When Carol heard the words come out of Dave’s
mouth, she felt like someone had reached inside her chest
and torn her heart out.

“I love you, but I’m no longerin love with you.”

Hot tears streamed down her cheeks. It seemed
like her whole world was coming apart at the seams.

“Look, it’s not that I don’t care for you anymore.
I do. It’s just that . well you’re my best friend. I love
you. I just don’t feel that way anymore.”

She felt the air catch in her throat as she tried to breathe
through her tears. They had been through hard
times before, but she never expected anything like this.
Their relationship seemed stable. She never had the
sense they were pulling apart. But now Dave was
telling her he didn’t love her anymore and she didn’t
know what to do.

“Wh-what do you m-mean?!!?” she stammered as she
continued to sob.

“I’m sorry Carol. I wish I had those feelings for you, I
truly do. But if I’m honest about it, they just aren’t there
anymore. I’m sorry .”

Have you had an experience like this? Are you struggling
to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage where the deep
passion and love you once shared with your spouse has turned
into anger, resentment, and frustration?

Have you suffered the horror of hearing the words, “I love
you, but I’m no longer in love with you” come from
the one person you believed would be there for you every
day for the rest of your life?

If so, it may feel as though there is no hope left. After all,
love is the foundation of marriage. If love is lost,
what’s left? How can you possibly rebuild a marriage where
love is dead?

Actually, there is a way.

However, you need to have certain skills to make it happen.
You need to acquire knowledge that will help you restore
the loving feelings you once shared.

More than that, rebuilding a marriage where loving feelings
have withered takes a strong commitment from both of you.
Both of you have to be committed (or at the very least, willing)
to put work into your relationship so you can revive
what was lost.

You see, in my opinion, when someone says, “I’ve lost that
loving feeling,” I understand that to mean the feelings have
been buried-temporarily lost by the pain, neglect, or other
problems that have been dominating the marriage-and not destroyed.

Depending on the nature of your marriage, this can happen for
all kinds of reasons. It may be that one of you hasn’t been
paying attention to the other person’s pleas for attention and
affirmation.

It may be that you haven’t been communicating well.

It may be you lost trust in your partner.

Or it may be that you aren’t going out and having fun
together.

The cause can even be a single event, like the revelation of
an affair, that strangles the love and squeezes the life out of
your marriage.

No matter what the case is, you can rebuild your loving
feelings.

Even if you are facing something as devastating as an affair,
you can still find your “lost” loving feelings if you both know
what to do and you both do the necessary emotional work
which includes setting time aside out of your busy or impossible
schedule to be together.

I believe your love is like a diamond. Over the years it may have been
dirtied by the pain of being ignored or taken for granted, or from
miscommunication. Fear and insecurity caused by a lack of trust,
or the deep loneliness that comes when you can’t even have fun
with the person you love most in the world dampen your
loving feelings in the short run, and make you think you’ve lost
that loving feeling in the long run.

It may even have been covered in the filth and trauma of an
affair.

But, it is still a diamond.

Unbroken and undamaged, the love that is the foundation of
your marriage lies covered in the mud, vomit, and feces caused by
months, perhaps years, of neglect and abuse.

But, it is still a diamond.

If you were walking down a muddy rode and found a diamond
on the ground that was covered in the grime and waste I described
above, would you simply walk away from it because it was smelly
and filthy?

Of course you wouldn’t! There’s a diamond there for goodness
sake. All you have to do is clean and polish it.

Similarly you can learn skills to polish your marriage and
rebuild the love that was lost, recreating your “diamond” and
even making your marriage better than ever.

I will go over specific steps below for you to do. If you follow
these steps with good intention, you have a good chance to
rebuild your love, even if one of you had an affair.

If you and your spouse were sitting in my office with me face
to face right now, I would start this process with a question:

If I could give you a magic pill that would make you suddenly
fall deeply in love with your spouse again, would you take it?

Think about your answer carefully. Don’t rush into it.
This answer is going to tell us where you should go from
here.

If you and your spouse both answer “yes” to the magic pill
question, it means you do want to carry on with your
marriage. You’re desperate to get the loving feelings back and
you just don’ know how to do it.

That’s great news! Here’s why:

I can teach you the skills you need to rebuild your lost
loving feelings. If both of you want to rebuild your
relationship; if you want to share the deep, passionate love you
had when your marriage was new, I can teach you what
to do to make that happen.

In fact, my new guide entitled When Love Dies: Your Step-by-
Step Program for Renewing the Love in a Troubled Marriage

is designed to help you do exactly that. In it, I have outlined a three-
step program for rebuilding loving feelings that have died and
reigniting the spark you once shared together.

The three steps in this program are based on the three areas of
your marriage you probably need to focus on if in-love
feelings are gone from your marriage. The three steps are:

1. Restoring Your Trust

If there was a breach of trust, you will need to repair the
damage if you are going to reignite the in-love feeling.

2. Deepening Your Emotional Connection

By being friends to each other and showing a preference
to spend time together-talking, and even sharing chores
(like cooking, washing dishes, planting, or weeding the garden),
rather than, say, watching television or playing on the computer-
you communicate your affection for your partner and show him
or her you are a friend instead of an enemy

3. Planning, and Doing Fun Activities Together

You should encourage yourself to have loving feelings,
including thoughts of appreciation and praise. A good way
to do this is by having fun with your spouse. Make time to
think about how you can express or demonstrate your good
feelings and thoughts when you encounter each other next.

Actually, this outline comes from page 13 of the guide
where I teach you how to use the program to help you rebuild
the loving feelings in the most effective way. Every subsequent
section of the guide, takes one of these subjects and delves into a very
detailed, step-by-step system for achieving each of these goals.

Once you’ve learned the basics, you can even use these same
steps to rebuild the love in your marriage after an affair.

If you are suffering from the after-effects of an affair,
I know rebuilding the love you once shared may sound
impossible. In truth, it isn’t easy. But it can be done using
the steps in the guide.

When your spouse says, “I love you, but I’m no longer in
love
with you, it typically means your spouse would like to
dump you, but there are complicating factors that need to be
taken care of first. It’s as if your spouse had been instructed
by the old Simon and Garfunkel song 50 Ways to Leave
Your Lover:

“Just slip out the back, Jack;
Make a new plan, Stan;
You don’t need to be coy, Roy,
Just get yourself free.
Hop on the bus, Gus;
You don’t need to discuss much;
Just drop off the key, Lee,
And get yourself free.”

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You and your spouse don’t
have to let your marriage succumb to this fate. You can uncover
that diamond buried in the mud and make it shine again if you
choose to and are both willing to do the necessary relationship work.

For starters, you have to learn the skills to make that happen.

That’s what Carol and Dave, from the story above, did using
the system I outline in When Love Dies: Your Step-by-
Step Program for Renewing the Love in a Troubled Marriage,

and now their marriage is happier than it ever was.

I want to share some of those skills with you so you can
have the same results Carol and Dave did. I want to help you
make your marriage better than ever.

To that end, in the next article I am going to teach you one
of the most fundamental concepts in the entire program. I
am going to show you how your inner caveman has taken
over and is making you treat your spouse (the person
you love most in the world) like an enemy instead of
your best friend.

I am also going to give you tips on how you can reverse
that process, start treating your spouse like your best friend
again, and, by doing so, begin rebuilding the love right now.

Let me know how it goes with you. I’d love to hear about
your marriage. Post a comment to this blog by clicking the comment link below.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

 

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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