“I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you.”
You want your spouse to know you really do care for him/her. The two of you have shared so much together, so naturally you still love them as a person. You’re not cold-hearted and you don’t like hurting your spouse, but there has been a serious shift in the way you feel. You love him/her, but it’s not the same love you felt before.
Back before when the two of you started out and you were so in love you couldn’t get enough of each other. You felt so much passion you wanted to be together all the time. There was no way you could have ever imagined you would one day lose that feeling, but you did.
Now after so much that has gone wrong in your marriage the love you feel for your spouse today is barely enough to live in the same house together for one more day. You can’t imagine having to live the rest of your life together, without feeling that “in love” experience ever again.
Or, maybe you’re having this powerful “in love” experience for the first time right now. Only this time it is with someone other than your spouse. What you once thought was love, the love you felt for your spouse, was no where close to the love you are experiencing now. And to deny yourself this new relationship would be like a death sentence. A sentence of torment to never again feel the way you’re feeling now.
So in either case, the choice seems clear to you. You should say goodbye to a marriage that is already dead and you should listen to your heart. Go for this new person that has given you this new “in love” experience. Or at least go out on your own again and hope that the right person will come along so that you can once again experience those magical feelings.
Only this time you are absolutely sure that you are wiser now and you know how to make better choices. You know now what you want in a marriage. You know now what kind of spouse you need to have this marriage you dream of. And you believe without a doubt that if you’re with the right person you will have an “in love” experience that will never end until the day you die.
But hold on!
What if I told you there is something terribly flawed with this way of thinking?
What if I told you this thing you’re chasing after will lead you down a dead-end road with nothing but a life full of regrets to show for?
What if I told you there is something greater you can have than this “in love” experience?
What if I told you we are able to speak so clearly on this subject because we have experienced this very same thing in our own marriage?
I want you to know we understand. I have heard my wife speak to me the very same words “I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you.” As hard as it was for her to say it, it was even harder for me to hear that. Specially when she said that the love she felt for this other guy was the greatest love she had ever felt. So much so that it even made her question if she had ever really loved me at all.
She was convinced her only chance at a life filled with this kind of love would be if she left our marriage and pursued a life with him. That feeling of being “in love” was like a hook in her and it would not let her go. She spent eight years trying to do the right thing by staying in our marriage even though in her heart she felt like she had to let go of the very thing she wanted most. Until finally she couldn’t handle it anymore.
The misery of our marriage and the tormenting pains from her childhood finally pushed her to her breaking point. She decided she would no longer deny herself the one chance she had at happiness, even if it cost her everything. For her, this experience of being “in love” with this other guy was worth everything she had to give up. Even if it came down to her relationship with the Lord, that was a chance she was willing to take.
And yet, after all that, here we are today walking in a love for each other that surpasses anything either of us could have ever imagined. By the grace of God we overcame the misery that use to be our marriage. We survived and withstood that “in love” with that other guy thing that nearly ruined my wife and our marriage.
We don’t describe what we have now as an “in love” experience. It is a “real love” experience. A real love that has gotten dirty with real life and then cleaned up again. A real love that has been wounded and bruised, and yet has been healed again. A real love that has been shaken and nearly destroyed by the storms of life, and yet has been rebuilt stronger than it ever had been before.
So if you have been caught by this lie that love should be an “in love” experience, we understand where you’re at right now. We understand your desire to quit on your marriage and search for something better. We get it and we are not here to judge you. We are here to help you.
In the next post we will be digging in deeper on this “in love” subject to bring light where there has been so much darkness. And then as we move forward from there we will be doing more to address the issues that cause men and women to want to give up on their marriage.
Like I said, we are here to help. We want to help those who are fighting to save their marriage. We want to help those who have given up hope on their marriage. And we want to help those who want to move forward in rebuilding their marriage. All of this is our story and we hope to give out of everything we have experienced and to help bring God’s redemption to as many marriages as we can.
Thanks for reading, share in the comments if you like, and may God’s blessings be with you.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net