Falling Back in Love After Falling out of It
Betraying a Vow
"Men are men, vows are words, and words are wind." ---- George R.R. Martin
It seems to be such a common human trait to fall out of love and lose all interest for the person that we only recently adored. What did go wrong? Well, just as we can develop a physiological tolerance to a certain drug, some of us may see that person as if for the first time, noticing so many flaws that were not there before.
As I am going for my frequent walks to a park and some big shopping malls, I can't but notice those young couples pushing a stroller with a crying kid and obviously having an argument. My natural reaction is wishing to be able to stick their wedding photo in front of their noses and ask them if that argument was a part of those solemn wedding vows.
But, young or old, such couples seem to be far from realization about their true reason for arguing. It's not about his forgetting to buy milk; not about her deciding to cook that dinner they "just recently had", or his inviting his single and drinking buddy for dinner.
It's about that initial sweetness of love turning kind of sour. Then, as people usually do, they equally unconsciously try to rationalize it by finding "faults" in one another, not daring to face the truth about their falling out of love.
A Whimsical Heart
"Never believe the dark whisperings that invite you to walk backwards. At any time you have the power to turn forward."---- Anasazi Foundation
It's so unfortunate how many couples don't step in their "holy matrimony" with a mature readiness which would mean their being clear about what they want from marriage.
Instead, they seem to be guided in life by a childish impulsiveness which makes them hot-headed for a while, only to allow that feeling to wear off after a sexual saturation that now needs a "new drug".
You may see so many of them with that look of being tired and stuck, merely tolerating that "mess they got themselves into". Nothing of that dating phase of the relationship seems to have survived that sudden shift in heart.
Everything what used to be exciting prospects of exploring a new life, now, as if by some dark spell turned into a routine, including that paramount of their relationship---sex life.
Those proverbial "headaches" at bed time happening more often, and that faked yawning sending a signal of "being too tired"---and again, rationalizing it with a "hard day at work", "a gas-giving last snack", with a convenient phony burp or two to prove it.
The sound of those wedding bells becoming more and more distant and replaced by a noisy washing dishes, or a too loud football game---something to put some life into an otherwise boring day that neither wants to admit.
Cold feet in every form that falling out of love may come up with.
With Arguments to the Rescue
"Silence isn't always agreement. Sometimes people no longer argue because they no longer care." ---- Joyce Rachelle
What most of them never learned was that every relationship needs nurturing, like a house plant, or it is bound to perish over a time of neglect. They may gather enough willingness to fix the situation, but then again, they do it impulsively, by trying to bridge their personal differences.
In their inventory of the relationship they only see what the other one is doing wrong, so blaming becomes the name of the game. In the process they are only further alienating themselves from each other, as their effort is all based on negativities and how to smoothen them.
Those cynical remarks about marriage that are supposed to be funny during friendly getting together carry the signs of their yet unexamined truth. Friendships gain a new level becoming one after another a therapy session, while each is confiding about the other's shortcomings, faults, lack of tact---hey, even lack of that much promised love.
Then may come that worse phase---the one of giving up, surrendering to the "rude awakening" to the realisms of marriage. For, if anybody, those friends and mothers somewhat getting tired of the replays of the same story will serve it out with an air of experience and wisdom.
"We all have been through that. People change in marriage, and there is nothing to do about it. Just get the best of what's available, and learn to tolerate the rest" --- say they, until it starts sounding like truth.
Power of an Imagined Loss
"Love can come when you are already who you are, when you are filled with yourself. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space."
---- Deb Caletti
My approach could be somewhat radical, but if I happened to be their marriage counselor, or at least a close friend, I would first try to find out what's left of that love. For that purpose I would ask them separately how they would feel about some other person making their partner happy---in bed and otherwise.
You see, some couples are totally unaware of how much their partner means to them until you face them with a prospect of losing him or her. So, instead of focusing on their differences and how to bridge them, I would put the emphasis on their left over feelings for each other and what could possibly be recycled there.
Then that could be used as a stepping stone for a new and more mature version of their relationship. From my little intuitive knack in people's issues, I know that preaching slogans about life doesn't have nearly as much of an effect as cornering people into a realization where the only way out is facing their emotional truth.
You tell your kid that his classroom sweetheart will love him more if he is showing off some smartness, and he may do more to fix that "d" in math than if you tell him that "he's got to try harder, and spend less time playing".
So, back to our cold-feet lovers, it may stir some emotional crap in them when they picture their partner in someone else's bed, at someone else's table, laughing and loving the life together.
Who Said Marriage Means a Guaranteed Non-Stop Fun?
"Sex is only boring if you are." ---- Merlyn Gabriel Miller
Couples in trouble ought to realize how they have allowed themselves to exaggerate about the sameness in that part of marriage that's an unavoidable routine. Some dry realism may help if they are willing to face the fact that it's not "just the two of them" that are creating that feeling of sameness.
Namely, they keep seeing the same image in the mirror day in day out, they go to the same job every day, and so much else in life is the same---but they somehow manage to forgive that part of the monotony and suddenly only see their marriage of not delivering enough fun and excitement. Furthermore, they didn't disown their parents and siblings with whom they lived for a big part of their life---so what are they expecting from their spouses?
It also helps to realize that the proverbial "greener grass on the other side" would also come to this same point of "turning yellowish"---if not watered.
There is something like an investment in relationship, and that's what basically makes people mature over those who maintain a position that it's the others' duty to cater to their comfort and entertainment needs.
"If you love me you will do so-and-so" is a policy that leads right to a marital inferno, because no one of a sane mind will accept it.
Spontaneity can bring a couple under the sheets---but marriage insists on all those little things that spell commitment.
A Mention of More Serious Situations
"The abusive partner continually denies any responsibility for problems."
---- Beverly Engel
Of course, there are spouses who "unwrap" their true personalities soon after the wedding bells get silent---by becoming abusive, maybe turning to alcohol, gambling, drugs, promiscuity, or hanging too much around their old buddies. There are all kinds of legitimate reasons for a person to develop cold feet in marriage.
There are many, and I really mean many cases where one or both partners start neglecting their looks, their manners, even cleanliness, turning into slobs and rude jerks. Or they start displaying some weird behavior, like watching porno in front of their spouse or playing music too loud...in other words, showing a total lack of respect for their partner.
Situations like that call for more than reevaluation of feelings and trying to save whatever can be saved of relationship. But no one can tell such a person how to go about it---some may settle for what they've got, others may terminate a relationship that stopped making sense. It's hard to generalize about disillusioned human hearts and to play smart about what's the best next step for them.
As Long as there Is Some Love Left
"We can't control on how each day will fall, but we can control how we fall into each day. Learn to make adjustments to match the circumstances." ----Anthony Liccione
However, here we are mainly talking about cases where living together becomes a burden for no other reason but a lack of nurturing the relationship---everything else being relatively functional between them.
Such couples could also benefit by taking a romantic vacation together, so that the ambient itself inspires them to renew that flame that got sized down to that pilot on the gas stove. They could continue where they left off at their honeymoon.
Sometimes it doesn't take more than a small push in a right direction after which everything falls in its right place. But there has to be a willingness with an open mind to explore what else love has in store for them.
Things don't just change of themselves, and it's naïve to expect that the time itself may bring more adjustment between them after they have become merely a habit to each other.
People don't "learn" to love through trials and errors---love is not an experiment, it either exists or it doesn't. That's why it's necessary to pick up the pieces of whatever is left of it and work on them, slightly rearranging them so that they satisfy a more mature idea of marriage.
Please, No Counselling by Friends
"It took me a long time to learn the difference between working on a good relationship and wasting my time on a long good-bye." ---- Steve Maraboli
Whatever joint effort they may be making, it's important to stay away from confiding to friends about their marital problems. Unless, of course, there are serious extremes of an abuse in question, those delicate matters are better left within the confines of your minds and hearts, because that's where the change has to happen.
Indeed, no friend can advise you to "love your partner more", they can only confuse you with their own interpretation of the issue. Also, some intimate matters lose their authenticity in the process of a clumsy and unnecessary analyzing.
Let alone the possibility that your good friend, in attempt to be helpful by "taking your side" advises you to leave your partner if the feeling is not there anymore. Something along the lines of: "Don't waste your young years on a relationship without love".
For, love is a very personal matter, and no friend can know exactly what is qualitatively left of it, no matter what words are used to describe it. That old saying seems to be appropriate: "Words sound different in mouth and in ears".
Whatever we decide to do, let us not jump the gun and do something hasty. Giving it some time for a quiet contemplation over the issue gives our hearts and minds a winning chance to come up with something other than a regrettable move.
In those moments we should ask ourselves what were those feelings which brought us together in the first place---instead of pondering upon those feelings which are driving us away from each other.
For, we didn't just fall from the sky in the same bed, we must have had a strong feeling for each other. What was that feeling on the wedding night? That wedding photo album may turn out to be a powerful tune up for a confused heart.
A Little Matter of Self-Esteem as Well
"It is not a lack of love but lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages."
Let's see it also from an angle of personal integrity and self-esteem. If it would ever come to saying "Good-bye" to the partner for whom we have developed cold feet, the question could start haunting us :"Why wasn't I able to make it work? After all, relationships are not a rocket science, and there had to be something that I could have done."
Then, by doing that "something" we could take into our future a valuable experience and also a pride for handling the crisis so well. Not merely saving it, but also upgrading it, giving it a more mature version. It's also a precious lesson about our hearts sometimes playing little tricks on us, and then we have to step in with a conscious intent to bring those roaming hearts home.
Well, if we can restrain our hearts from falling in love with every good looking person that comes around, then we might as well "put some sense" into those hearts and nourish our love for the person to whom we promised our love in that solemn moment--- while meaning it at the time.
I hope some of you unsure hearts might have found a little of a needed push in this article to try making more of your relationship with that special one in your life.
In your case matters didn't even have to get to the point described in here---but really, how many of us could give it a little boost, and make it more enjoyable for the both.
The video below contains a story which could inspire anyone who has developed cold feet for their spouse or partner.