Hi, Will. 

When I was younger I made a promise to myself;  I never wanted to get divorced and I meant it. I guess real-life isn’t that simple. I just don’t love my husband anymore. He isn’t as affectionate, he doesn’t take care of me, and he isn’t washing on his days off. I mean, come on…  he’s not washing! It seems everything he does irritates me now and I don’t want to leave because I meant every last word of my marriage vows. He says he still loves me and wants to make this work, but I can’t find the love for him. Is there any way I can fall BACK in love with my husband, or is it over?

All Out of Love

Hey A.O.O.L,

First off, PLEASE understand that I am not a marriage counselor, so take anything I say as an option, not gospel. Secondly, I have never been in your position, so the things I say here are simply what I think, not what I know. And thirdly, I am a guy, so I can’t really tell you how a woman should think or feel about love; men and women are wired differently. Now, after all of my warnings, if you still want to know what I think, here it is:

LOVE IS DAMN HARD WORK: Love at first sight is a crock. They should call it attraction at first sight. It simply means, “Hey, that person turns me on.” And all that, “We fell in love the moment we met” is also a crock. That’s usually infatuation. It simply means, “I can’t stop thinking about this person and they could be the one.” Mix attraction with infatuation, sprinkle in some lust and a couple of gin and tonics and it’s easy to see how two people can meet at a bar, be, “madly in love” by last call, and wake up the next morning, trying to remember each other’s name.

Don’t get me wrong; attraction and infatuation are necessary to get to love but real love isn’t something that people fall into and out of like the ball-pit at Chuck E. Cheese. Love is a verb. It’s something you have to DO everyday, not just on the days you feel like doing it and it’s not for the faint of heart. Only TV love is pink Champagne and orgasms every day. Real love has days with missed showers and vomit and farts that peel the wallpaper. Isn’t it romantic?

LOVE IS JUST THE BEGINNING: “All you need is love.” The Beatles were wrong! That’s possibly why Sir Paul is on his third marriage. As I’ve said before, a marriage is a table with four legs. The legs are love, trust, respect, and communication. As long as all for legs are strong, the table can withstand almost anything, but if you take one away, the whole thing can get unstable. The trick is to know which leg is actually weak and fix it before the table falls.

SO WHAT TO DO NOW? I explained all of this to say I don’t think your marriage has a “love” problem, at least not yet. I think your marriage has a communication problem. You say your husband isn’t as affectionate as he once was which means you still want his affection. If you didn’t love him, you wouldn’t. He’s not showering and that bothers you. If you didn’t still care, you wouldn’t really mind if he showered or not; you’d just stay away from him. The opposite of love is indifference, but you’re not indifferent. Everything he does irritates you because you are angry with him, not because you don’t love him. You don’t feel like he’s taking care of you which means you still want him to do something for you… but what?

There’s definitely a problem and I think you’re angry because he hasn’t fixed it. I think he hasn’t fixed it because he doesn’t know what it is, because you haven’t told him and because you probably don’t know yourself. The lack of affection, the anger over little things (like him missing a shower) and the irritation are symptoms of a bigger problem. To find out what that is, run, don’t walk, to a REAL marriage counselor. I think you really want to save your marriage and counselors do that every day. They can help you get to the root of the problem and teach you how to communicate with each other. I think, when that happens, you’ll find the love was there all along. Good luck to you both and I’ll be praying for you.

More from GEM:

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly; An Unvarnished Look Inside A Real Marriage

Sex And The Sermon: Should A Pastor Talk Like THIS About Sex?

Ask The Good Enough Guy: My Husband’s A Home Wrecker!

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.