The dynamic of any marriage will change and evolve over time, but one of the most difficult conversations we can have is when our spouse tells us that they no longer feel in love.
It feels devastating and hopeless, and in that tense moment, it seems like everything is lost and the marriage is over.
This, however, is a MYTH.
To think that “falling out of love” is permanent, or even abnormal, is just plain wrong! In fact, it happens to marriages all the time, and in many cases, several times over the course of a marriage. It doesn’t mean that the marriage is over or that there is nothing to be done. If anything, it means that maybe you’ve grown complacent and it’s time to reinvest in your relationship.
If you’re feeling disconnected, and your spouse tells you that they no longer feel in love, try to react calmly – explore the reasons behind their feelings. What’s missing? What has changed?
If you can take a step back from the marriage and look at how things were when you felt deeply in love, and how things are now, you’ll likely be able to see some stark differences – and that’s exactly where you need to start.
Has something changed in the bedroom? Have you let your appearance go? Are you committing too much time to work or hobbies or friends? Are other stresses impacting you happiness and causing you to be short with your spouse?
As our habits and interactions change, we can let some of the most important parts of maintaining a strong marriage fall by the wayside. If you’re suddenly faced with feeling “out of love,” don’t panic! Instead, stop everything and take a good hard look in the mirror (your spouse should do the same), and ask yourself if you’ve been doing everything you can to make your marriage strong and happy.
Just like when you’re first getting to know someone, you have to spend quality time together to build that feeling of trust and love – and when you don’t, those feelings can start to slip. By recommitting yourself to the marriage, even if it feels like the love has slipped away, you’ll likely find that it only takes “getting to know each other” again to fall back in love with the person you’re already married to.
Above anything else, remember that this is more normal than you might think, and that by reinvesting your efforts into the wellbeing of your marriage, you can get back on the right track.
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com
This is all well in good, however when your marriage is emotionally unhealthy - meaning that you both have disrespect for each other, that you both can't trust the other person because of past mistakes and infidelities, that one person starts to become someone they don't like because the other is no longer making them feel good about themselves or treats them hurtfully - then falling "back in love" may not always be successful. As I have read in an article on Dirvorcesupport.about.com: That old belief that we should be able to fix the problems. We spend time and energy and give up who we are and what we want in hopes of making the marriage work. What is easily forgotten is that it takes two to make a marriage work. We only have control over one party to the marriage…ourselves. If you are married to an alcoholic, you can’t make him/her stop drinking. If you are married to an adulterer, you can’t make him/her stop seeing the other man/other woman. If you are married to a spouse who abuses you, the abuse is not going to stop until they deal with their own issues. It is out of your control. I'm tired of losing myself to make HIM feel better about his own being. He has emotional issues that he needs to handle before he can fully love someone the way someone should be loved, and the same goes for me. 2 wrongs don't make a right. You have to change what you are comfortable changing about yourself BEFORE working on trying to be a team. Make all the adjustments you feel you should and once you have done that, you’ve done all you have any control over. It is normal to think or hope that you might find just the right words to get through to your spouse. Magical words that will cause the light bulb to come on and change him/her into the very person you need him/her to be. It is unhealthy to give up yourself in hopes of changing another human being.
It's true, Exhausted, that it does take two to tango. As we said in the article, you need to see what has changed in the relationship and what you may have done as well. It's difficult to look at yourself that way, but necessary. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/marriage-counseling-years-disappointment/
I don't think I can spend the next three years in the state I am in right now. I think it is better to be lonely and alone rather than with someone and be lonely. I can't figure out whether to stay or whether to go.
Hi, Elle - We don't blame you. We support marriage, but happy marriage. I don't know the struggles you are facing, but I hope you can find some help here to put you both in a better place. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/how-to-stop-the-never-ending-argument/
Hi, G - While I don't know if every day is realistic for everyone, we do certainly agree that physical intimacy is important for you and your partner. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/importance-and-science-touch/
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