BY HILARY BAINEMIGISHA
MOTHER Bedbug once told her children to be patient. â€œAll that is hot eventually becomes cold,â€ she said. The owner of the mattress had just poured hot water on their colony to get rid of them.
It is a natural law of gravity. Without effort, everything finally ends up on the ground â€“ if not under. Love and intimacy, too, experience the rise and fall curve. When intimacy sprouts, it naturally rises, but, with time, it starts to lose altitude. Even within its gradual fall, certain events like show of commitment, unexpected gifts, joint achievement, can boost its curve. Sometimes, experiences like infidelity, disappointment and lack of communication exaggerate its fall.
Where these boosting achievements are lacking or destructive tugs are many, intimacy hits the ground sooner and if the couples are not willing to try again, the marriage becomes risky. Divorce, separation, violence and death become possible outcomes.
Fortunately, intimacy and love can be resurrected as many times as the players re-ignite it. Lovers know what boosts their emotions and can deploy it in any crisis situation. However, they need to know how to manage the change.
Imagine you have been sulking for three days. The man returns home late and doesnâ€™t talk to you, you donâ€™t talk back, you didnâ€™t leave him food and he doesnâ€™t ask for it, he doesnâ€™t bathe, you donâ€™t care, you sleep miles apart, neither cares about how to solve the problem and no one imagines that their partner can die and you regret why you sustained the cold war.
In such cases, showing overwhelming love and care suddenly can be misunderstood. You have to manage your resuscitation in acceptable amounts and hereâ€™s how:
You can break the ice by inviting family friends over. There is usually a social obligation to hide family squabbles when society looks your way. When the friends leave, use the â€˜forgedâ€™ friendship their presence had created to address the problem.
Alternatively, begin with â€œI am sorryâ€, preferably by mail, letter or SMS. You may be feeling aggrieved, but someone has to stop the war. Later when you meet, explain why you are fed up of failure to communicate with your best friend and say sorry for what you thought was your right to be annoyed. Listen to what the partner is saying about â€˜your sinsâ€™ and donâ€™t be defensive. Each of you can also use the chance to discuss what is hurting you and how to resolve the issues.
Boost your love curve with intimacy. Remember, it is a lifelong activity that requires sustained efforts. But take heart; when you love someone, the loving effort ceases to require energy; it becomes a part of you.
Above all, remember that life can end anytime. Always ask yourself; if I was to die now, how would my spouse remember me? And often, love is like football; it is the last action that counts. If you have been a good partner for 10 years and you are caught cheating, your 10 years of excellence will evaporate.
Easter is a family holiday and a great opportunity to repair the bond. By â€˜Easter Tuesdayâ€™, make it your assignment to have brought the sunshine into your home. And keep it there.
The writer is a relationship counsellor