Empathy, the key to a long lasting and happy relationship

Everyday we hear of many couples who split and get divorced after decades together. I started to think it over and I studied my own situation, since I have been with my husband for 20 years.

As we all know at the beginning it is like a fairy tale, passion, bonding, laughter, things to discover, experiences to have together. Then, as time goes by, we tend to settle in a routine and we stop seducing each other. We stop working on our relationship with our partner because we believe we know all about them, there is not much more to find out. Women tend to stop caring about themselves, the way they look, as they make no time for that. Men stop looking at their women as such, they see them as their kids’ mothers, their wives, boring sex. Of course these are extreme situations; luckily I know a lot of happy and healthy couples, I can say my relationship is like that too; still, sooner or later we all fall to the vice to give things and people for granted.

We are creatures in continuous evolution and it is kind of arrogant to believe we know everything about someone else; we are light in movement, not a single moment of our life is the same as any other, no thought repeats itself, so, how can we expect to know everything about another person?

How often do we stop to think about how the other is feeling during an argument? We tend to focus on our ego, on what we want, need, miss, how we suffer; why is my ego more important than the one of the other?

Like one of my favorite Italian singers (Niccoló Fabi) says “Isn’t the ego the real enemy of this universe”?

What we need is communication, honesty, commitment to be good together, to find a common point, or, even better, remember all the common points. We need good sex! We have to fall in love again, be back to being soul mates, talk about anything, confess our fears and desires, without judgment, with open mind and soul.

After sharing many years together, love is always there. How would you not love someone you built a family with? How could you not love the mother or father of your children? Love is always there. We just need to feed it with truth, honesty and understanding.

I have seen many couples enter a deep crisis after having children; that happens when the foundation is not strong enough to survive the huge change that comes with children. The bond between mother and child is naturally very strong and our priorities switch automatically; somehow we cease to exist, because now we have to give everything for our children. If we do not have a true and honest communication with our partner, if we do not keep an eye on our needs as a couple, the result might be a broken family.

Especially when we go through the difficult procedures of IVF, it is important to avoid getting obsessed and remember that our partner is going through the same difficulties, just in a different way.

I feel that some times women tend to expect from men the same reactions we have, but how is that possible? Isn’t it clear how different we are?

To me, those big differences are a blessing and we survived several IVF and other difficult moments as a couple because we kept talking, crying and laughing about our feelings.

So, my recommendation for you as a couple is to be honest with each other, share your feelings and thoughts and whenever you feel overwhelmed just reach out for help from the closest person to you, from the person you are going to build a family with.

Although he will never understand completely what you are going through, the two of you will need to be in good harmony to get pregnant and become parents. It requires daily work and dedication, but it is certainly worth it!

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