Romantic Love: Is it a Realistic Goal for Marriage Therapy?
Jennifer H. Chalmers, Ph.D.
I recently attended a training conference for psychotherapists that showcased several experts in the field of marital therapy. The purpose of the conference was to educate therapists.
Yet when it came to determining the goal of marital therapy, NO ONE suggested that restoring the feeling of love should be the goal. In fact a prominent scholar and expert on "sex, love, and relationships" boldly said, "Anyone who says that romantic love can last is giving you B*** S***." He probably lost the feeling of love in his own marriage and didn't know how to restore it. But then he had the audacity to claim that no one knew how to do it.
This "expert" was not alone with his viewpoint. The topic of creating and sustaining the feeling of love was never discussed in any of the marriage-related workshops that I attended. They talked about conflict resolution, improving communication and listening skills, understanding each other's themes and beliefs, understanding our choices in how we behave, and changing our irrational beliefs about the other. But these issues were not intended to help couples create the feeling of love. According to these scholars, that goal was impossible to achieve.
Several times I felt like shouting out to the thousands of fellow therapists, "The feeling of love is not only something that can be created, but it's essential to every marriage. I help couples restore their love for each other every week. And so do countless others who use Dr. Harley's 'Basic Concepts' when counseling."
I ended the five-day conference feeling energized. Although these educators and experts did not know how to create feelings of love in marriage, I use a plan that has taken couples from feelings of hate, discontentment, unhappiness, and incompatibility to feelings of love, contentment, happiness, and compatibility.
Do you know how to create the feeling of love in your marriage? If you don't, I urge you to read all of Dr. Harley's Basic Concepts."
Don't let anyone tell you that the feeling of love is unobtainable or unsustainable. It can be created even after years of neglect. It is an achievable goal. And I speak for thousands!