When romantic love ends, one or both partners may become distant, angry and scared. The transition between stages can be very shocking as one partner’s negative traits become more visible. They may become critical and blame the other partner for no longer meeting their needs. In some cases they may become verbally abusive and project hurtful statements like ‘I don’t love you!’ when it’s really themselves that feels unloved. They think if they hurt or punish the other partner long enough they will return to the stage of romantic love. It’s like swimming in the ocean when the tide is about to change. If you stay calm and let the exchange of waters take place, in time you will be able to swim back to shore and feel safe again. But if you panic you will drown!
Many couples do panic and resist the change as they fight against the current. They will either break off the engagement or end the marriage early. If the couple does not take time to work through these stages of their relationship, they will repeat it again in some other future relationship. The reason it’s called acquired love, is because you have to finish what ever you start. This will take hard work and strong perseverance not to give up, but to keep going until you get to that final stage of giving. It’s like traveling on a train – no matter what station you got on at, you have to get off at the correct stop. If you get off even one stop too early you’re doomed.
The Gemorah states that when a couple divorces the chupah cries. This is because the couple got off one stop too early and misses the opportunity to find true love. It’s also the stage where the Shechinah rests as partners will sacrifice his or her needs for the benefit of the other. When a husband and wife are willing to give what ever it takes to make each other happy, change and healing can and will take place!
My parents, A”H, got on the train at midway and missed romantic love, but because they were willing and determined to stay on the track, they were zoche to find acquired love and build a bayis ne’eman for many future generations.
Moishe Herskowitz MS., LCSW, developed the T.E.A.M. (Torah Education & Awareness for a better Marriage) approach based on 20 successful years of counseling couples – helping them to communicate effectively and fully appreciate each other. As a licensed and highly certified social worker and renowned family therapist, he developed this breakthrough seminar to guide new couples through easy-to-accomplish steps towards a happy, healthy marriage. Moishe Herskowitz holds a certificate from the Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in couples and marriage therapy. He is an active member of the New York Counseling Association for marriage and family counseling. Mr. Herskowitz can be reached at 718-435-7388.