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Old 2nd April 2005, 11:58 AM   #22
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1,115
Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I just wanted to refer back to my posting further down the thread.

I hear that several of you are saying that you are not in love with your spouses, but that doesn't mean that you cannot find happiness and fulfilment in your marriages by choosing to act lovingly and with commitment towards them.

I think that we are heavily influenced by pictures of love that involve strong emotional attachments, rather than other sorts of deep bonds such as companionship, shared values, respect, affection. These romantic views of marriage have their roots in Hollywood, popular entertainment, novels etc. I'm not saying that romance and emotions are not important, but I am challenging the pursuit of personal happiness which is so embedded into our culture.

I also think that some of us were not parented securely and often look for a partner who will father or mother us and then as we grow up within the marriage we find it difficult to make the change to being equals in the marriage.

I'm not sure I believe that there is a perfect partner for us, but that there may well be a number of people who we could build a good marriage with. Once we have found one of them then we will find the most satisfaction in remaining committed and learning about love that is a choice and a commitment, based on the promises you made when you married. We should never expect our marriage partner to fulfil all our emotional needs - it just isn't possible, but how good a job are we doing for them?

I also feel concerned about involving children in your concerns about your marriage. Isn't that an unfair burden to put on them?

So, a little challenge, stop focussing on how you feel and why not pull out all the stops to see how much you can express love, care and concern for your wife or husband. Read some of the articles I mentioned below, book yourselves onto an enrichment weekend. If you've got problems of your own then get some counselling or therapy for those.

I don't intend to be unsympathetic, my marriage hasn't always run smoothly, but it's very easy to get sucked into the "look after yourself, do what feels good" way of thinking. Marriage isn't about that - it's about 100% giving and receiving. What has kept me going has been the commitment to go on being the best wife I can be and challenging my husband when his attitudes and behaviours are unhelpful for us as a couple.

Just an aside to Robin - your counselling showed you that you weren't responsible for your husband's happiness. That is true in one way, but much counselling seems to focus on helping the individual to find what's best for them, but marriage does involve sacrifices for the other person - there are two of you in there, and only true marriage counselling focusses on finding what's best for the couple. Sometimes the other person's happiness has to be more important than your own. We have to do that for our children so why not for our spouse?

I'm sure that in all your relationships just as in most marriages there are other issues that concern you, but beware avoiding them because you don't feel "in love".

Kate is offline   Reply With Quote