February 23, 2018
Love’s Law of Inertia
Audio version- https://chirb.it/P82bOg
A couple had come in several weeks ago wondering what had happened to their relationship. After I got them to stop pointing fingers at each other, we began to explore what had gone off course after more than fourteen years of marriage. They really wanted to make it work.
Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object will remain at rest or move at a constant speed in a straight line unless it is acted on by an unbalanced force. His “law” even applies to relationships. Relationships follow the law of inertia. Yellen’s First Law of Emotional Inertia states, “A relationship at rest tends to stay at rest, while a relationship in motion continues to stay in motion and grow.” Simply put, their relationship remained linear and “at rest” and did not grow because they did not apply any positive force to it. It remained a straight line, not a learning curve.
What happened? They had put all their energy into becoming financially secure and to raising their two children. They had put almost zero energy, “force”, into their relationship. They grew apart. They stopped having fun together, no longer doing the very activities that had brought them together in the first place.
We needed to infuse the relationship with new and exciting energy, which was a combination of what had brought them together in the first place and a few new things they had learned along the way.
In reality, a relationship is much like a living, breathing organism. It needs to be nourished and cared for, or it begins to become stale, wrinkly, and old. No fun!!
Fortunately, they were committed to change. I told them they had to spice up their relationship life. They worked hard for weeks. The result is that they said they are having more fun than they even did when they were dating.
So … What are you waiting for?
Until next time, this is Dr. Andrew telling you to “Be kind to yourself.”