From Ideal Love to Real Love

Disappointed at your love life? It’s time to get real!
by Father Nicolas Schwizer | Source: Catholic.net
Very often we set ourselves for failure on our romantic relationship because we let ourselves believe in the shallow idea that our lives together should make us feel good at all times. But true love not always feels good. Doing the loving thing to someone very often requires letting go of our own desires. This unselfish attitude is not what romantic novels and films show. Real life love never means living happily ever after, in fact it often means forgiving again, and again ever since. So, if you find yourself on a great love disappointment, chances are you need to let go of the fairy tale, and get real about love the way God defines it.

Divorce the Perfect Spouse You Created in Your Mind
During courtship or at the beginning of a marriage often what is loved is a pre-conceived idea or a dream, both disconnected from reality. At that time we did not see our shadows or dark sides since everything was illuminated by infatuation. But years after having lived together, we awaken to the reality: we know each other with our weaknesses and miseries. Defects appear: my defects and the defects of others. Also apparent, as a part of life, are obsessions, craziness and whims, or the like.

Father Carlos Valles, SJ, tells how he frightened a young man who once asked him advice for his troubled marriage. Father Carlos told him that the only solution he had was divorce. After the fright, he explained: the young man had to divorce the woman he had married, that is, divorce the woman of his dreams whom he had married, divorce the image of the perfect and ideal wife which he himself had conceived in his mind and had taken to the altar in pure romantic fantasy. That perfect woman in fact never existed.

What the young man had to do was to divorce himself from the woman of his dreams and to remarry his wife, his real wife. We too have to love our partners as they are and not as we had fantasized them to be.

Don’t Pressure Your Partner to Change
You may desire that your partner change to meet your wishful ideal of what he or she is supposed to be. It is not going to work. So, don’t fall into the trap of believing you can actually change someone if you nag the person long enough. Only God can change people, we are called to forgive and love them. Put your hopes up to the Lord not to another human being. In being pressed to change, one often shuts down, and then, the communication is no longer there. Pray for your partner instead.

If your partner offended you and you need to let him know, if you place yourself in a throne ready to observe his conduct, ready to receive his excuses or his flattery, you are engaging in a primitive worldly form of love. This is not how a Christian should act. Instead, strive to handle your romantic relationship as Saint Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13.

From Ideal Love to Real Love
As time passes, we grow from ideal love to real love. You make this transition by allowing your partner to be himself and accept him as he is. Then the relationship changes because there is more freedom and more respect. When you are ready to bear with him, then you have matured. No longer make you partner feel as a burden which causes you pain or that he should be different. Accept you partner simply as he is. That is true love.

Father Kentenich says that after the first years married life consists in great part of supporting each other and bearing with each other mutually. As you grow and mature, you will be happy about it eventually. As a Christian, the goal of your marriage should not be to make yourself happy. The goal is for you to love – and do it with a smile.

Bearing the Burden of Others
The more sacrifices we offer for each other, the happier we will be, affirms Father Kentenich. A hardship in your marriage is an opportunity for you to grow closer to Our Lord in prayer. Contribute to the treasury of grace; offer to Blessed Mother the burden of your spouse. This way you will relate better to the Crucified Lord. He accepted and endured the nails. Therefore, be happy that Our Lord brings you to his cross, and that he makes you more alike himself.

The spirit of family largely consists in the love which is capable of bearing the burden of others. It is one of the hardest tasks in the family. Regardless, daily life shows us that while we are on this earth there will be arguments and tensions. The masterpiece consists in enduring them without losing the unity of the hearts. Make use of the frictions in order to grow and to become more deeply united.

Questions for Meditation
1. Is it hard for me to accept the defects of others?
2. What does the following phrase tell me: “they are endured with joyful sacrifices”?
3. Do I insist that others act according to what I think is correct or to what I like?


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Published by: I think
Date: 2011-05-26 18:06:44
I think my love in your life shold love is God, and chance for the lord, is beatiful love to love is full and filling this correct person

Published by: Silvia Arias
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
What can I do if my husband says he doesn´t love me any more after 21 years of marriage

Published by: Rosalia
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Hi Silvia, My heart goes to you in your hardship. It seems to me that your husband needs to be reminded that love is not a feeling but an action. Love is a commitment. For a Christian love is the sacrifice of the self for the sake of the other. Maybe you could share some scriptures with him: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/divorce_remarriage.html -- and pray the Rosary that Our Lord may touch his heart. Also you might want to seek Catholic marriage counseling. Visit: http://www.retrouvaille.org to find one near you. Please count on my prayers. In Christ,

Published by: Deeh
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
My husband and me had been married for 22 years but love & respect for each other are long time gone. I already filed for Divorce and just waiting for the Judge to sign the final proceedings. I am ready to get out of this relationship. We tried to attend the Retrouvaille and Post Sessions but did not work. Please help me find peace and love in my life.

Published by: Silvia Arias
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
What can I do if my husband says he doesn´t love me any more after 21 years of marriage

Published by: Rosalia
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Hi Silvia, My heart goes to you in your hardship. It seems to me that your husband needs to be reminded that love is not a feeling but an action. Love is a commitment. For a Christian love is the sacrifice of the self for the sake of the other. Maybe you could share some scriptures with him: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/divorce_remarriage.html -- and pray the Rosary that Our Lord may touch his heart. Also you might want to seek Catholic marriage counseling. Visit: http://www.retrouvaille.org to find one near you. Please count on my prayers. In Christ,

Published by: Deeh
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
My husband and me had been married for 22 years but love & respect for each other are long time gone. I already filed for Divorce and just waiting for the Judge to sign the final proceedings. I am ready to get out of this relationship. We tried to attend the Retrouvaille and Post Sessions but did not work. Please help me find peace and love in my life.

Published by: Silvia Arias
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
What can I do if my husband says he doesn´t love me any more after 21 years of marriage

Published by: Rosalia
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Hi Silvia, My heart goes to you in your hardship. It seems to me that your husband needs to be reminded that love is not a feeling but an action. Love is a commitment. For a Christian love is the sacrifice of the self for the sake of the other. Maybe you could share some scriptures with him: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/divorce_remarriage.html -- and pray the Rosary that Our Lord may touch his heart. Also you might want to seek Catholic marriage counseling. Visit: http://www.retrouvaille.org to find one near you. Please count on my prayers. In Christ,

Published by: Deeh
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
My husband and me had been married for 22 years but love & respect for each other are long time gone. I already filed for Divorce and just waiting for the Judge to sign the final proceedings. I am ready to get out of this relationship. We tried to attend the Retrouvaille and Post Sessions but did not work. Please help me find peace and love in my life.

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