One of the more common themes I’ve been dealing with in session with my couples is the concept of love, and how some people are “losing the loving feeling.” And I’ve come here to say one thing:
Love has nothing to do with feelings.
Yeah, I know, I know. This flies right in the face of all the great romantic comedies you’ve watched. It goes against everything you’ve been told by your favorite TV shows and romance novels you’ve read. Hell, it even goes against good ol’ Tony Robbins methodology doesn’t it (hence why he got divorced, because he couldn’t “be happy” in it). After all, aren’t you supposed to feel love and happiness all the time with the person you love?
No, you’re not.
Let me break it down to you this way. Think about all the reasons you got into a relationship. Think about all the feelings you felt and what that meant to you.
Did any of that stuff have anything to do with the other person?
Think about this for a second. The great feelings you feel are feelings YOU feel. This has to do with you. You get involved with someone because of how they make YOU feel and how they compliment YOUR life. The fact that all this works for the other person is really great too, isn’t it.
But in essence, it has to do with you and how you feel.
This, is in essence a form of relationship narcissism. The relationship isn’t something that you commit to for better or worse, its something that is an accessory to your life. Its there to make you feel happy or loved. If things feel bad, or there’s a problem that people aren’t willing to work on, then its time to move on, isn’t it? After all, if you’ve lost the loving feeling, then there must clearly be something wrong with the relationship.
Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve come back down to Earth and realized that you have to live in reality.
And reality is no fun. Nowhere near as fun as the endorphin filled, infatuation-fest that you went on when you first got involved with that person.
OK, I’m ranting. I know I’m ranting. But I do have a point in all this.
Sometimes relationships are not going to be fun. Sometimes they’re going to be hard, and sometimes they’re downright ugly. If you don’t make a choice to love someone despite how they make you feel, then what is going to keep you together?
That’s my point. You wanna know why the divorce rate is at 50% and climbing? You want to know why kids are still affected by divorce, even though its considered “normal” these days?
Its because no matter how normal it is, it still affects them…and negatively.
Its because people are weak (abuse, abandonment and adultery aside; leaving in these circumstances does not make you weak), and they don’t want to work out their crap. Its much easier to go find some other person and feel all those great feelings all over again. Its much easier to ignore the problem and keep making the same mistakes you always make in relationships.
Don’t get me wrong. It takes two people to make a relationship work. Each person has to decide that they’re going to make it work no matter what. I’ve seen people make that choice, and as a result, the relationship improves and gets stronger than ever before. I’ve also seen people bail because they’re weak and they don’t want to work through the issues.
Those people are likely still chasing that loving feeling.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but you know what? That doesn’t change the fact that its true. If you don’t like how that makes you feel, that’s fine, its your life. Go ahead and ignore the problem like you have before.
Or fix it. Either way, life is too short and too long to pretend that love is only a feeling. If that’s what you believe, good luck chasing the feeling. You’ll be chasing it a long time.
My recommendation: Think long and hard about your life and your children’s lives 5-10 years down the road from now. Do you honestly think you will be happy? Do think they will be in the long run?
If you think it can work, at least try. You can always leave if you wuss out.
OK, I’ll stop now and let you talk.