Marriage has its ups and downs. Everybody says that. But there are times when your marriage doesn’t feel like it’s just in a down. It feels like you’re just not in love anymore. Whether that’s a cause or a result of being in a down spot in our marriage is still uncertain, but one thing you feel certain about is that you just don’t feel in love anymore. If you’re like most people, that doesn’t mean that you scream and yell at each other. In fact, you may even get along reasonably well with your spouse – but you just don’t feel like you have a life partner that excites your anymore. Or worse, you just feel like roommates.
What to do When You Don’t Feel in love Anymore
If you’re not feeling in love with your spouse so much these days, don’t sweat it. No matter how bland or boring your relationship is you really can get your relationship back to being great again. First things’ first, you have to look back and figure out where you started growing apart. Don’t think so much about an exact time and date, zoom out and think a little more broadly. Look back at what behaviors you or your partner started exhibiting that were kind of a turn off. Maybe there were big life changes such as a move or having a baby that happened at about the same time you started feeling more distant. These are important to recognize because they will help you see what needs to change – or at least give you a pretty good idea, anyway. Take some time and write down 2-4 things that come to mind. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Second, look ahead to what you want your relationship to look like. This is critically important. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, it doesn’t matter what things you try because you’ll never hit your target. You have to know what you’re aiming for in your marriage. Ask yourself these two questions: What would you like to see in your marriage when everything is all better? And: what would be happening 3 months from now when you and your partner are doing exactly what you’d like to be doing?
I ask my couples these two questions a lot. If you don’t know where you’re trying to go in your relationship, it doesn’t really matter what you do right now to try to fix it. It doesn’t matter because you could try a dozen different things and you won’t feel any better. You have to be doing the specific things that will take you where you want to go or you’ll feel like you’ve been working on your marriage for a long time with no success. The cool part is, once you identify where you want to go in your relationship, it usually only takes 2-3 changes that will help you start feeling more in love again (instead of taking a shotgun approach and trying a dozen).
Work, Work, Work
Third thing you have to do is work. This is where most people go wrong. Falling in love felt so natural the first time, they expect it to be natural this time, too. But think about it, if the solutions to your marital problems came naturally, you’d already be doing them. You’re not. Own it. You can complain all you want about your partner not making you feel in love or how they have such annoying habits but until you’re ready to put some work into your relationship, too, things just aren’t going to change. So look at that list you wrote down earlier, pick out 1-2 things you personally can do to help those things on that list and get to work.