There is an anonymous quote floating around that says, Love is like war, easy to begin but hard to end!’ And millions of people know this. Falling in love with someone, or at least feeling like you are falling in love is the easy part. Making the relationship work and being able to conjure up the same feelings of love years down the road, not so easy. Countless people find themselves coasting through the comfort of a relationship only to find that one morning they wake up and realize they are no longer in love. The end however, is not so easy as just telling someone, ‘I don’t love you anymore!’
Prophetic poets have long believed that love is a never-ending thing. There is an eclipsed theory going around that if love exists at one point in your life, it is there to stay. Forever. Maybe this is why so many couples, who know that they are no longer in love choose to go to couples therapy. And yet recreating the feelings of love that connected two people is much like an adult trying to recreate their own childhood. Not impossible, but extremely difficult. Love is a strange thing. It cannot be defined, is universally sought by nearly every being that seeks breath and has a heartbeat and comes from the metaphorical heart that exists in the brain. Scientists have long tried to measure the chemical and physiological aspects that ‘love’ has on the body in an attempt to make it predictable and real, but so far have not succeeded. And so, the theories of love continue, perpetuated by all sorts of emotions from lust to need, and desire to fear.
But what happens when you, or the one that is supposed to love you decides that love is no longer there.’
Is it time to get a divorce, to break-up, to seek greener pastures?
One of the most difficult things about a marriage is that people walk into it with such preconceived notions of what it is supposed to be. They also are carrying such immense feelings within themselves directed at the other person, that the rest of the relationship can feel like a let down. Add a few kids, some bills, a grievance, an affair, or a constant fight about whose turn it is to do the laundry and you literally have a recipe for relationship disaster. Let’s be real, its hard to ‘love’ someone is completely insensitive, or selfish or irresponsible. It is extremely difficult to keep up the passionate feelings of love you felt long ago when you now see your spouse day in and day out, often in not so attractive lighting. But does this sense of complacency and comfort mean that the love is gone or simply that the blinders are off.
Since love originates in the brain, maybe falling out of love is simply the brain realigning itself with common sense. Maybe it is completely impossible to recreate that initial love with a person. But more importantly, before you decide that you have fallen out of love maybe you should take time to consider that maybe’ just maybe, the love changed to friendship. And sometimes, friendship is safer, healthier and can turn back into love given enough time.
People change. Undoubtedly, the person you are with today is not the same person that you were with when you first got married. Whether you have been married one year or 10 years, you and your partner are different now. Of course, those feelings so fresh and new in the beginning, so full of dreams and promise are not going to exist now. But if the quote at the beginning of this article is true, then there is a good chance that your love has just changed forms.
Too many people become addicted to the madness and passion of relationships that normally only exist in the first few years of a union. Beyond that, couples need to realize that keeping the flame alive takes a lot of work. And sometimes, no matter how often you try to reignite the fire, you may be left with smoldering embers. These smoldering embers can be warmer than the blazing fire, and given some oxygen can reignite to a fire that burns stronger and longer than the one that first brought the two of you together. Plus, chances are that regardless of whom you decide to be with next, or what relationship you walk into you, it too will experience the period of let down that accompanies the passion of falling in love.
And for many people, the realization that they don’t love their partner anymore is very real. Even so, it’s a difficult thing for couples to give up. Falling out of love often feels like a failure. It feels like a betrayal. It feels cold, and it feels like a let down to even admit. By the time couples realize that they have fallen out of love and don’t love their partner in the way they want to it is normally too late to do anything about it. And it is much worse to stay caught up in the lie, preventing you and your partner from feeling ‘real love,’ (if there is such a thing) from another person.
No one can discount the fact that it is possible to fall out of love. People do it every day. But there is also no way to know whole-heartedly that the love won’t return in one form or another. Obviously, something brought the two of you together. Before you decide that love is gone and tell someone you don’t love them anymore, be certain that the relationship is something you will be able to let go of.