Most couples build their marriage on a strong foundation of love which binds them together. As the years pass and the outside pressures increase, some couples begin to question whether they’re still in love, wondering when and why their intense feelings disappeared.
Some couples who feel that way may conclude that separation and divorce is their only option. Others hope that their love might be able to be restored, if they are both willing to work on the relation. Such work will certainly involve a restoration of that loving foundation that bound them together in the first place.
Most couples attempting to save a marriage focus on the stresses and conflicts in the marriage, rather than working on restoring the emotional bond and the feelings of love that they used to share.
But resolving conflict is far less important than rebuilding love in any attempt to save a marriage. Conflicts can easily be resolved when there’s already a foundation of love in place. Therefore, the only sensible approach is to focus on returning the couple to the place of deep love and care for each another. Once they accomplish this, they can start trying to resolve the conflicts in the relationship. Resolving conflicts is certainly important, but love should always be the top priority.
Steps to Rebuilding Love
This may be a difficult exercise, but think back to the beginning of your relationship with your spouse. Try to remember what it was about your spouse that made you fall in love. Identifying the origin of your feelings of affection and love for your spouse will serve to help you begin rebuilding that love.
If one spouse is always taking and the other is always giving, the foundation of love that the marriage was built on is going to suffer. Just as with a personal bank account, it’s not possible to spend all of your money and then expect to find money there when you go to check your balance. You have to make a deposit to replenish the available supply. Love in a marriage works in a similar way. You can’t constantly make demands and take, but still expect the love to grow and thrive unless you are nourishing and growing it in some way.
It is possible for love in a marriage to last a lifetime. You need to avoid taking more than you give, as doing this will over-stress your love. If you feel an absence of love in your marriage and you desire to rebuild your foundation of love, here are four things you can do to begin that process.
- Make a plan. Commit to recreating the love in your marriage, and then think of ways you can work to sustain it.
Your plan should consist of giving love to help replenish it, just like adding money would refill that drained bank account. Come up with an actionable plan to get love back on the right track.
Love will either grow, or it will wither and die. This is mostly based on how significant of an investment the spouses are willing to make.
- Break bad habits. Identify the negative, love-destroying habits you’ve developed, and do whatever you can to destroy those habits.
Set in place a plan of action. Communicate with your spouse about those habits and behaviors. Think of new, positive behaviors you can both engage in to replace the bad ones, and help you rebuild your emotional bonds and connections between the two of you.
- Treat your spouse kindly. Make a commitment to always treat your spouse lovingly. Work to make this second nature. More than likely, your actions will motivate your spouse to do the same thing in return. Giving and receiving love is a proven method to fall back in love with your spouse.
- Meet your spouse’s emotional needs. This could be a two-part step. If you don’t already know what your spouse’s emotional needs are, you’ll have to figure that out first. Then you need to learn how to best meet those needs. If you really don’t have a clue about what those needs are, here are some things you could do to help you figure that out.
- Plan evening meals together, alone. If this means you have to give the kids dinner and put them to bed before you have your dinner, do it. It’s worth it. Eating together, alone, will provide calm atmosphere for you to discuss important adult issues, problems and resolutions with no distractions.
- Make it a priority to spend uninterrupted time together. Start with about 30 minutes. During this time you could hold hands and talk together about your day. Or could discuss what things you appreciate about each other. Or you could make some plans to go on a special date together. Whatever you decide to do during this time, make sure it focus on you and your spouse.
- Reach out to each other during your work day. Send a text or an email, or make a quick phone call. Even though you may be busy, be sure you’re maintaining your closeness and your connection.
- Keep up with your spouse’s appointments and important occasions. Whether it’s a meeting at work or a doctor’s appointment, keep track of what they’re doing and express interest in how things went. Spouses often forget that this can be an easy way to show love and to bond with each other.
- Start and end each day with an expression of physical affection. Give a hug or a kiss. Or both. It’s possible to take just a moment or two no matter how rushed you may be and make a physical connection at the start and end of each day.
It is possible to rebuild love in a faltering marriage. The couple must be willing to slow down and to invest the time and effort required. Love can thrive again.