Marriages fail because people think they know what they want – they don’t. Same with Relationships.
Thomas Kuhn, PhD, The Father of the Philosophy of Science states that, “What holds science and societies back from progress is —– What People Think They Know.” If that is the case we’re in deep trouble – because everybody THINKS they know what love is and why they want to marry. Don’t you?
People have a number of beliefs about love and why they want to get married, but clearly, based on the high divorce rate, they are not aware of what love is or the real, the most important reason they want to get married. This confusion sadly, often tragically, causes the vast majority of problems and divorces. Once people understand what love is and the real reason they want to get married they can most often find the right partner or salvage their marriage and re-ignite their love. This series is revolutionary and transformative. It solves the mystery about love and marriage and educates people about the real reason people want to get married or enter into long-term relationships.
A small study we did about 15 years ago asked more than a hundred couples to list the reasons they wanted to get married. We were able to cull out the top 6-7 reasons people get married using the survey. Entering log-term relationship wasn’t very different.
Our research shows that what people want is – companionship, intimacy, a family with children, security, sense of normalcy (everybody gets married), a home, someone to grow old with. Usually after a few years of marriage most of these stated needs/goals are either met, or clearly will be met. Getting everything we want is usually the formula for our happiness – but in the case of marriage and relationships clearly it’s not enough. Why? There is one need in particular no one states explicitly. Everyone assumes they will get this need met based on their wonderful dating experience. That need is to be loved unconditionally. Have you told anyone you dated or married that what you really want and need is to be loved unconditionally?
I know that a lot of people don’t even believe that unconditional love is possible. Yet we know that Mothers (and Fathers) love their infants unconditionally, engaged couples give it a shot, and we come pretty close when it comes to having a truly best friend. In the second article not only will I explain what unconditional means and why only unconditional love works in relationships, but show you that it does not mean having to turn the other cheek and permit abusive behavior.
Even if our romance had a storybook quality and our honeymoon period was full of acceptance and other unconditional qualities, many of us find that over time this level of unconditionality starts to fade. It almost feels like the other has stopped loving us as much as they did before. Not true. What did happen was the effort needed to retain the relationship, now secured, has become unnecessary. We are getting less loving nourishment. Our assumption that we were going to receive unconditional love from this person we dated, engaged to, and married does not pan out. But not because they don’t love us. They just don’t realize how much their getting lazy hurts.
One of the keys to this ‘dwindle and decline’ of loving behavior is the fact that we did not know to begin with that love is nourishment and that we needed it unconditionally from another. NOT explicitly stating this need, not coming to terms with our dependency, not agreeing to behave unconditionally with each other forever, lays the foundation for failure in marriage and relationships in general.
How does it feel to just think about saying ‘what I really want and need is to be loved unconditionally’, to someone? It makes most people feel uncomfortable, even afraid. Why? Because our need is so great, we’re afraid of the rejection. Can you imagine that asking for the most fundamental part of any relationship, be it family, friendship, romance or marriage – unconditional love – frightens us? Would we feel that way about asking for air, food or water? The way this state of fear evolved is the fact that we were never taught to ask for love or, even more importantly, to love ourselves.
Love has been called a mystery – and certainly it has been the most misunderstood aspect of our human experience.
We talk about getting love and giving love, but what do we really get or give? We talk about rejecting someone’s love or feeling someone reject our love? But what are we or they rejecting? And why is being deprived of love so painful while feeling loved so wonderful? Did you know that “What is love?” was the #1 Googled search phrase of 2014?
What is needed now is a new definition of love – (remember what Kuhn told us) – and here it is:
“Love is an essential energy that nourishes much like air, food, and water nourishes us. Rather than coming from our environment like other nourishments, loving energy comes from within human beings, generated by conscious intention, (much like sound) and is transmitted through various ‘loving’ behaviors like appreciation, acceptance, kindness, patience and so forth. It can be given, received, or withheld and rejected – to ourselves and others.” (Deutsch 1985,) Fredrickson’s research, published in 2013, confirmed this theory.
Let’s just pause here for a moment and ask ourselves ‘Can nothing have an effect on us?’ Physics tells us that for a reaction to occur there has to be an action. We feel the wind, the rays of the sun, the sounds around us without ever seeing the wind, waves of light or sound. Our sensory organs receive the input and our brain translates them. When it comes to loving energy it happens exactly the same way. Our sensory organ receives something real, or feels deprived of it, and our brain translates that input. From infancy on we know when we are smiled at or held lovingly. We also sense if someone is not sending that energy toward us, although they might be smiling.
We must be receiving something real, something tangible, or be deprived of something real, something tangible, in order to have such visceral, physical reaction to others’ loving and unloving behaviors.
Getting and not getting essential nourishment, like it is the case with air, food, and water would explain why our reactions are so strong.
Examples of loving behaviors are respectful, supportive, empathetic, kind and so forth verses withholding behaviors like being impatient, unappreciative, unsupportive, or disrespectful. These last behaviors feel painful and we stay away from people who behave as such, whereas the first group of behaviors make us feel good, warm, and happy and we’re drawn to people who behave as such.
Second article will; 1. define both conditional and unconditional, and introduce you to a new concept of unconditional behavior that will explain why only unconditional love works. News Flash – unconditional does not necessitate for us to become doormats. Quite the opposite. Makes us more powerful.
2. why science now demonstrated that we have confused romance with love and the sooner we learn to differentiate the better our relationship with Self and others will be.
For lots more articles on love and relationships go to – https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefandeutsch/ – and to see what my organization is doing with applying this theory of love to all human endeavors go to – https://thdc.org/. You are also welcome to email me directly – [email protected].