You still truly love each other, but maybe you’re feeling as though your marriage or relationship has become stuck in familiar routines that are beginning to feel stale and frustrating. You overlooked the little things in the beginning, but now they are starting to annoy you. You know, like how he leaves his dirty clothes on the floor, or how she never puts gas in the car.
You could be missing your alone time or going out with your besties. And now you find yourself feeling resentful about being tied down. So maybe you fantasize about being single again.
You have the same arguments repeatedly with no resolution because you continue to approach issues in the same manner over and over. You expect your partner to react a certain way, thus, creating a mindset that restricts open minded communication.
Maybe the two of you are just navigating through raising the kids and it feels like there is just no time for romance. Or, perhaps the kids have gone and you are trying to reignite the flame in your relationship because that spark you knew and loved is gone.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Every long-term marriage or relationship goes through ups and downs and ebbs and flows during its duration.
We start out with passion and excitement and all the thrills of that new love feeling. Then after the newness wears off, we either part ways or find ourselves truly loving our partner and committing to making it a lasting relationship.
All along the way, we have to deal with the inevitable times where our relationship changes and our commitment is tested.
Relationships are work no matter how well you get along. We grow, we change, and life has a way of making us face our problems whether we want to or not. Self-growth is tough enough, so of course growing along side someone is even more demanding.
So, whether your relationship is still somewhat new, or you’ve been together a long time, the maintenance is constant and all part of the process of loving someone for the long haul.
You may be asking yourself if what you’re dealing with is normal. Are there better ways to handle your current situation? Will the two of you be able to navigate and negotiate through this particular phase where you’re feeling stuck?
Melanie Gorman (YourTango Experts Senior VP) and our panel of experts, including marriage and family therapists Rita DeMaria and Moshe Ratson, marriage/couples counselor Samantha Burns, and author/anthropologist Helen Fisher. They have some SUPER uplifting and inspirational perspectives on this perplexing topic that just might alleviate some of your worries and get you past your relationship block.