We all have baggage from previous relationships that stretches our legs and helps us feel how we feel now with a new partner. Katrine Axholm teaches you love wisdom.
“My boyfriend is great. Together for 2 1/2 years, we both have two children from previous marriages, are mature and have lived a life, “Henriette
Her boyfriend just proposed to her a few days ago, she says in my conversation room. Sweetly. Her friends are crazy, planning bachelorette parties and discussing wedding gowns. But Henriette doubts. She wants me to help her decide whether she should marry Carsten now.
“My ex-husband and I were in love, but we were a bad match. We couldn’t agree on anything and ended up messing up almost everything. So I want to do it right this time. To make the right choice before I marry – long term.”
So, which is it?
Henriette’s ex-husband was wild and different from her, and they had a passionate relationship at first. When kids came along, they became a burden, and they fought endlessly. So they split up.
His new friend Carsten is a completely different cast. With his ex-wife, he is in control of his life and finances and is a wise choice. And Henriette got to meet him. He has helped her heal from her first turbulent marriage. Now the question is whether he will get bored. Will Henriette eventually miss the wildness and passion she felt in her relationship with her ex?
Wrecks mold us
Love can be so strong that we rush headlong into love and marriage. We can see how we will be together forever because love is so strong that it can overcome all obstacles. Everything will work out if we stay together.
It’s just that sometimes reality doesn’t match the illusion of eternal love, and we want to do things differently in the future. We take what we’ve learned about love from one relationship to the next. That goes for good and bad.
Then we end up choosing a partner based on what we do not want in the next relationship, like Henriette. Wild to sensible. From insecure to safe and back. It can make us unsure of our feelings for the other.
If you feel that your past love baggage is interfering with your current relationship, it is wise to ask yourself some questions to clarify your feelings. On the next page, I’ve gathered five good tips to help you discern the right person for you.
Better than “Barnaby”
In therapy, Henriette realizes how grateful she is for Carsten’s loyalty. Finally, she describes herself as a former drama junkie.
“I thought love should be like that, with a rush and a crash. Then there’s the pain. I’ve discovered through our conversations and my life with Carsten that our quiet love is far more lasting. That I can relax and be myself without constant vigilance. We may end up on the couch, sharing a beer and watching “Barnaby,” but I’d rather have bad nerves than bad nerves.”
That’s how you know.
Take a moment to check your stomach. Don’t overthink it or try to guess it. Let your body tell you if you’re with the right person. Be aware of previous love experiences, but also that you are not trying to “figure it out”. It must be right.
How have you grown in love?
Take a look back at what you learned about your parents’ love relationships. Is it possible that your parents were more like friends than lovers? Your parents are your role models for good and evil, so be aware of what you pack.
Do you share values?
When everyday life hits, how do you feel? Do you agree on how you want to live together? What do you value in a family? What do you value the most, and how do you get both? Do you and your ex-spouse agree on how a family should be run? Your rosé wine and kisses high will not last. Talk about the future and your life together. How should it look?
“Can you be yourself in this?” Set boundaries, avoid conflict, and try not to lose yourself in your new relationship. Love can’t bear it. If you refuse to compromise, then soften the edges so you can both attend. To find a balance between your needs and his needs is an eternal dance and a fundamental love compromise. It is vital to be aware.
You are your own happiness.
If you marry or are in a relationship because you think it will improve your life, stop half way. You are in charge of your life and happiness. You must choose love. Be with your husband as a nice addition to a happy life. Choose him because you enjoy being with him, not because you need him. Then it’s not love, but addiction.
Love vs. falling in
Our culture equates falling in love with love. In reality, they are vastly different. Love is based on hormones, fascination, passion, and attraction, not reality. It is living in a bubble, above the responsibilities and trivialities of adulthood. Love is rooted in reality and holds the insight that one loves the other for who they are.