From Michele, re: Concerning "I don't know if I love you anymore"


I share your feeings about the "I love you but I'm not in love with you anymore," or something like that syndrome. It's exasperating.

But I don't think it's as confusing as you do. Love is a decision. It's not just a feeling. In order to maintain love over time, you have to decide each morning to do the things that will bring you close to your spouse and stop doing things that push you further away. You need to spend time together. YOu need to listen to each other, talk, make love, show interest in your spouse's life. Love is a decision to do all these things even when you aren't feeling crazy about your spouse. Love is a commitment.

So when one person says, "I don't love you anymore," what s/he is saying is "I don't feel like putting energy into this marriage." "I'm going to focus on all the bad times we've had and that will make me feel distant from you." "If I feel distant and separate from you, I can focus on me and make myself happy." It really is a decision to cut oneself off from positive feelings about the marriage.

If you've had good times together in your marriage, those memories don't just disappear. They live within us. However, sometimes when people burn out in a marriage, they bury those good feelings and memories so deep, it almost seems as if they're not there anymore. People convince themselves that the loving feelings have evaporated. They sometimes even tell themselves that they never loved you in the first place. This allows them to pull away. IT's a rationalization. But it's a rationalization that really hurts when you are the receiver of it.

So I understand your feelings. But you need to remember that whatever you feel in your heart about your marriage is real. Your wife's current perspective is colored by her need to pull away right now. Don't over-react and whatever you do, stop trying to point out to her that she isn't thinking clearly or seeing things accurately. That will only make her more certain she doesn't love you. And I know you don't want that.

Keep DBing and hang in there.


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