If you hear these words, a big warning bell should go off. This is one of the most consistent things a cheating spouse will say. It is often said by a spouse going through midlife crisis also. Your spouse may have a deep, loving bond with you but, intense feelings of passion can override the bond with you and cause your spouse to loose sight of his/her true feelings. The cheating spouse will develop what I call hormone - induced amnesia. The surging hormones and passion they feel in their new relationship can cause some much-skewed thinking.
This is what I feel happens in many relationships that fall victim to infidelity. The spouse who strays has spent years investing time, emotion and energy in the marriage. They may feel that no matter what they do, they cannot or, are not getting what they feel they need from the relationship. They lack the skills to do something different, something that might work in their favor and finally get them what they need from the relationship. They get stuck in a negative place.
People who are stuck can see no way out, they view their problems as permanent and many times think the only way to get unstuck is to turn to someone else. A new relationship is a great way to distract themselves from the problems in a marriage. You are suddenly unstuck and enjoying the lust and passion that comes with a new found relationship. All of a sudden, they are getting every thing they need from another man or woman. After years of not getting their needs met in the marriage this can be a huge relief.
If you are reading this article and are someone who has found relief in a relationship with someone other than your spouse, I have something I want you to do. Before you destroy your marriage by leaving for another person, I want you to think about what you are really feeling. Don’t use the new relationship as a distraction to keep you from being honest with yourself and your spouse. If you are a cheating spouse make sure that one of the problems below is not causing you to throw your marriage away just to keep from having to deal with them open and honestly. Do you feel your spouse is…
- Dismissive of your feelings.
- Is financially irresponsible
- Not spending enough time with the family.
- Rejecting you sexually.
- Working too much.
- Not working with you as a couple to make the marriage better.
Whatever you feel the problems are in the marriage you owe it to yourself and your spouse to get honest with him/her. It may not be easy, it may be painful for your spouse but it is the only way to solve problems because the “I love you but I’m not in love with you,” statement is a sign that something is wrong in the marriage. You may find that, after you open up to your spouse that you are playing a role in your own unhappiness.
If you are reading this article and your spouse has said, I love you but I’m not in love with you, then view it as an opportunity to open up to your spouse about how you feel in the relationship. When hearing such a statement it is easy to become panicked, to go on the defensive and react in a negative way. You need to not only say what is on your mind but to also listen to what your spouse has to say.
It is important for both spouses to try to see it from the perspective of the other spouse. You may think you’ve been an outstanding wife or husband. Your spouse may have another opinion. If you are willing to listen openly, you may find that you have fallen short. That there are things your spouse needs from you that you have not given.
The only way to know if the “I love you but I’m not in love with you statement,” is coming from someone who is stuck or someone who truly is no longer in love is to be willing to explore the problems in the marriage and take responsibility for your part in the problems. If, after doing this, the marriage still fails you can both move on knowing you tried to work through the problems. You will have both grown and learned from the situation and hopefully won’t take the same issues into a new relationship.