Excellent article and approach. I went through this as well and time and experience has taught me that winter and spring in marriages is very true. WAITING will teach you things. One more tip you need to add; and that is asking God through Christ's atonement to "soften" your heart towards your spouse. Ask it everyday for as long as it takes. This is the tipping point when nothing else is working. It is a verity that when you change YOUR heart other changes happen with your spouse and marriage.
What a wonderful response! Great advice for everyone! This woman can get on her knees and truly pray to love her husband and see him as the Lord sees him. Then get up and do everything she can to serve him. Love will follow. This is also an opportunity to access the atonement . . . it is for everything and certainly for mending broken marriages.
I appreciate Geoff's counsel in finding a therapist who will not give up. In my first marriage, it took me a long time to realize it was the therapist who had placed blame on my former husband and encouraged me to cut and run. Finding one who will not put their own spin on the therapy and will help the couple choose the better path is imperative to the saving of a marriage. Find one who will not take sides. That is not their job and the couple MUST do it together. If the woman believes her husband clueless, think again. Not having intimate relations for years has left him with a good indication of the state of his marriage.
The next article begins "We are powerful beings. We have the capacity to elevate other human beings to the highest heights, or to transport them to the very depths of hell."
Of course the husband knows. How could he not. My husband has never told me he doesn't love me, but 30 years without so much as a kiss or a hug or an "I love you" is evidence enough. It has destroyed my feelings of self worth and capacity to love. For a moment leave aside the self pity and look at what you are doing to him. Choose to love and be happy and count your blessings.
Great advice! I've been married for 19 years and there have definitely been times when I wanted to give up, but instead I dug in and made some changes. I made dating a priority. I would think about what I could do to make my husband's day brighter. I focused more on him and his well being, instead of my own frustration, and little by little I found that our marriage got better for both of us. It is so worth the effort!
The best advice I could give this woman is, "Love him!" Seek out things that would give him a pleasant surprise. Find little ways to make him happy. When you focus on HIM and how to enrich the marriage between the two of you, you will lose the focus you have had on yourself and your negative feelings. Also, even though it may feel awkward at first, you need to recommence sexual intimacy between the two of you. It will go a long way toward renewing your marriage.
From her description of the relationship, he would have to be pretty stupid to not already know she has "fallen out of love" with him. There must be something wrong with her, if she doesn't ever have a need for physical intimacy. This is not the whole story.
For my husband and I, the book by Gary Chapman, "The Five Love Languages", truly saved our marriage a few years ago. I can't recommend anything above that book, and millions of others must agree, because the book continues to sell more each year through word of mouth of those who read it. Gary Chapman is a minister who had done marriage counseling with Christians trying to save their hopeless marriages and had been able to crystalize some "pearls of great price" for us all. Easy read and truly wonderful counsel only the Lord himself could have revealed to men through the likes of Gary Chapman. Had my husband and I not have found this book and strengthened our marriage, we would never had found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints three years ago. (we are 64 and 69 now)... great blessings our God has for those who ask questions and receive answers when we "knock"... Hope you find a tool in this book to further your work for marriage counseling
This is such a good article! Our own marriage of almost 60 years has had its own problems, some severe at times. What many people don't realize is that if the marriage with children is dissolved, it affects not only the couple, but the children, and generations to come. It can be an extremely selfish thing, if one person elects to dissolve a marriage without abuse, etc. which also affects the children. I have seen some of those, and they bring heartache to so many people. There are consequences you can't see now, and regrets that would make the rest of your life miserable, and the lives of your children. Think of the example it would be to them!
Your response is very powerful and true. I am reminded of the saying, "Love is not something you fall into; love is something you choose."
You should know you are not alone, many have struggled with this same thing. There is an excellent article in the January 2005 Ensign titled " Falling out of Love, and Climbing back in ". It is the best 'how to ' go about this I have ever read. Heavenly Father is waiting to help us learn what we need to learn and wanting us to ask.
The most important advice here is that this wife, if she leaves this marriage, is headed for another relationship that will go this same direction. Leaving a man who you once loved, and who has done nothing wrong, shows that the weak link is you. All marriages require constant work and effort and often patience. Go back and focus on everything you loved at first. Return to intimacy. Good luck.
ABSOLUTEY SPOT ON! I REMEMBER A BISHOP WHO WAS REPEATING AN EXPERIENCE HE HAD WITH A COUPLE WHO SAID THEY NO LONGER LOVED EACH AND WANTED A DIVORCE. HE WAS A LITTLE GRUFF AROUND THE EDGES BUT A FAITHFUL AND HARDWORKING BISHOP. HE SAID HE TOLD THE COUPLE "THEN GET IN LOVE!" OBVIOUSLY HE WAS SAYING YOU DON'T THROW YOUR MARRIAGE COVENANTS AWAY JUST BECAUSE THINGS ARE VERY DIFFICULT ANY MORE THAN YOU WOULD THROW AWAY YOU BAPTISMAL COVENANTS AWAY BECAUSE THEY MAY GET HARD, DON'T QUIT. WORK THROUGH. KEEP GOING. THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY LDS MARRIAGES ENDING IN DIVORCE. SOMETIMES IT JUST CAN'T BE AVOIDED; BUT MANY, MANY TIMES EVEN DIFFICULT MARRIAGES WILL TURN OUT TO BE THE BEST!
I've been single for 10 years. I have friends who have been single almost as long. I can promise you that the man you described doesn't exist out here. Please don't give up. Please study the proclamation. Please realize that God is strong enough to heal whatever is going on. Please, please know that you will regret giving up on God and His ability to bring love back into your heart. It's cliché, but what God can and will do when you trust Him, will be better than any alternative. It might be difficult to work your way back to the loving relationship you desire, but please believe me when I say, if you think you know pain now, it's nothing compared to what you feel when you realize YOU gave up on God.
Bravo! This is the BEST advice I've ever read. I have been a widow for almost three years. We were married just over 26 years. Our marriage hit three major crises, at 2 years, 21 years, and 25 years. We worked out (and lived out!) the problems. The last nine months of my husband's life were the best of our marriage. (He died very unexpectedly.) Having grown up in Minnesota, I know about those winters! Your analogy to them is a perfect example of enduring the hard, difficult times. Spring ALWAYS comes! Your counsel to find a therapist who is the last one in the room pulling for a couple to make it, is the most helpful measurement for discerning a good marriage counselor I've ever heard. Thank you! I, too, believe in marriage, and in supporting couples with words of hope!
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