After asking her followers why modern love is so hard, Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel concluded: Today we stray because marriage fails to deliver the love, passion, and undivided attention it promised.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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Perel took the time to take note of the marital vows at all the weddings she has attended. After reading them repeatedly, she realized that most of them were alike. Not only the words but the expectations put on those vows were overwhelming. "I promise I will love you all the more for your failures," says the bride, while the groom responds, "I promise to always bring your favorite chocolates at that time of the month and never ask you if it is that time of the month."
Before, couples followed the phrase "till death do us part," but nowadays, people stay together "till love dies." What has changed? In the past, people had their first intercourse with their spouses. Today, couples stop having sex with others when they commit to each other. Marriages cannot fit anymore into the traditional roles. There's no such a thing anymore. The perception of love has changed, which requires accepting the fight for equality.
People expect their chosen ones to offer them stability, predictability, and safety, but at the same time, they want adventure and mystery. As Perel explains, "These expectations are extremely difficult for us to provide to one another because they are contradictory, or even in some cases incompatible."
So what's the solution? Understanding that we can commit to another without losing ourselves. It's possible to be in a fulfilling relationship where both grow individually and as a couple. Many view commitment as a loss of self.
In western culture, society has given so much importance to individualism that sometimes, people go to their partners to receive emotional support and physical affection. Consequently, codependency is built.
Relying on our partner for reassurance can be a double-edged sword. The expectations of our partnership should be clear from the beginning of the relationship. Finding in our spouse financial partnership, excitement, and compassion doesn't mean they have the power to define our self-worth.
Couples therapist Carolina Ulloa agrees that establishing clear notions within a relationship is the best starting point. And that, beyond the name that you want to give things, the main thing is honesty regarding the expectations of each one. Ulloa told Paula magazine, "Setting limits is essential. The court line. Because in this way, I know what to expect, what you are looking for, and what I am looking for," she clarifies. "Whether we are aligned or not. And if we have very different expectations, it is better to let go in peace instead of getting frustrated and ending up suffering."
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Getting involved and having those conversations that are usually uncomfortable, especially at the beginning, is worth it. Only then can we establish real connections with a partner. And because clear rules preserve friendship and love, according to specialists.
Finally, the quality of our bond with others gives us a greater sense of well-being and happiness. For this reason, our relationship with our partner affects our life quality. Although this may sound obvious, the truth is that modern love struggles to find a balance between the security that offers the traditional idea of love and the freedom of modern relationships.