"I love her, but I'm not in love with her."
"We just grew apart."
"We have the same fight all the time."
"The relationship has run its course."
"The relationship is boring."
Many of these comments have been in the news lately as celebrities and politicians like Courteney Cox, Christina Aguilera and Al Gore announce their break-ups. Think it's just a Hollywood thing? Nope. I hear similar excuses in my mediation practice.
And it makes me mad! Relationships don't run on cruise control. They get boring and run their course when we stop doing interesting things together. In fact, if you think your relationship is boring, it really means that you are boring.
If you fall out of love with each other, it's because you began to neglect each other years ago, as in "you don't bring me flowers anymore." Or even more sinister forms of neglect might have taken hold like forgetting to say thank you and good morning, neglecting to ask how your mate's day went or taking the time to understand his/her point of view during an argument. Fighting to win, rather than to solve, is a major cause of lost love. For every "fall out of love," there was a reason.
Yet, all this gives me hope. If we can become aware of our control over lost love, then we can do something now to prevent that downward spiral in our current relationship. That's why I wrote the bestseller Fight Less, Love More with specific verbal dos and don'ts to inspire lasting love. And that's why I thanked my husband last night for breaking down the cardboard boxes in the garage and putting them out for the sanitation workers. I sure didn't want to spend 40 minutes doing that. And even more to his credit, most of those boxes were from items I ordered on-line.
That's my rant today, brought on by an interview I did this morning with a journalist who asked me, "When a couple falls out of love, isn't it better for the children if they divorce?" No! When a couple falls out of love, they should start paying more attention to each other and learn new verbal skills to reconnect and cherish the best in each other. Is that possible? Yes. I've seen it happen with my own eyes. That's what's best for the children and it's what's best for the couple too.