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When You Stop Loving Your Husband or Wife

Is it over? Is it worth repairing? Can things get better? Here is how to tell.

Are you married to someone who keeps you afraid to step out of line? Do you fear getting hit, bullied, locked up, or torn down with words designed to hit your most vulnerable spots? Or are you aware your spouse has cheated on you repeatedly? If so, only your spouse can save this marriage, and it's going to take a big shakeup in his or her belief system. Abuse training or compassion training are the best bet for this.

Are you married to someone who uses a lot more alcohol or drugs than you do and suffers health, financial, and relationship problems as a result? Your prospects are good if the alcohol or drug use stops. Check out Al Anon (for you, not your spouse) or talk to a psychologist about an intervention.

Are you carrying a grudge over something that happened more than 6 months ago? The resentment eats at your relationship. It prevents you from accepting love that's offered to you and from experiencing the emotion of love that comes when you're feeling good together. But you hold all the power to change things and start feeling loved and loving again. Take a look at some of the posts on this blog about how to Assume Love to shift your thinking about that past event so you can start receiving love again. The more you gratefully receive, the more your spouse will likely offer.

Are you disappointed by your spouse? Unhappy with his or her income or effort on household chores or changes in personal appearance? Falling back in love may be as simple as recognizing that not loving your spouse won't in any way fix any of these things. Perhaps you'll find a replacement someday who does better at whatever is bothering you, but perhaps not. Divorcing or choosing to be unhappily married ("for the kids") won't get you money, help around the house, or a better looking housemate. If you take care of those problems the way you would on your own or while living with someone you've made equally resentful, you might find the two of you can fall back in love again.

Are you having a hard time making big decisions together because of your very different expectations? This is a great reason to see a marriage counselor, and there is no need to wait until you've actually lost all feelings for your spouse first. There are many techniques for understanding how the differences came about and how they feed into each other. Finding Third Alternatives, discussed in this blog, is a method to resolve them in ways that make you both a lot happier than compromise can.

Are you newly shocked and angry over something that recently happened? Don't say a thing. Take some time to Assume Love, to check whether you Expect Love or some particular action that some people use to show love but others don't, and to plan how you will Find Third Alternatives to your disagreements. You will find lots about these topics here in this blog. Don't escalate the anger by lashing out before you have a full understanding of what just happened and what you want instead. Marriages recover fairly easily if you get clear before you get furious.

Comments

You always offer such great advice, Patty. I especially love how you offered specific solutions for very different issues. CJ and I often say, "Hmmm...what is the third alternative here?" So thank you!

Thanks, Tammy. You and CJ are role models for the incredible benefits of marriage. I encourage everyone looking for a great marriage to read your Kindle book, The End of Wishing Our Days Away (http://www.amazon.com/The-Wishing-Days-Away-ebook/dp/B00CMVCFZI/).

Your advice are quite unique. One other thing i have learn't in marriage is that you have to take responsibility for your actions by not blaming your spouse or making them feel guilty. For instance, he is not financially fit, why don't you take the responsibility of doing something so as to compliment his income rather than blame him for your poor living.

Thank you, Jane. Great advice.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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