Updated: Oct 30, 2021
Did your spouse tell you, "I love you, but I"m not IN LOVE with you?"
What does that even mean?
A person who says, "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you," is making a distinction between 2 different feelings. But NEITHER of those feelings are love!
When a person says, "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you," they're saying that I CARE about you but I'm not EXCITED about you.
CARING about someone is a good thing. It's reflective of CONCERN. But it's different than love. I care about the starving children in Africa, but I don't love them.
Being EXCITED about someone is also a good thing. But it's different than love. I might be excited to have a relationship with a movie star or sports athlete, but that doesn't mean I love them.
While someone who says, "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you" seems to be making a distinction between "different loves;" in fact, they are expressing their confusion about what love really is. And that's why they're having marital problems and maybe even an affair (because who are they IN LOVE with?).
Love is something we articulate in the vocabulary of ACTION. Love is a verb. It's not a feeling you get from another PERSON; it's an experience you receive as a result of DEEDS YOU DO for another person.
And those deeds are not a secret. In other words, love is NOT a mystery! There are specific things you can do with your spouse to solve your problems and build love in your marriage.
Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger.
It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable...you can "make" love.
So when someone says, "I love my spouse, but I'm not IN LOVE with my spouse”, I have to ask: "Can you list for me 5 ways in the last week that you've DEMONSTRATED your love for your spouse?"
Crickets. Maybe a few grunts and groans and uh...as they gasp for air. Nothing answers the question.
"I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you" is a cop out. It was for me because I used that one when I said this to my ex-husband.
I had given up on how to make a relationships last for years, so I exited. I began to seek love in all the wrong places.
When I married and divorced the second time, that husband who I sought LOVE from eventually said, "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you." BOOM.
I suffered a great deal after that divorce and one day, God slapped me across the head, a couple years later and said, “Donna love isn’t a feeling, it’s an ACTION!”
Of course, this is all fine and good, but it's really your spouse who needs to hear this, right? Not YOU, right? Wrong.
First, here are some do's and don'ts:
Do NOT print this blog out and give it to them and...
Do NOT tell them what I said.
Getting your spouse from "I love you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you" to "Okay, let's give this another shot" is delicate. You have to handle this properly or you will lose them.
Taking the right steps, you can draw your spouse back in and restore your marriage TOGETHER.
How? By believing that it is YOU who needs to take LOVE ACTION with baby steps toward your spouse. And at the same time LOVE ACTION toward yourself. For crying out loud, when was the last time you really took care of your own needs?
Here are some do's that you can begin with:
1. Attract positive things into your life. Take yourself to an art class, learn how to garden, volunteer at the library. Find things that make you more desirable toward your mate.
2. Offer love actions that mean something to your spouse. This starts with baby steps. In order to do this, know your spouse’s Love Language. Perhaps get a copy of the book The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman and tell your loved one you want to know what makes them feel loved. Knowing their love language will help you offer LOVE ACTION that helps them feel loved. Even if your spouse doesn't want to read it...YOU need to. You can try different things to see what works.
3. Be humble in your actions. Humility goes a long way in marriages that need to be brought back together. Humility means you are willing to listen and respond without blame.
4. Find things that make you laugh. Laughter can heal a multitude of problems and unhealthy situations. A spouse who laughs often gives light to the marriage and this is very attractive. Make sure you laugh at your own foibles too.
Obviously, there’s a whole lot more that can be done to help relationships restore LOVE ACTION, but these four is a good place to begin.
May you and your loved one be drawn back together by LOVE ACTION daily that builds the marriage account to its fullest.