Movies and songs tell us that love is an all-encompassing feeling that defies all reason. They say love should always feel electric, that anything less is settling. But real life isn't like the movies. Familiarity creeps in, sparks fade.
So how do you maintain a relationship when you're no longer hot and bothered by each other's presence? Is it worth it to stay? These stories aren't about finding love elsewhere, but staying where you are and making it work. For better or worse.
From Redditor /u/grindermonk
Being “in love” seems like a state over which you have no control. I long ago made the decision just to love the woman who became my wife. Fortunately she made the same decision about me. Romantic infatuation has faded, but our love for each other endures. It takes work to maintain, to avoid taking each other for granted, Love is not an emotion, it is a practice.
From Redditor /u/Fortunefavourthebold
I'm in a relationship for the last 14 years and what I have to say is, Love is amorphous, it changes what it is and is hard to pinpoint sometimes. Sometimes you will be mad at each other, sometimes you will share laughter and smiles and hugs and kisses, sometimes you will be underwhelmed, sometimes you will be bored... sometimes you will be full of pride and appreciation, other times you will take them for granted. sometimes the sex will be great, other times samey. But life goes on... can anyone truly say they are in love constantly and without interruption always, or is it something that ebbs and flows. I think the latter. But I am always loyal and feel allegiance to my partner and family, I always have the attitude that I am committed and we are on this journey together, and I certainly don't want to be with anyone else! So that's my 2 cents right now
From Redditor /u/dirtyflower
I literally just got married to my husband two weeks ago. I am not "in love" with him. I respect him as a strong, good, honest, hard-working, intelligent...yadda yadda amazing man. I find him attractive most of the time haha I love him very much but I'm not "in love" with him and haven't been for a very long time. We've been together for almost 7 years, living together for 6. I know him inside and out and I'll never leave him or betray him and I trust him not to either. We argue plenty, disagree often, have sex on occasion but always find a way back to kindness and know when to turn it on for the other person. We also both are openly aware of each others struggles whether at work, mental health, family, financial or whatever else comes up. I am still with him because I know we are compatible even if we have many differences and I believe in sharing a committed life together working through the downs to find the joy in the ups because that history with someone is worth more than the fairy tale, sappy, "in love" glowing warmth. It's real life.
From Redditor /u/skibumatbu
We have 3 kids. We made a great team. She went with one kid one place and I took the others somewhere else. Whether it was afterschool activities, playdates, or shopping on the weekend, our ability to divide and conquor was amazing. However, we never went on a date. We never watched TV together and just barely slept in the same bed. We did seperate things in our private time. We were never intimate. We weren't even friends. Just two people in the same house sharing responsibilities.
For 5 years I sacrificed my relationship because it made my life easier. It was miserable yet comfortable. I love my kids and that made me happy to see them happy. It made me happy that we were able to afford some luxuries for the kids that I can't on my own. I was scared to end the relationship. I was afraid to live alone and afraid that I would never find someone else.
My wife moved out last week. I now have to face those fears. I can be a single dad half the time. I'm still scared. But, I'm optimistic that my kids and I will pull through....