At this time of year, culture is focused on the magic of romance. Perhaps our focus is only adding to the problem.
On Valentine's Day, more than any other, our focus will turn to romance. This is the day when people are expected to sweep their loved one off his or her feet, declare strong emotion, create a romantic moment.
But judging a marriage on romantic feelings is a fairly recent development. In earlier generations, the need to support each other, to survive, superseded any potential for a focus on romance. And as this changed, the measure of a marriage has become more and more about those romantic feelings.
Perhaps we have moved too far. Measuring a marriage based on romantic feelings can lead us to dangerous conclusions. When the feelings aren't there, it is easy to judge an otherwise healthy relationship as being a failure.
So should we just leave those romantic feelings behind? "Not at all," says Lee Baucom, Ph.D. Dr. Baucom is the author of the best-selling ebook, Save The Marriage. He believes that the problem is not the romantic feelings, but the fact that romantic feelings have been given the lead.
"A healthy relationship breeds romantic feelings, but romantic feelings do not necessarily breed healthy relationships," says Dr. Baucom. "We spend a great deal of time trying to 'cook up' romantic feelings, which puts the cart before the horse." According to Dr. Baucom, the romantic feelings will naturally flow from a marriage that is based on commitment, respect, and love.
According to Dr. Baucom, affairs sometimes start when people find themselves caught in romantic feelings with someone else. "Unfortunately," Dr. Baucom states, "people are assuming that when they don't feel that in marriage, something must be wrong." That leads to people assuming they are married to the wrong person.
"Wrong conclusion," continues Dr. Baucom. "People make statements like 'I love you but I am not in love with you,' or 'I don't feel like I should,' missing the fact that romantic feelings come and go." There is, according to Baucom, a natural ebbing and flowing of strong feelings, but if the marriage is tended, the romance will come back.
"We are in a short-sited world. Something feels wrong, we move on. So, we have people married over and over. Or people leave to find something that could have been in the marriage," contends Baucom.
The solution? According to Dr. Baucom, "we need to reevaluate what we believe about marriage. When we buy the 'marriage as romance,' we miss the greater, deeper, more amazing perspective of two people weaving their lives together in ways that change both for the better."
Is it possible for Valentine's Day to become a celebration of the deep devotion and love possible in marriage? "Only if marketers look a little deeper, and couples decide to look beneath the sugar veneer to something better."
Marriages don't have to be devoid of romance. It just needs to be kept in the appropriate perspective. Read the article here
Included in the article are a number of suggestions for keeping romance alive, but in its place in marriage.
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