I love him but I am not in love with him.
We seem to have lost that spark and I do not have those same feelings for her any more.
We seem to be just roommates … and have lost the good feelings that we once had.
Those are words … and feelings … that go through the minds and hearts of almost all of those who are involved in long-term relationships. It is rare for both parties in a couple to have those same, warm and connected feelings all of the time. And, yes, it is possible to fall back in love with your spouse.
Sometimes, hearing those words from a spouse can mean an affair …either emotionally or sexually. An attraction to someone else brings excitement and a marital partner generally cannot measure up to the thrill of newness and interest. If infidelity is the issue, the challenges are much more complex and we will share some thoughts about that on another thread.
Often these feeling and thoughts; however, are more about taking each other for granted, devoting more time to career, children, social lives or other activities that prevent prioritizing the marriage and nurturing the couple relationship. When partners do not nurture their relationship, they tend to become distant and feel more lonely and isolated.
Some will decide that this is reason enough for a divorce. One research study, however, noted that couples who do stay together and find a way to bring their marriage back to life, report happiness 5 years later with appreciation for having found a way to stay together.
How do you try to bring those feelings back? It certainly helps if more than one of you are working on this, however, even one person can make a difference in the relationship. Here are a few ideas to help you begin to turn things around.
· Look at pictures of happier times together and reminisce about those experiences together.
· Every day, think about one good characteristic about your spouse that you really like and admire. Try to remember specific things that he or she has done to demonstrate that characteristic. Ponder on that one all day. The next day, choose another one. Tell your partner about your appreciation for that characteristic.
· Schedule dates with each other and make sure that they are occasions when you do not talk about any problems, just about what has happened during the day, weekend plans, etc.
· Only talk about your spouse and your life in good ways to family and friends.
· Reignite your sexual relationship.
Do you have other ideas for things that you have done that worked for you … or for others that you know? If so … please add those to our comments section for others to see as well.