Susan Piver, the author of a bestseller called The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do” states quite bluntly that romance dies, at some stage.
Whilst the average bride in the midst of wedding plans cannot fathom how this is possible – given that every time she so much as looks at her partner she still goes weak at the knees (even if it’s just slightly) – take it from me (I’ve been in a relationship for 15 years): romance does not last forever.
Called the ‘honeymoon period’, even if it does manage to last eight years, it will eventually dwindle, and you’ll find yourself hankering after bunches of flowers, tingly stomach and the anticipation you experienced in the first year or two.
Before you start down the path of oh that won’t happen to us, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it will. And it won’t be due to lack of love. It will be because the intimacy you seek is probably no longer there.
But, if you work at it, says Piver, intimacy need never die.
Intimacy is about connection, openness, vulnerability and healthy communication. This part of the relationship – that starts after romance dies – is not only the most challenging, but also the most exciting.
This is when the concept of relationships as ‘work’ appears on the scene. As Piver says, whilst this idea of being truthful with one another initially felt like ‘pretending’ to her, when you begin asking the questions honestly, it’s anything but.
Susan Piver’s questions to establish intimacy, which she wrote for your tango, include:
What have you learned to appreciate about me that you didn’t know when we first married?
What have you learned that irritates, upsets or frightens you?
Are you satisfied with the amount of time we spend together?
What have I given up for you? How do I feel about it? And you?
Is our sexual connection satisfying to you? To me?
How much is each of us contributing to our financial health? Is each person’s contribution acceptable to the other?
If we have children, have we explained to them about sex, death, God? Are we comfortable with how we’ve dealt with these topics? How are they doing with these explanations?
How have we learned to cope with the normal, day-to-day irritations of married life? How could we handle them even better?
Happy Wedding Planning!