It seems at some point the spice in most marriages disappears. To help understand what happens to the spice in most marriages and for tips on rekindling the spice in your marriage, I have interviewed psychotherapist Jiovann Carrasco, MA, LPC-S.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I’m a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas working with teens, adults, and couples. I am the founder and clinical director of Austin Solutions Psychotherapy , a reduced-fee counseling center for the underinsured. I also write for GoodTherapy.org and present locally on a number of issues.”
What happens to the spice in marriage after a couple has been married for a while?
“Marriages tend to loose their energy when couples start to realize they are no longer living in a fantasy world. In our culture, we marry for love. This is very romantic, but love, like any other emotion, comes and goes. The tricky thing about the emotion of love is that we have a media influenced belief structure that says it is suppose to last forever. When close to 50% of marriages end in divorce, this is obviously a false assumption. So many marriages are based largely on myth. The myth that there is a perfect partner out there, a soul mate that is expected to ‘complete you’ and make you whole. These are lovely ideas for movies and romance novels, but when we expect our marriages to reflect fantasy, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. So once these realities begin to set in, couples can experience resentment toward their partners for not living up to their fantasies, disappointment in themselves for not being able to conjure up loving feelings on demand, and confusion about the future of their marriage if the fantasy doesn’t return.”
What are some tips for rekindling the spice in marriage?
“So a solution to rekindling the spice in a marriage would be to start with these false assumptions and adopt a new definition for love. Russ Harris, MD, author of ACT With Love, provides an acronym: LOVE, which illustrates love as a process rather than a feeling.
L- Letting Go of the resentment, blame, judgment, criticisms that usually follow a blind belief in the false assumptions of how marriages or their partners ‘should’ be.
O- Opening Up. When we get hurt, we tend to become guarded, closed off, and defensive. Opening up is learning to be vulnerable again. It allows you to reconnect to your partner instead of shutting them out. Sometimes that means making space for painful feelings, but if you can open up to those feelings without trying to struggle with or avoid them, then you will be better able to do the same for your partner when he/she is hurting.
V- Valuing means taking action that is congruent with your values about marriage like caring, contribution, and connection.
E- Engaging means to give your partner your full attention. We tend to react to our own judgments about what our partners are communicating instead of really listening and tuning in with an open heart and mind. The more you engage, the stronger your connection will become.”
What type of professional help is available for a couple that is having a difficult time rekindling the spice in their marriage?
“Couples counseling is not just a last resort for troubled marriages. It can be very beneficial for any couple that wants to strengthen their marriage to locate a reputable couples therapist to guide them toward vitality in their marriage. Another option is to attend a weekend couples retreat. There are a plethora of self-help books on relationships. Why not take a trip to your local bookstore and pick one out together for both of you to share. Pick one that has exercises and activities to do together.”
Thank you Jiovann for doing the interview on tips for rekindling the spice in your marriage. For more information on Jiovann Carrasco or his work you can check out his website at www.jiovanncarrasco.com
Resources: Russ Harris, MD, author of ACT With Love
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5644514/increasing_your_sexual_activity_in.html?cat=5″>Increasing Your Sexual Activity in Marriage
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/119410/how_to_put_the_sizzle_back_in_your.html?cat=74″>How to Put the Sizzle Back in Your Marriage
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2859838/how_to_deal_with_an_annoying_husband.html?cat=72″>How to Deal with Annoying Husband