Many dictionary definitions describe love as a ‘feeling’ however this is only a small part of love. You see, feelings can change with the wind; you can feel love for your partner one minute and something quite the opposite the next depending on their behavior!
The "feeling" of love at the start of a relationship is often referred to as the infatuation period. Infatuation has been described as an extravagant short-lived passion. It's more about "being in love" as opposed to loving someone. People tend to be very idealistic about their partner in this period, failing to see their faults.
Infatuation is short lived so it’s necessary to strive for a mature love. Dr Warren, author of 'Finding the Love of Your Life' believes mature love includes:
* Being unselfishly committed to your partner's happiness
* Appreciating both individual and joint interests
* Encouraging each other's individual wholeness
* Freedom to be one's true self with each other
* Shared dreams and plans for reaching them.
This can only happen when you:
+ Strive to listen and understand your partner
+ Accept your partner’s shortcomings while choosing to focuses on their strengths
The Meaning of 'Love'
Developing mature love and intimacy is an ongoing process requiring trust. You need to work at building it, then work at sustaining it.
If you profess to "love" your partner your words must be accompanied by actions.
Ask yourself the following questions:
* How do YOUR actions show you have the best interests of your partner at heart in your decision-making?
* What does your partner DO that shows you they consider your thoughts, feelings and needs when making decisions that affect your family?
* What was the last thing you did for your partner to help/support them which you didn't "feel" like doing?
* How do you both encourage each other to reach your fullest potential – as a person, parent and partner?
Your answers to these questions are signs that you have developed a more mature love.
Blended families experience many pressures that test a couple’s love. If you want to enjoy a lasting relationship, get effective tools and strategies at a Blended Family Success Event near you.
Do all that you can to protect your relationship and your love, after all this is what brought you together in the first place.