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When the Honeymoon is over

By Dr. Allen Novian

Have you ever heard someone say, “The honeymoon is over,”?

When problems crop up in a relationship or marriage, they are like parasitic weeds. At the beginning, they can be small. They are so small, in fact, that they might not even be noticed as problems by either spouse. For example, if Sharon goes out late every Friday night to rub elbows with her coworkers, Alex may at first praise her driven and outgoing nature, and he makes plans with her on a different day. This reaction to his partner’s behavior is due to a chemical in our brain called b- Phenylethylamine, or simply PEA. It is a chemical that is generated in our brain that creates the feeling of being “in love.” It short circuits our ability to rationally analyze our significant other or spouse’s more “irritating” qualities. While we are in this part of our relationship, we describe our partners in the most flattering way we can.

After some time, the weeds germinate, and the problems begin to be noticed. There is less of the PEA chemical in the brain, and now Sharon’s socializing begins to be slightly irritating. They are farther into their relationship and are spending more and more time together. Because Sharon’s habit is now effecting Alex’s schedule, it is a source of frustration. He wants to express his frustration but is afraid to offend Sharon. The first link in their ability to communicate breaks.

Eventually the problems become full fledged weeds, and they deteriorate the relationship. Sharon does not understand why Alex is frustrated. This pattern of behavior was there before they started dating, so he knew what he was getting into, right? Now the problem is recognized as real and one problem has spawned others.

You are left with a choice: You can seek help now, and deal with your problems while they are small, or you can deal with them when they have taken over your relationship and you are facing problems that seem too big to overcome.

My suggestion? Kill the weeds in your relationship now, before they have become a real threat. If your “honeymoon is over” then make the switch from “in love” to loving. Don’t let your problems destroy your relationship. There is very little that cannot be overcome.

image: By David Castillo Dominici, published on 08 April 2013 Stock Photo - image ID: 100156149

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