What do you do when you don't feel in love anymore?
Recognize that like being out of shape or if you can't remember when you last changed the oil in your car, when you finally get around to confronting this fact; you've waited too long to ask the question.
Knowing you've lost the feeling is actually the second step in making a change. Wondering, being dissatisfied, or plain unhappiness means you've stumbled out of the first stage of change.
Blissful ignorance. This initial stage can manifest itself as love that's unrequited, ignored, misunderstood, or unappreciated, but irregardless, you're not getting it.
And you can be the one dishing out this relational side trip or the recipient of this unfortunate bundle of "bliss".
Whether you're blissfully under appreciating your lover or the one feeling misunderstood; unless you can begin to recognize it's a problem--starting to consider all is not right, things won't be changing anytime soon.
Feeling ignored by the one you love isn't the same thing as being aware of a problem either. Think back to how many times you've accepted less love or commitment in a relationship as, "just the way it is"; or "the kids need to be the focus right now."?
Knowing that a relationship has lost its feeling and beginning to confront the problem are two different things. There's a real and formidable gap to bridge between "knowing" something's missing in your relationship and having built the motivation to change it.
In fact, this gap--knowing that it even exists, is the real key to changing it. Your brain wants harmony and your mind will work overtime to quell disharmony to the point of even changing what you tell yourself about what's happening. The technical term is cognitive dissonance and believe me, you don't like it.
The next post will talk more about this phenomenon and ways to pull yourself out of the quicksand.