Listen With Your Heart
Have you seen the new movie Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones? (You can watch the trailer here.) We saw it last weekend, and it's really good, though not at all what I was expecting. We anticipated that it was going to be a fairly light and humorous look at love and marriage. Instead, it was intensely serious, sprinkled with just enough light moments to make it good viewing.
Meryl and Tommy Lee play a middle-aged couple who have lost the spark in their marriage. The wife is deeply unhappy with the state of their relationship and how it's evolved over the years, with intimacy being lost along the way. The husband seems less concerned and is far from supportive of his wife's plan effect change. I won't spoil the movie with the details and outcome.
I think every couple who has been together for awhile would benefit from seeing this film, there is much to reflect on regarding your own relationship. Do you know for certain if your spouse is happy and content with the way things are between you? Are you? Do you have unfulfilled dreams and fantasies? Does he/she? Do you still connect at the same level you did in the early years of your relationship? Is the physical attraction just as strong?
Most certainly relationships change with time, hopefully for the better. My beloved Papa Bear says that real love grows a little bit stronger every day, and I've come to realize that is true. You may look at your partner thru different eyes than you did years ago, but hopefully those eyes see more to admire than they did in the beginning. Attraction changes, but it doesn't need to lose its intensity or its expression.
Meryl Streep just gets better and better with age, and Tommy Lee was perfect in his role of the inattentive spouse. They made a very believable couple, the emotions felt very real. What seemed to be missing most in the relationship they portrayed was the willingness to hear what each other was trying to say. They weren't really paying attention to each other, they weren't communicating about more than the basics of everyday cohabitation. They were more like roommates than two people who had shared a lifetime of love and memories. It was incredibly sad and painful to watch.
I encourage you to go see this movie, or rent it when it becomes available. It will remind you of what's really important in your relationship... that you make time for each other, that you have fun together, that you communicate your thoughts and feelings, and most of all... that you listen with your heart.