No longer 'in love'

What happens when you are in a relationship where you love your partner but you are not 'in love' with them?  There may have always been a mismatch in the level of feeling you had for one another or it may have happened after many years together.

A couple I recently counselled come to mind.  They had both experienced divorce before they met through work.  The attraction for him was instant, physical and protective and for her it was more gradual and became solid.  He helped to parent her children for many years and they lived with a high level of harmony.  He had been her rescuer, her rock and her lover, but now he became her brother, her father and her jailer and she could no longer consider him as her lover. She loved him but was not 'in love' with him.  He loved her and was 'in love' with her. They were getting on really well on a daily basis, but she had reached breaking point.

Loving can be enough for some couples - a good enough reason to stay in the relationship where peace, harmony and mutual understanding exist, what reason would there be for doubt or dissatisfaction?

If only it were that simple.  What happens to the yearning for physical connection, for excitement, for lust and for sexual satisfaction within such a relationship; what do partners in a long-term amicable partnership do with that part of themselves?  How do they fulfil that need in themselves when it's not there for them at home?

Remaining content with the relationship you've got has a lot to do with attitude.  Whether you can mentally count your blessings and find peace and contentment in the relationship you are in; and whether you can physically control your yearnings so that they do not become destructive actions.

Loving each other but not being 'in love' with each other is not an uncommon state.  Rather than leaving things as they are and not discussing how you feel about each other, why not try some open respectful communication - this will build honesty and transparency between you and may even take you to a softer more loving place.  Who knows you may even fall in love all over again.

 'you have to keep falling in love . .... . you just have to keep falling in love with the same person'. Tony Parsons 'Man and Wife'.