Is your relationship fizzling?You know it's probably your fault
Ive been thinking about becoming a relationship advice columnist ever since I received a press release headed, From fizzle to sizzle: how to reignite a relationship.
Now, this was four full pages of information from Americas Marriage Coach, Jacqeline Del Rosario, a published author, speaker and nationally regarded media personality who also happens to be president and CEO of Recapturing the Vision International, an organization dedicated to promoting healthy marriages and family strengthening.
Because she has a doctorate of education in organizational leadership, her website calls her Dr. Jacquie.
I, of course, am not a doctor of journalism, as Hunter Thompson used to claim, but I wish I was. Then I could call myself Dr. Mikel and when I passed along these words of wisdom, like Im doing right now, I would expect to get no guff from ordinary people. In fact, I might even have a sign over my desk saying The Doctor is In (or not in, whichever the case may be).
Anyway, this epistle about Dr. Jacquie goes on and on about how we might liven up our marriages. Dr. Jacquie, by the way, has been married more than 20 years and has two children. Shes also something of a goddess in the looks department which I really dont pay that much attention to because, unlike her, Ive been married 47 years, and if theres anything Ive learned about fizzle vs. sizzle, it is to make sure you do your most serious sizzling at home.
I would not presume to tell anyone how to reignite the sizzle in their relationship, because I know if I did, the other person who lives at our house would waste no time pointing out that Im about as sizzly as a glass of warm water.
To which I would say, yes, but I love you with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, and I would do anything to prove that, including make a fool of myself in about a million different ways.
In fact, any time I pay her compliments or point out what I believe to be her biggest attributes, she invariably calls me a flirty guy who is full of Irish blarney. In other words, my attempts at igniting the sizzle usually are met with hostility or ridicule and, at the least, disbelief.
Thats not so rare, the marriage expert informs us.
Many individuals in long-term relationships find themselves lamenting the excitement their relationship used to hold. Many try various things to rejuvenate the passion and, when those methods dont work, they may feel lonely, desperate and needy and even begin to seek a solution outside of their committed relationship, notes Dr. Jacquie.
Still, she adds, there is good news. There are proactive measures couples can take to regenerate sparks that can make a relationship as spectacular and exciting now as it once was.
She offers a number of tips: Identify and rectify mood killers (also known as hot buttons); remember that youre married to your spouse, not your children; learn to communicate with your spouse; and make passionate moments a priority (which means carving out time for yourselves free from the reach of cell phones, computers and other interruptions).
I would probably add another element that seems to be overlooked in our instant-gratification-obsessed society: Be willing to work on the relationship a little.
Im pretty sure, in my own relationship with the other person who lives at our house, that if theres any kind of problem, its probably my fault.
If you are having problems with your spouse, the same is true. Its probably your fault.
I sincerely believe in not telling people how to act or what to think but Im convinced of this: You really need to allow each other opportunities to talk about what you like or dont like about whats been going on lately or maybe even over a long period, years even. Just because everything was clicking once upon a time doesnt mean its all hunky-dory right now.
One thing I know for sure about being in a long, long, long-term relationship is that you never really know everything there is to know about the other person. You wish you did, its true, but you really dont.
So keep trying.
If you decide to share that thought, and somebody asks you where you heard it, just say, I heard it from Dr. Mikel.
Former managing editor of The Review, Kelly is chief of the central design desk for Community Newspapers and the Portland Tribune, and he contributes a regular column.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT