By Guest Blogger Kim Buccino

How do I begin writing about Marriage and Couples when there are so many topics that can be discussed in this subject matter? The most basic point to start from would be; how do we see ourselves and our spouses/partners in terms of our concept of what a relationship is?

It has been my experience that just as there is no cookie cutter parenting style due to the fact that each child and circumstance is different, so too have I come to realize that no two relationships are the same. What may work for one couple may not work for another. This also applies to our own varied experiences in our history with our different relationships. What worked with your partner from the past may be null and void in your current relationship.

Which brings us back to the original question; how do we see ourselves and our spouses/partners in terms of our concept of what a relationship is?

Psychologist Robert Sternberg’s developed the Triangular Theory of Love in which he stated that there are Three Components of Love. They are (1) passion, (2) intimacy, and (3) commitment. The balance of these three elements are thought to be the path to the ideal love; Consummate love. This is what we all strive for in a long term relationship such as marriage.

Passion: This is where you find sexual arousal. Here is where the romance can start, the butterfly feelings. Intimacy: This is where you find friendship. Here a couple can be close. It is where trust grows from. Commitment: This is representative of marriage and exclusivity. Over time a married couple may go through different phases of these elements of love. However, one element without the other does not necessarily yield the kind of love that couples seek, or the completeness of a love that can weather life changes. Consummate love is an ideal that we hope to obtain. While many struggle to find the balance that works, there are those who have lived their happily ever after. If you ask them what makes it work, they most likely say that it took work.

So where do you find yourself in your relationship? If there are elements that are lacking then maybe it is time to do some work. From my personal experience, I know that my husband and I have some work to do, but then again we are making that choice to work on the things we need to so as to continue building our relationship. As parents, there are times when we assess how we parent in order to maintain what works and fine-tune what needs some adjusting. Our personal relationships are just as important as our roles as parents and we need to treat them as if they are. Consider this; when your child(ren) leave home and you are left with that spouse/partner, you may be surprised how much you have to get to know them all over again (and vice versa). Now may be a good time to assess your relationship and where you want it to be.

By no means is this blog a referendum on anyone’s relationship, but instead it is something to provoke thought about where we find ourselves when we consider our relationship with our spouse/partner. No matter how many years we are with someone there is always work that must be done in order to maintain what we have or address changes that we may note are needed. This is simply a place to start; within ourselves. Each person is worth it and each relationship deserves a chance to mature into all that it can be. Take care of yourself and always walk good.