By Steve McIlwain
The experience of inceptive love is second to none; the euphoric rush of the initial moments with the person you can’t get enough of. Everything they say is funny. Everything they do is cute. All their little mannerisms and idiosyncrasies … just more evidence that they’re perfect. All their fun, interesting, little quirks add up to the person you fall in love with.
And then, over time, things somehow change. Euphoric feelings give way to the same old, same old. New turns to routine turns to boredom turns to frustration. Or perhaps the person you married has morphed into an entirely different person. Pretty soon the focus on the best becomes an emphasis on the worst. We lock in like a pit-bull and simply cannot de-focus on once appealing, now entirely irritating traits.
Why do we lose sight of the things we love? Why is it so hard to see the good?
Well, my answer is that life is like that. Humans crave new and exciting. We love fresh adventures, desire brand new toys, and are always looking for what’s next. And in the mix of life, oftentimes our spouse suffers the same fate as a brand new toy: at first you literally can’t get enough but eventually it gets stuffed in the back corner of the garage or smashed into a million pieces.
Time seems to have a way of smashing our spouses or allowing them to collect dust. For some of us we allow little frustrations to build into monumental distractions that we cannot ignore. For others we simply grow blind to the amazing person right in front of our eyes. Before we know it, the overwhelming plethora of traits we love are drowned out by life’s distractions or a couple of frustrations we cannot stand.
This is not saying to turn a complete blind eye to shortcomings. We all have weaknesses that should be addressed. Don’t allow your spouse to struggle through life without having honest conversations about their issues … and we all have issues. While the point of this is not to completely ignore their faults, you should also not completely focus on them either.
Your spouse is not a brand new toy. They are a living, breathing, changing, adaptive organism that you get to fully enjoy. Perhaps you’ve grown immune to all the fantastic things about them. Maybe you’ve been distracted by life and have put your attention elsewhere. Maybe you’re holding onto the past and need to adapt in order to enjoy the qualities they possess today. Possibly you’ve zeroed in on a couple frustrating traits which you’ve allowed to completely wash away the ocean of amazing-ness within them.
Whether you can see it or not, your spouse is a complex connection of amazing qualities. They have incredible strengths, positives, and upsides. The question is: will you choose to see it? Will you make the conscious decision to tap into all their attributes and experience them through the eyes you first experienced them … pure, jaw-dropping wonder. It’s easy to forget their greatness and hard not to focus on their shortcomings. But if you can pull it off, you’ll relish in the unbelievable experience of sharing life with the most amazing person on the planet, the one who makes life worthwhile, the one who loves you the most: your (insert pet-name here).