People typically get married because they are “in love.” Usually at that time love looks like feelings of butterflies, shared quiet moments, and dreams for the future. Once you are married real life happens. Dirty socks are left on the floor, babies and puke and exhaustion happen. The dreams of some blissful happily ever after, fade. What’s left is what’s actually real. This is where you find love.
Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings fade, but you make choices every single day.
So what happens when your spouse doesn’t love you anymore? I have talked to so many people who believe their spouse doesn’t love them, when what I can see from the outside is that the problem isn’t a lack of love, it’s that you’ve gone deaf. See before we get married, all those little gestures that you gave credit to them for because they were trying, are now falling on deaf ears. There comes a shift where instead of just trying, you actually need to be told you are loved in the ways that you are able to hear it. If you want to break it down into five love languages then go ahead, but the reality is that we don’t all feel loved by the same actions. We were created exquisitely different. So to effectively love a person and convey that to them, there has to come a point when I stop trying and start doing. My choice to love must follow with actions that demonstrate that love in the ways my spouse hears it.
As an example: I may say I care about homeless people and that they are close to my heart but if I do nothing to ever help, then do I really care? If I show up with armfuls of broken computers as a way to help but that doesn’t actually help them, then do I care? But we keep raising our banner to boast that we actually did something because we want to be commended, but we need to not just do something, we must actually be helpful, be purposeful with our love. This takes effort and communication to ask what is needed and then hear what they say.
On the flip side as a spouse you need to still acknowledge the ways your spouse is trying to love you but it’s also great if you can communicate, in a loving way, what are ways that you feel the most loved. It’s all about communication and you can’t hear if your deaf.
Pain will make you deaf. We will hurt each other (that’s a guarantee) and pain undealt with, or consistently repeated will make you deaf. You will not be able to hear that the other person actually loves you, even when they really do. Your problem is not a lack of love – it’s a lack of communication and probably deafness.
The next time you think your spouse doesn’t love you, check yourself because the most likely scenario is that you’ve both gone deaf. Get some help so you can hear each other again because the love is there, it just must be rediscovered and heard.
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