After living together for a while, you got to know each other (and yourself) better. The shine may have dimmed a bit. You can regain it. The downward cycle can become the upward cycle of love and support once again.
Right now, I want you to consider if you’re committed to your vows or dysfunction. Please go find your vows and look them over. Then, check in with yourself, not your beloved, as to how you’re doing living up to them.
Next, look at your checkbook (or the electronic equivalent), your calendar, and your texts and devices. How are you meeting your vows? How have each of you grown and changed? What might you and your partner need now to keep growing your love?
Next, you need to have a conversation that is kind and gentle about your self-rating. Let your beloved rate him/herself.
Why isn’t it easy to be a couple?
Everyone wants love, acceptance, security; a haven. Start with that. Your day-to-day life, (especially if you have kids), brings out family of origin issues, insecurities, etc. So you have to make choices and prioritize your relationship to create or recreate a safe, loving marriage that meets or exceeds your vows. Your kids will be healthy if you do this.
It’s vulnerable to be truly open to your beloved. You probably didn’t see this growing up, so you have little idea how to let yourself be vulnerable. Most people see huge risk in vulnerability. Which is true. But the rewards are also amazing. You get to be seen, heard, understood, and supported.
Being in a relationship reflects back what you might need to work on. These might be your fears, communication skills, not knowing how to be an anchor (as opposed to being a wave or island), etc. Once you figure it out, get to work on your own issues. You’ll be a better partner.
Sheltering is bringing issues to the fore that in the past could be glossed over by daily lack of physical presence due to long work hours. People who are “stuck” together are rubbing up against each other; it can polish you as stones get polished by tumbling around together. It’s also healthy to have alone time to do self-care and things you enjoy.
If you show up truly as yourself, will you be accepted? And if you don’t, who gets loved? Your persona.