“How does the pressing reality of the ‘I’ve gotta have him every minute of the day’ feeling in the brain transmute to an ‘Oh, hi, you again…How’s everything?’ state of mind? The hormone rushes of dopamine in the brain gradually calm down.” The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, M.D.
Lots of people assume that “real love” is what we feel when the intensity and passion are present. Which occurs in relationships when everything is new and exciting. It’s the butterflies, the emotions, the longing that almost feels like an addiction.
This happens often in affairs.
And then, we also assume that when the relationship stops feeling that way – after decades of being with the same person – that something has gone terribly wrong.
There are phases to every relationship, but more importantly, there are also different chemical responses in our brains with those different phases.
In the book, The Female Brain, Louann Brizendine, M.D. talks about how the brain circuits activated when falling in love match those of a drug addict craving their next fix. If we put an MRI on the brain while falling in love, it would look similar to the effects of ecstasy, cocaine, or opiates.
If we are always seeking that next “fix,” then we will need to change relationships every few years or seek out intense and unhealthy relationships that have extreme highs and lows.
Marriage, or any long-term committed relationship, eventually moves out of that brain state into something that feels more stable, comfortable, and calm. That happens out of necessity because…
- That level of intensity isn’t meant to be sustained indefinitely (the drug addict eventually has to come down).
- We have to be functioning adults who raise children, take care of a home, go to work and pay the bills.
Nothing has gone wrong.
But what if… hear me out here…..
…After the romantic high of early love….
…After the hard work of mid-life marriage….
…the kids are gone, creating lives of their own…
…After the career and financial stability is stabilized….
What if we could create a relationship that feels deep and mature, soulful and meaningful?
What if the marriage and love can evolve to a place that feels closer, connected, and more intimate than ever before?
I’m not talking butterflies, euphoria, and love’s early mania…
I’m talking about consciously walking alongside another soul….
Who you’ve endured hardships with (and lived to tell about it)…
Who you’ve hurt and been hurt by (and had to walk the path through forgiveness)…
Whom you have a history with, and love now feels both abiding and interesting…
What if we don’t have to think about our marriages as a steady decline where it only gets worse with time?
What if, after much of the hard work is complete and there’s time and energy for you again, that there’s a new mountain to climb and therefore, a new perspective to see together?
And that new perspective can be really, really beautiful…
My husband and I both turn 50 this year, and we now have our first grandchild. As a married woman myself, I’m not interested in finding a new partner every ten years. But I also have no interest in sliding into a marriage that feels reliable, but boring.
I’m interested in growing as individuals and as a couple…
I’m interested in deep conversations and meaningful experiences…
I am interested in something mature and soulful in this second half of life.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to explore if this is possible for you in your marriage, schedule a Truth & Clarity session where we can see if there’s a fit for you and I to work together.