters a new stage, the "games" that they play and the rules they once used change. As a person enters the adult stage, there are basically two predominant games being played: love and career. Now, lets take a look at what is involved in their search for love: they are out meeting people, going to parties, dating and having a lot of fun (and also suffering setbacks along the way). But, everything they do involves searching for the perfect person to spend the rest of their life with. All rules of the game apply to finding the perfect mate. Well, once they have found the right person, things start to change. The game of finding love ends and another one, the game of getting married, begins. And, a whole new set of rules apply.

Now, what you have here, are a number of extremely large life changes happening at once. After a while of being together, people tend to get so involved in the various "personal" games they are playing that they lose sight of the overall game as a couple: loving each other and creating a happy, stable and very successful homelife. This can happen in a number of ways: one, or both of you, get too involved in the game of furthering your careers that you neglect each other; other factors enter into the relationship that were unforeseen and throw you off-track; financial worries and unforeseen bills create stress. These other factors are numerous and can unknowingly take up so much of your time that you wake up one day and wonder what happened to your "old life".

So, in closing, there are two points we'd like to make. Firstly, don't lose sight of the real game in a relationship. Keep your goals as a couple stable and always in sight. When you act, compare your actions to that goal and everything else will fall into place. The other, is be mindful of the changes that have occurred in both of your lives and give each other the support, space and understanding they need to come to terms with these changes. As the popular Beatles quote goes, "In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make."
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