Thursday, June 24, 2010

T or F: People Just Fall Out Of Love

I got this in a newsletter from Michele Weiner-Davis, one of my favorite marriage therapist/ authors:

True or False: "People just fall out of love."

Answer: False

Some people believe that they need to divorce their spouses because they've fallen out of love. They didn't mean for it to happen, it just happened. To them, love is a feeling that is either there or it's not there. If it's there, you get married. If it's not there, you divorce. This is one of the silliest ideas I have ever heard.

The number one cause for the breakdown in marriages in our country is that people don't spend enough time together. They take their marriages and their spouses for granted. Everything- work, the kids, soccer games, community activities, extended family obligations, and so on- becomes more important than spending time together-. The marriage gets placed on the bottom of the priority list. When this happens, people grow apart. They become two strangers passing in the night. They're no longer a team. And, because they're distant, the little time they do spend together, they end up fighting.

This distance and alienation sometimes fools people into thinking they've fallen out of love. They feel numb. They can't imagine ever re-igniting those loving feelings. But the truth is, the love hasn't been destroyed, it's just camouflaged beneath the numbness. And, by retracing the steps taken to weaken love's bond, the feelings of warmth, connection, friendship and intimacy can be restored.

While not spending enough quality time together is not the only destroyer of relationships, I agree with the author that it probably the most common (and easiest to treat). I take is a warning but also encouragement - time can indeed heal alot of wounds. One of the tasks I give couples sometimes is to schedule 10 to 15 hours a week to spend together actively meeting each others most important emotional needs. This is accomplished by giving your spouse a great gift - your undivided attention for awhile. It doesn't solve every problem but I have literally seen it transform some marriages in a week or two.

1 comment:

Lindsey Dueck said...

Before I even read the post I thought "FALSE"! This is something I have been trying to teach my youth girls this year. It is also something I have reminding myself. Love is NOT a feeling. I think this can go back to your "try" post. People do not "fall" out of love, they simply choose not to love that person anymore!