David and Brenda have scheduled an appointment for some Pathologically Positive coaching. They are trying to save their twenty five year marriage. As is the case with far too many long-term couples, they are on the brink of divorce.
There’s no real problem – and that is the problem.
Brenda explains that she just doesn’t love David any more. She is pretty sure that he doesn’t love her either. David counters by telling me (not Brenda), “That’s silly. Of course I love her. She knows I love her.”
Apparently, David is dead wrong about her knowing.
Consider the oft’ told story of an elderly couple driving along together in their old Dodge pickup to the country store. Early in their marriage, this weekly trip was an anticipated outing where they would chat happily about the kids, the farm, a new calf. Now, in their later years, it has become a routine journey traveled in silence – a silence that has invaded their marriage.
The wife can’t take it any more.
“What has happened to us, Hank? We don’t never talk. We don’t cuddle. We don’t even hardly hold hands no more. I don’t even know if you still love me.”
Hank chews on that for a long minute, then casually replies, “Martha, I told ya forty years ago, the very dang day we got hitched, that I loved ya. N’if’n I ever changes m’ mind, I’ll let ya know.”
Martha is not to be dissuaded. She presses, her voice rising insistantly, “But, Hank; it jes’ don’t feel the same. We use to sit close to each other wilst driving to the store ever week. You’d put your arm ‘round me when you was drivin’ er hold m’ hand.” She sighs, “Ah, Hank, it was so romantical.”
Hank stares at the road ahead of him for another long moment and finally drawls, “Wa’al Honey, I ain’t moved.”
Or had he moved? Yes, he had. Not physically, but certainly emotionally.
Do you want to connect better with your spouse? Much has been written about how to love or make love; holding hands, sitting closer, opening the truck door for your sweetheart. But that’s just technique. If you really want to connect better with someone you care about, learn first the principle of love, then go for technique.