When Being “In love” is a Distant Memory

Distant memory - Dollar Photo kissBeing “in love.” There’s hardly a greater feeling. There is such an emotional high involved that it’s hard to describe it to someone who has never experienced it. It is kind of like trying to explain color to someone who has been blind since birth and has no concept of what that could look like. There is no opportunity to remember a distant memory of something you never experienced in the first place.

It’s also one of those feelings that is like an elusive butterfly. It is hard to keep. That is because life has a way of causing a disturbance so it eventually flitters away. It then becomes just a distant memory. The “in love” feeling is one that most all of us want to have and keep forever with that special someone. And when we marry, believe we will. But too many are finding that they won’t.

In Love Becomes a Distant Memory

I’ve got to tell you the other side, though. We hear about it almost every day in this ministry. Time and time again we hear about those ten dreaded words. Someone has been told by their spouse, “I love you but I’m not IN LOVE with you.”

I believe that statement comes straight from the pit of hell. It makes me cringe and feel sick to my stomach every time I hear it. How is it possible to love the other by saying that to them? You either love someone or you don’t. And if you love your spouse, you would never even start to think of delivering that message to them. That is… unless you knew the feeling was mutual. These words are hurtful, devastating, degrading, dishonoring, and plain out dishonest!

We’re told in the Bible, “Love is kind.” There’s nothing kind about stabbing your spouse’s heart with those words. Love also “does not insist on its own way.” Almost always when that statement is given, the offending spouse is telling the other that he or she is leaving the marriage. Many times they already have someone else all lined up to take their marriage “partner’s” place. Where is the “love” in all of that?

And the drama goes on when children are involved. The offending spouse tells them that he or she loves them. But where is “love” being poured out as their home is being ripped apart? How “kind” is that? How is it not seen that this is totally self-seeking?

Distant Memory of Vows and Promises Made

What happened to all of the promises and vows? Or does that not count, if you fall out of being “in love” with the person you promised to “love until death do you part?” What does that say to God and all the “witnesses” you said your vows in front of on your wedding day? And what does that say to your children about keeping promises?

Sure, I know there are abusive spouses and ones who cheat. But I’m not talking about not being “in love” with them here. I’m talking about spouses who decide the absence of the feelings of being “in love” with their spouse. They believe it justifies their being allowed to break their heart, even though they say they “love” them. Baloney! That’s not LOVE! That’s just a stupid way of saying, “I’m out of here and this phrase seems politer.” It isn’t, but that over-used line makes sense to thrill-seekers and self-seekers.

They say that divorce is contagious among friends. Once a friend divorces, others start considering doing the same. We’ve seen this happen many times. And isn’t it coincidental that all of a sudden the phrase, “I love you but I’m not in love with you” is one that is so commonly heard now-a-days? Where did that come from? We never heard that phrase used in years past. Why now? Could it be that people are grabbing onto it as it is being fed to one another?

I can tell you that you didn’t hear it in the Bible. Here are a few things we DO read about in the Bible, concerning love. I’m going to add a few thoughts after some of them, included in [brackets].

Prayerfully Consider:

We’re told in Matthew 22:37–39: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘” [I wonder if that includes dumping your spouse because at this time you don’t feel “in love?”]

Luke 6:35: “But love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing back…” [How are you loving your spouse if you’re abandoning him or her, breaking his or her heart? Is that doing “good?”]

John 15:13 we’re told: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” [Does laying down our life mean that we’re to abandon our bride or our groom?]

Romans 12:9: “Don’t let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good.” [What is good in breaking your spouse’s and children’s hearts? Where is the “cling” in that gesture of “love?”]

Romans 13:10: “Love does not do harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fullness of Torah.” [Breaking someone’s heart, and not working on the marriage sure seems like it could be interpreted as doing “harm” to our neighbor, our spouse.]

Additionally, Note:

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 we’re told: “Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth. Love always bears up. It always trusts, always hopes, always endures. Love never ends; but prophecies will pass, tongues will cease, knowledge will pass.” [Where is dumping out of the marriage, not giving the repentant spouse, and/or the confused, hurt spouse a chance to help you both rebuild love tie into all of this?]

1 Corinthians 13:13: “But for now, three things last trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love.” [Note that we aren’t told that it’s the “in love” feeling, but rather love —which means sacrificial love.]

Ephesians 4:2: “Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love…” [Hmmm… how can you be “bearing” with someone that you leave because the “feeling” isn’t there right now?]

Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. ” [Did Christ dump his bride for a newer model? By giving “Himself up for her” could that include abandoning her?]

1 Peter 4:8: “More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins.” [You can’t “actively keep loving” someone you abandon.]

1 John 4:7: “Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God.” [Are we showing that we love God when we leave our spouse because the “feeling” is gone?]

Furthermore, Please Note:

1 John 4:19: “We ourselves love now because he loved us first.” [Did the “love” that Jesus gave us stop Him from going to the cross for us, His bride? Did He leave us because He no longer had that “in love” feeling for His bride?]

John 15:13: “No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends.” [Laying down one’s life doesn’t include leaving them crying and crushed in spirit.]

Ephesians 5:25: “As for husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her.” [The same applies.]

Ephesians 5:33: “However, each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.” [You aren’t showing love and respect to someone you abandon and turn your back on.]

Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” [What unity? How can there be unity when there is abandonment involved?]

1 Peter 4:8: “And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins.” [Fervent love is active, attentive love —feelings included or no.]

1 John 3:16-18 “The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? Let us love not with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!” [Words are hollow and empty when they aren’t accompanied by an open heart and spirit.]

More to Note:

1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” [We know the context of this scripture includes sisters. It also tells us that Jesus Christ “laid down His life for us.” So, what would Jesus do, in your marriage? Would he abandon His bride and tell her that he’s sorry, but the “in love” feeling is gone so there’s going to be no more laying down of lives here?]

1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” [Does that mean that when the feeling of being “in love” is gone, we should take the action of abandoning our spouse?]

1 John 4:8: “He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” [We’re told God is love… not that He is the feeling of being “in love”]

Lord, Teach Us to Love

There are many, many more scriptures that tell us how to love one another. I dare say that if we follow what God says instead of what people are telling each other, in their own contagious ways, we’d see a whole lot less divorcing going on!

God can teach us how to love one another —after-all, God IS Love. Who better to teach us? The problem is that too many spouses get to the point where they abandon what God tells them to do, substitute what they hear from others —that which “tickles” their ears, and dump out of their marriages, in pursuit of the “feeling” of being “in love.”

Yes, they can find that feeling again. But it’s a horrible price for everyone else involved, to pay. The principles for TRULY loving each other, are the principles for living, which are laid out throughout the Bible. Follow them… live them, and you will truly love as Christ would have you. And the bonus is that you may very well start to feel “in love” again.

That’s what happened with my husband Steve and me. I thought I would never be able to recapture that feeling again. Not only has God helped me to get that feeling back, as I apply His principles, He keeps amping up the love. I DEEPLY love my husband. (Here’s a glimpse into part of that journey: What Cindy Wright Has Learned About Marriage.)

— ALSO —

Here’s a glimpse into some of the “principles for loving, which are the principles for living” that I refer to in this blog:



Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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3 responses to “When Being “In love” is a Distant Memory

  1. Hi Cindy, I’ve been reading your website since I’ve been heartbroken this February. You have helped me a lot more than you could ever imagine. But on this particular article you wrote is what I am actually experiencing right now. My marriage has been in total chaos since the beginning of December and this February my husband told me that he doesn’t love me anymore. I was totally devastated. I couldn’t even describe how I felt when I heard those words from him without even a little bit of hesitation. He sounded so sure of himself, not even a sound of sadness but loathsome.

    I have admitted to him that I was wrong and committed a lot of mistakes. I have constantly nagged him of coming home late and I have not been fully submitted to him as wife, but he just would not listen to me anymore. We’ve been married 6 years and he said he’s just so fed up. He’s not leaving yet but he told me that he’s so ready to do that if not only for our son.

    He’s torturing me by his late nights outside. He’s can’t stay the whole day at home. He wouldn’t talk to me if not if he is looking for something or whatever seems important to him. I learned to keep quiet and just pray a lot for him and for us. He just keeps on ignoring me. When I try to hug him he just turns around and walks a way.

    Please, I badly need your advice. And I need your prayers… please pray for our marriage. I am truly repentant to what I have become to my husband and I am willing to change to save our marriage. I don’t want my son to grow old without a father. I don’t want him to have the same life my husband went through with his parents separated. I love my husband but he doesn’t love me anymore. It’s just too painful to still have him around but he’s just not there anymore.

    1. Dear Richdei, How I wish I had the answers for you that you are seeking! As I read what you wrote I looked to Heaven and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know how to help her, but I do know that I’m supposed to say something. What do I say? I sense such deep, deep hurt, and I can’t ignore this without giving some type of hug across the miles.” As I was praying, the Lord brought to mind that even though I don’t have much in answers to your pleas, I am to give you a “cup of cold water” as the Bible talks about –giving it in His name (Mark 9:41 and other places), by telling you that I am crying with you and praying for you. And then as I was reading and praying some more, God let me know that HE is the one who makes the water. He is the Fountain of Living Water. And then a little while after that the Lord let me know that you (and many others that approach us with the really tough stuff) have to drink at HIS fountain. So please Richdei, keep praying and believing, putting your focus on Him.

      Your husband obviously doesn’t know how to interact with you in healthy ways. He is very into himself and doesn’t see how he is acting poisonous to the one he pledged to love for a lifetime. He is breaking vows and hurting you in ways he never, ever should. I can’t even imagine the toxic behavior your son will be picking up as far as how to treat his own eventual wife. If your husband truly loves his son, he would treat his mother (you) lovingly. Otherwise, he loves himself more than he loves his son.

      All I can say is do what you can, not to allow yourself to be treated in unloving ways as if you are a rug to be walked on. Be respectful, but also don’t be a doormat. Your husband is wrong in the ways he is treating you, and is setting a terrible example for your son. Put your focus on Jesus and His love for you and your son, and live as a loving person God created you to be. If you ultimately have to release your husband to leave because of his hateful behavior (which I hope will never have to happen), then ask God to show you. Perhaps he will return some day a better man. I don’t know. I pray he will come to his senses someday.

      But above all, pray, believe, and allow God to be the Husband for you that your husband will not be, because of his self-centeredness. Keep reading on the web site, asking God to show you what advice you should use, and above all, allow the Holy Spirit to be your Wonderful Counselor. I’m not that; He is. How I pray God will minister to your needs. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 15:13)

      1. Dear Cindy, thank you so much for your kind words…and especially for your prayers. I can feel you just hugged me from across the miles. I continue on my prayers. I know now that God is always with me and He’ll give me the strength that I need. I decided to embrace the pain… and just allow God to do what He wills for my life. I can be at peace with that. Thank you so much again… and thank God for people like you who inspire lost souls like me. You are truly angels on earth. Hugs, Richdei