Your Love Alive
Keeping Love Alive
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
When I was 24 years old I fell
madly in love. I was madly in love for three weeks, and then spent
the next 30 years struggling to regain and maintain that wonderful
feeling. In the course of my long marriage and in the 35 years
Iíve been counseling individuals and couples, Iíve learned what
it takes to keep love alive and what diminishes the feelings and
experience of love.
The concept of what it takes to
keep love alive is really quite simple, but not so easy to do. The
simple answer is this: love flows between two people whose hearts
are open to learning and to sharing love. The hard part is keeping
the heart open.
Before I go more deeply into what
does keep love alive, I want to focus on what doesnít work to keep
love alive. The bottom line of what diminishes or even eventually
kills loving feelings is controlling behavior.
There are two major forms of
controlling behavior that always result in dampening loving
control such as anger, blame, criticism and judgment,
defensiveness, lecturing, teaching, righteousness, physical
violence, and so on.
- Covert control such as
withdrawal, withholding truth, compliance, giving oneself up,
resistance, denial, and so on.
None of us like to be controlled.
Most people, in the face of controlling behavior, react with their
own controlling behavior. Controlling behavior diminishes love
because the focus is on changing the other person rather than on
When the intention of your behavior
is to change your partnerís feelings or behavior, your behavior
will often be experienced by your partner as manipulative and/or
Trying to change how someone feels
about you or treats you with overt forms of control feels
manipulative and rejecting to your partner, while covert forms of
control such a compliance or ďniceness,Ē feels manipulative and
inauthentic to the other person.
good news is that love can be kept alive, even in long-term
relationships. Love is kept alive when each person is more devoted
to learning about being loving to themselves and to each other than
to getting love.
moment the intention is to get love, controlling behavior takes
over. In any given moment, we either want to be loving and share
love, or to get love. Trying to get love diminishes love. Being
loving and sharing love keeps love alive. Being loving and sharing
- Each person learns to take
responsibility for your own feelings rather than making the
other person responsible for your feelings of worth, lovability,
security, happiness, joy or pain.
person has your own and your partnerís highest good at heart.
Each of you supports your own and your partnerís joy and well
being. Both of you are considerate of the other person without
giving yourselves up.
person chooses to be honest and authentic about how you feel and
what you want and donít want. You are willing to speak your
truth without blame or judgment.
person stays open to learning about your own and your
partnerís wants, needs, and fears, especially in conflict.
What keeps love alive is each
personís willingness to do whatever inner work is necessary to
keep the heart open to loving and learning. Controlling behavior is
motivated by fear Ė of loss of self and loss of other, of
engulfment and rejection, of smothering and abandonment.
When each person is willing to do
the inner work necessary to heal these fears, they are able to keep
their hearts open more and more of the time. Love flows freely when
hearts are open to loving and learning.
Practicing the Six Steps of Inner
Bonding that we teach is a powerful way of doing this inner work.
Partners who both consistently practice this process discover the
great joy of keeping their love alive.
Even when it seems that there is no
way to get love back, it does come back when both partners are
devoted to learning to take loving care of themselves and to sharing
their love with each other.
cannot give to another what we do not have within. Inner Bonding is
a process for creating so much love within that it comes spilling
out, to be joyously shared with others.
About The Author
Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books,
including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?"
and ďHealing Your Aloneness.Ē She is the co-creator of the
powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now!
Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com