WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
When the champagne is all gone, the wedding flowers have
long since wilted and the honeymoon is just a romantic
memory, the real work of marriage begins. In this stage,
conflict can seem to dominate a couple’s life. They wonder
if it should be this hard to get along and begin to think
they might have made a mistake in choosing each other.
Many marriages fail in the first few years. No one
enjoys fighting. It’s stressful and it hurts. Indeed, the
damage done when couples fight too hard and too long can be
When mutual respect and trust are casualties of war,
love dies too. Hearts and dreams are shattered. The
combatants limp off the field in opposite directions,
embittered and battered, to lick their wounds in solitude or
in another’s arms.
Love dreams die hard. Mating is a biopsychosocial
imperative. Most will try again, eventually, with someone
else. Burned but not beaten, enflamed by new passions, hope
springs eternal. We need to get this right! And we’ll keep
trying until we’re dead, emotionally or physically.
There’s much wasted energy in all this sturm and drang.
The fact is that most of us don’t choose wrong the first
time. We have an uncanny knack for marrying the very person
who offers us the chance to heal wounds we have carried since
childhood. These injuries reassert themselves every time we
try to have an intimate relationship. If we could only
realize we’re already emotionally impaired, we wouldn’t have
to blame our partner for disappointing us.
No one gets through childhood without some emotional
injury. That’s because there are no perfect parents. They
may do their best but there will still be hurt, anger and
In marriage we have a chance to clean, dress and
heal these wounds, but first we have to bleed a bit.