Marriage Rut: Will I ever be attracted to my husband again?

I love my husband like a good friend but no longer feel the "in love" feelings that I used to. I no longer look forward to going home and being with him, and our times together are tense. We've been married for five years and have two children, and I think our marriage started to go bad about two years ago.

In the past few months my husband has admitted that he was not treating me well enough and started making a bigger effort to make me happy. He is doing much more around the house and with the kids. He had gained about 50 pounds, which added to our problems, and now he's started to lose some weight. But my question is, can I get back the feeling of being in love? Or is it too late? What can we do together to make our marriage work?

--jbharris12

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Brenda Shoshanna

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, therapist and certified divorce and family mediator. She has written five books, including Zen and the... Read more

You can fall back in love with your husband, but both of you will have to work at forgiving and moving on. You might be falling out of love because you are focusing on negative parts of your husband's personality or bad things that happened with him in the past -- a common relationship problem. Many people make a decision to only see one part of their partner's personality and, in turn, take away their love.

Your husband is making an effort to restore your relationship. Although he did not live up to your expectations before, it seems he is aware and is trying to get your marriage back on track. The good news is that when someone makes an effort like this there is hope that problems can be worked through. Especially when there are children involved, it is often worth honoring this effort and responding in kind.

Being in love is a choice, and you have more power to make that choice if you root yourself in the present. Everyone makes mistakes. Without realizing that, it is impossible to remain in a strong and healthy relationship. Find out what is good and worthy about your husband now. You can choose to focus on the good parts of his personality just by opening your heart. Speak openly and kindly, and truly listen to whatever he says. Plan special time alone together. Find out and share who both of you are now. If you give with an open heart, and he gives to you, it won't be difficult to fall in love again.

There is, however, a crucial difference between loving another person and feeling as though you are "in love" or "out of love." Feelings of being "in and out of love" fluctuate in all relationships. Like the weather, they come and go. Even how you feel physically has an effect on your emotions.

On the other hand, loving someone means respecting and caring for them no matter what circumstances come up. I don't mean you should accept abuse, but you should strive to remain loyal during a time of stress. Loving your husband means giving him the opportunity to repair misdeeds; it means judging him favorably and being willing to forgive. Please remember that a marriage that lasts over time is dependent upon loving, not necessarily being "in love."

I wish you the best.

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