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The Remarried Life


Sep 29, 2020

Brian Mayer talks about how the longer we stay in a relationship we can often wonder the changes in how we feel toward our partner mean we don’t love them any longer or is it that we have just moved into a different stage of relationship.  We hope you are inspired by today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • When you first meet someone that you are physically attracted to, conversation goes well, and you find many things in common, all sorts of feel good hormones start to activate. 
  • Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins have long been studied and been found to be released that promote feelings of pleasure and happiness.  It also affects bodily processes like heart rate and digestion. 
  • I am pretty sure this is what was going during the initial stages of my relationship with my wife when we kissed.  We were at the park and I kind of got lost in a kiss and forgot that we were around others.  My wife who was my girlfriend at the time, stopped us at some point and said you know we had better stop because there are kids around.
  • Honestly just before that moment again I became so unaware of my surroundings.  It was as if those feel good hormones were racing around so much that it dulled any sense of anxiety or worry about what was going on around me. 
  • Obviously as I sort of snapped back to reality, I realized what was going on around me and resisted. 
  • This was certainly a time no doubt that you could say that I was deep in love with my wife.  Now it could be argued that this maybe was also a period of lust as well.  Because truth be told, those kisses and touches in the early stages are usually about feeling like we are first getting our wants met and then secondarily meeting the wants of our partner. 
  • Now something certainly does change over time and we begin to not feel the feel good hormones racing around like we once did.  Why do these feel good hormones slow or even stop?  This is complicated and there are many reasons:
    • Issues such as menopause.  There is some research that says that both men and women go through something like this.  Of course for women, it is well documented. 
    • Pregnancy can cause fluctuations in hormones and change what feels good.  It is the body’s way of sending resources to other places.
    • Alcohol or substance use and abuse can certainly cause wide fluctuations.  Sometimes they can increase but most often settle back or often dim down completely.  This is of course why it can take more and more of the alcohol or substance to get to the desired effect.
    • Age in general can cause the systems to change.
    • Significantly distressing negative events in our life.  If we have had some negative events like a divorce, or loss of job, bankruptcy etc can rob us of a general happiness. 
    • Things like Anxiety and Depression can again dim or happiness.  Sometimes those with depression often describe seeing the world through darkly tinted glasses that they cannot take off. 
    • The love of our spouse has moved from that sort of lustful limerence into a deeper more committed type love.  This type of love helps us stay connected for the long haul, but often we confuse this with falling out of love. 
  • So what if after talking through all of this, you still believe that you truly have fallen out of love with your spouse?  It is certainly possible because really does anyone truly and completely understand love and what it is?
  • Just like the brain, just like microscopic creatures in the depths of the oceans, just like distant black holes in the outer reaches of the galaxy, no one really fully understands what love really is. 
  • So all this being said here are some things I want you to do if you are unclear about whether falling out of love is truly happening or is it something else. 
    • Go to the doctor to rule out any medical issues that could be affecting your mood.  Could it be some issue with your thyroid, could it be headaches causing you to feel unusually blue.  Is it depression or anxiety? 
    • Talk to your spouse.  Many cringe at this idea for fear that once “I let the cat out of the bag”, will my spouse have a different view of me thus changing our relationship forever?  Most of the time this does not happen and it creates a greater intimacy but in the short term it can certainly be a bit bumpy.  On rare occasions, yes it may cause some more permanent upset.  Just weigh out where you in the process of understanding your feelings. 
    • You and your partner should be patient and do not make any rash decisions.  Remember, it probably took awhile for you to feel this way and it will probably take awhile to sort out exactly what is going on. 
  • If you or your spouse are in this place, please work to hopefully give each other lots of grace.  It’s not easy being human and we will often in our lifetime have ebbs and flows to our feelings.       

 Resources:

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Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode. 
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.