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“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O, No! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.” A beautiful passage from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 – love cannot be true if it changes, should not fade with time, is ever fixed and everlasting. Love is pure, love is true, love is kind; a natural state of being, a state of peace within: dependent upon the happiness of others, your own state of mind. Poets write about it, songsters sing about it – Victor Hugo penned: “To love another person is to see the face of God.”

Unfortunately, there are a number of spouses, partners, lovers, relatives, and friends who fail to heed Shakespeare’s inspiring message or to agree with Victor Hugo. Many find love hurtful, crushing, and painful. People have killed and committed suicide in the name of love. Sons have been disowned; daughters have been banned. Breakups, divorces, annulments, and legal separations are a reality; the right person in the wrong situation at the wrong time or the wrong person in the right place at the right time. Improving Lives Counseling Services’ team of professional, licensed professional counselors, and therapists offer relational psychotherapy and marriage counseling.

“Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love, or not, but in the end love strikes like lightening, unpredictable, and irrefutable. You can even find yourself loving people you don’t like at all. Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, addenda, or codes. Like the sun, love radiates independently of our fears and desires. Love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it for any amount of money. Love cannot be imprisoned nor can it be legislated. Love is not a substance, not a commodity, nor even a marketable power source. Love has no territory, no borders, no quantifiable mass or energy output” Psychology Today.

Marriages among college educated adults continues to rise, in contrast the number of marriages among high school graduates and those with little to no college continue to fall. Is it easier to love when you are college educated? Of course not. Long-time love takes hard work and a willingness to be vulnerable. This is something most saw in their parents and grandparents of the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet, according to a study by Bowling Green University in 2009, divorce rates for baby-boomers have doubled with one in four couples over 50 calling it quits. Yes, loveless couples stay together for the children and the economy plays a role in keeping loving couples from marrying. Culture, ethnicity, race, money, employment, and politics can be a nemesis to marriage. The good news is counseling and therapy works. An American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ survey found 97% of patients surveyed said they got the help they needed.

If you are in love and that love is not returned, if you are in a relationship and your partner has changed, if you are estranged from parents and loved ones, if your marriage doesn’t seem to be working, or if you’ve fallen out of love and don’t know where to turn, Improving Lives Counseling Services can help. Love for a parent, a child, a spouse, a partner, or a friend is real. The loss or abandonment of that love can have a devastating effect: mentally and physically. Don’t let the stigmatization of psychotherapy and mental health care prevent you from living the life you were meant to live. Your grief is real; your suffering is real. Let us help. Call us.