Married couples sometimes reach a stage where they do not feel in love with each other anymore. One partner can suddenly fall out of love, or the couple can slowly but surely reach a point where there is no passion, no affection and the sense of togetherness is gone. This can be a shocking experience for many couples as most of them started off by being deeply in love, and not being able to imagine their lives without each other.
In reality, many marriages get to a “loveless” stage and there are many partners out there who think: “At this point, I no longer love my spouse”. If you are thinking like this then you might feel that your marriage is making your miserable. This isn’t an easy stage to be in but luckily there are a few solutions to your seemingly “hopeless” situation.
Re-start your marriage by asking meaningful questions
From time to time all of our relationships, our marriage especially, need a chance to get a fresh start. We need to create and hold a space in which we can deal with all the accumulated sadness, loss, hurt and neglect that was created through sharing our life with others.
The best way to achieve this is to spend a few hours in a pleasant, intimate setting, for example a dinner date at home, while engaging in some deep and meaningful conversation. It isn’t enough just to eat tasty food and talk about anything. The conversation must include some crucial questions that will help you re-start your love and support you to stop feeling miserable in your marriage.
Here are a few suggestions for such questions:
- What can I do to support you better in your life?
- Is there something that I have done in the past week/month that caused you hurt without me knowing about it?
- What could I do or say to you when you come home from work that will make you feel that you are loved and cared for?
- How do you feel about our sex life lately?
- What do you think is the best way for us to improve our marriage?
It is important that both partners get to ask and answer these questions with honesty and openness. A struggling marriage can’t be “repaired” with the effort of only one partner.
Let go of the past hurt and pain
Besides being willing to talk about meaningful topics and taking personal responsibility to improve your marriage, you will also need to take a significant step towards releasing and letting go of all the past hurt that your marriage has caused you.
Accumulating negativity, resentment and blame will only keep you stuck in your misery and will block and sabotage any attempt on your spouse’s side to make things better. Letting go of past also includes an element of forgiveness towards yourself and others so you should be willing to say sorry, forgive and be forgiven.
If this sounds overwhelming and confusing, you can start learning to let go through a gentle practice of guided “forgiveness meditation”. On YouTube, you can find several guided meditation sessions that support forgiveness, and they are absolutely free.
Learn the languages of love
One of the reasons why you might be feeling like your partner doesn’t love you could be due to the difference in the languages of love that you are “speaking”.
According to the author of the book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” there are different ways we prefer to give and receive love. If the way we want to receive love is not the one that our partner uses in order to give it, we might be dealing with a serious case of “love language mismatch”. This doesn’t mean that the love isn’t there. It just means that it was “lost in translation”.
The five languages of love most of us speak are the following:
- Gift giving,
- Quality time,
- Words of affirmation,
- Acts of service (devotion),
- Physical touch
It is up to us to discover what is most important to us and our partner when it comes to showing affection, and put an effort to give and receive love “correctly” in order to recover from isolation and misery.
Take responsibility for your own happiness
Happiness is the result and not an objective of a marriage. The tricky part is that we get caught up in the pursuit of happiness and tend to blame ourselves for making the wrong choice of getting married to our spouse in the first place. Or we accuse our partner of not being the way we want him/her to be.
If we are not happy we tend to make it someone else’s fault. We rarely stop and look back at the expectations we had about marriage and our spouse that lead us to be married and miserable.
We need to take a step back from that and see what is the next best thing we can do to overcome our disappointment and learn from our mistakes in order to save our struggling relationship.