Mature Love And Marriage Go Together Like A Horse And Carriage

Mature Love And Marriage Go Together Like A Horse And Carriage

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mature love
Perspectives by Linda/Linda Criser, Wichita, KS
Christine Meinecke, Ph.D.

Christine Meinecke, Ph.D.

Christine Meinecke received a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1983. She interned at Colorado State University Counseling Center and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.
Dr. Meinecke is in her nineteenth year of full-time private practice in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to entering private practice, she worked in hospital mental health settings She has taught psychology and psychotherapy classes to undergraduates, graduate students, and medical residents.
She is also a playwright. Her full-length, comedic play, Flutter the Dovecotes, was the 2009 winner of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop competition and was premiered by Tallgrass Theatre Company in January 2010. For more information about Flutter the Dovecotes click ”works” tab.
For thirty-plus years, she has practiced yoga and taught yoga classes in various settings.
She met her beloved wrong person while both were graduate students at University of Kansas. They have been married twenty-nine years.
Christine Meinecke, Ph.D.

Latest posts by Christine Meinecke, Ph.D. (see all)

Child or adult, the feeling is the same!

It’s a beautiful summer day.  She’s wearing her most cheerful sundress.  Someone gave her a flower.  But somehow, it’s not good enough.This precious little girl is running to her mother for comfort and, undoubtedly, will be laughing in the next photo.  But how do adults handle feelings of disenchantment?  When our perfect love song hits a sour note, to whom do we run for comfort?  When our marriage lacks that old je ne sais quoi, what do we do?

Readers of Everybody Marries the Wrong Person already know that infatuation is temporary, disenchantment is inevitable, and mature love is essential to marital satisfaction.  Getting from disenchantment to mature love is simple.  Not easy, of course, but the concept is simple.

From Disenchantment to Mature Love

Disenchantment results when spouses:

1. Hold unrealistic expectations based on conventional wisdom.  For example:

  • Spouses are supposed to fulfill each other’s wants and needs.
  • If I love, I will be equally loved in return.
  • If you love me, you will change.
  • My spouse will never treat me badly.
  • True love conquers all.

2.  Vent post-infatuation frustration, feelings of disenchantment.

  • We feel like running and crying.
  • Instead, we vent the “grown-up” way, verbally vandalizing our ’til-death-parts-us relationship.

3.  Blame each other for marital dissatisfaction.

Mature love results when spouses behave self-responsibly, which means taking responsibility, minute-by-minute, for our own happiness and unhappiness.  Self-responsible spouses:

  • Refute conventional wisdom about romantic relationships.
  • Meet their own wants and needs.
  • Learn to comfort themselves, when feeling disenchanted.
  • Wrestle unrealistic expectations to the ground.
  • Censor unhealthy reactions.

Of course, we all deeply wish for life to be easy and expect our spouses to bust a gut making that wish come true.  As deflating and daunting as it may initially seem, giving up the fantasy is a first step toward self-responsibility.  Learning to manage our emotional reactions, insecurities and dark moods leads to marital satisfaction.

If only one spouse behaves self-responsibly, both spouses benefit.  If both spouses behave self-responsibly, marriages flourish.

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