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  • Writer's pictureFriedhelm (Counsellor)

Not over your "Ex"?

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

It is highly unlikely that you married your “first true” love. Remember the exciting days of passion and romantic moments? For the most of us experienced in our younger days, associated with certain music and the awakening, discovering and experimenting with our sexuality. These are the feelings we associate with true love.

If this is the case, it has mayor implications for your marriage. It is highly probable that without a mind shift regarding how true love feels, it will impact your marriage negatively.

Research shows that the first stage of a love-relationship is distinguished by a very romantic and passionate period (the “in-love” or “falling in love “-phase).

Unfortunately this phase only lasts between 6 to 18 months. After the initial excitement (i.e. the constant touching, kissing and lovemaking), the passion subsides and the relationship evolves into a second or deeper form of love. “Love” becomes less selfish and egoistic and also starts to consider the other person which results in less exciting expectations. Feelings manifest less in the body but rather felt in the heart internally. Giving what the other needs or wants does not create the same intense feelings as in the initial period of the relationship.

Thus a problem arises when:

a) We expect to have the same feelings of passion as in the beginning of the/a relationship. b) When we believe that because we no longer feel “in-love,” we don’t really love anymore.

This mindset is devastating to a marriage. When we believe “falling-out of love” signifies the end of love, we seek to and repeat short term relationships. Couples that at this juncture do not adapt their conception of true love then get trapped in what they perceive as an “unhappy” marriage.

What are the tell signs that you are not over your “ex” (meaning the interpretation of how true love feels originating from a past passionate relationship?).

Have a look at these:

1. Words often used in your internal dialogue (or even out loud) are:

“I wish I had married someone else; “I should never had married him / her”; “If I only had known who he/she/ you really are”; “I want a husband / wife who is”

2. Often daydreaming, revealing a longing for the past.

3. Feelings which often surface in a marriage but stems from the past unresolved love, may include:

Hate, bitterness, impatience, constant dissatisfaction or unhappiness and on the other hand dejection or despondency.

4. Actions are not present or future directed but is prompted by the past. Like the choice of music, or decisions how to handle events or a dilemma.

5. Personal energy cannot totally be committed to the present relationship or planning for the future of the marriage.

6. The openness or desire to still receive “love” from someone else other than the spouse.

To recognize that the passionate and romantic relationship with your “ex” was not tested by a real marriage is the first step towards healing. Did you live together? Did you share the responsibilities of a marriage? Did you feel the effect of her or his manners and behavior? Did you have to solve conflict? Did you learn to communicate over disagreements without losing love or respect?

One has to realize that “true love” is felt in a relationship where you truly know the significant other rather than in a physical relationship with a “stranger.” This shift in stance is difficult because the immediate rush and gratification that sugar gives is much more felt and effective than a healthy meal.

What is your love expectation after 18 months?


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