Melissa Gibson Behunin writing in the YumaSun.com talks about a theory that may help you keep on track if you are in the midst of figuring out how to do marriage and kids well.
She writes about psychologist Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love. He thinks that all relationships can be defined by the absence or presence of three main components.
Presence of these three =you are on the right road.
Absence = it’s time to see red flags and do something about it.
The temperatures of these three components….how they grow stronger and weaker are a good way to take the temperature of your relationship. The three components are:
First comes love:
Oh yes! Bluebirds and unicorns abound! Intimacy, passion and commitment are at an all time high. You are King and Queen of the world and nothing can stop you. You wonder why everyone doesn’t walk around in love just the way you do! Poor people! You’ve found one of the best things in life and why do they all look so lost?
Then comes marriage:
Not wedding, marriage. What? You think what? Your underwear are where? You said that in front of who? Ah, the tarnish starts to set in. We start to understand a little more why other people are walking around bumping into a few walls.
And then comes little Minnie Me in the baby carriage.
Ok. Any energy you had for intimacy, passion and commitment can be replaced by burp rags, building volcanoes for school assignments and eye rolling at your every word.
This article can help you take a new look at those three components and keep an eye on not letting things get away from you as a couple.
Intimacy: Be a friend. Write a love letter or note and don’t stop having intimate conversations about you, not just the kids. Be the initiator. Is that always fair? No. But it works, and if both of you take that attitude, it can really help.
Passion: According to the article, research suggests that happy couples set aside time for each other and reconnect through passion. Many articles in women’s magazines lately also suggest that if you wait for feeling like being passionate, you won’t ever arrive. Much like the field of dreams, “If you build it…” becomes true for many couples. Don’t just rely on your feelings.
Commitment: Mignon McLaughlin is quoted in the article: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Your children should be a great motivating factor for you staying together with these three prongs in place.
If you will keep your senses attuned to these three areas, you can be light years ahead of the game when the time comes that your kids officially make you empty nesters. You won’t be staring at each other wondering who that is in the other chair watching TV with you. Then you can start to appreciate that keeping an eye on these three areas really will pay long term rewards.