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Peter Chung

Friday, April 28, 2006

Why we never got out of the "Honeymoon Phase"

When I tell people that I am madly in love with my fiancee, people quite often look at me with a smile and almost brush me off, saying, "You're just in the honeymoon phase. Don't worry, trouble lies ahead..." as if it just happens and there is nothing you can do about it.

What people don't realize is that my fiancee and I have been courting for almost two years and we have only grown deeper and more madly in love with each other... and in our time together, we have NEVER once had a fight.

Are we just two little lovebirds who have no clue as to how the world works or how relationships are supposed to be? Are we just setting ourselves up for a harder fall when reality hits that not all is well? Am I just making this up and ignoring facts and reality?

The answer is a resounding, "No."

I've never understood why a couple would fight. If two people say that they love each other, then why would you want to hurt each other? That is what fighting means, to attempt to harm or gain power over another.

We truly love each other. And we have never fought because we choose to believe that the other would never willingly and intentionally try to hurt the ones they love.

This is what love is according to the Bible:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
That is just one example where we will not allow our natural selves to ruin our relationship. Why would anyone try to hurt someone that they love*?

Back to the subject of discussion, we have vowed to one another that we will never allow ourselves become like all those "other couples" that believe that it is inevitable to lose the fire and passion in a relationship.

We almost have a sense of contempt for people who claim that they once were passionate and madly in love, but currently have no evidence that they ever were so because "that's just what happens." They just live with each other and share a common living space. They are basically roommates who are married legally. The thought of that just sends shivers down my spine. To go about living your life and sharing a bed with someone you once knew and dearly loved yet have no idea who she is anymore and she doesn't know you. There's just too much hurt, too much pain, too many fights that you've both become silent and just bear with one another.

I will tell you one thing, though, this stuff does "just happen." It is natural to just get comfortable with one another. And familiarity breeds contempt.

Family members are so comfortable with one another that they have no problem expressing exactly how they feel and letting the other "have it." And yet, when you meet someone new or someone you'd like to impress, you are on your best behavior and tolerate even the glaring faults of the other person.

I'm sure you remember when you first started going out, how madly in love you were with each other, how interested you were in the other person and what they had to say, how you could just sit across from each other staring into each others' eyes, how you could just spend hours telling each other how much you loved each other... and now you are so familiar that they are almost a complete stranger to you.

It IS natural and it does JUST happen. I have seen it in my own relationship but we were both quick to curtail it and resist those tendecies.

We have made the committment not to let such things happen and actually making time to be completely available to each other. It's easy to just get in the swing of everything else going on in your life and put your relationship on the backburner. You figure that you love them and they love you already and that that's enough and will keep the fire alive. Nope, you have to fan the flame and add more wood to the fire if you want to keep it burning. And that, my friends, takes WORK. And lots of it. Think about that analogy of keeping a fire going. It'll give you much insight.

Especially with guys, it is easy to "get the girl" and think everything is settled and everything is all right and then go on to the "next thing" you want to get done. Eventually, she will feel as though you care less and less about her and are more interested in whatever else you are doing than in her. Even though, to you, all is well and you know that you love her. You need to show her and express that love to her consistently and frequently. It is not enough to just know it in your head.

Our fire is going strong and we don't ever plan on letting that fire go out. But it is hard work! If you don't monitor your relationship carefully, it will start to slip into familiarity. Find ways to keep the fire going. Find ways to stay interested with each other. MAKE TIME to spend with each other and be FULLY there. And never let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26). Communication is key!

I will end this with a quote that I learned from John Maxwell, "Yesterday ended last night!"

Never think that your relationship is set and that the past determines the present or the future. Whatever happiness or joys you shared yesterday were yesterday's joys and happiness. Make new ones for today. You can't hold on to "that one time" you did something spectacular or "that one time" you showed your love or that you already told her "I love you" yesterday. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a new day. Make it count. Keep the fire going.

* This is all assuming that love is proven. It is one thing to tell someone that you love them. It is totally another thing to truly show someone that you love them. Refer to 1 Cor 13:4-7 for the evidence of love. If one does not line up with what true love is, then perhaps they know not what love truly is.


Terry Thompson said...
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