In spring, everything blossoms with the trees of the new season. At that time of the year, nature blooms and we are reminded that a new cycle of life has begun. Influenced by our surroundings, spring is a popular time for the celebration of new beginnings, so weddings usually take place at that time of the year. But for the celebration to last beyond a season, we need knowledge of ourselves first and foremost, and of others with whom we embark on lifetime journeys. Let’s hear from the experts and attempt to make our springs last.

MG is a holistic coach and NLP practitioner among other qualifications in human development. Check his Facebook page ‘Life Coaching with MG’

Why are marital relationships so challenging?

We have been conditioned since the day we were born. What we project to the world is our personas, or social construes that are shaped by many aspects from our world: Family dynamics, relationship with parents, belief systems, culture, perception of genders and collective consciousness. We each bring this baggage of values and beliefs to our relationships. Our personas dictate both our behavior and expectations. And in a relationship, two different personas are expected to merge and synchronize, hence it is only natural for conflicts to arise in the process.

Why do things seem smooth only at the beginning of relationships?

At the beginning, we feel love and love is an exhilarating emotion. When we tap into the energy of love, we are uplifted. It is a high charge energy that offsets lower energies like fear and insecurity.

So what happens to the love?

To answer this question we need to explain love? Love is unconditional in its essence, and its only true manifestation in our universe, is divine love.  Divine love flows through us all regardless of our deeds or behavior.  A sinner still finds the air to breathe and the lung capacity to inhale it. Our world is fraught with resources, available to all, undiscriminating in its abundance – humans discriminate while the divine gives unequivocally. In divine love, we are endlessly given. Love is a giving energy. Once conditions arise and there is an asking for a return, it is no longer love.

For humans, conditions are inevitable. We must understand that we are not able to extinguish our needs and expectations entirely and love unconditionally. What human experience is ‘conditional love’ –and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, we need to fully comprehend our expectations, nurture our self-awareness and emotional intelligence before we become emotionally involved with another. We need to nurture within us the values we want and expect in the other, in order to find it in a partner– and that is a universal law.

Yasmine Faltas is a family and marriage counsellor with 10 years of experience in the marriage awareness field. Find her on Facebook ‘Blooming Vines: Family and Marriage Counselor’
With 10 years of experience in counseling, what would you say is the most recurring problem?

‘Adaptation’ -this is the habit that counselling is fiercely trying to fight. Couples realize the need for life to carry on and hence ‘adapt’ to situations which otherwise, aggravate them. They are silent about their concerns and negligent to their feelings of anger and frustration so an emotionally charged situation would pass conflict free.  ‘Adaptation’ is very different from compromise, because it is not reached through an intellectual and emotional exchange in which a couple share their feelings and thoughts then consciously decide to take the other’s position into consideration. ‘Adaptation’ in that case arises from a passive desire to let the situation pass in order to avoid conflict, and a lack of willingness to put real effort towards resolutions.

Why do people prefer to ‘adapt’ rather than face and resolve?

It is easier for couples to find a way out – distractions to the problems in their marriages. This can vary from pouring their attention solely onto their children, harboring an overactive social life or even getting involved in affairs.

How can we fight ‘Adaptation’ in long term relationships?

The only way to fight this passive form of adaptation is to encourage unification. If there is true intimacy and closeness, couples will be more able to communicate and resolve issues. Occasional retreats for couples and quality time together are highly recommended ways to reach a level of unity.

Tatou, is a certified Life Coach, Reiki Master and NLP and Neuro-conditioning expert. Check her Facebook page, ‘Tatou Life Coaching & Energy Healing’

What would you say is the most important aspect of a relationship?

When it comes to relationships, I would focus on self-love. This has nothing to do with selfishness; self-love is a healthy form of valuing and appreciating one’s self and is an imperative factor to finding love and maintaining a healthy relationship. The outer world defines for us what is ‘good’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘right’ and in our efforts to be up to social values, we tend to be critical of ourselves. We get angry with our bodies, frustrated with our achievements and ashamed of our passions. When we embark on relationships, we bring our insecurities and frustrations along. We expect our partners to fill the gaps for us, to make us feel better about what we cannot feel good about. We constantly seek assurance from the other that we are adequate and worthy of love. But how can we expect another to love us if we cannot love ourselves?

Love comes from within, first and foremost. Only when you have accepted your flaws and loved yourself despite your shortcomings that you can attract love – love that would only reflect your own self-love.
“And stand together yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Gibran, on Marriage

Marriage can be a beautiful beginning of a life like the blooms of the new season; embarking on it with knowledge and awareness can make it a longer blooming journey of growth and joy shared with another.