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LostInParadise's avatar

How transformative is the power of love?

Asked by LostInParadise (25329points) January 12th, 2009

Specifically love between the partners in a marriage. Do you think there are noticeable, though perhaps subtle, changes that result from being in a loving relationship? I am not talking about the enfatuation stage, but after things have settled down and before there are children (I believe that having children can be extraordinarily transformative, especially for women). Are there cases where people gain in self-confidence or ease of social interaction, or is a person pretty much the same?

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8 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

So you’re asking, “does the love in a childless marriage have transformative power?”

In my marriage, it was probably the easiest time of the marriage. As you suggested, having kids changed things—for both of us.

I don’t think we were transformed nearly as much, if at all, during the time before we had kids. This is not to say that it isn’t possible. Certainly we had more confidence in our relationship, but that was because we got married, not because our relationship changed.

I suppose that knowing you have achieved what the community expects of you (pairing off in a sanctioned way), you might now think of yourself as fully an adult, and act with more confidence in social situations. Again, this, I believe would be because of the marriage, not the relationship per se.

However, since people want to believe the fairy tales about love, they will probably describe it as transformative. Although, what they mean by “transformative,” we might not know. You described it as self-conficence and social ease. Others might describe it in other ways, so I doubt there is much we can say in general.

If you find it transformative, then it is transformative. Case closed.

hearkat's avatar

My beau and I met just over a year ago… we are in our 40s with older children from previous relationships. Prior to meeting, we had each spent some time working on ourselves and changing things we weren’t happy with… our independent sense of self-love began the transformation. As a survivor of childhood abuse, it took me 4 decades to develop ANY sense of self-love.

Then the things we have been through in our first year together really tested us, and I believe they have helped perpetuate the transformation. And I hope it never stops… I do believe that we should keep learning and evolving throughout our lives, and I plan to do a whole lot more living!

So my answer is that love can be transformative… but the root must be SELF-love… because no one can change unless they truly want it for themselves and believe that they are worthy of happiness.

Darwin's avatar

Well, it made my husband stop smoking!

He saw the effect cigarette smoke had on my asthma and stopped cold turkey in 1989. Hasn’t smoked since. although he is still dealing with the aftermath of having smoked 4 packs a day for 30 years.

That’s transformative enough for me!

I have noted, however, that I have taken on a few of his traits that I found most attractive. Partly this was deliberate because I envied his ability to be generous but partly it is simply being able to follow his frequent example.

So, yes, love can be transformative.

Then we went on to have children and life turned upside down as it tends to do when children enter the picture.

seekingwolf's avatar

I think love can be transformative, with or without children.
IMO, from what I’ve seen, children put stress on a relationship and its relations more than being beneficial, but hey, that’s just me. I’m not going to have them so I don’t know.

ANYWAY, I think love is only transformative if the people are open to each other. Sometimes one needs to change in order to satisfy the other’s need(s). As long as one is open to this and is willing to be the best that they can be for themselves and their partner, then yes, love can be transformative.

acebamboo77's avatar

I think love is transformative.
a 4 year relationship that started ontop of what is now a 10 year friendship, and i would define myself and my bf as toxic people. in the fact that our social and personal lives do not necessarily reflect that of a healthy lifestyle, per se.
however, since our relationship has progressed we’ve grown, and given each other something that we never got from anyone else. the teo of us as a loving couple have transformed the both of us into living healthier lifestyles, just because we don’t feel the need to be the way we used to be.

SuperMouse's avatar

True love gave me the power and confidence change my entire life. It gave me the confidence to finally, after years and years do what is right for me and my children. It gave the the confidence to quit goofing around and finally get a teaching credential I drew me toward a real and true Faith in God. In short, true love transformed me completely.

cak's avatar

I am a stubborn person. I will probably die a stubborn person; however, after meeting my husband, I learned something, immediately, it’s ok to let someone help. I didn’t know how to be “ok” with it, at first, but I found a way to deal with it.

The way we met, he helped me, with something, refused to let me reimburse him and took it a step further. Eventually, we started dating and we are now married. Before him, there was no way I would let people help me. I had to do it on my own. ME, I could do it, no one else.

It took awhile to convince me that he could really help me out with things, and that it still meant that I was a responsible adult – but it eventually happened.

I had to be willing to let my guard down, just enough to allow this to happen and trust him enough to teach me how to accept help. It took a little give and take from both of us; however, the end result, I no longer feel that I have to shoulder every single thing that comes our way. Something I thought I would never be able to let go of, but I have.

Yes, if you allow it – love can transform you.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thank you all for your answers. They say that beneath the surface of a cynic there is a romantic waiting to get out, and beneath my surface I am a hopeless romantic. There is no personal growth without effort, but from what you say, love can apparently provide a place where that growth is possible.

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