Category Archives: Parenting

Marriage Problems? You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling. Here’s How to fix it.

Marriage Problems: lost that loving feeling, when you don't love your spouse anymoreSo many of the marriage problems I see are because one spouse just doesn’t “FEEL” in love anymore.

So you think you’ve lost that loving feeling?

I don’t mean to be disrespectful…but so what?

This won’t be my most popular post, and I am expecting some backlash but I can’t hold this in any longer.  

So many of the marriage problems I see are because one spouse just doesn’t “FEEL” in love anymore.

What can you do when you don’t feel love for your spouse?

Trust me on this folks–it’s going to happen.  

And it can get scary when those feelings are gone for more than a few days or weeks. Sometimes they can be gone for a really long time.  Maybe even years.  

Then we start to question whether this person we are with is the “right” person.  

We love them but we aren’t in love with them.  Click here to read more on finding the right person.  

Well guess what?  

You didn’t agree to stay married to your spouse until you didn’t feel love anymore.  

You made promises.  

You made commitments.  

You may even have brought children into the equation.  

What about them and your commitment as a family?

Do you realize it is much harder to end a business partnership than it is to dissolve a marriage? Isn’t that absurd?

Here are some reasons I often hear for ending a marriage:

You don’t want to stay married just for the kids.

I often hear this as the excuse people give when they want to leave their marriage.  I get it. You love your kids but staying in an unhappy marriage for the kids’ sake?  No way!  

The next rationale I usually hear is how seeing the parents unhappy together is way worse than having their family split apart.  

Well here is the thing: there is another option.  Fight for a better marriage…for the kids!  

Nothing is healthier for your kids than a healthy marriage.  

Don’t choose between two damaging choices when there is a healing choice available.  

You have tried counseling for your marriage problems, and it didn’t work.

This is hard.  Counseling is draining emotionally and financially.  But if you are physically sick, you keep going to doctors and trying different medicines until you are well.  Why wouldn’t you fight as hard to get the most important relationship of your life well?  

If counseling didn’t work, find another counselor.  

If things didn’t get better because your spouse refuses to change, that’s another matter entirely.  

But honestly, I rarely see this happen.  I usually see one very motivated person who is willing to do anything and one who wants out because they don’t feel it anymore.

You aren’t sure you really ever loved your spouse, so there isn’t anything to rebuild.

Here is another “so what” issue.  Ever heard the phrase “love the one you’re with?”  Or how about “Dance with the one who brought you.”  

Ok, I’ll stop with the country music lyrics.  But you get the point.  

There is all kinds of research that also shows that feeling unhappy in a relationship for a long period of time causes you to rewrite history.  

The fact that you truly cannot imagine ever really loving your spouse becomes real in your own mind.  The mind has amazing capabilities to create narratives that have very little to do with reality.  

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You’ve been telling your spouse how unhappy you have been for years, and nothing has changed.

Well, here is a fascinating phenomenon:  You tell your spouse you are unhappy, and nothing changes. And then you tell them you want a divorce and BAM!  They are suddenly very eager to do whatever it takes to fix marriage problems.  

And then you get mad because it took you threatening to leave before they changed.  You feel you shouldn’t have had to get to that point.

You feel if your spouse loved you, they would want to fix your unhappiness.  

In a perfect world maybe.  But you aren’t living in a perfect world, and most people need the threat of something unpleasant to really change themselves.  

Here’s where you went wrong: you put up with bad behavior or emotional distance for so long without any consequences, because you were afraid you might have to follow through.  

It took years of misery before you weren’t so afraid any more.  Don’t be mad at your spouse for holding to a toxic pattern when you have enabled him or her.  You needed motivation before you changed how you showed up in your marriage, and your spouse needed the same kick in the pants.  

You allowed it to take years because you stayed.  

I have been teaching clients for years that love is more than a feeling.  

It is a commitment to act lovingly even when the feelings aren’t there.  

It boggles my mind that we think it is perfectly normal to divorce when we don’t feel in love, but we are expected to do other things whether we feel like it or not.

How many days do you feel like getting up when the alarm goes off?  

How often do you feel like going to work?  

What if you changed jobs every time you realized you didn’t like going to work?  

How often do you feel like forgiving someone who wronged you, yet you do it anyway because you know it is the healthiest option?  

What about your kids?  Do you feel “in love” with them every day?  

I have teenagers.  

I can’t wake up one morning and divorce my kids because I’m not feeling passionate about being their mom.  

Your spouse is your FAMILY.  

You don’t divorce your family unless there is abuse.  

Why do marriages get an easier out?  

Marriages are the very foundation of families.  If you think this makes marriage sound like hard work and love isn’t supposed to be hard, click here.

The most damaging thing you can do is look outside the marriage for all the things you aren’t getting from your spouse.  

You meet someone who excites you and causes your heart to pound just by getting their texts.  

This person makes you feel alive while being around your spouse drains you.  

The more emotionally and/or physically involved you get with this new person, the less love you feel for your spouse.  

In fact, you feel angry because your spouse isn’t making you happy.  

Your spouse isn’t affectionate enough, or generous enough, or (fill in the blank) enough.  

That anger helps you justify what you are doing.   

But let me give you a reality check.  

There is nothing your spouse is or isn’t doing that justifies having an affair.  

NOTHING.  

Affairs are fantasies for people who are afraid to grow up.

Not everyone who loses the loving feeling will have an affair.  

Many just check out of the marriage.  Don’t do it.  

Don’t give in to feelings of hurt and hopelessness.  

Commit to doing whatever it takes to have a vital, connected, loving marriage.

Here is the thing about feelings: they come and they go.  They change.  They intensify and then wane.  

Love is so much more than a feeling.

But it often does include feelings of warmth, compassion, lust and longing–those feelings aren’t mystical.  They can be created and re-created by strengthening the bond between you.  

We know how to recreate the feelings most people associate with love.

At The Marriage Place, we can help you feel connected again.  We can show you how to find those feelings that are gone.  Even if your spouse won’t come with you.  Make an appointment HERE.  

You can start creating the relationship you want today.

Image source: IMDB

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Why Should I Stay Married?

stay married

Why Should I Stay Married

My husband and I are clearing out clutter. It is a time consuming adventure into the past.  We started by just going through stacks of books and piles of paper trying to sort them into more organized stacks and piles we labeled keep, toss or give away.  

But we get easily sidetracked when we come across a card one of our children wrote us when they were little, or pictures of our boys when they were babies.  

Today we came across some real gems.  

A letter my son, Thomas, wrote me when he was little:

“Mommy, I hope the surjry tomorow goes ok.  Remember, if God wants you to live you will.  Love, Thomas.”

Then there was this: the wedding dress I wore more than 26 years ago.  

why I want to stay married

The most amazing thing is that it still fits!  But just barely.  

And we found many books we read to our kids when they were small–like these from Sandra Boynton.  

Why Should I Stay Married?

So many memories.

Why Should I Stay Married?

But when we got to this book, my husband and I started laughing loudly and we literally recited the entire book from cover to cover from memory! That’s how often we read this to our boys, who are now 19 and 17.  

We talked about how we cherish these books and how we will save them to read to our grandchildren.

And then it hit me.  

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What if I had chosen not to stay married, when it seemed hopeless?  

There would be no shared moments of reading these same precious books to our grandkids.  

In fact, there would be very few shared moments with our kids and grandkids at all after divorce.  

And when coming together is forced through some big celebration or ceremony, everyone feels awkward and tense.   

When the boys are married and have their own families, they would have to make the obligatory holiday rounds so they have time with each parent separately.  

Then I wondered how they would feel about a stepmom or a stepdad?  

What if they didn’t get along?  

And what if their wives’ parents were also divorced?  

Now there are four families.  What a mess!  

What a complicated, entangled legacy to leave my kids!

Why I Chose to Stay Married

I stopped in that moment of cleaning out, and I put my hands on my dear husband’s shoulders.

I thanked him for never giving up on us.  

I told him I want to grow old with him and grandparent with him.

I told him I would marry him again.  

Pretty amazing when you consider there was a time I wanted out and was convinced I would never be able to love him again, much less stay married.

But I do love him.  With every fiber in my being.  I love him.

We laugh a lot now.  We have overcome so much.  

We have finally figured out this thing called marriage and discovered it really can be wonderful and passionate and fun.  Even after 26 years.  

There was a time when I viewed my marriage with the same critical eye I’m using on my household clutter.  

Except the marriage almost went into the “throw away” pile.  

I was so unhappy, I couldn’t see what the future would hold for me or my kids if I did divorce their dad.  

Even more unhappiness.  

My marriage was making me unhappy, but divorce wasn’t the answer.  Putting my marriage on hold and getting authentic, honest counseling was what made the difference. I divorced my old marriage and built a new one.

Our marriage almost died from a thousand paper cuts, instead of one big event or trauma. Click To Tweet

And it was put back together in the same way.

Small repairs and movements toward each other that over time, created this beautiful marriage we now treasure.

And you know what?

You can stay married, too.

I know this not from books or clinical research, but from my own real life experience.  

Your marriage is worth fighting for even if your spouse is done.  

Divorce is not the easy way out.  

It is a complicated mess especially if you have kids.  

If you want a different legacy for your kids, fight for it.

We know how to help you do that.  Contact us here.

Or call us at (972) 441-4432. 

Fighting for your marriage is exhausting, but the pain of divorce lasts a lifetime.

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