"sharing a life together couple and sunset"This is Part Two in the series HOW TO KEEP LOVE ALIVE – AT ANY AGE! 

by Virginia Crist, Ph.D., LMFT

“Sharing a life together is sharing steps in time. The music is different to each of us – but how beautiful the dance.” Flavia. Oh, so many broken dreams. Couples have lived a lifetime together – 50 years or more, but some in my office have told me that shortly after the honeymoon, things began to go downhill and they’ve been miserable ever since. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN TO YOU! Either one or both never spoke about what was really troublesome, or they began arguing and never stopped in a way that only continued to damage the relationship. “Of those who stay married, 90% report their marriages as Unsatisfactory” – Gary Brainerd, Ph.D., American Bar Association. Both stunning and sad.

So, I guide people in attaining healthier love relationships, hoping that everyone can lead happier lives. Marriage is two imperfect individuals coming together in a relationship. Mature love is your awareness that you are making a commitment to an imperfect person.

Love involves caring, intimacy, trust, and commitment. Accept differences. Don’t spend your lives trying to change one another. Smile often. Start each day with a kiss. Look for positives.

You want to know what I hear as one of the greatest maladies among couples? He/she never listens to me. He/she doesn’t talk to me. We don’t communicate! And they boil with frustration. One of the chief dysfunctions in failing marriages is verbal. Satisfying intimacy cannot be achieved without good communication. “There is a critical difference between communication and effective communication. We all want so deeply to be heard and understood. That is a basic need and desire for partnering. However, it seems that many people, however well intended, are very poor listeners, leaving those in their lives hurt and frustrated.

Love is fun. An unhappy marriage can take away happiness in so many other aspects of your life. A relationship robbed of joy depletes energy. As we reinstill hope in our counseling together and move forward with manageable steps, your lives will begin to fill with new energy, more smiles, and even special twinkles in your eyes again.

How beautiful will your dance be? It’s all up to you.

Dr. Virginia Crist is in Private Practice in Boca Raton and can be reached at 561-212–6855. Her website is www.AskDrV.tv.