Alfred has been planning to make things official with his girlfriend. He is ready to settle down and is quite sure Rebecca is the right girl to mother his children. He has cooked his head and asked his friends for ideas on how to pop the question. D-day comes and together with a few of their close friends, they go out on a boat cruise. It is during the cruise that he pops the question. Everyone is excited, but although with her hands to her chest in awe, Rebecca says “No!” Jaws suddenly drop!
It is very confusing when a person turns down a marriage proposal for no genuine reason yet there are others looking for just a single chance to be flattered. Rebecca’s excuse was that she was not ready; to be a mother and wife, or about to hang her dreams.
While many people may believe that a relationship and, eventually getting married is supposed to be a natural step to a more fulfilling life and a route to happiness, there are people who have shied away from it.
But could it be that these people’s happily-thereafter dreams are floored by the thought of committing their life not only to one person, but also to that person’s family? Or could it be the fear to hurt, waiting for financial breakthrough or just the fact that they have seen so many marriages fail and couples falling out of love. So, what causes couples to fall out of love with each other?
According to David Kavuma, a counselling psychologist at Mildmay Health Centre, says depending on what someone has gone through in the relationship, it is possible to have a faded emotional connection for their partner.
He notes that one of the times couples lose affection for their partners is when a spouse starts seeing someone else, which leads to rejection and distance is created between the couple. Usually the scare of catching infections also creates a rift.
“At the beginning of a new relationship, the level of intimacy is usually very high but as time goes on, you learn more about this person. When you learn that your partner has concealed something about you, it always hurts and can lead to your partner mistrusting you,” Kavuma says.
Besides unfaithfulness and concealed secrets, a person may lose affection in a partner because of disrespectful judgment, limited communication, addiction to drugs and crime, sexual dissatisfaction, fear to commit, laziness, increased responsibility and financial hardships, especially when someone’s responsibilities increase.
People with retarded affection for their partners may not only distance themselves but also separate or seek a divorce and it may take even a long time to get new partners or remarry.
How to deal with it
Kavuma says although lost affection may be revived, it may depend on the cause of the distance and disintegration between the partners. “If for instance the cause was infidelity, it may be hard for these partners to reconcile. If they reconcile, the affection may not be as strong as it was at first,” says Kavuma. “If it was something to deal with finances, when the partners sit and discuss such cases, they can easily reconcile.”
Losing affection for your partner is a harsh battle to deal with, because you are under the same roof, and sometimes still share the same bed. It is therefore advisable to always be open with your partner, even about secrets.
Kavuma also advises that although it is possible to revive the lost affection, couples should remember that love is not based on feelings but on commitment, so it may not matter how you feel about this person but the commitments you have, especially to children and family. It may sometimes take time, but eventually love rules over dislike.
“Stop nagging your spouse, blaming and criticising him or her for any mistakes in your marriage and stop thinking ill of the partner, says Kavuma. “Spend more time together as this will increase your chances of getting intimate. Increase your physical affection, such as hugging and holding hands,” Kavuma adds.