Falling Out of Love after Years Together
Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
I'm a male that has been with my wife for 11 years, married for 4 years. We have 3 beautiful children that i love with all my heart. We both work at seperate jobs and don't see a whole lot of each other.
I love her with all my heart and she knows it but i lost her trust a few years back because of a drug addiction. We got through that and moved on and i have been alot better since.
The other night she told me she was moving out because she feels shes not in love with me anymore like she used to be. She said she still loves me very much but not in love with me. That hurt because i didnt see it coming. we talked, and she decided to give me a chance to see if i can try to get her to fall in love with me again. I really need to more than anything.
I love my family more than life itself. They are my heart and i cant live without my heart. So please, if you can give me any advise on how to get her to love me like she used to again it would be greatly appreciated. I cant lose my family.There all i have and they mean the world to me.
Well first, it's normal for people with 3 kids and 2 jobs to have to work on maintaining their relationship. It's not an easy thing! That's exactly why there is the "7 Year Itch" in marriages - because people get wound up in jobs and kids and lose track of that connection with each other. A happy relationship doesn't just happen - it needs to be worked on daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
So it sounds like you guys drifted apart. You both had things you "had" to do, and the fun things probably didn't get done a lot because there were too many "Had tos" in your lives. Three kids are quite a lot to deal with!! So after some years together it's normal to take a step back and say "Hey, is this really what I want out of my life?"
I have an issue with people who start saying things like "I love you but I'm not IN love with you." Love means 80 trillion different things to 80 trillion different people. So to start playing word games like that is being *completely* unhelpful in a relationship! It says pretty much nothing at all.
Instead, you need to talk about how you FEEL. What things do you like about the relationship? What things bother you about the relationship? What things bring you joy? What things do you feel you're missing? It's not about tagging phrases onto things like "being IN love" or "Loving" or other phrases. It's about real situations and what you like and don't like about all of them. You can address issues. You can't address nebulous phrases. At some point you might feel the scales tilt towards "I can live with this" or "I can't live with this" but you need to talk about those THINGS In the scale if you're going to make any progress.
If you look at the normal stages of a relationship -
you'll see it's normal for all relationships to "settle in". Sure, the rush of passion is great when you're just connecting. But after many years and kids, it would burn you out if you always felt like that! Instead, you settle into a more mature love, where caring and tenderness and 'working together towards a goal' are the more important feelings. It could be that she feels that way and misses the rush and passion, and wants to go feel that again. But if you spend your life always abandoning existing relationships to go hunting for passion, you end up alone and without someone who really understands you.
Relationships aren't about "one person doing all the work" while the other person sits back and sees what happens. This isn't the way for anything to work out. She can't just wait to see if you "make" her love you again! She's already not communicated well by getting to the point that things were at the "I want to leave" stage without letting you know along the way that there were issues to work on. It should NEVER get to the point where one person leaves and the other person doesn't know things were wrong!! So she is just as 'guilty' as you are for issues in the relationship.
You need to BOTH commit to talking more, explaining if you are upset about something, talking about what you want. And you BOTH need to work towards building a happy relationship together. You BOTH also need realistic expectations about just what a relationship feels like after many years. You can of course work to keep it fun and interesting! But it isn't going to be a 'romantic novel'. That's not what real life tends to be like, especially with 3 kids lurking around :)
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com