The words “I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you” have been said many times by one spouse to another trying to explain the current condition of their emotions. And sadly those words have been used over and over again as an explanation for why one spouse has decided to give up on their marriage.
But as I said in our last post, there is something terribly flawed with this way of thinking. And if this is the way you’re feeling about your spouse and your marriage right now, I want to send out a warning to you.
Chasing after this type of emotion is very dangerous. Not only is it a threat to your current marriage, this type of thinking threatens any future hope you may have for a lasting relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, I know this euphoric “In Love” experience is great. I know it is something so captivating and so alluring that it can hardly be resisted. That is why the beginning of it is called ”Falling In Love.” It is something so incredible, who would want to resist it. Often it is described as “the best thing that has ever happened.” So with something that strong and that positive, why would there ever be a warning against it.
Because chasing after this emotional high at the risk of abandoning your spouse, the one you have made a covenant with, is nothing short of reckless and foolish.
It is reckless because it puts other people’s lives and well-being in danger. An unwanted divorce can be extremely damaging to a spouse. For some, they spend their entire lives afterward trying to recover.
It is reckless because the impact divorce has on children’s entire lives can leave a wake of destruction so strong that it carries on for generations.
It is reckless because even the very life of the spouse who is chasing after this emotion is put in harm’s way. It’s a chase into unknown territory with unknown repercussions.
For a spouse to break up their marriage and their family chasing after this “In Love” experience is very much like a drunk person getting behind the wheel with his entire family in the car. It is recklessness born out of extreme selfishness that puts everybody’s life in danger. It may not cause sudden death or bodily harm as in a car crash, but the lasting impact on all parties can be just as devastating.
This is not only reckless, it’s also foolish
The foolish part of this “In Love” experience is this idea of love doesn’t last. Sooner or later the euphoric emotional high comes down to the reality of real life. And unless you embrace what real love is with all of the work that goes into real love you will never be able to handle real life without wanting to escape. Then time after time you will have to escape to some new “In Love” experience hoping to prove to yourself that your idea of love really does exist.
But it doesn’t exist, because real life involves imperfections with imperfect people and sooner or later those imperfections are going to challenge you. And the day you feel challenged by someone else’s imperfections will be the day you start to feel this “In Love” idea start slipping away.
And whether you realize it now or sometime down the road, after you have left other people’s lives destroyed in the wake of your foolishness, you are going to come face to face with the fact that the only way you will ever experience REAL LOVE will be through CHOICE.
Choose real love!
But if you should choose real love, you will find yourself holding onto to love even when negative circumstances try to steal it away. It won’t matter how difficult the difficulty is because by choosing to love, you already make up in your mind how you are going to feel. When you choose real love you will find the way you feel follows the choices you make.
When you choose real love you find there is a love that sustains you even when your spouse gives you nothing in return. It’s not that you no longer desire love to be return, but because you have chosen to hang onto love the absence of returned love will not take that away from you.
Then finally when you choose love you choose permanent love. Everyone wants a love that will last a lifetime, but very few realize permanent love is a love of choice. You cannot promise an emotional love such as the “In Love” experience to last a lifetime. But you can however promise the love that comes by choice to last for as long as you continue to make that choice.
No marriage should be missing permanent love. We all make our vows as if we are counting on something permanent. But the only thing we can count on is the choice of permanency. It is a foolish thing for any of us to count on some emotion to sustain our love. So, if we truly want permanent love we must face the fact that permanent love only comes by choice.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net