Did your spouse or partner tell you, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you?”
What does that even mean?
When someone says, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” they are making a distinction between two different feelings. But neither of those feelings are love.
When a person says, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” they’re saying: “I care about you but I’m not excited about you.”
Caring about someone is a good thing, but it’s different than love. You can care about starving children, but you don’t know them and can’t really love them.
Being excited about someone is also a good thing, but it too, is different than love.
You might be excited to know a celebrity, but it doesn’t mean you love that person.
When someone says, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” they are confused about what love really is. They are expressing themselves poorly. They are missing the point.
And that’s how marital problems arise.
Love is action. Love is a God given blessing. Love is not simply a physiological feeling. It’s the deeds you do for one another. It’s being a friend, protector, and confidant. It’s intimacy and sharing thoughts, hopes and fears. It’s shared experiences within your family. It’s being nice and kind.
Want a change?
Start by listing a few ways in the last week that you’ve demonstrated your love for your spouse. Note the things they do for you.
Next, sit down with your spouse or partner and discuss without judgement. Acknowledge that you understand what they are feeling. Suggest that their pronouncement just may be a cop-out for the real dilemma they are facing: they are struggling to commit to an honest relationship that has highs and lows.
The reality is all relationships are fluid not static. Your spouse or partner is looking to your relationship to get them high on a constant basis. Addiction in any form is exhausting and terrifying.
Take a step back. Be patient. Be smart. You can turn this around by changing your reaction.
Stop channelling hurt. Rise above the circumstances. Reflect on what you can do, not what your spouse or partner should do.
Understanding the problem is key to fixing the problem. God bless you as you do your very best to work things out.
inspired by the writings of marriage expert Mort Fertel