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Falling out of love?

So here’s a questions that has me perplexed.  Can you fall out of love?  Maybe it’s the verbiage that I hate…   Falling is typically the result of an accident.  It’s sudden and unexpected.  So how can you “fall” out of love?

As I look back on my 30 years of marriage and reflect on this topic, I have to admit that my “feelings” for my wife have ebbed and flowed over time.  We’ve gone through phases of hot passion to phases of “room-matey-ness” and back again.  On the other hand, I can honestly say that I love my wife much more today than when we got married.  How can these statements coexist?

In our minds, our marriage is an irrevocable contract.  A God-ordained agreement that we have both signed onto.  But here’s the catch.  There’s nowhere in that contract that says our feelings for each other will never waver, it just says that we’re in it together for the long-haul.  Truth be told, there are weeks where I can’t do or say anything right.  There are other weeks when she disappoints me at every turn.  THAT’S LIFE!  But because we’re taking the long-view of the relationship, we both know from experience that such bad weeks are merely passing phases.  There is light at the end of each dark tunnel.  Knowing that, makes the rough times survivable.

So when I hear that people are falling out of love, it tells me that they are not making the necessary investment.  They’re not falling anywhere… they’re slinking out of love.  I can plant an ambitious garden, but if I don’t water, weed and fertilize it it will die over time.  And when that happens, I would be foolish to blame the garden for its demise.  Marriage is no different.  What you see as falling out of love is a direct reflection of your neglect to the relationship.

If you feel yourself “falling” (have I mentioned how much I hate that word in this context?) out of love, quit looking at your partner and look at yourself.  How have you been nurturing the relationship?  What have you done to make it thrive?

I can’t fall out of love with my wife, because I am committed to loving her.  I may continue to get frustrated and angry from time to time, but that has nothing to do with my undying love.  Shocking marriage takes ongoing effort.  It’s about so much more than feelings.

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