Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is heavily stimulated during the start of all successful relationships because of the constant excitement of “New Love,” which is the same neurotransmitter that is triggered when a drug addict uses their preferred substance. Although thrilling, it is just momentary. When that elation begins to wear off, though, Quiet Love enters the scene: When a couple is completely at ease and involved with one another, they enter a peaceful but aware state. It goes without saying that your partner knows your likes and dislikes after years of marriage. But to determine whether he truly loves you, watch how he handles your “irritation triggers.” Consider him your antidote if he is aware of the three or four things that will always injure you or throw you off-balance and knows exactly how to prevent them or recover when they do occur. So instead of getting into a quarrel because it’s “your turn” to do the dishes, he’s more likely to be loading the dishwasher before night. Just keep in mind to repay the favor by handling the issue that drives him crazy, or at the very least, think about doing the dishes as a thank-you as he probably doesn’t enjoy doing them either. It’s obvious that your spouse still wants to get to know you better if he always wants to chat about things that are more intimate—things that concern the two of you and your relationship rather than who will be in charge of dropping the kids off at school this week. That demonstrates his continued interest and the fact that he continues to want to learn more about you rather than perceiving you as someone he believes he already knows.
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