By Katie & Gay Hendricks
You were in love once.
There was a time in your relationship when you couldn’t wait to see your partner. When, just like Tony and Maria in West Side Story, the minutes apart seemed liked hours, and the hours like days.
And when you did come together, nothing else in the world mattered. You were blissfully oblivious to everything else. Your beloved’s touch felt electric. Conversation between the two of you was easy. Laughter flowed. You couldn’t imagine there would ever come a time when you didn’t feel this connected, this passionate, this complete.
But now here you are.
Your relationship has taken a backseat to all the other little things in life: work, kids, the house, in-laws. You’d rather check your email then get into bed early with your mate.
Or there’s animosity and tension. You bicker and snap at each other all the time. You don’t see eye to eye like you used to. Every little thing seems to set one of you off. Maybe, you can’t even stand your partner sometimes.
Tony and Maria were doomed because their intense love was prematurely cut off. You feel doomed in a different way – powerlessly stuck in a relationship where the love has slowly died.
And your story can indeed end that way. If you let it.
We never get to see what would happen to Tony and Maria if a gang brawl hadn’t turned deadly.
But we can venture a pretty good guess. Here’s how it would go:
Tony and Maria get married in a joyous bilingual ceremony with lots and lots of dancing. They declare their deep gratitude for each other and pledge undying (of course) love before jetting off on a Caribbean honeymoon.
Upon their return, Maria discovers she is pregnant, and a year later the entire town gathers for Tony Jr.’s elaborate christening, with more singing and dancing.
The family is complete, and all of Maria and Tony’s friends start to get self-conscious about their own relationships. How come they’re not as happy as Maria and Tony?
But they don’t know. They’re not aware that Maria feels overworked around the house, that she wishes Tony would help out a little more with the baby.
They have no clue that Tony feels like his wife isn’t as attracted to him anymore and never seems to be “up for it” like she used to.
And they have no idea that, now that Tony and Maria are paying their own New York City rent, they’re quibbling over money. A lot.
These two once-star crossed lovers now find themselves at odds with each other more often than not, and before they know what’s happening, they wake up in a completely different story nobody wants to watch.
The pain of withering love is intense.
So gripping, that we are often taken over by our fear of losing it. Often, we’re not even aware of this fear – of our vulnerability. Instead, it shows up in other ways.
We point fingers at each other, trying to find some cause – and remedy – for our pain. The subconscious logic goes like this:
“I’m in a relationship with this person, and I’m not happy anymore. So it must be my partner’s fault.”
This starts a cycle of blame, where each partner is trying to pin the problem on the other. Nobody wants to be the victim, and nobody wants to be the cause of a wonderful relationship gone sour.
So you know what happens next – both people in the relationship are desperately trying to rekindle what they once felt, but by casting blame they’re actually creating more of the distance and discontent they don’t want!
This is what would have happened to Tony and Maria if they had expected that love alone would carry them through.
While love is necessary to establish your relationship, it is not enough to sustain it. In fact, believing otherwise is a recipe for relationship disappointment and for that initial love to wither.
Lasting, happy relationships need good relationship skills – the kind that turn a relationship into a partnership and allow you to joyfully share a life together.
Even if your love feels eternal, as if you’ve finally found “the one,” life presents many challenges – from the mundane like day-to-day chores to the difficult, such as illness or hardship.
You need to be ready.
Even though Maria and Tony are fictional characters, their story is not. Sadly, we’ve worked with thousands of couples who were once wildly in love. Yet fast forward a few years, and things have taken a very different turn.
And it’s all because they were completely unprepared for what it takes to go from falling in love to staying in love.
You can feel happily in love with your partner for a lifetime, but you need the right relationship skills to do it. If you don’t learn and practice these skills, the positive feelings between you and your partner will take a nosedive – chipping away at your connection. Your relationship will feel like a constant struggle rather than a joint adventure.
These aren’t skills we “know how to do” on our own. Most of us just imitate whatever we witnessed in our childhoods.
We are completely unprepared for the inevitable challenges that come with just being alive.
Most relationships don’t end because of one big event. It’s small infractions that snowball over time. The connection loosens and arguments escalate.
Perhaps you are already well down that path of frustration with your partner, and you are questioning your own relationship.
Whether you are in love and want to stay that way… or struggling to keep your relationship together, you need to know this:
No matter how much distance exists between you and your mate right now, you can still write a whole new ending to your story by learning and implementing the skills that make relationships last. We believe this, because we’ve witnessed transformation after transformation in the couples we’ve worked with.
When you subscribe to our Newsletter, you will learn real life, relationship-changing skills that you can practice right at home. If you’re not experiencing the happiness that you once had in your relationship, we can teach you the techniques that will help you create real transformation. And if you’re just beginning your life together, we can provide the tools you need to prepare for the joys and challenges ahead.
Sign up today, and start learning the right way to handle day to day situations so that every day conflicts will bring you closer together instead of wearing away at your loving connection.
No couple is immune to losing their love. But EVERY couple can learn what it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen. Here’s your chance.
We look forward to helping you make the critical inner shifts that will in turn cause your outer world to shift – creating the long lasting love you’ve been longing for: